If you are someone that considers themselves a budding entrepreneur or has an interest in business, then you may think that keeping up to date with your chosen industry is the thing that you should be doing. And while that can all be well and good, it isn’t going to be the only thing that will give you success. If all your business is based on is the current state of an industry or ‘being in the know’ as things stand, then more than likely, you won’t have as much success as you’d like. There will be many others that are going to do just the same as you, so you need something that will help you to stand out from the crowd.

Do entrepreneurs need a way of predicting the future? Having skills in foresight for a new business could be what you need to beat competitors and to make a success of the business. Being an entrepreneur isn’t just about spotting the current trends and understanding them; it is all about predicting the trends that are yet to happen. When you’re able to take action when no-one else is doing so, then it can be what makes you stand out from the crowd and be a huge success.

A few examples for you here: one is from the oil production industry. The previous processes in the field were unreliable and meant that people were not being very productive. But with the development of technology, it meant that oil production software could be improved, to help the industry, and help the productivity of businesses as a whole. But in order to put it in place, someone did have to ask themselves the question “does this company really have the foresight and persistence to accomplish what they’ve set out to do?”. When questions like that are being asked, it makes change much more likely.

Steve Jobs is another example of someone in business with foresight; he was much more than just an innovator. As we know, Apple was just based on computers for a long time, and advisors to jobs warned him against getting into music and cell phones because at the time, they were not doing well. It was a time of illegal downloads and any cell phones with good internet access were few and far between. But he was able to see past the current, and move look to the future, and what would be working in the future.

In a similar vein, Intel are a company that showed a little foresight to start with, when they began Atom processor development for cell phones before most, around 2004. But there wasn’t the confidence to see the process through, and there are hardly any Android products that use their processing system.

So as much as we hear about entrepreneurs being organized, hardworking, and motivated, there is a certain degree of foresight that is needed in order to make your business a  success. Do you know your industry well enough to predict what could happen next?