When you need to get to the airport or you want a safe ride home after a night out, what do you do? If you’re like a growing number of people around the country, you probably whip out your phone, but you don’t call a cab. Instead, you open an app, set your location, and have an Uber driver come get you and take you to your destination. With so many people choosing Uber instead of traditional taxis, cab companies are furious and have been trying to put Uber and other businesses like it out of business.
So why do cab companies hate Uber so much? And what can this teach you about becoming an entrepreneur and building a successful brand?
UBER PROVIDES A BETTER SERVICE
First of all, how many times have you found yourself waiting for a cab for up to an hour or more? If you really want to make sure that you get where you want to go on time, you usually have to call well in advance, and making a reservation doesn’t always work as well as it should. With Uber, you don’t even have to call. You just tell the app where you are and where you want to go, and then it will show you who’s picking you up and give you a map with real-time updates on where they are and how long they’ll take to get to you.
Now, what can you take away from that for your own business? If you’re in the brainstorming phase, think about your industry, market, and niche. The founders of Uber found a few weaknesses in the taxi industry, and they created an app and a system that fixed the problems people most complain about when they need a ride.
Are you doing the same for your industry? As an entrepreneur, you need to look at the world in a different light than everyone else. Think about how different aspects of your life (and your customers’ lives) can be improved and find a way to improve them. Doing this will not only help you come up with great ideas for businesses, products, and services, but it’ll also help you find better ways to streamline your work and create improved systems for yourself and your employees.
THEY’RE SCARED OF CHANGE
For years, there was this status quo for getting a cab. You called. The dispatcher gave you an estimate for when your cab would get there. You waited. Then you waited more. In some areas, you might have been able to get a cab faster from one company than another, but because you were depending on the same kind of system, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition between one company and another.
Uber presents a real threat to cab companies because, if they want to compete, they have to completely change the way they operate. Instead of trying to be competitive, though, a lot of those cab companies are getting together with their unions and trying to push legislation to get Uber banned.
That might have you a little worried. What if you come up with an idea so innovative and groundbreaking that the competition tries to drive you out of the market? Well, look at how successful Uber and other services like it continue to be. While the cab companies push for legislation, people are voting with their dollars and their phones by continuing to choose Uber.
Cab companies hate Uber because they can’t compete. If you have a great idea and a claim on part of a market, your competition is going to want to nudge you out, but innovation and good business strategy will always win. Don’t be afraid to shake things up, and always keep your competition on their toes.