As children, we are told we need to dream big, make the world a better place, solve a problem. If, like me, you are an entrepreneur, you took these speeches from teachers or parents to heart and have been looking for problems to solve ever since.
Fast forward to present day, and you’ve narrowed all of those ideas down to one solid business idea. All the pieces are falling into place (after a lot of elbow grease), but there is one small problem: competitors. While you may be intimidated, remember that every single one of them started out as an idea just like yours. Regardless of what industry your business occupies, these competitors exist.
When it comes to a business idea, what makes a difference maker? What can make your business disruptive?
Being disruptive makes all the difference
“Disruptive” is becoming so overused, it’s starting to lose its power. But make no mistake, being disruptive should be every entrepreneur’s goal when launching a new business.
As entrepreneurs, a disruptive attitude helps us to build our brand identity while giving us the perspective of breaking away from the norms of our industry faster than our competitors.
When I started 121 Corp in 2003, I initially didn’t know what made the company disruptive. Our agency had success with clients, but we were doing things the traditional way. After taking a look at what our clients were saying about our work, we noticed something.
Yes, we have high quality output. Yes, we make sure every client feels cared for by the individuals assigned to their projects. But what clients really appreciated was the speed in which we were able to achieve all of this.
Once we adopted this mindset of achieving everything at speed, there was a shift in how we operated. Over time, we transitioned from an average agency that operates like everyone else to one that’s faster, more agile, and constantly looking for ways to improve daily operations.
I encourage all entrepreneurs reading this to adopt and internalize speed.
Speed matters now more than ever
Within and outside of the business world, society as a whole is trending toward digital only.
As consumers, our decisions are influenced by hyper-targeted ads tailored to our specific needs. We base the restaurants we go to not through trial and error, but by reviews that we can pull up on our phones with a quick Google search. The speed at which messages are delivered and information internalized is astounding, and with more communication technologies already being implemented globally, that speed is only increasing.
So, what does this mean for entrepreneurs?
For our company, it means that our target audience no longer sees speed as a luxury, but as a requirement. If your organization can deliver on that speed better than the competition, it becomes a disruptive force that reverberates throughout the industry like an earthquake.
How to leverage speed
When we decided to inject speed into the DNA of our company, we knew we had to do so from the ground up. This starts with operational changes.
What operational changes can you create, integrate and implement to be faster and more efficient? It’s about being lighter and more agile, all the way down to policies and practices.
At the heart of all of this is finding the right team members to contribute their expertise and unique perspectives, but who are also comfortable with operating at speed.
What you and your team must know is that speed as a function of business is constant. Just like the digital spaces we occupy, a viral post today is forgotten tomorrow. Focusing on evolving constantly and doing so at speed is critical to all entrepreneurs, regardless of industry.
Once speed is brought into the equation, current and prospective clients should be able to identify the speed you bring to their lives. This is where branding plays a large role. It may not be the only characteristic of your business that you want to emphasize, but it is an important one. Part of your marketing efforts should include showing your audience that you can move at the speed they do (maybe even faster) and how you do so.
Remain efficient while scaling up
Looking at the best way to scale is the key to business growth.
Scaling your business with speed seems counterintuitive, and I understand that line of thought. Inherently, scaling involves a lot of planning and strategy, which takes time. But, I am here to tell you that there are ways to integrate speed while scaling your business.
With all of the technological advancements available at your fingertips, automation is one of the best ways to run your business more efficiently.
Take a look at some of your business processes, and ask yourself what can be automated? There may be more answers to this question than you initially realize. Necessary business functions like employee onboarding can be made more efficient through automation.
You may find that some of your more repetitive task that require manpower can be automated. Not only will this help you stay ahead of competitors, but it frees up your time and effort to focus your energy on scaling your business.
With all this said about speed, remember that you will not be the only company touting the importance of it. Those competitors I mentioned earlier might be using similar methods.
The question now and in the future is, how can you be more efficient than them? Answering that question will lead you on a tough (yet rewarding) journey as an entrepreneur and will allow your business to flourish.