Tired of playing by someone else's rules? Most entrepreneurs are.
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Every now and then moving your business forward requires you to change the rules by reinventing the industry and turning the competitive landscape on its head.
Reinvention and innovation go hand in hand. Since entrepreneurs are natural innovators, small businesses are perfect breeding grounds for ideas that are capable of redefining entire industries.
But this potential frequently remains untapped simply because small business owners don't know how to approach the reinvention process. In truth, your ability to redefine your industry is limited only by your own creativity. If you are having trouble getting the creative juices flowing, here are some ideas to get you started.
Create New Products
One way to reinvent an industry is to create entirely new products that meet needs and position your business at the top of the heap. While the competition is struggling to catch up, you'll enjoy the advantages that go along with being first to market. You'll also enjoy the ability to define future expectations regarding your new product, meaning that instead of being controlled by the market, you will be in the driver's seat. Although under certain circumstances being the first to market can be a disadvantage, it's definitely an option worth considering.
Redesign Product Delivery
You don't necessarily have to create a new product to be innovative. Sometimes all it takes is a radical redesign of the manner in which your product is delivered to customers. For example, Starbucks didn't invent the coffee shop concept. However, they revolutionized the industry by transforming a simple cup of coffee into a gourmet coffee experience. With a little creativity, you can transform your industry by changing the way customers experience products you already sell.
Niche marketing has traditionally been a tool used by businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition. But you can also employ niche marketing techniques to customize your products for various segments of the market. While everyone else is offering a generic, one-size-fits-all product, you can offer an array of products designed to accommodate your customers' specific needs and applications.
Create Strategic Partnerships
If you can't beat the competition, maybe you can join them. Strategic partnerships leverage the strengths of individual businesses to form an alliance that is beneficial to both parties. When partner companies possess complementary strengths, the result is a powerhouse that leaves other competitors scratching their heads.
Change Your Emphasis
Yet another way to turn the industry on its head is to refocus the prevailing emphasis. If the industry is focused on cost, you can focus on service. If the industry is focused on service, you can focus on cost. If it succeeds, you will soon find yourself on the cutting edge of an industry trend that you have shaped and molded to your company's strengths.