IMG: Justin Santora

Starting a business today is arguably easier than it has ever been in the history of mankind. But with the rise of platforms that give us unprecedented exposure to potential fans, clients, and guests comes a sneaky caveat…

The easier and less costly a tool for your small business is, the more you will invest in it. The more you invest in the tool, the greater your dependence on it becomes. The greater your dependence on any single given tool becomes, the more leverage the executives of that company wield. The more leverage the execs wield, the more likely the business model will pivot in favor of profit. From there, every change to the platform can begin to erode your work.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]The more you depend on one platform, the less sustainable your business model is.[/thrive_text_block]

It’s not a vicious cycle because we know what we’re getting into when we sign up. But it catches a lot of people by surprise!

In My Industry…

I work in vacation rentals and this worrying trend with regards to listing sites like Airbnb, Vrbo, and prompted me and some colleagues to create Listing Site Independence: it’s the first framework (4 sequential stages) to walk property owners and managers through building a truly diversified marketing portfolio.

Some people ask “so you don’t use listing sites at all?”

And the answer is quite less dramatic: we use listing sites TO OUR ADVANTAGE. We use any platform that generates results without compromising our local brands.

This is a subtle but very powerful difference and I encourage you to embrace some version of it when building your own business.

Examples Of Dependency Leading To Despair

From Super Hosts to Power Sellers, be aware that this trend happens across all industries:

So what does all this mean?

Taking advantage of any platform to generate more business is a good thing. In fact, it may be the very thing that sets apart successful small businesses from the rest.

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But equally important is remembering where that channel fits in your diverse and sustainable marketing portfolio.


Use a good email marketing platform to begin building bringing all those fans into your own court so you can reach them directly should the rug be pulled out from under you. Because when it does happen, you will leave your immediate competitors in the dust.

About the Author

I enjoy life and creating unique experiences for myself, my neighbors and friends, and my clients. When I wake up each morning, happiness and a meaningful contribution to those around me act as the framework for how I shape my day.