There’s no magic formula to industry disruption. It’s all about respecting the process.

Being disruptive used to be considered something negative. You know, speaking loudly in class or bursting out with laughter during Sunday school. Disruptive classmates were sent outside or made an example of, not allowed on school trips or forbidden from taking the class rabbit home. Little did we know back then that disruption would go from being every parent’s nightmare to something celebrated and encouraged?

Industry disruption, in fact, is the goal of most emerging start ups and entrepreneurs. They actively seek to shake up the system, break the mould and disrupt traditional industries. They look to offer customers something they’re not currently getting, or fulfil a need that’s not being met. Every entrepreneur wants to be a legendary disrupter likeBranson with Virgin or Laurence Kemball-Cook with Pavegen.

But disrupting an industry doesn’t have to be about reinventing the wheel. You have choices.  You may discover a niche where you can offer a radically different product or service that doesn’t currently exist.

Know the Industry (Inside and Out)

Yes, it’s very textbook but knowing the industry inside and out is the only way you’ll know who you’re up against. What’s currently being offered? What do customers think about existing companies? Who are the key players on the scene? Find out who’s on top and look for ways to improve their offering, or fill in gaps in the market.

The takeaway here? Research is the key to disruption. If you want to solve a real problem, you’ll make it your business to know everything there is to know about your industry – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Figure Out the Problems

Once you’ve conducted thorough market research and gotten a feel for the most popular competitors in your industry, it’s time to see what needs to be fixed. And that means figuring out what the problems are. For some people, a problem may be that they hate buying clothes online that need returning afterwards. For others, it may be a delivery option that’s too slow, or a product that doesn’t suit their needs.

Whatever problem you are trying to solve, look at it from all sides and determine why nobody else has solved it yet. What attempts have been made to fix the problem? Are there industry regulations? What are the roadblocks? You might try making a list of any and all problems and constantly refer to your notes to make sure you’re not missing anything.

Join Groups and Get a Mentor

Being an entrepreneur, disruptor or start-up is stressful.  There are a multitude of aspects to consider, research and understand and it all becomes very over whelming very quickly.  You are not alone!  No question is too small or insignificant and you need to share your thoughts or you will feel that you’re in a constant uphill battle heading to insanity.

There are many groups available to join with like-minded people in the same boat as you.  Sharing information not only offers stress release but also the chance to collaborate or share services while building your business.

Many disruptors and entrepreneurs enjoy mentoring those who are ‘new to the game’ and are more than happy to give their time and excellent wisdom.  When you meet someone you admire and feel a trusted connection with – approach them to mentor you.  Simply having a sounding board will be invaluable to your process.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

One of the main areas in which disrupters can break the mould is their customer experience. No matter what your product is, better customer service experience is one of the best ways you can disrupt your industry.

As you go forth and disrupt your industry, make sure that you’re creating a product or service that doesn’t just fill a need, but delights your customer and gets them coming back. Research the market, find the problems and offer a superior solution that changes the game for everyone.

Trust Your Instincts

If you’re looking to disrupt an industry be passionate about the industry and learn as much as you can about it. You can’t change a status quo that you don’t understand or haven’t experienced.

Make sure you are aiming to disrupt the industry for the good of your clients and not for your own financial benefit.

Rely on your gut instincts when making the big calls. You’ll know when you’re making the right choices, no matter how many people disagree with you.