In a move seeming like part of a strategy to compete with an arch rival in the retail market, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced recently it would stop carrying Amazon Kindle e-readers when existing stock is depleted. What small business owners can probably take from this move (besides the fact that if you still want to buy a Kindle at your local Wal-Mart, you’d better hurry :)) is that every decision brings with it implications for your company’s long term success and growth. There are many factors that go into staying competitive for businesses large and small. How you face each could have ripple effects far into the future.
Clash of the Titans
Marketing for the competition. At first glance, Wal-Mart’s decision to stop carrying the Kindle Fire HD, following a similar decision by Target earlier this year, could be seen as totally unrelated to its struggle to compete with Amazon’s formidable online retail business. However, a closer look will reveal Wal-Mart’s overall strategy. The Kindle is more than just a product. It is a means that allows Amazon to market millions of products in direct competition with Wal-Mart and other retailers. Reuters
The escalation of hostilities. The recent Wal-Mart decision isn’t the first sign that the huge brick and mortar retail giant is already maneuvering to compete with Amazon’s overwhelming supremacy in the online retail market. Wal-Mart has seen the writing on the wall and is making efforts to reverse the trend and perhaps even take a bite out of the online retail market with its own search engine for products, called “Polaris.” TechCrunch
How You Compete
Become a problem-solving rock star. In the end, the ability to solve problems for customers is what sets a great business leader apart. Some people naturally possess the gift of problem solving, but fortunately for the rest of us, it is a learnable trait. Here are some steps we can all take to become better problem solvers and business leaders in the long run. Startup Professionals Musings
Recruit some incredible talent. A recent study suggests effective recruitment impacts profit growth far more than any other HR function, including onboarding, retention, and work life balance. For small businesses, the data suggests the talent you recruit is even more critical, since you have fewer overall workers than a corporate behemoth. Here are some steps you should consider to improve your search for the super stars you need to make your business shine. Grow Smart Biz
Listen more attentively. That’s right, you should spend more time listening. Surprisingly (or maybe not) customers don’t want to hear a long list of reasons you’re better than the competition. Though it may sound counter intuitive, the best way to compete is not to try to win over customers, but to help them seriously decide what product or solution really meets their needs. Kexino
Set yourself apart. Businesses and brands must create an impression in the potential customer’s mind, making themselves and their products memorable so that they stand out from the competition. Focus on unconventional solutions and set yourself apart. This post looks at some unconventional ways to make a corporate event memorable. Use it to brainstorm on ways you can make your product or service unforgettable too. Print Runner Blog
Choose the right business model. When online mompreneur Holly Reisem Hanna found herself banned from Google Adsense, she was forced to explore another method for monetizing her online content: affiliate marketing. While sometimes small business owners may be attached to a specific business model or approach to bring in revenue, business survival means opening your mind to new possibilities. Seek out options you haven’t tried before and see what opportunities present themselves. The Work At Home Woman
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