Remember When Amazon Was a Bookstore? Broadening Your Perspective on Strategic Growth

With the holiday season in full swing, chances are you’ve sent or received packages from Amazon. Over Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Amazon brought in 45% of all online transactions. Although we don’t have numbers for Christmas yet, you can bet Amazon sales are making up a huge share of the sales. Amazon’s dominance as an ecommerce powerhouse is obvious today, but none of this would have happened if Amazon did not really think strategically about their business.

In the beginning, it would have been easy to label Amazon as an online book retailer, but in reality, their core competency was logistics. Being able to move millions of products in a very short period of time (two days for Amazon Prime members) is their key to success.

When you are considering growing your business, the temptation is to simply think in terms of the products you make and services you offer. You really need to broaden your horizons and think about what you are truly good at and how you can leverage it.

Going back to the Amazon example, their ability to think about the business of logistics and led them to disrupt not just book stores, but many other retailers in various industries from clothing, grocery, consumer products, and even tooling. As you think about growth in 2018, I challenge you to ask yourself, what business are you really in?

Photo credit: Mike Seyfang via Flickr CC BY 2.0