Kerry Sawyer, Owner of a Branded Twist franchise, is pictured in her studio in Carmel, Indiana.
Kerry Sawyer radically shifted industries to follow her passion. "What we do makes a difference in people’s lives and as the owner, that allows me to feel fulfilled," she said. — Kerry Sawyer

If you could create your own fantasy board of directors, who would be on it? CO— connects you with thought leaders from across the business spectrum and asks them to help solve your biggest business challenges. In this edition, we ask an expert about how you can make the transition to a business in a different industry.

In this edition of "Ask the Board," we're pleased to feature Kerry Sawyer, former Owner of a Sport Clips franchise, who is a current Owner of Painting with a Twist, a franchise that offers live painting events accompanied by wine or cocktails that are served within its studios. Sawyer shares her tips on how you can transition from a business in one industry to a new venture in a different industry.

Just because you're in a certain industry, doesn't mean you have to stay there forever. There may come a time when you want to switch industries.

My business transition is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I've ever done in my career. I went from employing hairstylists to artists, from hair to paint, from the shampoo bowl to a canvas with different platforms and models. Here's my advice based on what I learned along the way.

Embrace continuous learning

Transitioning to a new industry requires acquiring knowledge and skills specific to that field. Stay curious, attend industry seminars and brand workshops, and leverage online resources to bridge any knowledge gaps. Remember that knowledge is power!

Do your research, visit competitors, and talk to everyone you can to become more aware and informed of your new venture! If you want to be part of a franchise, look for a franchisor that offers amazing support resources. At Painting with a Twist, I have a business coach for my region, plenty of training material, and weekly live webinars to help drive sales for my studios.

Join the local chamber of commerce and attend their events to promote your new business to the local community and learn from other business professionals.

Kerry Sawyer, Owner of a Painting with a Twist franchise

Network and seek mentors

Building relationships within the new industry is essential. Connect with industry professionals, attend networking events, and seek mentorship from individuals who have successfully navigated a similar transition. Their insights can be invaluable in guiding your journey.

Join the local chamber of commerce and attend their events to promote your new business to the local community and learn from other business professionals. I personally like to talk and network with other Painting with a Twist owners. It's always good to hear what's working for others in the same industry.

Adopt and innovate

Be prepared to adapt your business model and strategies to align with the dynamics of the new industry. Embrace innovation, explore new technologies, and be open to unconventional approaches that can set you apart in your new venture.

Systems will be different, but by being agile and open to change, you can confidently navigate the transition. Embracing the learning of new systems not only enhances your skill set, but it fosters innovation, critical thinking, and adaptability, all which are essential for success in today's business environment.

Communicate your brand effectively

Leverage your unique journey and experiences to create a compelling narrative for your audience. Craft your brand story to reflect your passion, expertise, and commitment to delivering value in the new industry. Authentic storytelling can resonate with customers and build trust in your brand.

Choose the right business

What type of business should you switch to? Consider what drives you and makes you happy.

When you're passionate, have a strong emotional connection, and feel a sense of fulfillment from your business, it's apparent to the world. Passion is power! I know in my Painting with a Twist studios, what we do makes a difference in people's lives and as the owner, that allows me to feel fulfilled.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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