Uncertainty in the financial markets creates volatility. Volatility can create wild fluctuations and price swings in securities. Uncertainty and lack of control is never really a good thing. Especially when it comes to your business. If you have a presence on Amazon, eBay, Facebook or the like, you know what I am talking about.
Amazon and eBay can be grouped into a separate category because you can sell your goods on those sites. Tip from the top. Limit the percentage of your sales that you allow across these vendors. The percentage or amount should be determined by the amount you are willing to lose.
Why do I say this? In the wonderfully secretive world of Amazon et al., you are subjected to their business whims on a daily basis.
In the most draconian sense, you can go to bed with a wonderful business model that was based 100 percent on Amazon revenue, and it is doing fabulously. You wake up the next day and for some unknown reason, you have a generic email that says “you can no longer do business on our network.” Hello?
If you don’t believe this just do a google search for “how to get back on Amazon,” or “banned from eBay.” Yes, it is crazy, but true. Dreams have been crushed and businesses ruined by the vultures hiding behind the secret algorithms or whatever hideous models they deem appropriate.
In addition to all the fake news and Russian stories surrounding Facebook this year, the natives that are their publishers and advertisers are restless. Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to the platform’s news feed product with content from “more posts from friends and family” and “less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”
That should be a wake-up call for those of you with revenue streams based upon the whims of Zuckerberg. The idea is to replace brands with Facebook pages with more family content. This has caused significant losses for many small businesses.
“One of the Facebook policy changes that kind of went under the radar and it went into effect in February was the branded content policy. And it decreased my income from Facebook by 60 percent, overnight. No explanation,” said Holly Homer, an entrepreneur from Texas who owns the Facebook pages for “Quirky Mama” and “Kids Activities.”
Not to mention the fact that Facebook is essentially a dinosaur to teenagers. Instagram and Snapchat will work for now, until the next best thing for teens is available. If your business is targeting teens, remember they have no brand loyalty.
Many have had enough with Facebook and are moving shop to Twitter. Twitter is taking advantage of the situation, putting out a call to publishers to sign up for “Twitter Timeline Ads,” which it says will “generate revenue for your site.” Everything is based upon traffic, and if your social media site decides to change the way they drive traffic, you have no recourse. If this traffic goes away, so does your income. Another old adage comes to mind; don’t put all your eggs in one basket.