Firstly, let’s understand what we mean by “disruption”. It’s not simply doing it better, it’s not doing new things, it is doing and making things that make the old way obsolete.
The Dictionary defines ‘disruption’ as ‘disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity or process’ and is synonymous with disturbance, disordering, disarrangement, disarranging, interference, upset, upsetting, unsettling, confusion, confusing.’ That pretty much describes the state of our world at the moment.
Writing in the latest FASA Franchise Manual, industry expert and disruptor himself Mike Said, of www.mikesaidwhat.co.za believes that somewhere along the way “disruption” emerged from the shadows of what we most feared, avoided and shunned into the light of things we most fear, avoid and shun. Disruption is “cool” as long as you are not at the sharp end of the stick, as long as it is not your industry being disrupted. Only the taxi industry hates Uber and the electronics stores are not all too fond of Take A Lot, but they made my life easier so why should I not support them?
Mr D and Uber have not disrupted delivery service, they have made it so much better and so much easier to access. Roman’s Pizza and Andiccio24 have not disrupted the pizza market; they have found an alternative way to serving pizza that people are clearly loving.
The question on everyone’s mind
The question on everyone’s mind is “is disruption about to reshape the Franchise Industry?” Is something about to be hatched that will make franchising as we know them obsolete?
For a better understanding, let’s start by exploring the major disruptors we have all come to embrace.
Uber has changed the face of the taxi industry forever. They didn’t just offer a better taxi service, they came up with something so appealing, so innovative, so easy to use that literally millions of people who had never dreamed of climbing into a taxi (I am referring to the SA market and not the US or UK where most people are familiar with cabs) suddenly find themselves Ubering everywhere.
It would be interesting to know if metered taxis have actually taken a dive or if they are just angry at the inaccessibility of the new market. Undoubtedly there have been casualties, as Mozzies Cabs in Durban have shut their doors.
The next is Airbnb, who don’t own a single room yet account for more bookings than anyone could ever imagine. Have hotels taken a sudden hit? Guesthouses? Most have simply joined Airbnb and allowed them to fill their rooms for them.
How does disruption take root?
The taxi industry has taken a hit because they expected customers to use an antiquated booking system, climb into dirty cars, never know what their bill was going to be until they actually arrived, and of course, risk getting into a taxi that was only pretending to be licensed.
Customers turned to Airbnb when they became frustrated at limited choice and perceived inflated prices.
They shop online when a visit to the store has become such an unpleasant experience that they are more comfortable in front of their screens.
They read their news online because they are tired of day old news and more adverts than journalism. I am sure you are noticing the pattern…
When are industries ripe for disruption?
Industries are ripe for disruption when customer dissatisfaction is climbing and this is where entrepreneurship can step in and fill that void. To avoid becoming obsolete, businesses and franchises should orchestrate disruption from within to avoid being hit by it from outside.
Don’t sit back and wait, says Mike Said, ‘look at your own business or franchise operation and see what areas you can ‘disrupt’ in your own business to change things, make things better and make sure we don’t go the way of the taxi industry and the dinosaurs.”