March 25


I dropped in on an interesting discussion on Facebook yesterday (which is in itself unusual since I’m not on there a lot these days).

It wasn’t even about business, per se, but the topic of how the Internet has “ruined” the High Street came up.


This is simply not the case.

The Internet itself is neutral. It’s nothing more than a massively complicated network of computers and its effects on society, for good or ill, depend on the people who use it and how they behave.

Now, here’s what has happened, I’ll not deny: the Internet has made it easy for people to buy pretty much anything online more cheaply than they can get it locally.

But that’s a problem only if you’re trying to compete on price. 

If you’re not, then it’s just one more variable to take into account when you’re working on your business.

A few things to consider:

  1. If ONE business anywhere can thrive in the face of stiff online low-price sellers and out-of-town discount stores, then it shows it’s possible. It’s not necessarily true to say if you model the successful businesses you’ll be successful yourself (although that’s a good place to start), but it shows it’s possible. Your job is to find out how to do it (we'll help you with that — it's what we do).
  2. Someone in your local area is the highest-price seller in your market. If that’s not you, then it’s someone else. My question is this: if it’s not you, why is it not you? Clearly selling at a higher price is possible, because someone else is doing it. Are you committing the sin of denying reality by telling yourself you “can’t” raise your prices when someone else is already selling at a higher price than you.
  3. Here’s what doesn’t work: pissing and moaning about it in a fun of learned helplessness, not taking action, and waiting for government or Someone to Do Something. If you do this, then you deserve to go out of business. You’re reaping what you’ve sowed, and are entitled to nothing more or less.

The answer?

Not the specifics, at any rate (because in the same way a doctor has to examine you before diagnosing a malady and prescribing a treatment, we have to poke the soft underbelly of your business with a pointy stick to see what make it tick). 

And I do know where you should start and the direction you should take in the beginning. What happens after that depends on what you find and how the bazillion different moving parts move and respond.

FACT: low online prices kill local businesses only when those local businesses are too lazy, stupid, or wilfully helpless to invest time, money, and energy to pick a battle they can win.

Much as you think this is unfair — having to work to make your business a success — and perhaps think government should use a big stick somehow to level the playing field with higher taxes for online retailers, it’s a fact you’re going to have to roll your sleeves up and delve deep into the bowels of your business.

You can’t change the facts: if you want things to change, you have to change things, first.

Ultimately there will be two groups: businesses which adapt and overcome; and businesses which do nothing more than fight an unwindable fight and vanish without trace.

You can’t change this.

But you can pick which group you’re in.

Join us for Ground Zero and we’ll share with you everything you need to know to be among the last ones standing.

Click here for Ground Zero details.


P.S. If you still doubt me, I invite you to consider Wigtown in Scotland.

You know how Amazon has “destroyed” the local book shop?


… it hasn’t.

Or if it has, it’s because those local book shops have tried to fight a battle of Amazon’s choosing.

Hell, even in my own small town of Clonakilty there are TWO thriving book stores on the main street.

Anyway… back to Wigtown…

Their blurb:

Wigtown was officially designated as Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998 and is now home to a wide range of book-related businesses. A book lovers haven – and with over quarter of a million books to choose from, old and new … it is impossible to escape empty-handed.

As a result people flock to Wigtown to engage in all things literary and bookish, the low prices and convenience of Amazon et al notwithstanding.

How’s this for a premium-priced offering: you can pay, yes fucking pay to spend a time working in one of the local shops as a book seller. 

Just think about that for a moment, and then trot out the old “low online prices kill local businesses” bullshit.

And then take action and get on the list for Ground Zero.

Because if a small town in Scotland can comprehensively whup Amazon’s arse, there’s no reason you can’t do the same to your competitors.

Where to start?

At Ground Zero.

Click here for Ground Zero details.


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