I took a few days after Affiliate Summit East to recover, relax and enjoy a few days of summer. Next on my schedule was jury duty. After my civic duty was fulfilled I spent another few days with my children enjoying some beautiful weather before they headed back to school on Tuesday, September 2.
Working on the New York tax issue continued throughout, even though I maintained low visibility; I think of this period as a mini break. I spent some time corresponding or talking with merchants and affiliates on the issue and we have made some progress. Many of us wish it could happen faster, the holiday shopping season is fast approaching.
It was not until I took a mini break that I realized just how draining this whole experience has been for me and thousands of other NY affiliates. The solution has not been implemented to enough of a degree to really make a difference for us or our businesses financially. Many NY affiliates are still struggling to make up lost income. At a time when we should be putting finishing touches on our holiday pages we are still searching for quality replacement merchants. The other day I received an email from Don, a NY affiliate I met at the Boston Summit asking what he should do; his business income has bottomed out. I was so moved by his email I spoke with him by phone.
It is a frustrating time to be an affiliate from New York. Although there is a solution it takes time for a large company to implement and other merchants are hesitating. Some merchants have decided that they do not want to lead the way; they are content with following.
Talking with Don we came to the conclusion NY affiliates need to keep moving forward. We cannot wait for merchants to take the first steps. We have to adjust our business to meet the current situation. Much as we have always adjusted to the changing needs and interests of our visitors we need to do the same on a larger scale.
NY affiliates cannot follow, we must lead. If it means a change for our business model then we need to do it. If it means working with more indie programs then we must do it. We need to adjust our business so that we can survive. Great merchants who welcome NY affiliates are out there, we just need to find them.
We must also continue to lead and work to implement the solution as well as working on the repeal of the current legislation. The Albany group, other groups and many NY affiliates are continuing to work on the NY issue. I will be keeping you informed as to the progress.
In the very near future I will also be giving you updates on the status of NY affiliates and merchants. Many merchants are working on implementing the solutions so keep the faith.
In the meantime keep moving forward and leading the way. Sitting back waiting is not the road to success.