How to Deal With Hyper Growth Competitors – and Come Out On Top
Establishing and growing a business or launching a product was once characterized by years of development, establishing a market position and competing against like organized competitors.
Traditionally, most businesses didn’t need to worry about losing their place in the market or becoming obsolete overnight. Even as market innovators, such as big box retailer versus the local retailer trends developed, there was fair warning and time to adapt one’s business plan.
That paradigm is rapidly changing. As Bill Gates is credited with saying about future competition, “…what I fear is two guys in a garage…” is exactly where he himself came from. As technology continues to evolve, “big-bang” disruptors, are creating companies, products, and services that are superior – less costly and more innovative, influential, useful, and scalable –resulting in familiar industry names disappearing almost overnight. Leading to the “hyper growth” phenomenon.
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CNBC compiled a list of the top 50 companies from hundreds that were identified by analysts, venture capitalists, and beat reporters to be set for “hyper growth” in the marketplace. Energy, enterprise and security, financial services, health care, manufacturing, telecom, travel and leisure and transportation are all industries bracing for disruption.
In the financial services sector, CircleUp, Kickstarter, Lending Club, Square and Wealthfront are changing the way we invest, fund, save, transfer and spend money. Then there are the dozen who’ve made Forbes’ “Most Disruptive Names In Business” list for kicking up the most dust in their fields, firms such as Illumina, Aereo, One Medical Group, Dwolla, BuzzFeed, Canonical, Snapchat, UniversityNow, NJOY and Solazyme.
Strategizing in Stride
It sounds rather intimidating and may leave you feeling like you’re on a hit list as well, but there are four approaches that will see you through a big-bang disruption:
- Observe. Find the real story behind those random experiments. Tune in extra closely to those who may have insight into the future – fellow executives, customers, investors or suppliers.
- Adapt. Apply a strategy that embraces new technologies and become a stronger competitor.
- Capitulate. Your best strategy may be to consolidate your assets with a larger better positioned competitor.
- Diversify. Adapt your business or morph it into a new or different line of business.
IBM conducted a study in 2006 engaging over 750 CEOs worldwide and almost fifty percent said their source of innovation came from changes in the business environment. Consider areas such as: technology, business models, industry dynamics, globalization, off shoring, and out-sourcing, regulatory, macroeconomic, political and societal shifts. They can either be viewed as an opportunity or a threat.
The Sky Is The Limit
George Papastamos is a second-generation surveyor from Athens who seized an opportunity with a disruptor first hand. Drones are making their way out of military and undercover operations into everyday commercial applications. He purchased his first drone in 2013 when he realized that they were the way of the future.
Instead of 12 workers, Mr. Papastamos utilizes his drone with one assistant. The equipment has enabled him to reduce costs, improve maps, and shorten job completion time from weeks to days. It’s changed the way he does business and increased his scope for the better.
The best ways to prepare your business for disruption is to be forward thinking, ask – how can we leverage these changes to create value? And what’s happening elsewhere in the world that could be adopted or adapted here? Having an open-minded perspective can make disruption your friend and make it possible for you to redefine the competitive standards in your market.