There’s a great lesson any company can learn from this season’s NHL lockout: Don’t let your business model put all of its eggs in someone else’s basket.
Otherwise, news stories like NHL Dispute Puts Sales for Small Businesses on Ice or, NHL Lockout Penalizes Businesses That Depend on Hockey Crowds, could be about you.
For an eCommerce company like VoIP Supply the NHL lockout equivalent would be what is known as “digital sharecropping” or, “building your business on someone else’s land” as Sonia Simone at Copyblogger explains.
Too Big To Fail
Entrusting the health of your online business to properties you can’t control can be disastrous because they can change the rules (Facebook), disappear (Myspace), or alter your ROI when they stop being free (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
Even Google can’t be relied upon.
Today, Google is the best search engine to drive traffic to an eCommerce site but that doesn’t mean that it’s too big to fail. Last season the NHL was, arguably, the world’s premier hockey league and enjoyed record revenues. This season it’s affecting other businesses and worse, putting people out of work.
Your business will stay healthy by focusing your attention on properties that you own and control. Again, Sonia Simone puts it best by listing three assets a business should build:
1. A well-designed website with your own hosting account
2. An opt-in email list, ideally with a high-quality autoresponder
3. A reputation for providing impeccable value
Overused cliches about history make it easy to ignore their wisdom:
“We won’t know where we’re going unless we know where we’ve been,” or “We’re doomed to relive the past unless we learn from past mistakes.”
Do you nod knowingly and stroke your beard when you hear those expressions when really, all those words are going in one ear and out the other?
Well, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face (sorry, couldn’t resist that historical cliche). I mean, don’t ignore the past and pithy sayings (as annoying as they are) to spite your future. Lockouts have happened before and loads of websites and internet tools have faded away.
Try to control your own destiny as much as you can to stay in the game.