Historically, it was thought that competitive advantage came from having superior products, faster delivery times or cheaper pricing. And for decades, that business strategy proved to be effective. But thanks to advancements in technology, creative individuals with a disruptive mindset and a shift in the way businesses attain funding, businesses can no longer survive using these tactics. It’s no longer about competing in the market but disrupting and owning it.
Market disruptors enter the playing field with innovative offerings that deliver so much value to customers that they’re able to roll right over the competition offering better, cheaper, or faster products. These disruptive businesses have found an innovative way to answer customers unmet needs—and in some cases, answer a need customers didn’t even know they had. So, the company becomes the default choice for customers.
Disruption is not reserved for large tech organizations or well-funded startups. While industry disruptors like Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb tend to get a lot of attention, there are plenty of companies disrupting industries on a smaller scale. Every industry is seeing an increased pace of change and middle market businesses have plenty of opportunities to disrupt their own markets. By applying the innovative, outside-the-box thinking and disruptive strategies used by startups, middle market businesses can go from modest growth to sustained scaling, transforming a market and taking total ownership of it.
Too often, middle market business owners view selling the business as the only way to create real value. But when the sale eventually happens, a lot of money is left on the table. Middle market businesses do not need to sell to a private equity firm to create real value. By adopting a disruptive mindset, leveraging customer insights, and creating more value for clients by answering their unmet needs, middle market businesses can scale their business, maximizing its value when it comes time to sell.
Businesses looking to disrupt a market often need outside help. The FortéOne Accelerator is a hands-on, multi-year program in which businesses can leverage startup strategies to disrupt not only their own business, but the market, maximizing their enterprise value. Our Operating Partners have led countless businesses through significant transformation to help them reap the rewards often reserved for large organizations, well-funded startups, or private equity firms. By entering the Accelerator and adopting a disruptive mindset, business owners can achieve growth they never thought possible.
The FortéOne Accelerator is an immersive process in which our team helps you maximize the value of your business, so you can (eventually) sell it for top dollar—or keep it. We bring in all the people, tools, strategies, and protocols to the table in order to do this.
There are two primary protocols we use to help you scale your business: the Six FactorsSM and SmartScaleSM. The Six Factors primarily focuses on operational and tactical improvements that will professionalize your middle market business, whereas SmartScale is focused on enacting a strategy for scaling and market disruption.
Because scaling a business requires you to move quickly, you need to achieve operational excellence to support those efforts. For this reason, the Six Factors and SmartScale often go hand in hand. Through our Six Factors work, we help you put the people, logistics, processes, and technology in place to carry out your SmartScale-informed disruptive strategy.
Depending on where your business is, we may start with some Six Factors work. Six Factors operational improvements are typically needed if you’re experiencing pain points in your business, growth has stalled, or you have a known challenge that you haven’t been able to remedy.
85% of executives surveyed said that internal, not external, obstacles keep their company from growing profitably.
-Bain & Company study
Our expert Operating Partners can help you identify and correct the issue quickly, so you’re poised to scale. This can be anything from lacking a long-term growth strategy to bringing in new leaders to cleaning up supply chain processes. Once you’re in a position to compete in the market, it’s time to own it.
SmartScale is a strategic offering that identifies how value is determined in your market and aligns your offering to that. We help you distinguish your product or services in the market in such a way that it disrupts the market and makes you the only viable option for potential customers.
During a two-day lab, our SmartScale team meets with your leaders to think outside the box and identify opportunities to improve your product, the way it’s delivered, or the way customers interact with it. Findings could include incorporating new technology to vastly improve the customer experience, supplementing your product line with new products, or unlocking a different delivery mechanism. The process relies on using the strengths of your business to devise a new solution that creates real value for your customers.
While the innovations that come out of it are vastly different, the SmartScale process for scaling a business remains fairly consistent from business to business. Here’s how it works.
Phase 1: The SmartScale Innovation Lab
During this two-day strategy session, our SmartScale team sits down with your most innovative leaders to tease out the ways in which you can add more value to customers. We look at the business strengths, opportunities in the market, and most importantly, the unmet needs of your customer base. After identifying a few gaps in the market—and ways in which you can meet those gaps—we take those ideas to your customers.
Phase 2: SmartScaling Accelerator – Bringing the Category to Life
With your help, the SmartScale team identifies a group of your current customers, old customers, and customers you’d like to win. We then conduct a survey with these groups to tease out the ideas that came out of the Innovation Lab. During these conversations with customers, we not only validate that our ideas for improvements, but we’re often able to identify unmet customer needs that even the customer didn’t know they had.
After speaking with your customers during the survey, our analysts take a deep dive into the data to determine what drives customer behavior and where improvements can be made to increase enterprise value. Through this data analysis, we’re able to determine who your most valuable customers are, how they evaluate your company, how to earn more of their spend, how to find more customers like them, and how to move your vulnerable or neutral customers into the loyal category.
Phase 3: SmartScaling – Execution of Growth Strategy
Once we have a plan for creating more value for customers and expanding your loyal customer base, it’s time to put that plan into action. Our team works side-by-side with yours to enact this strategy for disruption. This could include implementing new technology, building a new supply chain or delivery method, adding new products to your line, or altering your product or service to deliver more value to your customers. Whatever the strategy involves, we’ll bring in the people and processes to make it happen.
Unlike most consulting firms, FortéOne doesn’t focus on one-time minimal growth spurts—we help you disrupt your market to scale your business. Our Operating Partners have deep experience running successful businesses, and they use their expertise to help you ideate, problem-solve, and make improvements that have a substantial impact on your business’ bottom line.
If you’re an innovative leader who’s looking to think outside the box, contact the experts at FortéOne to learn how we can help you become an industry disruptor through our Accelerator program.
At FortéOne, we’ve been on the forefront of change as thought and implementation leaders for more than 20 years. Our mission is to help Family and Privately Held Business owners as well as Private Equity and Family Office investors become performance leaders in their respective industries. We are more than consultants—we are problem solvers who work side-by-side with you to deliver a business transformation that improves performance and accelerates change in your middle market company.