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How Can I Get Into the RFID Industry?
I have access to a fair amount of capital and a small team of hardworking and very bright individuals. I have no experience with radio frequency identification, but would very much like to break into the business side of the industry. I believe in this sector, and would like to become involved, but I don't know where to begin. Can you help me?
If I were in your shoes, I would focus on software and systems integration. I'd target a specific industry I knew a lot about, or find a partner or staff member who did. If possible, I would focus on a sector in which I already had a potential customer lined up (for instance, a firm at which I, or one of my employees or partners, previously worked) or a nearby business for which I had consulted in the past.
I would focus on a key problem that RFID can solve, and then develop a complete solution to address that issue. I would provide the software and installation services, and purchase readers and tags from established vendors. I would then install the solution—at no cost, if necessary—in order to prove that it works. I'd make tweaks and improvements, and then use this customer as a reference to land others.
Which industries might be best to focus on? Almost any industry would work, really. All companies have assets and products they have trouble tracking. The key, at this early stage of the market, would be to focus on a specific problem within a particular industry. You could narrow your marketing efforts and begin to win customers within that vertical industry. As adoption grew, you could then make your solution more horizontal and expand to other sectors.
I would caution you, however, against making the two biggest mistakes that I see RFID solutions providers frequently make: Don't try to be all things to all people, and don't focus on the mass market. You need to target early adopters until the industry has reached the tipping point.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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