Navigating 2016: the year of disruption

Already 2016 has proven itself a year quite unlike any other. But while it may be tempting to hide away from uncertainty, disruption offers entrepreneurs untold opportunities

Navigating 2016: the year of disruption

What a year: exhausting, tumultuous, often terrifying – but really rewarding. There’s still just under five months more of 2016 to go. But already it feels that this year has had more packed into the last seven months than one would normally expect in 365 days. It’s not just the nature of the political and economic changes that we’ve seen in 2016 – large though they may be – but the pace of those change, especially when it comes to disruption.

From an entrepreneurial point of view, it’s been a roller-coaster of a year so far. It’s not just the editors of the newspapers that have had to hold the front page: the business strategies of many entrepreneurs have had to reshape and morph in a more uncertain business environment.

So far this year we’ve seen disruptive changes due to existing trade agreements, such as how cheaper Chinese steel has led to the sell-off of TATA steel plants. Whilst this is a big business deal, it has also had a knock-on effect on those entrepreneurs and small businesses who serviced the needs of those depending on these plants. Those entrepreneurs’ plans remain in stasis.

On the opposite side, we now see the scope of opportunities that technological disruption presents in the form of Pokémon Go. It has been a number of years since we saw breakthrough tech of this nature but for me I believe it’s comparable to the rise of the app store. You may say it’s just one game but augmented reality has been waiting in the wings for years and it has finally made the leap over to the mainstream. We are already seeing a number of AR products coming through of a similar vein. Those entrepreneurs planning Q4/2017 product launches in a similar space – especially gaming and tourism – must now look at revisiting those plans.

The largest challenge this year is of course the potential fallout caused by the Brexit vote but once again it is a case of challenges and opportunities coming to the fore. The challenges – and uncertainty – speak for themselves. Is the UK at risk from cutting itself off completely from the single market or will the global market prove itself a greater proposition for the UK-based entrepreneur? In order to access the European market will they need a second or even virtual office somewhere ‘friendly’ such as Dublin? Or will a virtual phone number internationally in Singapore or China open the UK Entrepreneur to the potential of global trading? You may think ‘wait and see’ until the negotiations are complete but that could be many years down the line. Can your business afford the time?

These are uncertain times and whilst a ‘wait and see’ approach may be applicable to some such as those awaiting the outcome of the TATA steel deal, those looking at the potential fit of augmented reality and Brexit into their plans must revisit their plans for the remaining months of the year and plan accordingly. In an ever changing world, the only guarantee is uncertainty and as an entrepreneur your business can often thrive on this. So don’t let the pace of change hold you back. Get on the rollercoaster and enjoy. 

This article comes courtesy of eReceptionist, the call-handling specialists.


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