Wake up call for business owners — big and small

Very interesting piece by financial columnist James Surowiecki, excerpted from The New Yorker:
(reposted with respect from The New Yorker)
“In the nineteen-eighties, a new kind of chain store came to dominate American shopping: the “category killer.” These stores killed off all competition in a category by stocking a near-endless variety of products at prices that small retailers couldn’t match. Across America, independent stores went out of business, and the suburban landscape became freckled with Toys R Us, CompUSA, and Home Depot superstores. 
But the category killers’ reign turned out to be more fragile than expected. In the past decade, CompUSA and Circuit City have disappeared. Toys R Us has struggled to stay afloat, and Barnes & Noble is in the midst of a boardroom battle prompted by financial woes. And, last month, Blockbuster finally admitted the inevitable and declared Chapter 11.”

“The obvious reason for all this is the Internet; Blockbuster’s demise, for one, was inextricably linked to the success of Netflix. But this raises a deeper question: why didn’t the category killers colonize the Web the way they colonized suburbia? That was what pundits expected. Companies like Blockbuster, the argument went, had customer expertise, sophisticated inventory management, and strong brands. And, unlike the new Internet companies, they’d be able to offer customers both e-commerce and physical stores—“clicks and mortar. It seemed like the perfect combination…” (Read more http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2010/10/18/101018ta_talk_surowiecki#ixzz12Alkr2YC)

While the demise of any business is not good news for a community, this turn of events does raise some good questions for small business owners.

What are *you* doing to prepare your small business for the ongoing technological shifts in the way our culture buys and sells?

Part of our mission here at the nonprofit South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce is to help SC’s small business community grow and maximize ROI.

Two simple action items for you:

1. Join our free BuySC online business directory at http://www.buysc.org!

2. Come to our next small business seminar!

BuySC Micro-Conference: 
5 Steps To Business Freedom with Keith Spiro

Wednesday, November 10
6:00pm – 8:00pm

Olympia Room, Second Floor of the 701 Whaley Building

701 Whaley Street
Columbia, SC, 29201
Price: Free for paying SCSBCC members / $5 Basic Members (free membership) /$10 for non-members. 
Become a member for free, and save $5!
Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres for the reception will be provided courtesy of our event sponsor: 

Please register at www.buysc.eventbrite.com


To learn more about SCSBCC membership, please go to http://www.scsbc.org/membership

About the Lecture:

Why do 90% of businesses fail within the first 10 years?

* 78% lack a solid business plan
* 73% are being overly optimistic about sales
* 77% are not pricing their products or services properly
* 70% don’t recognize or ignore their weaknesses and don’t seek help

Turn those threats to your company into business freedom. Come learn concrete practical ways to steer clear and head toward freedom in your business.

About the SCSBCC:

The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit advocacy organization representing the general interests of small business.

For more information please go to www.scsbc.org, www.buysc.org or contact Stephanie Lombardo, Membership Coordinator at 803-252-5733 / Stephanie@scsbc.org

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