I liked a book I recently read about on a blog. I wanted to buy it. That book sells in India for 1300 rupees. It is available in Amazon UK for 240 INR. I have people I can ship it to in UK, folks who can then get it to me quite reliably and fast.
So here is what I now think is a good test of the fundamental strength of your business/ your company. Do the following two questions scare you or give you hope ? Answer truthfully since no one is looking, listening or judging you.
What if the customer of what you are selling was really smart and well informed about his options ? Is that GOOD or BAD for your company ?
What if the customer of what you are selling was NOT constrained by Geography ? Is that GOOD or BAD for your company ?
If the answer to both were ‘We would be in good or better shape!’, then Congratulations. You are running a tight ship and should looking at scaling UP your business. Amazon, you should expand here. Zipcar and Groupon, you should too.
But if these two questions drew a response along the lines of ‘We will die a painful death!’, you need to re-look at the fundamentals propping up your business. For starters, read some Drucker as soon as possible and this time, pay attention to him.
To you I say :
Since the number of digitally savvy people is trending north, the first question assumes a sense of urgency because your ‘moat’ in the first scenario is ‘customer doesn’t know all the needed information’ and digitally savvy people tend to be very good at digging all the needed information.
Since the number of international travelers is trending north, the second question also assumes a sense of urgency because your ‘moat’ in the second scenario is ‘customer can’t get to the OTHER place’ and low cost airlines are very good at ensuring people get from A to B cheaply. You are currently located at A. Oh, in case you are a local producer of products consumed only locally, you need to be worried too.