I just read an article from Entrepreneur.com called 5 Ways Your Small Business Can Topple Amazon This Holiday Season.
Usually I like what Entrepreneur has to say, but they got me this time. Shame on them. (Next time shame on me).
First, let's start with the obvious... No small business is going to "Topple Amazon". Not you. Not me. Not any of our friends.
Second, only two of the five tips were really tips. Two of them were just standard business procedures you should be doing regardless of who you are. And the last was "keep your chin up". As if just having a positive, Pollyanna attitude would keep my competition at bay. Sheesh. As far as I'm concerned they shorted me a tip just so that they could put an odd number in their headline.
As for Amazon? You shouldn't worry about them at all. They are not your target. If you want to have the kind of holiday season you can take to the bank, you need to focus on one thing and one thing only - your current customer's heart.
What is in her heart? What moves the needle for her emotionally? What solves her problems? What fulfills her needs?
Tim Miles and Co. gives you a great way to find this out here.
One simple truth of retail is this... If you take incredibly awesome care of your current customers, you don't have to worry about what the competitors are doing. You only have to worry about how to continually raise your own bar.
Customers are going to shop where their needs are met - all of them. Make your store that store.
PS I'm not saying to ignore Amazon completely. You can always learn from them. In fact Entrepreneur.com redeemed themselves with this article here. Number two is spot on!
PPS Great Customer Service is giving your customer exactly what she expects every single time. You want to win her heart? You gotta take it one step further and give her more than what she expects. Do that and you won't ever have to worry about the competition other than whether you want to move into their now empty space.
photo credit: Ben K Adams via photopin cc