Industry Disruption is when a smaller company, with less market share and resources, is able to make a successful challenge against a larger, more established, company is a particular market or niche. A good example of this would be Netflix overtaking blockbuster, facebook messenger overtaking MSN messenger, and Uber taking a large market share from traditional taxi services.

In this article, we will look at ways to determine when an industry is ready for disruption and what a business should have in place before it attempts its challenge.

Consumers Have Lost Confidence In The Industry Leader: This can happen for several reasons. The most common is a recent history of poor quality products or services that failed to meet the expectations of their customer base. Another major reason is consumers begin to lack trust in the leading company. A current example of this is Facebook. According to a recent YouGov study, 66% of polled individuals say they do not trust Facebook with their data. It can be very difficult to regain consumer trust, especially when an alternative product or service is presented. 

Business Practices Are Not Changing Despite Customer Feedback: When companies grow large and successful they have a habit of tuning out their consumer base, thinking that they know better. When one can observe that an industry leader is no longer responding to consumer feedback and keeping the same business practices that the consumers are speaking out against it may be time for industry disruption.

Technological Advancements Are Not Being Implemented: When industry leaders fail to implement new technologies relevant to the industry this is usually a clear sign that disruption is near. A good example of this is rideshare companies and traditional taxi services. The taxi services could have adopted their version of an Uber type interface, but instead didn’t; choosing to stick with the standard phone and wait, model. This choice was largely because they felt they had complete control of the market and did not need to invest in innovation. Once again, a clear sign of a disruption opportunity.

Current Business Practices Are Inconvenient: One of the reasons Amazon became so popular was because of the level of convenience they offered the customers. Many large brick and mortar stores, like Sears, ended up going out of business because they were late to adopt a convenient e-commerce platform. If technology exists that makes the customer experience more convenient industry disruption is likely near.

What Does A Business Need In Place Before Attempting Disruption

Have The Solution

Market disruption, properly planned, can mean immense profits for a business. The most common way a business successfully carries this out is if they have some sort of technology that can change the industry. Whether this is something that lowers production costs, changes the way consumers use the product or service, or simply just increases convenience. Just because a business can recognize issues in how the industry leader is operating if they do not have the solution they will not succeed.

Have The Right People

Brian Weaver CEO and Founder and stated: “I try and get our most talented people as close to the customer and the problem as possible.” If a business or does not have the necessary people in place they will not be successful.

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If you’ve taken the plunge into owning a small business, then you might harbor dreams of growth and wealth. While ambition is crucial to successfully running a small business, you should use it as a motivator and not as an end in itself. The key to any successful small business is a well-crafted business plan. Playing it by ear will doom you from the start.

Good business planning entails putting yourself on the right footing for losses as well as growth. If you don’t position yourself for growth from the beginning, you might find yourself struggling to deal with it if your business does begin to take off. Considering growth and how to handle it from the beginning might put you in a better position to manage growth successfully.

Start with a Strong Management Model

Even if your business starts out as a one-person operation, you should write a plan that forms the basis for expanding management roles. Knowing how to fragment oversight and accountability can help you navigate growth smoothly.

As a business grows, its internal logistics become more complex. You can’t do it alone, so you’ll need to hire people to help you. You should define their roles from the beginning. Knowing how to implement the fragmentation of roles and responsibilities could make your business operate more efficiently.

Communication is also important in this area. In addition to knowing the roles of your management and their subordinates, you should also make certain that each person understands their roles, too. Communicating these roles can ensure that everyone plays their part without creating confusion or chaos.

Trust the People You Hire

No business can succeed without attracting talent. Employing talented and able people can aid your business through growth. Ideally, these are people who understand your business, how to cultivate consumers, and how to satisfy your customers’ needs. Finding the right talent is important for any business venture.

Equally important is the trust you place in the people you employ. Constantly challenging or undermining them could create a toxic work environment that restricts your employees’ abilities to perform their tasks. It might even prevent them from implementing new ideas, which could stagnate a new business. You must trust their judgement while approaching it with a healthy dose of skepticism. Don’t embrace every new idea or tactic; instead, weight the pros against the cons and give your employees leeway to implement the best strategies and tactics.

Existence, Survival, Success

The three most crucial stages to successfully running a small business entail establishing its existence, maintaining its survival, and managing its success. When you establish your business, you must be certain you’re offering goods or services people actually want. Just because something interests or moves you, it doesn’t mean that it’ll interest or move other people. The best route to establishing a successful small business is to find a need and attempt to fill it. This decision, more than any other, could put you on the right footing to success.

Struggling for survival is another necessary step on the way to success. Once you’ve established your business, you must navigate its early stages. Most businesses expect to operate with minimal funds at this stage. Some manage to break even and some even run at a loss. The point during this stage is to grow your business in increments. If your business is operating at a loss but you are confident in your business model, do not give up.  You can secure financing for things like equipment financing to keep your company running.

If you’ve managed to grow your business in increments, you must tweak your management models, pricing models, quality control, inventory control, and so on to coincide with the growth of your business. The key is to maintain efficiency while growing. You must also understand how to calculate your sustainable growth rate to help guide your business through its stages of growth.

Running a small business entails many duties and areas of expertise. You must consider every possibility before you establish your business. While you should harbor a sense of confidence, you can’t allow any delusions. You’re not a genius. You need other people. They can help you understand facets of business you might not fully understand or appreciate. They can also approach your business with fresh eyes, offering input that you may not have previously considered.

You must allow your position to maintain a level of malleability. As your business grows and changes, so should your approach to it. Understanding the pitfalls of a growing business and how to navigate them can put you on the right path to managing small business growth successfully.

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