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Disrupt a Business-As-Usual Industry in 6 Steps The most influential innovators all have one thing in common: disrupting traditional industry markets. However, only some are able to pull it off. Here are six steps all market disruptors must follow to succeed.

By Adam Horlock

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Market disruption strategies can be highly advantageous for businesses, allowing companies to tap into new markets and gain a competitive edge. However, it's important to note that not all disruptions are successful. Many companies have tried and failed to disrupt their respective markets. To increase the chances of success, businesses must carefully assess their industry landscape and develop a well-thought-out plan before attempting to disrupt their chosen market.

Related: A Massive, Ignored Market Is Ready for Disruption

What to look for in market disruption

Market disruption is when a company creates a new product or service that completely changes the game. It's a breakthrough that shatters the status quo and sets a new standard. Market disruptors are known for their innovation, efficiency and speed. They're trailblazers that pave the way for others to follow. There are two key components of market disruption: the product or service and the company behind it. The product or service must be truly groundbreaking, and the company must be able to bring it to market quickly and efficiently.

Market disruptors are often their most prominent advocates, as they're passionate about their product or service and its ability to change the world. If you're looking to create true market disruption, you need a product or service that is entirely new and different from anything else on the market. It needs to be a game-changer that sets a new standard. And it needs to be backed by a company that is innovative, efficient and fast. Market disruptors are changing the world one breakthrough at a time.

Related: The Great Disruption is Here: How to Reposition Your Thinking and Teams for Growth

A step-by-step guide to planning a market disruption strategy

First, optimize. Using existing resources, what existing services or offerings can be produced more efficiently and sell more profitably today? Where in a process can efficiency be increased?

Businesses are always looking for ways to optimize their products and services to increase profitability and efficiency. In many cases, this can be done by using existing resources and improving existing processes. For example, a company may redesign its website to make it more user-friendly and increase sales. Or, a manufacturing company may choose to streamline its production process to save on costs. Businesses can often find ways to optimize their offerings and improve their bottom line by closely examining what they already have.

Second, determine key perceptions. What do people say about the brand? This includes customers, prospects, competitors, partners, vendors and employees. Current customers may perceive a business as dependable and high quality, while others might see expensive and overvalued products or services. Meanwhile, potential customers might view the business as a good option but are unaware of all that is offered. Competitors might see a threat due to a solid reputation. Vendors might see it as demanding but ultimately fair. While these are all important groups, focusing on potential customers' perceptions is vital since that group drives growth.

Third, operational enhancements. What structures, systems and resources are needed to add, improve or remove to protect the stability and improve growth? Protect stability by ensuring that core products remain high quality and reliable. Continue to invest in your customer support infrastructure to address any issues quickly and effectively. To support growth, expand sales and marketing teams, and invest in new customer acquisition channels. Improve our financial planning and forecasting processes to ensure the capital necessary to support your growth plans. Finally, review the organizational structure and revise it as required to ensure that the business can execute plans effectively.

Fourth, explore. The future depends on exploring new opportunities. What new markets, innovations or systems have the potential to shift, disrupt or expand what a business will offer tomorrow? This constant exploration is essential to stay relevant and top-of-mind with customers. Being proactive and looking for new ways to improve ensures that companies are always ahead of the curve. This doesn't mean chasing the latest shiny object, but it does mean that every business should be open to new ideas and willing to experiment. Only by constantly exploring will any company be able to continue to grow and evolve.

Fifth, competition. Several factors can limit the ability to be more competitive:

  1. The presence of other companies or organizations in the same market can make it difficult to gain market share.
  2. Perceptions about a company or products can make attracting and retaining customers challenging.
  3. Pressures from shareholders or other stakeholders can force companies to make decisions that are not always in their best interests.
  4. Economic conditions can make investing in new products or expanding operations challenging.
  5. Competition from other companies or countries can limit the ability to be more competitive.

Consider strategies to handle each hurdle. Economic conditions might be out of your company's control, but your strategy can use them to increase success.

Sixth, key audiences. There are key audiences to keep in mind when it comes to success. These groups include potential customers, existing clients, employees and investors. Understanding what motivates them and what drives their decision-making is critical to ensuring that a business can continue to succeed in the future. For example, potential customers are always going to be looking for value. They want to know that what is offered is worth their time and money.

On the other hand, existing clients are more concerned with quality and service. They want to know that they can continue to receive the same high level of service they expect. And finally, employees are always looking for stability and security. They want to know they can count on a business to provide them with a good job and a safe, stable working environment.

Adam Horlock

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Chief Operating Officer, Edit Media Consulting

Adam Horlock is the Chief Operating Officer for Edit Media Consulting. His agency offers PR, social media and business consulting services to brands nationally. He has made numerous media appearances and continues to be a resource for entrepreneurs nationwide.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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