The Amazon Effect

The thing about Walmart that it forces you to be better. Scott McClelland, H-E-B

For those that whine and complain about the “Walmart Effect” and its impact on their small business, they have another thing coming.

With Amazon’s launch of local state tax collection in California this week it’s only a matter time before the other 49 states fall in line.

Amazon has given up lobbying the various governments to stop or delay local taxation. They are now putting up logistical distribution centers in every state. This is going to allow them to easily make next day or even same-day delivery on significantly more of their inventory.

Do you think every mom-and-pop or even regional retailer has seen this coming and thought about the impact on their sales?  I don’t either, I think very few have seen this coming,

But it’s a game changer that everyone is going to be hit by but few are going to respond and come out better than they started.  Better than Amazon.

The Walmart Effect will pale in comparison to the Amazon Effect.

Counting Your Mistakes

Yesterday a colleague and I had discussions about business issues currently challenging us.

And it reminded me of one of my foundations for how I approach business and personal life.

While I know a popular self-help, professional development approach is to always look for the wins and not worry about the losses, I personally believe that when you look back on a day or week or month it’s more important to look at your mistakes.

I believe it’s important to define and measure yourself against short and long-term goals, mind you. However I think you should combine that with a look at your mistakes.

I like to look back on a day or week or even an entire project and determine how many bad decisions and mistakes I made. The fewer the better.

I feel that one of the ways to win is to make the least mistakes possible.

Maybe it’s me but when I can reduce my mistakes or even eliminate them I find that I’m firing on all cylinders and truly knocking it out of the park.

What do you overachievers think of this attitude?

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

How many brands really manage their presence well from their initial touch point with the consumer while at the top of the sales funnel all the way through to the consumer’s conversion?

I rarely see it happen to be honest.

The best practitioners I’ve seen are those in the automotive space. There the brand coexists with a regional or DMA level entity which also coexists with each individual dealer.

Go ahead Google ‘prius’. I did just now and this is what I got.

Brand and Dealer Coexistence

All three coexisting harmoniously.

But at what expense? I’ve heard second hand how little coordination is going on here between the three groups who really number in the thousands throughout the US.

In this case, Wesley Chapel Toyota is cutting a check to Google directly. They’re also paying some fixed percentage into their local co-op, Southeast Toyota Distributors, who is advertising with these funds. And finally they bought the car from the manufacturer, Toyota, who in turn used some of the margin to advertise the Prius.

Is it that competitive in the automotive space that they must own all three of the top spots on AdWords? To do this they are competing against themselves right? That’s the only way you can own all three spots!

Isn’t there a better way to solve this problem?

Being Smart is Overrated

It’s not that it’s bad to be smart. I know a lot of great people, close friends, who are smart. It’s just that there’s this belief that smart equals successful. That’s just not true.

Throughout my my life I’m met some wicked smart people who are just getting by and I’ve met some who many would never use the word smart to describe, yet they successful beyond your wildest dreams.

No, it’s not smart that determines success. Though being smart may give you a head start.

I know this because I have run across many successful people and smart is not what they have in common. What they have in common is they DO things.

They create things that people need. They solve problems that others never even knew were a problem. And they get paid handsomely for this.

So you’re not smart? Big eff’ing deal! If you want to be successful, it’s not a requirement so stop letting it hold you back. Get out there and DO something!

Because Doing Something is NOT overrated!

Think I’m wrong?