Boss Lady

How to start your own business in a different field


When it comes to our career, many of us face the common problem of feeling stuck and no longer inspired to kick goals. After working in real estate for seven and a half years, I knew it was time to venture on a new path. I made a swift career switch into the wedding industry, and want others to be aware that if you have an idea outside your field – it’s very possible to fruitfully pursue it.

Here are some valuable tips for those who dream of turning their passion into a thriving business, so you can re-energise and love going to work every day.

  1. Transferrable skills

Don’t overlook the skills you already have in your repertoire. If you are thinking about a career switch, there are often more transferrable synergies between industries than you think. To run a business, regardless of the industry, basic soft skills such as organisational, interpersonal, and resilience skills are crucial.

For example, negotiation skills I have mastered from real estate deals, play a key role in allowing me to successfully deal with suppliers and manage wedding budgets. My people-centric nature is also beneficial when working in an industry that is founded on social celebrations. As entrepreneurs, we can always upskill and learn, but realising what cards you can already bring to the table is a valuable starting point.

  1. Identify the customer need

Before dropping everything, you should ensure that you have an audience ready to benefit from your idea. Business owners are aspirational by nature, but it is also essential to have your feet on the ground. Is there an audience for your idea? Is there a gap in the market? These questions play a huge role in pre-determining the long-term success of your business. Do your due diligence and research if needed.

For me, I saw first-hand a need for reliable wedding planning, an industry that continues to grow. A lot of my friends were getting married at the time and I kept seeing repeated mistakes costing money, time and stress. It’s the best feeling when you get the lightbulb idea, but always remember to future-proof it with a critical thinking hat.

  1. Driven mindset

Once you are confident in your idea – go all in at full force. If you are passionate, focusing your time and energy into seeing your business come into fruition should fuel you with excitement.

Any business owner will tell you It’s not always easy, especially when trying to establish yourself in an alternative space, which is why it is vital to be able to back yourself and have the motivation to overcome challenging times.

I’m a huge fan of Emma Isaac’s book, Winging It – she really reiterates the importance of a no fear, can do attitude. We tend to overanalyse, which delays business growth. If you’re already investing in a new business idea, there is no point in twiddling your thumbs for months on end. Be ambitious and timely with your goals for the most fulfilling results.

  1. Mentorship

This is something I am a big believer in, especially if you don’t have any formal training like myself. Having a mentor who has been in a similar position, especially in the early days of starting a new business, can provide time-saving advice to fast track both self and business development.

That’s why I’m so thrilled to have recently won RedZed’s Meet the Master competition, advocating the benefits of mentorship for business owners. I will have the opportunity to meet with my business hero, celebrity wedding planner guru Lisa Vorce, to learn invaluable insights from her successful business journey that I can apply to my own.

  1. Online brand presence

I have found this extremely beneficial in attracting a customer base and generating revenue in turn. Creating a website in the first instance, is an effective way for showcasing your brand personality and point of difference.

If you are talented and passionate about what you do, elevating your work on your website or social media channels can easily establish credibility, allow you to build a diverse network and drive revenue growth for your business.

In conclusion, it is never too late for a career change, and I challenge those who do have an alternative passion to jump on the band-wagon and achieve their business dream.

About Kerstyn Walsh

Kerstyn Walsh is the founder of wedding planning service, Hire a Bridesmaid, founded in 2016. Kerstyn has attended more than 150 ceremonies, both in Australia and overseas, and has carved out a niche as the country’s one-and-only professional bridesmaid.

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