No matter what industry you may find yourself in, at some point someone will come up with another brilliant idea that may disrupt your business in one way or another. You need to prepare yourself for new competitors when they do enter your category.
This is the seventh post of eight in the History's Greatest Strategists Reminder Series, Assembling Your Ultimate Business Advisory Board by Ashton Bishop, Chief Executive Officer at Step Change.
Who or What Could Disrupt Your Category?
Check out the full presentation below.
This week we're looking at who or what could disrupt your category. When we say who or what could disrupt your category, we're actually looking for opportunities.
If we can find out what's coming, then we can either attack where we take the opportunity for ourselves, or we can prepare to defend.
There is nothing worse than having a new entrant enter your category and you haven't even thought about what you'd do if they turned up. So, how do we do that?
Innovative Entrant Modelling
One of the tools that I love is called innovative entrant modelling. You basically just pick four entrants and you look at what would happen if they entered your category. For example, if Google comes, what could they make free using their free view model? They add value to customers first and then charge after the fact. How could that apply to your category?
Second entrant - Apple maybe? What would happen if simplicity and style came with your category? What could be made simpler and more intuitive? And what would happen if things became very stylish? Would it change customer behaviour?
Or McDonalds? What happens if the franchise model entered your category? Could you compete against the economies of scale that a franchise delivers? Or could you franchise part of your business yourself?
It doesn't matter what business you choose, the most important thing is to pick entrants that might not necessarily come, but entrant models, entrant strategies that you can model yourself to see how you could attack and take that opportunity for you, or how you can prepare if that strategy shows up in your category.
Prepare to Attack or Defend
It's all about preparation - preparation to attack and preparation to defend. Here's where you can use your History's Greatest Strategist cards. Pull your cards out; find your biggest competitor and say, "What would happen if Jack Welch took their reins? What would happen if Lord Nelson became the CEO of your biggest competitive company?"
If you start thinking that way, then you'll be well ahead of the game to take opportunities for yourself and be rock solid as competitive threats come. In any category, they always do.
It's best just to make sure that you're not flat footed, you're on your toes, and ahead of the game.
So best of luck with that. Think, attack, and defend.