This afternoon I called a local retailer. I was calling to see if they had a specific product in stock. My call was initially picked up by an automated attendant, and then subsequently answered by the operator.
"Electronics please", I asked. "Okay, just one moment please," a young female voice replied, "Let me transfer you."
A few moments later, "I'm sorry, it seems they are busy helping customers right now, can I give you their direct number so you can call back in a few hours?" "No thank you," I replied. "I'll just call somewhere else." "Okay," she said with a chuckle.
It's experiences like these where I just scratch my head and wonder, "How do businesses that are this mediocre succeed?" I've given that great thought, and with that, I present to you with three strategies for succeeding while maintaining world-class mediocrity:
1) Be the cheapest- there will always be a class of consumers that will buy from you because they see you as the cheapest game in town. Some will even travel from outside your market area to buy your cheap wares.
2) Be a great buyer and maintain a great inventory on hand- Sometimes people want stuff right now, and they'll come buy it from you, because you're the only one that has it in stock. Find out what people want that has the right margin- and keep it on the shelf.
3)Location, Location, Location- For some people it's all about convenience. Buy or lease the right building or office, and you'll actually have to work at failing.
Of course, all of this changes the moment Amazon expands same-day delivery to your market area. What then?
1) Has the cheapest options
2) Has PhD's, software programmers and quants determining what people want and managing optimal inventories.
3) Has more than 89 fulfillment centers across the U.S. and is expanding rapidly. In Seattle and L.A. they've been piloting same-day grocery delivery for some time now. And you've likely heard of the drones...
So while it is possible to succeed while maintaining great mediocrity, work fast, it might not be for long.
Chris Nordyke is an integrated marketer and strategy consultant. He works with owners and senior business leaders to transform and grow service companies via a unique holistic approach that drives referral business and client retention. Click here to schedule a complimentary consult with Chris.