It’s one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Holidays, people off work, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the family you want to shop with or a reason to get out of the house.

This season brings to light Amazon’s crushing online presence and the opportunity or threat to your future business. I hear complaints more and more often as I sit across the table from business owners and CEOs that have business lines affected by online platforms, especially Amazon. A lot are industries you wouldn’t suspect such as new car sales and HVAC service.

Just recently, my wife and I went to the Denver area to visit family. My wife also attended a wedding shower for our future daughter-in-law. We thought instead of buying something in Kansas City and lugging it to Denver via airline, we’d just drop by the Crate and Barrel in the Denver area and grab a shower gift there.

Of course, the two items on her gift registry that we really wanted to purchase were not in stock or available in the store. Now before you shoot the blogger, I realize there may be a good business case made for carrying exceedingly limited and or no inventory AND I realize that they could have also shipped it for free or drop shipped

BUT all this experience did, was open the door of temptation for us to jump online, open the Amazon app where all of our purchasing credentials are already conveniently stored, walk out of the store, purchase the same item at a lesser price and have it quickly drop shipped.

Are you conducting business in a manner that actually encourages consumers to pursue the convenience of Amazon?

Do you have a digital strategy? If so, what is it? How does your strategy help drive stickiness with your clients? How are you preparing for how the world is changing?

If you aren’t asking yourself and your team these questions you should put this on your 2019 strategic planning agenda. Here are some resources to get started on that journey.

What is your plan of attack when it comes to technology? If you don’t know, here’s a great Harvard Business Review podcast to help challenge your assumptions and get you started.

“Many companies are still doing digital strategy wrong. Their leaders think of “going digital” as either a way to cut costs or to attract customers with a flashy new app.”

This mini-site from is the best resource I’ve seen when it comes to understanding what Amazon thinks and where they are headed along with a mid-market business analysis.

“Our intent is to provide small- to mid-sized business operators with an overview of the 800-pound gorilla that is Amazon. Our ambition is to support operators’ knowledge of and strategic approach to an Amazon-dominant marketplace.”

You bet we have. Here’s an article on the Amazon of the past, Sears Roebuck and Co., and what got them to the top of the retail chain and how they ran to the bottom.

“When business school professors or journalists would ask Sears executives which competitor they most feared, the answer that invariably came back was: nobody.”

By the way… We settled. We bought something else off of her gift registry that they actually had in stock. It wasn’t what we wanted to give but at least fulfilled her gift registry wishes!

Drew Hiss
Post by Drew Hiss
November 18, 2018
Drew Hiss launched his outsourced payroll and HR technology solutions company, Checkdate Solutions, in 1994. The entrepreneurial venture was a classic bootstrap start-up whose launch plan underestimated capital needs and ramp up time by significant multiples. The adventure predictably included scrapping for cash, overhauling the business model, rebranding, refocusing, redirecting resources, shifting tech platforms, praying, seeking counsel and wisdom, etc.. Not surprisingly, deep entrepreneurial scar tissue was forged. Ultimately Checkdate Solutions became one of Kansas City’s fastest growing companies and was named one of the Greater KC Chamber of Commerce Best Businesses not once, but twice. Additionally, Checkdate Solutions ranked as one of KC’s top 100 fastest growing companies for nine consecutive years and was in the top 25 nationally in its industry. Today’s workplace culture tends to compartmentalize personal virtues from commerce, creating silos and compartmentalization between business, family, community, values and faith. But as a CEO, Drew and his company grew when he “decompartmentalized:” on his journey, he learned to integrate his life of commerce and his life of family, faith and values. Drew merged Checkdate Solutions with payroll industry leader Paycor, stepping away from the company in 2008 and serving on its board for eight years. Drew remains an owner in the firm. Today, Drew’s heart to help business owners leverage the influence of their business platform for eternal impact is at the core of Acumen which he founded late in 2015. Acumen is a catalytic iron-sharpening-iron environment forged from the fiery furnace of entrepreneurial battle, marketplace survival and integration of the timeless wisdom of the ages. Drew and his wife, Sarah have been married for 32 years and have four children (plus two beautiful daughters in law) ranging in age from 28 to 22. In early 2020, Drew and Sarah relocated to Evergreen, CO, He is a raving-fan congregant of Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette, CO, and enjoys snowboarding, hunting, cycling, hiking, and a variety of outdoor activities and adventures including running with his two dogs.