Carol’s recent post on the Nextiva blog, “Disrupting is Good Business… As Long As You Pace Yourself and Care for Your Customers,” tackles the concept of disruption and how your small business can do it right – and not alienate your existing client base. Carol begins:

By now, you’ve probably heard the term disruptive innovation and you know that disruption has positive connotations when it comes to the future of your business. Jeff Bezos has proven it to the extreme. But, any level of disruption can have a negative effect on your business if your customers are not ready for it — or cannot afford it.

As is frequently said, “Steady as she goes”; done correctly, disrupting does not mean chaos. As long as you are thoughtful and well-organized, you can be the next successful disruptor.

Make sure that you really know the comfort level of your customer base.

Statistics indicate that 84 percent of customers cite innovation as a somewhat or very important factor when choosing vendors for the products or services that they need. Unfortunately, other statistics say that 85 percent of new consumer products fail in the market. If you don’t truly know your customers, then your business could become an unwelcomed statistic.

Let’s say that your data storage device business was founded based on risk-averse baby-boomer customers who like keeping their data in-house. Before you completely stop selling disk-based hardware in favor of switching solely to Cloud service offerings, talk to your existing customers.

You can read the rest of the post here.