If one is to have a quick look at markets today most people have had their purchasing power eroded by the inflationary environment synonymous with Zimbabwe. As a result, a greater portion of the market has increasingly become price sensitive to the degree that high priced products are increasingly losing market share. This does not mean products/services should be cheaply priced, no. Neither does this mean you should not target the high-end customers? What this means is that chances are that there is a disruptive entrepreneur out there having sleepless nights trying to figure out how to offer the same goods/services at a rather affordable price. But who is this disruptive entrepreneur and as a business owner should you be concerned about him/her? Well, in this article I try to give a brief description of a disruptive entrepreneur, one who is always in the leading edge to find new and improved ways of doing things to meet the ever-changing customer demands.
Who is a disruptive entrepreneur?
Disruptive entrepreneurs are easily identifiable by their tendencies of bringing in new ways of doing things in the business environment. Being disruptive itself is defined as being engaged in the process where a small business manages to challenge the way business is done by already established businesses in the market place. This small business will either introduce products which are affordable to the larger group of consumers or they calibrate their business processes to make sure that they are as low cost as possible. As a result, these small business owners introduce products/services which are more often than not, easy to use.
The secret to disruptive small business owners is that they enter the market place by targeting the usually marginalised customer base. To their advantage is the fact that established businesses are always caught up in the process of becoming bigger and attract high paying customers thus what they offer the market place usually comes at a higher price. Disruptive business persons, therefore, focus their attention on the market segment being neglected.
Difference between disruption and innovation
There is a thin line separating disruption and innovation to a degree that the two can equally be labelled semis twins. Being innovative entails the process of bringing an idea or vision to reality and this is divorced from the chances of success for the idea/vision in the market place. In the business world, arguably, being disruptive will then enable you to see the idea/creation making it into the market place and surviving the market place turbulence. It is thus safe to say, more often than not, if you are innovative and your ideas have demanded attention in the market place you are equally disruptive.
If you are not sure whether you qualify to be a disruptive entrepreneur, there are models from which you can learn a thing or two. It is equally safe to point out that majority of startups which have become established brands had a disruptive model which they followed. This could have been consciously or subconsciously.
A disruptive business model
There is no limit as to how a disruptive business model can be structured and designed. A business model can become disruptive so long as the intention of the business owner is, among other things, to reduce the customer`s cost of a transaction. Take it as the case of how the Zimbabwean economy has been functioning with regards to making and receiving payments for goods and services. Majority of consumers are low-income earners living from vending where the only payment method outside hard cash is EcoCash. Using EcoCash for transactions has its pains and gains. Now, those formally employed are earning their money in digital form either a bank or EcoCash transfer. Already this creates a divide between the buyer and seller. As a startup, if you can fashion your business to counter the costs of closing a transaction presented by the structure of our economy then you rest guaranteed that you will send shockwaves in the marketplace and claim a greater share.
Increasing Customer Experience
There is no doubting the fact that consumers are always on the lookout for better offerings and heightened experience. To achieve this factor, a disruptive business owner will understand that the only way to lead the disruption is by making sure that customers are placed at the centre of their business growth strategy. To improve customer experience means you constantly engage customers in searching for what they want and expect from you. That way, you will perfectly know the right next step to take as you penetrate the market place.
As you engage with your customers in finding better solutions, your final improvements should mainly be focused on offering enhanced solutions to the current offering on the market place. That way you will also improve your product value. But be aware of the fact that your offering should not go beyond what your market can afford.
Giving more value
As a disruptive entrepreneur, you want to make sure that your business model is fashioned a way that gives more value to the customer. Giving more value to the customer does not mean making the production process as complicated as to be costly thus leading to high priced products. No. More value can be incorporated as other things that your customers can get outside of your initial value proposition.
Because disruption thrives on capitalising on the neglected segment of the market, more value can be offered in a functional manner where a product does more than what the predecessor did. In the tech space, this has been the case with social media platforms. See how we started as far back as Yahoo groups now we have Whatsapp, Zoom, TikTok and other such disruptive innovations. Since you will have made your customer feedback important in deciding what to give them next, you can thus offer more value by incorporating elements that appeal to your customer`s emotions.