One more thought on us shutting down Tastefully Driven. I find it interesting to ponder how little we factor our competition into making decisions like this.
Clearly shutting down our Amazon store will help our detailing competitors. They will sell more products and probably will sell more at a higher margin since there’s one less competitor in the fold (many times it was just us and one other company bidding each other down on a product).
But we never mentioned that in the decision making process. Not once. And from that last post it’s obvious that there were a lot of factors, but all of those factors were internal. We were just trying to do what was best for us, not what’s better or worse for the competition. If our actions happen to help them, so be it. Who cares if their volume on Amazon goes up? We’ve decided that we don’t want that volume. We’ve decided that we have different plans for our time and money.
I think a rookie business mistake is focusing too much on your competition. Even though you’re in the same market, your goals are often very different. Copying the competition can be a dangerous game that can take your eye off of the customer. Business is not a zero-sum game. There is room for a lot of people and companies to succeed in a lot of different ways in an industry. You can find yourself in trouble if you try to succeed “their way” and not “your way”.