Blue Ocean for Solopreneurs. Reconstruct Boundaries with Path 4 of Six

It’s time to share another post dealing with blue ocean for solopreneurs. Reconstruct boundaries with path 4 of six. There are six pathways in this particular part of the blue ocean strategy implementation sequence.

As a reminder, the first principle of blue ocean strategy is to reconstruct market boundaries. It is this willingness to question industry established boundaries and slaughter the sacred cows that is so exciting about the blue ocean shift process.

Anytime some newcomer is nipping at the heels of an industry player, oftentimes without their knowledge and other times in plain sight, it is very exciting. Think Innovator’s Dilemma.

A study or implementation of blue ocean strategy includes the understanding and implementation of tools and frameworks that have been studied and proven to work in company after company over the decades. Specifically, in this series, we’re breaking down the six-paths framework and reinterpreting the text to speak specifically to solopreneurs and small business operations.

A quick review of the initially covered paths leading up to number four covered today.

Path 1 – Look Across Alternative Industries

Path 2 – Look Across Strategic Groups within Industries

Path 3 – Look Across the Chain of Buyers

Leading us to today’s path where we explore Blue Ocean for Solopreneurs. Reconstruct Boundaries with Path 4 of Six

Path 4 is a look across complementary product and service offerings.

Few services or products are delivered or sold in isolation. Almost everything we buy or select carries along with it a necessity for complementary products or services.

When I buy a toy, oftentimes it comes with the necessity of batteries. When I buy some forms of art, it requires a frame or display area of some kind. When I purchase a car detail job, it may require that I purchase something ancillary in the way of an air freshener or new cleaning spray to keep it looking new for as long as possible.

Blue ocean strategists argue that there is significant untapped value hidden in complementary products and services. As one reads Blue Ocean Strategy the example used is that of a bus manufacturer who wisely uncovered hidden value in the opportunity to save operators massive cost and increase value after the sale with tangible design improvements.

When sharing Blue Ocean for Solopreneurs. Reconstruct Boundaries with Path 4 of Six.

Think about the local lawn care firm. There is little innovation in the lawn care business. You meet an individual or company that mows grass. One negotiates the basics of the job. The items discussed may be frequency, details around edging, cleanup, and payment. In all my years of getting a lawn mowed and trimmed, in most cases, the operator texted me rates, communicated consistently that way, and asked that I leave a check.

There is a lot of room for innovation there. The first two pages of Google results when searching for “lawn care Nashville” lead to lead generation companies or paid ads where you’re opting into a lead aggregator that will wear you out with emails, calls, and the result of cross-selling your contact info to every type of lawn care operation on their lead buyer’s list.

One type of company taking care of path 4 of the six paths framework is Powerblade Lawncare. (I have no relationship with the firm and can’t attest to their work). I can, however, attest to their blue ocean positioning in the market place. They have implemented Blue Ocean for Solopreneurs. They Reconstruct Boundaries with Path 4 of Six whether they know it or not.

Their site,, showcases numerous value innovations. Remember, value innovation is described as lowering a company’s cost of operations while still increasing the value offered to customers. How does Power Blade Lawn Care do so?

Powerblade lawn care

On the front page exist a quote form. You may go through the quick process of getting a quote with their online tool. This implies avoiding a relationship that starts with a salesperson or sweaty lawn person coming by your property after their hard work day to quote your job.

The site offers you an opportunity to learn about their other services like fertilizer, landscaping, fertilization, and other things.

You may pay electronically via the site and also leave a review.

This type of simple value innovation transforms a small company from a red ocean competitor to a blue ocean firm by taking care of the complementary services associated with lawn maintenance. It’s not just about mowing grass. It’s about all the other things required to have a beautiful lawn.

When a solopreneur or small business gets serious about blue ocean shift and growth, they have to look at the totality of a customer’s problem and solution choice. What is required for them to solve their problems? Once they know, and you observe them solving their problems, what else was required in terms of the totality of their solution? What happens before, during, and after your solution to the problem is used? How might you leverage pain points and complementary products or services to add more value?

Reconstructing industry boundaries may be your most important Blue Ocean exercise. If you’d like professional guidance through the process, we’re here to assist. Contact us here with any questions or for a half-hour discussion about your issues.