Doing business today even if you’re a business opportunity seeker isn’t like it use to be
Lately Amazon has been in a pitched battle with one large publishing house when it comes to the pricing that Amazon wants to pay for ebooks (electronic books) in order to be able to sell them at a lower retail price.
Folks have taken sides, with consumers of course liking the idea of saving another couple of bucks on their favorite ebooks.
The publishing house on the other hand has been resisting any and all attempts to change their business model. The authors are up in arms in that the royalties they are paid will shrink.
Theyâ€™ve even put out petitions getting many of the top selling authors to join the campaign against Amazon. Choosing to take this battle to the next level, Amazon has chosen to embargo the titles being put out by this one publishing house. And the battle continuesâ€¦
This is just one example of how the â€œold-rulesâ€ of retail have gone by the wayside.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, power retailers have always used their clout to beat down suppliers. Thatâ€™s not new but trying to gouge-down a publishing house isnâ€™t business as usual.
The book publishing model has remained pretty much the same for literally decades. And in some ways it probably is outdated, but acknowledging the out-datedness of the business model and trying to use a â€œcrowbarâ€ to change it are two different things. It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds. But this article isnâ€™t just about the Amazon battle with a publishing houseâ€¦
No, itâ€™s about recognizing that virtually any retail business model that we acknowledge as being â€œbusiness as usualâ€ could be changed just like that.
I was listening to a presentation the other day that was given to a group of automobile dealers.
And the speaker jokingly said, â€œWhy does the manufacturer need you?â€
That got some laughs at first, but then there was silence in the room. As the reality of that question hit home.
Hereâ€™s the good news, after that question was tossed out to the crowd and they got past their initial shock of wondering ever so briefly â€œGosh, why do the car manufacturers need us?â€ the group was able to put together a nice list of reasons WHY they were needed.
Now Iâ€™ll acknowledge as I sat listening, there were some reasons that were better than others. However this same question could be asked within many retail niches.
Iâ€™m a retail guy. Thatâ€™s my background but Iâ€™ll freely admit that many of the retail businesses that I frequent are not much more than â€œorder-takersâ€.
And granted order-taking is an important part of the process but itâ€™s only a small part of the process if the retailer is doing things right.
First and foremost, the retailer needs to be a problem-solver.
Not only will solving problems lead to the order taking it puts a step in the process that the manufacturer or an Internet-only store really canâ€™t do as well as a brick & mortar retail store where you can just stop by and talk to someone face to face.
If youâ€™re just an â€œorder takingâ€ retail store I would have some major concerns. If I was a problem-solving retailer I would be much more secure in my place of the food chain.