Amazon is another company that really inspires me. Since my first purchase with the company sometime in 2003, I’ve never purchased a book anywhere else. I love them that much. In fact they won’t let me forget them. They keep sending me reminders, recommendations and offers all the time.
Defying common sense
So your business made a loss and you are ready to give up. Well, according to Forbes, Amazon didn’t turn a profit until late 2001 (it was founded in 1994!)
How did the founder Jeff Bezos, survive for 7 years after quitting his job on Wall Street? I have no clue and I’d love for someone (or him if he reads this blog :)) to tell me how he did it. Things must have been challenging.
Should he have given up?
Common sense says that he should have. Then he would also not be the multi-billionaire that he is today.
Today Amazon is the largest online retailer on the planet. Their Kindle revolutionized the publishing industry and with e-book sales exceeding traditional book sales he must be laughing all the way to the bank now. Not bad for a business that was started in a garage.
The Kindle is an amazing gadget by the way. I don’t know what I’d do without my kindle or the kindle app (I love Steve Jobs too). Thanks to these two amazing guys, I can access my books whilst on the go.
So what can we learn from Amazon?
Here are some tips that you can implement in your business.
1. A single sale is not enough for Amazon
The main thing that stands out to me about Amazon is their follow up strategy. Buy a book from Amazon and their recommendations will keep pouring in regularly like clockwork. I know some people hate it but I love seeing their emails. It’s a timely reminder of the work that goes into building a great business. From books, they have diversified into all sorts, using technology to simplify their operations. This way their customers keep going back for more.
2. Frugal values – really Amazon pinches its pennies?
I was really surprised to see frugality included in their values. With nations trying to spend to get out of the recession it seems contrarian to be frugal in business. Everybody is preaching that businesses should be spending. You should only spend we you can afford to.
This is what amazon says about frugality:
We try not to spend money on things that don’t matter to customers. Frugality breeds resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for headcount, budget size or fixed expense.
I couldn’t add any more to this statement to be honest.
They have a long list of values you can access on their site. Some great ones that stand out to me are listed below.
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
Read the rest of Amazon’s values here.
Even with all this success behind them, they are still striving.
We’ve Only Just Begun
This evolution of Amazon.com from Web site to e-commerce partner to development platform is driven by the spirit of innovation that is part of the company’s DNA. E-commerce is still in its infancy. In the years to come, you’ll see Amazon.com create new technologies, expand into more geographies and continue to improve the lives of shoppers and sellers around the world.
Amazon is truly an amazing business that we can all learn from.
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