When everyone is playing the same game, your execution is critical. Articulating your strategy is important, but it is not enough. You must execute on your strategy. You have to take action. Why? Well, let’s take a look: your store is like their store, your bread is like their bread. I will even go as far as to say that your offering is like their offering. So we ( the customers you serve) care very much about the care and skill that you put into your product or service.
But the revolution of the internet means that the way you go to market, the way you present your offering, and the model of your business doesn’t matter because they are sufficient enough to cause you to lose, regardless of how you play the game.
Sam Walton was an enormous success, due largely to his retail strategy he developed, not because he was better at running a store than anyone else. Local electronic, book and music stores are in real trouble, not because they don’t work hard or care very much, but because they are loaded with expenses that used to be keen (rent for a local storefront) in a world where they are merely a pillar.
Running any business with the wrong strategy in the wrong place at the wrong time IS possible, but it’s a battle uphill. The other option is to think very careful and strategic about your business model, your costs and the benefits you offer to the potential prospects you’d like to serve.
You could transform from a product to a service offering or from a service to a product offering, from free to expensive or expensive to free, from low service to high service or high…..well I don’t think you want to modify this one :), from storefront to web or from the web to storefront, from large to small or from small to large, from spam to privileged….. same goes here I don’t think you want to switch back, from acquiring new customers to nurturing old ones, from public to invitation only, from energy wasted to green, from secret to transparent, from custom to mass, or for any of these, vice versa.
Not changing your strategy merely because you’re used to the one you have now is a crummy strategy.