A disruptive business concept is one that shakes up or ‘disrupts’ an existing market by offering a lower price or delivering the service or product in a more convenient way for customers. Often facilitated by advances in technology, disruptive innovations eventually redefine the market and become the norm. A classic example is Netflix replacing the traditional bricks and mortar video store and, more recently, the ride sharing app Uber that has taken on the taxi industry by offering much lower prices.
The digital age has seen many business concepts disrupted by new emerging technologies and, for budding entrepreneurs, these offer lucrative opportunities to capture market share from the established players. Here are 5 disruptive business concepts that could be worth considering when planning your next business venture.
1. International Shipping and Distribution
Many barriers to international shipping exist in the world of ecommerce, with certain stores not offering international shipping, despite there being a demand for it. The opportunity exists for a third party operator (i.e. an entrepreneur) to establish local distribution centres in countries where a store ships to and then take care of forwarding packages elsewhere in the world. There is also the potential to offer additional services including returns and exchanges.
2. Automation Services
Automated technologies have already begun to creep into our lives and have made many positions redundant. HootSuite is a good example of where businesses can manage all their social media accounts from one dashboard and schedule updates to go out at pre-determined times across all of their channels. Any technology that automates tasks has a market for businesses, saving them time and money, and the potential to disrupt the market of other service providers.
3. Digital Content to Buy or Rent
Whether it’s music, magazines, books, DVDs, TV shows, or training materials, the content we consume is increasingly offered in digital formats. Instead of paying for shipping, printing, material, and distribution costs of hardcopy content – not to mention the space it takes in the home – customers are increasingly looking to purchase or rent digital content at lower prices. Whether it’s digital university textbooks replacing traditional textbooks, offering these in a digital format is likely to be more convenient and affordable for the end consumer and could therefore disrupt the current market.
4. 3D Printing
Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing allows users to manufacture their own physical goods. From smartphone cases to car dashboards and even clothing, 3D printing has the potential to disrupt all kinds of manufacturing markets. As businesses and households begin to manufacture their own supplies and goods, this will lead to significant cost reductions and less wastage, especially as the price point of access to 3D printing decreases and it becomes more widely adopted.
5. Telecommunication Services
Telecommunication services are considered recession proof and there’s always going to be ongoing demand for people to stay connected with one another. With companies like Telcoinabox, entrepreneurs can purchase telco services, including line rental and website hosting packages, at wholesale prices and then resell them to their customer base at a profit. This disrupts the customer base of established carriers as new operators enter the market.
Disruptive business concepts are here to stay. With ongoing advancements in technology, there’s undoubtedly going to be more opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs to capitalise on the technology by reaching markets that were previously untapped or gaining a lucrative slice of the existing market.