For most startups, the name of the game is disruption. Winning means changing the rules, bucking the trend, and coming up with a novel product that the market has not seen or heard of before. Disruptions seem scary for small business owners. Questions like, how will it affect my business? Will it put me out of business?
In this video, I explore the sources of these disruptions and show how small businesses can ride the wave of change.
Where do disruptions come from?
Disruptions come from change. The common reasons given are changes in consumer lifestyles, changes in preferences, technological innovations, etc. However, the real reason why disruptions exist is because businesses are finding increasingly innovative ways to address customer pain points.
Think about it. Why would consumer lifestyles or preferences change? Why would the average consumer in 2008, for example, shift from a Nokia phone to an Apple iPhone or the latest Android smartphone? Why would we suddenly prefer booking a room through Airbnb instead of a hotel chain? Why would we suddenly stop owning VCRs and CD players and choose streaming services like Netflix and Spotify instead?
Disruptions are merely better solutions to existing pain points. They provide convenient alternatives to the status quo. It’s a better product. Period.
How do you survive disruptions?
Keeping in mind why disruptions exist, here are a few things to consider to survive disruptions.
- Talk to your customers.
Study their buying habits. Find their pain points. How can you improve their lives? How can you make transacting with you more convenient or more enjoyable? Do they have a need that current products or services do not address—but perhaps you can with some tweaks in your offerings?
- Experiment when you can.
Ask your staff about how they think a process can be improved. What if you do something differently with your current systems? Is there anything you can do to streamline current processes to make them simpler ad more effective?
- Invest in yourself and your people.
What do you need to know to drive your business’s growth? What kind of training will you need? What kind of support and guidance would help you drive your business goals?
How can my business be the disrupter in the market?
Perhaps, the more important question to ask is how you can disrupt the market. Put differently, how do you offer a better solution to customer pain points?
Startups have the ability to observe customer pain points and find new and better ways to address these. Do you know why? Because they start out with an outlook to find a solution to a pain point. They have the ability to design products that solve existing problems. To do that, one starts by adopting an innovative mindset. In a previous video, I discuss how small businesses can adopt an innovative mindset.
If you are interested to know more about what a business has to go through when facing exponential growth, you can download the first chapter of the book, ”$20K to $20 Million in 2 Years” absolutely free here. The chapter talks about the differences between a good and a great business and puts out questions that make you consider how you can turn your business from good to great.