Yesterday, Airbnb made a huge announcement: It's officially banning parties hosted in properties listed on its platform.

"We know that the overwhelming majority of our Hosts share their homes responsibly, just as the overwhelming majority of guests are responsible and treat their listings and neighborhoods as if they were their own," the company said in a statement. "In turn, we focus on trying to deter the very rare cases of Hosts who do not operate responsibly, or guests who try to throw unauthorized parties."

For that reason, the company explained, it announced a temporary ban on all parties and events for global listings in August 2020.

"The temporary ban has proved effective, and today we are officially codifying the ban as our policy," Airbnb stated.

This announcement may seem surprising to many, especially since it could easily send customers who want to host house parties running to Airbnb's competitors.

But I'd argue this announcement is actually brilliant, and the reason comes down to the opening sentence on Airbnb's official statement:

"At Airbnb, we believe the neighborhoods and communities in which we operate are as important as the Hosts and guests who use our service."

Let's break down why Airbnb's party ban is such a great idea, and what businesses everywhere can learn from it.

The real reason Airbnb is banning parties

In the past, Airbnb says it allowed hosts to use their best judgment when hosting parties, considering what's appropriate both for their home and neighborhood. However, the company soon saw the need to tighten measures to prohibit "open-invite" parties that became "neighborhood nuisances."

Then, when the pandemic hit, the company noticed that people began partying more in its listings as bars and clubs closed down or restricted occupancy. This led to an initial party ban, which was explained to be "in the best interest of public health."

But Airbnb says the party ban become much more than a public health measure, evolving into "a bedrock community policy to support our Hosts and their neighbors." The company says the ban has been effective, resulting in a 44 percent year-over-year drop in the rate of party reports. Airbnb also says the ban has been well received by its host community and has resulted in positive feedback from community leaders and elected officials.

And this leads us to why the announcement is such a smart business idea. Sure, Airbnb will drive some customers to competitors. But these aren't the customers Airbnb wants.

Let's go back to that key sentence highlighted earlier: "At Airbnb, we believe the neighborhoods and communities in which we operate are as important as the Hosts and guests who use our service."

Airbnb knows that to succeed as a company, it must keep not only the majority of its hosts and customers happy, but also the neighborhoods in which those properties exist. Without that neighborhood and community support, Airbnb would face an uphill battle that would continue to threaten its existence--similar to the one rideshare companies like Uber have faced over the past decade.

In contrast, with its new official party ban, Airbnb sends out a clear message: We want to be good neighbors.

This is a win-win for everyone. The company's target hosts, who quietly make money for themselves and Airbnb without causing major problems, won't mind the party ban. The neighborhoods and communities that have Airbnb properties will be happy there's no disruption. And Airbnb's target customers, the vast majority of whom use the service for purposes other than large house parties, will carry on business as normal.

And what about the customers who do want to host large parties? Put simply, Airbnb will be happy to say goodbye. The rewards simply aren't worth the risks.

What your business can learn from it all

First of all, it's important to identify all the major stakeholders in your business interest. Remember that your stakeholders are more than your customers; they're all the people with an interest or concern in your business.

Airbnb identified the communities and neighborhoods of their listings as a primary stakeholder because those communities had power to limit Airbnb's success. Who has similar power over your business? Is it also your neighbors? Maybe it's other companies you've partnered with, or the government. Clearly identifying these stakeholders can help guide your strategy, giving you the best possible chance at success.

Second, you need to remind yourself that not every customer is your target customer. Sure, it hurts to lose potential revenue; but you have to see beyond the short-term benefits. Will the customer cause you to lose other customers? Will they cause inordinate stress on your employees? Will they harm the business more than they help it? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then this may not be a customer worth keeping.

So, as you develop the overarching strategy for your business, remember these lessons from Airbnb. Because zooming out to see the big picture can mean the difference between company success and fighting a battle it simply can't win.