Race against Behemoth
Online Amazon and offline Walmart are both today’s unshakable business behemoths. Local small businessmen and small wholesalers struggle to survive in the cracks.
However, it’s surprisingly that many American chain stores closed down in 2016. Sears, Toy Anti-fighter filed for bankruptcy protection, and 200 Walmart stores closed down. These once-mighty chain brands seem to be unaccustomed to the social media era.
The Internet enters the age of social media, the information spreads quickly, and the market changes rapidly. Everything is in changing, as the saying goes, “The wind swift, changes the weather fast”.
Just as the global market in recent two years, hot products sweep the world every once in a while. For example, balance car became hot overnight in 2016, but within half year, it met cold reception and was withdrawn from Amazon because of the charging problem. In the first half of 2017, finger spinner was a real hot product, but the market changed dramatically in July, customers lost their enthusiasm suddenly. The market deteriorated and suppliers sold off their inventory.
In these two events, the forerunners who can predicate the market accurately and enter into the market timely made extremely high profits.
In the Internet age, information is the most important resource. Forecasting market trend with big data and small data also adds precision to the dimension of speed, which is more powerful.
Small businessmen, no matter producers or distributors, lag far behind Walmart in capital, resources, scale and management. But if you compare in this dimension of speed, it’s completely possible to win.
This speed is “the speed of perceiving local market” and “the speed of sourcing”.
Walmart is global sourcing and is very efficient. But since it is centralized procurement, and the global market is becoming increasingly individualized, it is inevitable that the cycle of procurement will be two months to half a year.
If small businessmen can effectively optimize purchasing process, from the decision to purchase to logistics to store sale, the fastest speed can do it within one to two weeks. What’s more, the small batch purchase can avoid the risk of inventory.
So, the core weapon of small business is speed — the speed of perceiving local market and the speed of the sourcing.
On the contrary, if the small business is not “fast” enough, waiting for Walmart or Amazon to sell similar products, it will be price war, and small business will be unprofitable.