In January, I was sitting with Jack Love publisher of Internet Retailer as he was being interviewed on WebMasterRadio. Jack told my friend Jim Hedger that it didn’t take much to look good over the last 6 or 7 years in the ecommerce space while industry growth was 25% or greater year after year. A rising tide lifted all boats. Most people could just be on auto-pilot and their business would grow.
Times have changed.
We are no longer experiencing that explosive growth, and in these turbulent times I still see many people hoping to pilot their business using auto-pilot. I have bad news for those people. If you want to avoid a crash and burn over the next few years you are going to have to roll up your sleeves, maintain control, and maneuver yourself to safety.
This week at the “New Rules for Engagement” breakfast Forrester analyst Patti Freeman Evans played the following humorous video (just wait till the commercial ends) from the Daily Show with John Stewart for the 50+ retailers in the room:
In every bit of humor there is underlying some truth. I am seeing so many businesses relying on “Emergency Christmas”, offering huge sales (20+% off) week after week. You probably can see many of those same offers in your inbox. This show of panic to move merchandise is not the way to a safe landing.
I urge you not to stay the course, the times for easy money are over. Sully could have crashed in the middle of NYC, but he stayed calm with effort, some close calls and real precision he could succeed. So can you.