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Edition 82 – Disruption

The world is subject to disruption at the moment. In many areas. And whether the left leaning, fire bombing protesters at the G20 in Hamburg, Germany in early July like it or not, disruption will continue – only the pace of it will change.

Have a think about the following, everyday businesses and industries that have been subject to disruption:

  1. Newspapers – 10 years ago, my local newsagent on a Saturday morning had a constant stream of foot traffic looking to buy the behemoth that once was the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald. Today, most people read electronically, and newsagencies are, effectively, de-facto betting outlets. The value of newsagencies has plummeted in the past ten years, yet the price of real estate to keep those businesses open hasn’t changed.
  2. Free to Air Television – Foxtel, Video, Netflix have all stepped in to take a piece of the pie that generated revenues for Australia’s three commercial TV networks. The Ten Network, always the weakest of the three, has gone into voluntary administration in recent months, perhaps a portent of things to come in the electronic media.
  3. Online Shopping – Myer is struggling to continue to make sense of the Department Store concept. In the USA, that crashing noise you hear is the massive retailer, Macy’s, closing its stores as the move to online shopping gains pace.
  4. Transport – and in particular, taxis, with the rise of Uber, a privately operated, cleaner, more efficient, much friendlier alternative to taxis. The value of a taxi plate in Sydney has dropped by 50% in the past five years.
  5. Travel Agents – once were the go-to place if you wanted to book a holiday. Now, online portals and the rapid onset of technology has meant that people are saving thousands without speaking to a single travel agent.

These are the businesses and industries we know about. There are plenty of others that are experiencing change, though some of them don’t yet know it is creeping up on them.

I’m pointing out in today’s edition of Growth what you already know for a simple reason. Are you ready for major disruption in your business?

Now, whilst you may consider that your business is not like “the others”, I’d ask you to stop and consider the common thread amongst the businesses we’ve talked about above.

  1. Technology has created alternatives to the traditional business model.
  2. Large players in specific markets have had the spotlight shone on them by young upstarts and failed to identify the threat.
  3. Regulation has broken down as a result of being outdated or inflexible in the modern business world.
  4. People’s tastes continue to change and businesses that don’t cater for that are falling behind.
  5. There is an increased push for a tailored or luxury feel to what people experience – but not at a premium price.
  6. Whatever people can do for themselves, easily, they will. What they can’t, they’ll find an alternative.

Disruption has a major impact for a significant part of the Australian population that no one is yet talking about. However, in next week’s edition of Growth, I’ll let you in on who that is and why they need to quickly, think differently.

This Week’s Tip

Review the common threads 1-6 above. Now, think about your business. Even if one of them is an outside chance of applying to you, my advice is that it is something that you need to start thinking more about, pronto