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  • Writer's pictureNour Boustani


Why do most of the small business owners operate as they are the only force that dominates their market? Is it their ego? is it their ignorance? Or what?

What makes those businesses believe that their way of selling and serving the customer is the best way to deliver value and make a profit?

People are fascinating when it comes to dealing with things outside their inner world and comfort zone; they operate with no insights and data; they depend on luck, hope, and mindless emulation instead of relying on analysis and clear feedbacks.

It’s one thing to win a game out of luck, and it’s another thing to win a game out of strategy, the best product makers and marketers are not the ones who are relying on their wishes and gut feelings to make a decision.

They are the one who understands their game environment, the businesses they are playing against, and they know how to come up with a carefully planned strategy and approach to out-win the competition.

I have come across to work with many small business owners, and one of the most challenging issues that I’m always faced with is their stubbornness of being open to new ideas, and the total discontent from the dynamic changes and truth of the market.

I always come across to hearing the same repetitive patterns over and over; if the business is running fine, it’s because of their hard work and intelligence; if it isn’t, then it’s the economy, or god, or anything out of their control.

You can see where I’m going with this, if I ask them to change, they will default to cultural rules and habits “we can not change it, because in China/USA/Turkey/Spain things are just like that, unchangeable rules written by unknown forces.”

In bad times, people tend to spend money; but they spend it differently, and believe it or not, some will still spend on expensive goods and experiences.

It’s your job as the business owner and marketer to find out how the market is behaving, then adjust accordingly and make people come back and spend with you, regardless of the situation of the economy.

However, it’s tough to better serve your clients/customers/guests without the knowledge of what the market is offering to your customers, you are not the only option, and this why we have to do market research.

The purpose of market research is to collect intelligence and have a 30,000 feet clear view on what’s in the market, and it’s NOT for the use to blindly copy the competition.

The purpose of competitive research is:

1. Have a clear idea about what is currently offered in the marketplace.

2. Have a clear idea about consumers’ feedbacks toward the market, what is working and what isn’t.

3. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of competitors; this will guide us to decide what to leverage and what to avoid.

4. Identify hidden gaps in the market that are missing then build solutions that fill those gaps. “Where’s the big overlooked opportunity?”

5. Understand why some clients choose to do business with some competitors rather than doing it with you or with others.

6. Learn from other different industries how to deal with similar issues to ours and bring a fresh and new perspective to our brand.

7. Learn what transformations we should make to gain a market edge.

Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories. – Sun Tzu – The Art Of War.

I’m going to limit the scope of my research on the topic of marketing; however, those principles apply to any aspect of your business, like operation, finance, and logistics, once you learn a new mindset to approach the market, most challenges become easier to solve.

Before we begin, I want you to do me a favor; I want you to study and apply this article from two different perspectives rather than your personal view.

The first perspective is from the customer perspective and the other from a consultant point of view, not from the perspective of a business owner, here is why I’m asking you to do this.

A customer is a needy person; he wants everything to be done for his benefit, right now in this economy he got the power, he got options, so serving him/her better is the ultimate advantage to your business over your competitors in the long run, the market is not personal, who serves better, gets more clients, it’s that simple.

Also, look at it from a consultant point of view because an advisor is someone who is hired to transform your business and take it to the next level, he is not attached emotionally to your business.

He is supposed to make logical and rational decisions, no emotions involved, pure observation, comparison, and strategic plan for action.

You, on the other hand, got a lot of emotions and self-interest involved in the business, which makes it challenging to detach yourself from the business and make a logical decision, it’s easier to judge someone else than to judge yourself.

Now that you have the right mindset,  let’s begin.

1. Define Your Niche

When you are a small business, you don’t have the resources to compete with everyone in your industry; therefore, you don’t need to research and worry about every competitor in the market.

Mostly, you will be competing with a small group of businesses that are considered to be your direct or indirect competitors; the difference is that the first compete with you head to head on the same customer with the same offer at the same time.

In contrast, the second one is considered to be a complementary or an alternative option.

McDonald’s does not directly compete with Pizzahut; McDonald’s directly compete with KFC and Burger King, On the other hand, Pizzahut and Papa John’s are alternatives to Mcdonald’s (Fast food, Same customer segment – indirect competitors);

However, five stars restaurants are not considered to be a competitor at all since they serve a different group of people, with various problems, wants and needs, “people visit or hire them to do a different set of jobs.”

Before you do research, get to identify your niche, so you don’t spend your time, money, and effort running behind the wrong players.

You can identify your niche by narrowing down your focus and serve a specific group of people with a particular need, wants, and desires, looking to hire you to deal and solve a problem for a particular job.

I have written an in-depth article about how to find and narrow your niche successfully so that you can get the most out of your business, read this article: how to find a profitable niche.

2. Identify Your Direct Competitors

By now, you should know that a direct competitor is a business that competes with your business in the same category, niche, or product and serve the same group of customers, which means they compete with you on location, price, service, and quality.

How to find your direct competitors

Method 1:

Very simple and straightforward, head to Google/YouTube, and start typing the search bar for direct competitors of your niche and be specific.

  1. “Best Chicken Burger Restaurants In Manhattan.”

  2. “Top women vintage apparel brands under $50 brands. “

  3. “Worst Chicken Burger Restaurants In Los Angeles.”

  4. “High-end teenager fashion accessories stores in Sydney.”

You will get a list of Websites/Videos that are written and produced by bloggers, critics, magazines, and influencers, check them out, try to find repeated brands within those different websites.” look for patterns.

Those businesses should be outstanding, for now, make a list of those businesses’ names, website, and address, you might need to take a visit.

Method 2:

If you can not find what you need on Google or Youtube, head to Amazon, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Airbnb, Udemy, Apple store, or whichever marketplace your product is related to.

Search for:

  1. Service or business type + Location | Pizza Restaurants Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York – Yelp

  2. Product or Niche name | Dried Dog Food – Amazon

  3. Product function or Benefits | Time Management App – Apple App Store, Google Play Store

  4. Service or business type + Nearby or Location | Hair Stylist Near Me – Google Maps

Depending on your business type, consider the following:

1. Location

If you have a brick and mortar business, say, for example, a coffee shop, you want to make sure to look for coffee shops within walking distance which might range up to 1 Mile/2kilometers of your surrounding area, which equals to 15-20 minutes short walk distance less or more.

This aspect depends heavily on the city that your businesses will be in; megacities’ people tend to walk more distance to find places since many stores get crowded most of the time.

2. Price tag

Each brand, product, or service is offered or delivered to serve a specific group of people with different wealth classes or to serve ordinary people on various occasions. What does that mean?

If you run a fast-food restaurant, the five stars fancy restaurant across the street is not going to be your direct competitor most if not all the time, here is why:

Most of the customers who visit five stars restaurant daily value organic ingredients, luxurious experience, and food cooked by famous chefs.

The restaurant is built and designed to deliver the illusion and perception of such a high price tag. For the people in high-class, this is a way of living; it’s highly unlikely to consider an ordinary fast-food restaurant located around the corner.

For the low-to mid-upper-class “working class,” this is a place where they celebrate special occasions and anniversaries, people propose for marriage, hold a wedding, They invite close friends and family, arrange business meetings and the list goes on and on.

Put it in other words, they want to impress and save face, the higher the price, the better they look; however, it’s not a daily choice.

So what do we learn from that? Clients hire businesses and products to do a specific job at a particular time, therefore focus on the businesses that offer the same type of your situation.

Look for the direct competitors who share the same price zone as yours; if we look to price as a ladder, it’s like “the same price- one step higher – one step lower.”

A person who is willing to pay you $5 for a cup of coffee, he got no problem paying $4 to your competitor if it’s the same coffee and experience, or $6 for a different shop for a better experience or to impress his girlfriend.

If you look at it in a simple ladder diagram it would be:

– $4 for a cheaper coffee experience. 🤑 – $5 for the original price for the average coffee experience. 🥱 – $6 more pleasant coffee experience. 🤩

I believe you get the point.

3. Research Your Competitors

Now that you have a clear idea about whom your direct competitors are, it’s time to do in-depth research.

I would like you to take the top, middle, and bottom three businesses according to customer reviews, “From, Yelp, Amazon or another marketplace.”

I need you to understand what makes the top perfect, which makes the middle average, and the bottom terrible. This way, you can avoid the latter, learn from the top, and escape the average.

Let’s look at some attributes you can research about your competition:

Location: this is one of the most strategic parts for many of the brick and mortar businesses; choosing the right site can make or break your business.

The amount of foot traffic and the surrounding environment plays an essential role in the survival of a business; many businesses get vanished or punished for choosing a cheap and hidden location for the sake of saving money.

In contrast, other businesses flourish just because they “invested” in the right place, “location is an investment, not a cost.”

If you don’t have enough cash to lease a great location, then consider a different model, such as a pop shop, a truck, or going online.

If your competitors sell online, learn what platform do they sell on, is it Amazon, eBay, Etsy, their personal website? And why did they choose that platform over another?

Business theme + Customers type: we as people differ in our preferences and personal choice when it comes to taste and selecting the right environment that fits our style.

Different cultures, genres, education, work, and life habits influence our choice when it comes to choosing business over another.

What kind of atmosphere, mood, theme, and style do your competitors create, and what kind of customers, tribes, and communities do they attract?

Best-selling products, features, and benefits: what products do your competitors brag about the most? What products do they market the most? What is the top-selling product? What problems do these products solve?

Product offering: what does make your competitors’ deals and offers attractive to the customer? Is it the product itself or the bonuses that come with the product? What is the pricing model? Is there free shipping? What is the return policy? What is the guarantee policy? How do they eliminate the risk of the offer?

Customers review: one of the most obvious mistakes that small business owners make when it comes to market research is underestimating the importance of customer reviews; however, if you know where to look and what to dig for, then you are golden!

You will not only know what sort of problems and frustrations you should solve and go after but also what wants, needs, and desires to fulfill to attract and obtain those customers.

Five stars reviews are the reviews which are written by fascinated fans — people who are in love with the brand. Or by the people who are not very sophisticated when it comes to quality and service, they appreciate the brand effort as long as they were served and respected correctly.

On the other hand, 1-star reviews are written by haters, those people don’t like any aspect of the business no matter whatever you offer them, or they were in a terrible mood and projected their inner discomfort toward the service of the brand.

Both sets of one and five stars reviews depend on a reactive emotional response; you get to learn a little about what could be improved about the business.

However, 2, 3, and 4 stars are pretty useful; those people have taken the time to be present and analyze the business; they made a rational choice to think about the place and give honest feedback.

The pros and cons they mention are a true reflection of the situation, not too emotional, not too rational, how the overall feeling was. You find their words tend to be very descriptive, and on the point, take notes!

Research YouTube reviews: If you try to search on YouTube and search for your competitor’s name, you might find people who had visited the store talking about the overall experience. This could be helpful.

However, more importantly, you could find some comments from people who dealt with the business in the past. More honest and useful, take notes!

– Research digital marketing strategy:

  1. Head to Ahrefs and check for backlinks to your competitors’ sites, backlinks are the neurons of organic and affiliate link traffic to your competitors’ website. It’s a combination of blog posts, reviews, and articles sponsored or free linked to and driving traffic to your competitors’ websites. You can take advantage of the sponsoring sites by contacting the site owners and ask to get sponsored or buy an advertising spot on their website.

  1. Head to and type in your competitor’s website name; this fantastic free tool will allow you to spy on your competitors google ads, top keywords, and most importantly, their landing pages, here you can see what offers they present and drive traffic to.

  1. Head to Facebook ads library and type in your competitor’s page name; this is great because it allows you to spy on and see all the Facebook ads and ads spend of your competitors.

  1. Head to your competitors’ social media pages and observe how do they present their brand, products, and services, go through the comments and feedbacks and watch the tone and voice of how they interact with their audience. These communication skills are soft skills, and it’s what makes or breaks the relationship with your customer. Being rude or non-responsive could kill the brand’s reputation.

Study their sales page: This is where all the juicy meat exist, product sales pages are on a marketplace such as Amazon product page, a brand website, a menu, or a product catalog; this is where the brand is doing its best to sell the product. Salesmanship.

Study the headlines, sub-headlines, the style of the images, the copy of the description, the offer, the way of how they connect the features to the benefits, and most importantly what is the complete package of the offer including price, products, bonuses, guarantees, returns, shipping. Study other marketing activities: How do your competitors attract new customers other than the internet, do they hold marketing events? Do they Participate in trade shows and exhibitions? Do they advertise on the radio? Do they sponsor podcasts? Do they have their podcast or show?

Study their marketing system: once you have a clear understanding of the above, sign up for their email marketing list if they get one, or visit their website to be re-marketed.

What is their email sequence? How do they try to sell you? How everything from Facebook ads, email marketing to offline marketing are connected into a system that attracts new customers and converts them into buyers?

If you can not get it all, it’s okay, I’m trying my best to make you a marketing ninja, but if things are getting hard a little, fear not, slowly you will get it and become acutely aware of your competition, you are already a zillion light years ahead, most of your competitors don’t even do 10% of this kind of research, working in complete darkness.

Study how they treat their customers: this is one of the most important aspects of why people buy from businesses in the first place, how does your competition treat their customers from customers service to after-sale service? How do they handle disputes? Try to give them a visit or a call, how would they greet and treat you? are they warm, kind and polite? Or rude and cold.

Study their working culture: now that you have a clear view about how your competitors operate, it’s time to study the culture behind what made that process possible.

It all comes back to the culture, how do the people behind the brand are treated and how do they think, websites like Glassdoor, and Indeed offers reviews from employees about the environment, culture, and workplace.

Take notes and find patterns; how does the culture affect the outcome?

Things should make sense to you by now, you should be able to connect the points and come up with useful insights.

Okay, let’s get back to the big picture, remember what we said?

The goal of the research is not to copy your competition, but to learn what is working in the market and what isn’t.

Then use these insights to our advantage to better serve the customer and strategically gain a long-term edge in the market, and for that, we needed a starting point, a point of reference if you will.

Most of the new entrepreneurs rush to be the first; that is not a good strategy if you are small with a tight budget.

A better’s strategy is to observe what everyone is doing, then find out what is working the best, improve it 10X and then represent it to the market, and it’s called a better strategy.

Or if you are creative enough, do a hybrid idea combining two things to come up with something that looks new, that’s called an innovative strategy which I will talk about later in this post, this will destroy your competition, keep reading.

Let’s do a quick sum up:

1. Identify and be clear on your niche, if you don’t know how then read this article: how to find a profitable niche.

2. Use Google and marketplace platforms to search for your direct competitors, “They sell the same products and services to the same group of customers” and find 3 to 5 of the top, middle, and bottom of them.

3. Research your competitors’ location, business theme, customers type, best-selling products, marketing system, sales page, offering customer service, and culture.

If you dismiss or slack this research phase, you will be playing in the darkness; you will have no idea what’s you are dealing with; you have no idea what opportunities your customers have and why you are losing customers in the first place, simply there will be no difference between you and the people who never read this article.

Most businesses fail not because they had no cash, but because they don’t have a clue about the dynamic forces of the market in the first place, if you know what the market demand if you know what problems are out there, and if you know how to find a solution, and better serve a customer, it’s logically impossible to lack business.

4. Analyze your competition

Once you have all the data, now it’s time to analyze it and turn it into insights, most small business starts from analyzing and suggesting answers without any data, they work from the inside out, rather than from outside in, they got all the process backward, assuming they got a process in the first place.

Once you have a clear understanding of what working and what isn’t, you will have clearer in-depth insights about what are the actual problems that you are facing, how to isolate them, and identify the real problem that needs to be solved, rather than blindly spending resources on the wrong problem in hope for a quick fix.

If you only and only follow the following steps, you will at least take your business from being average or worse, a zombie and make it into the top of the list.

Now look back at your data and write down the answers to the following questions:

– Which group does your business belong to is it top, middle, or bottom? Why does your business belong to this group? Be honest.

– What attributes makes the great ones great and the bad ones bad? How can you learn, hire, or partner up with someone who shares these great attributes, and help you to get rid of the bad ones?

– What strategy, steps and tactics did they do in a specific area that made an impactful difference in the bottom line of their business? Can you reverse engineer it and make it work for your business?

– What assets, relationships, media, and partnership did they leverage to grow their business? How can you establish the same kind of assets or leverage someone else resources in exchange for money, equity, deal, or service?

– Learning from customers’ reviews, what gaps, frustrations, and problems do you think exist in the market to better serve your clients and bring new customers?

– Can you find any opportunity to differentiate your business from the rest of the competition?

I can see that there is a lot of work for you to be done; however, before you leave, I would like to leave you with a couple of excellent ideas to better serve your customers and advance in your market.

5.Think Strategically

Once you have a clear idea about your competition, you can predict the possible future for each one:

  1. Stay as they are, do nothing but slowly get rusted and diminish.

  2. Try to grow into new products, markets, and customer base.

  3. Grow internationally, which might fail and bring them to their knees or succeed and fly to prosperity.

  4. Improve their current process, quality, and become more refined.

Most small businesses are numb enough and will stay as they are and get diminished or struggle with improving their process and quality while trying to attack new products and markets at the same time, which might cause them to retreat or vanish.

Put it in other words, most of them lack focus and clarity, or the courage to move forward. However, some will work on improving their current process and quality.

Still, most of the time, those changes are very incremental and internal, which means hiring more specialized people, applying better systems and processes.

But for you, it’s a different level, by studying the market and looking at customer reviews and doing in-depth market research you can sit on the top of your industry and see the entire picture.

A smarter player with a broader view and more in-depth insights will always find a way to overtake the market, so why not you become that player?

If you want to compete on a quality level, the game is pretty simple. Get everything that the customers said, convert them from words into tangible problems that could be managed by humans or machines.

Find solutions from other people or businesses around the world, “use the internet,” convert those solutions into steps and processes that fit your business and culture.

Document your solutions into guidelines, gather up your staff, and communicate with them; if they have useful feedbacks, listen, if they push back and procrastinate, know why, if it’s a habit then insist, you got data-based insights, nothing to fear.

Plan for a 30 to 90 days gradual change plan and setup ongoing training for gradual and smooth transformation. If your staff want to quit, explain your new vision, and how it will affect their future for the best.

If they insist, fire and hire new ones, Be like a snake shedding its skin, in the business world transform, grow or die, it’s that simple.

If you only apply the above idea will gain a superior advantage over your competition with a minimal risk simply because you are relying on real up-to-date data from the market.

Also, most of the small businesses don’t make an effort to listen and adjust in the first place. At best, they try to make the old things better on a very incremental better.

On the other hand, successful businesses come up with a breakthrough concept that entirely reshapes the entire industry; examples would be iPhone, Tesla Cars, Dollar Shave Club, and the list on and on. This strategy requires you to hack or find an unseen glitch in the market, and that’s what I will be talking about next.

How to see the unseen and crush the competition

Let me get to the bottom line; we are all in business because we hopefully can give value and make more profit, not more revenue but more profit, I believe that this is the essence of starting a business.

There are three ways that a company can generate more money which is categorized by Jay Abraham in his Getting everything you can out of all you’ve got which is a fantastic book and a must-read if you want to become a master in business and marketing:

  1. Bring new customers.

  2. Increase the average order value/lifetime value of each transaction or client.

  3. Increase the frequency of purchases or customer visits.

Why do businesses do a great job of attracting the wrong customers?

Well, most businesses operate from the mentality of a commodity which means that they all race for attracting all kinds of customers and making a sale, simply they are desperate.

This comes from a mindset of scarcity and lack of focus, or the business owner has inherited the business from a family member without the proper business education.

Or it started by an investor, someone who has the money but not the heart to managing a business, he/she looks around and sees restaurants are making money, so let’s open a restaurant, the problem with that they skipped out all the steps of analyzing the market and finding what your customer really wants.

If the customers complain, we put all the pressure on the customer instead of thinking why the heck did the customer complain in the first place? Why did we attract the wrong customer? Damn it!

Well cool down, attracting the wrong customer can come to many reasons. You accidentally lied to your customers, you marketed the wrong thing to the wrong people, now excuse my language; it’s not a question of your integrity, far from that.

Still, it comes from a lack of focus and good planning, your urgency to make a sale, caused you accidentally to destroy your reputation for the long run “short-term” thinking;

I don’t blame you for that. It's human nature and understandable but not acceptable. At least if you want your business to keep paying your bills and live in the long run.

If you have an exciting idea for a new business, make sure that you identified your niche clearly, do your market research, and super focused on your customers’ needs.

This will make your marketing message super-targeted hyper clear, which will save you on your marketing budget and bring customers who are relevant to your business, which will cause them to do more business with you in the long run.

Why do businesses do a terrible job of attracting new customers?

Well, most businesses have nothing attractive in the first place, they are not desirable, look around you, almost every business looks the same, feel the same and serve the same, why would a customer choose your business over someone’s else?

You see, most of the small businesses try to solve this problem by throwing more cash into useless advertising, promotions, and hiring a sales team to increase their bottom line, ending up with small incremental changes.

They are tactical, not strategic, only fixing the symptoms rather than analyzing the root cause.

Looking for the core problem is pretty simple if you can see it, and very challenging and frustrating if you can not. It requires you to look outside yourself, industry, or market, and question your thinking and process.

I had the privilege to travel, live, and work with different businesses around the world, be it small or large, China, Spain, Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey, that does not include clients around the web from the U.S. and different countries the world.

I have seen a typical pattern for businesses that succeed for a Short-term Vs. Long-term, Locally Vs. Internationally, and they all come to three main factors:

1. Not being able to look outside their industry brings new ideas and makes breakthroughs, overtime they become a commodity and slowly diminished from the market by getting squeezed by low margins a much better, more innovative competition.

Looking outside could be as simple as borrowing different ideas from different, various indirect competitors, different industries, different cities or countries, different cultures or minorities, different topics or fields of study, different genre styles, themes, and timelines.

Ask yourself a simple question, which industry, market, or business have the most challenges in a specific area “marketing & advertising, distribution, hiring, operations” how did they survive and strive? What kind of solution did they apply?

It’s only a matter for Google research to find different solutions around the world, FYI, some large businesses spent millions if not billions of cash to come up with a solution, why not take advantage of it? It’s free money!

A simple Google or YouTube search will get you tons of results that are written by people living, traveling, trying, and documenting every corner around the world. Why not leverage it for your benefit?

Being creative does not mean you have to create things from zero; innovation differs from Invention; Innovation is combining two or more different elements to make something look and feel original; something has never been seen before.

It’s just a combination of different ideas; that’s how most things are done, it’s just like there are a hundred things you can squeeze inside a toast and call it a sandwich.

Then serve it to different groups of people with different marketing messages, i.e., Italian-style vegetarians’ toast, French-style meat lovers’ toast, Spanish-style vegans’ toast. I think you get the point.

On the other hand, Invention is making something that is radically new, it might require a vast amount of capital, thousands of failed experiments, and end up with sales. That is not what we are trying to do here.

I’m not trying to ask you to become Amazon, Apple, Intel, or Thomas Edison, that is a different conversation for a different room.

Right here and right now, I’m just trying to open your eyes to the possibilities of combining different things together to stand out and make something that looks and feels uniquely different.

If you want to see invention at work head to and see how the founders have come up with new technology for mattresses.

Everything Purple did is this “take a product with high-demand, which is mattresses, “we all need to sleep” stripped it down to its fundamental level “sleep” look at it from a different perspective, focusing on the core cause of the problem instead of making the old thing better.

They did not ask how we can make beds better, but a more genius question, how can we make sleep insanely better?

Always think in a term of the job of the product, not the physical characteristic or the type of the product, if there is a way to design a new product rather than a bed that gets people to sleep better at a competitive price, well heck yeah, it will create new opportunities and start a new market which might make someone become the next billionaire.

It just requires a different view on the product from a different perspective; the founders of purple Tony and Terry Pearce had expertise in advanced aerospace material, which made them look at the problem for a totally new unexpected view. Kudos to them.

Always look for weak and blind spots that your competitors can not see, think about it like this, business book smart people can not see or interested in what business street smart do and see and the truth is vice versa, one can think but unable to execute and the other can execute but does not think deeply or strategically.

Although each one depends on the other to succeed in the long run, most of them are way too ignorant to study and appreciate the insights and skills of each, and that’s why you see some businesses reach their limit while others scale to infinity.

All great and scalable businesses, like Google, Apple, Nike, and Amazon, rely on art, design, human psychology, technology, and science and then inject them into a business model that scales to infinity.

When you are small, you don’t have to be very sophisticated, or a scientist. A fancy food restaurant can study abstract paintings and learn how to present their food better, graphic designers can borrow from the marketing department to make their design more sellable, and the list goes on and on.

Do something that your peers or competitors don’t expect, it looks fresh, new, and appealing yet still relative to your market and customers.

If you need more inspirations head to YouTube and search for the following phrases:

– Most Instagrammable | e.g. Most Instagrammable Ice-cream. – Most unique | e.g. Most unique sandwich. – Product in place | e.g. Coffee in Tokyo. – Product Theme | e.g. Cute Cake.

You will find tons of videos and resources of creative and unique ideas around the world, see how they exaggerate the scale, shapes, colors, and patterns of the product to make it more desirable and marketable.

That how you differentiate yourself from the competition. It’s by replacing the outdated, narrow tunnel vision product-based view and adapts to a broad view one, look for connections and relationships between objects, not concrete characteristics of a product.

How to win in business

Why do most businesses cannot increase the lifetime value of a customer?

Let me ask you this; how does Costco make you spend more?

To increase the average or lifetime value of any business is to make people spend more money with you, Duh, it’s quite apparent, but the most critical question is how you do you make people spend more time with you in the first place?

Well, make them comfortable, but how do you make someone comfortable?

Tell them to be comfortable. Duh, C’mon, think about it, don’t get lazy, get your mind thinking, some ways are making your business relative, which means that you understand the person’s wants and needs.

Design an environment that fits his/her personal preferences; you make him feel that he in the right place, and most importantly, he is treated the way he likes it.

Okay, then what, well, as a person get comfortable with you and your business you become likable they crave to spend more time at your place, and the more time they spend, the more money they spend, now you should know why most small businesses fail with that with their horrible unfriendly customer and in-store experience.

Once you got your customer to fall in love with your business, it’s time to give him/her options to spend more money.

In other words, you have to allow your business to make up-sell and cross-sell your products and services, don’t shy away, it’s your obligation to serve and treat well if you got something delicious and beautiful to show it off.

Visit a coffee shop, a franchise restaurant, or cinema and see how many ways they have to serve the same customer, and make more money.

Take another example. A lady who loves bohemian style, she loves to wear a bohemian dress, and it’s highly likely that she would like to buy bohemian shoes, accessories, holiday cards of the same style. Why not serve her?

If you don’t, then someone else will, why it’s not you? Once the relation and trust are established, why not slowly and gently over time, allow customers to spend more time and money with you.”Be in love and serve the customer, not the product.”

Why do businesses do a lousy job in increasing the frequency or transaction?

Well, if you want someone to come and see you over and over again, there gotta be a reason for them to go back and see you over and over again, simple logic.

Perhaps you tell new funny jokes or share new ideas every time you meet, and if you tie it down to two basic principles, it comes to excitement and curiosity.

This is why fashion stores, five stars restaurants seasonally change their menu and collection; they have to give people a reason to come back and shop.

A subscription-based model is also an excellent method to increase the frequency of transactions, be it a digital or physical product. A great example would be the dollar shave club.

Once they hooked their customers with their shaving blades and did a great job serving the customer, they started looking to expand into different products to serve the same customer.

This will allow the dollar shave club to lock down the customer for future purchases, make them more invested in the brand, and bring more recurring profit.

If you want to make your offer more exciting, add different variations, gifts, and themes with every box you send, that will spice things up and keep them subscribing for more new things.

Another important factor is giving incentives, look at credit card companies, each bank competes on how much return on the purchase they offer their consumers, and some go up to 3%, they are paying customer money to buy more. “of course they did the math in advance.”

Costco offers a membership card that provides benefits such as Free health screenings, budget eyewear & group vision plans, low prescription costs, unique deals on gift sets, low-cost vaccinations, discount movie tickets & gift cards, low grocery prices, and more.

Amazon Prime provides free, fast shipping for eligible purchases, streaming of movies, T.V. shows, and music, exclusive shopping deals, and selection, unlimited reading.

Starbucks rewards program provides free drinks on repeated purchase “buy 10 drinks and get one for free”, exclusive deals, and promotions.

Depending on your business model, you can always find a way to add a membership, subscription, or loyalty card, which hooks your customers with your service and brings them back to buy more.

Send handwritten notes with your product, thanking your customers for their purchase. offer coupon codes to returning customers. a 5~10% off order can make someone come back to your store.

Why do most businesses fail in business?

Can you answer that by now? I hope you do, most of the small businesses fail for not being able to generate profit, and by now you should know why they fail in doing that in the first place, mostly it’s not a matter of advertising or lack of sales team, it’s a problem of poor strategy.

If you want to advertise or sell, you need to sell something desirable, therefore in every product you create, every offer you make, differentiate, differentiate, differentiate, be remarkable, and marketable, not a commodity, add to that serving your client with love and respect, my friend, you become unstoppable.

If you’re attacking your market from multiple positions and your competition isn’t, you have all the advantages, and it will show up in your increased success and income. – Jay Abraham

For you to be a master at this strategy you need to look outside yourself, outside your business and industry, you need to be curious about how other companies do business and make money, banks, airports, casinos, insurance, real estate, etc.

How do hospitals, care centers, five stars hotels, and restaurants serve and treat their customers? Look beyond the tangible skills and more into the soft and people skills, such as the way they talk, the language they choose, and the care they give.

From this moment, before you take any action toward your business, ask yourself, why do many businesses fail, and why some success? What do I want the market to feel and think of my business? How does my action benefit my business in the long run?

Go beyond money and dig deeper into the things that made successful business lovable, marketable, and worthy in the first place.

Most successful small businesses started with no to little cash in the bank, so take it easy,  please understand that 99% of businesses have no clear strategy, understand that companies to be it small or corporate are run by people.

Believe me, when I tell you that many people get dumb when it comes to business, I have met, served, and negotiated many; the larger the company it’s, the duller it gets, and the more it relies on cash to solve a problem and survive.

If you are an underdog, then use it to your advantage, be smarter, faster, and more agile, you work with passion and place of service; they work for a paycheck. You must believe in yourself, if they can do it, you can do it as well, but better, I believe in you. Go for it!

Things to consider

1. Treat the game of business on a basic fundamental level, not on a few tactical levels. What are the essence and the end goal of doing something? What do I need to accomplish that thing? Where can I find it?

2. Always be searching for different ways for how other companies make money and market their products, get some of those methods, adjust them to your environment then inject your solution into business, gradually, don’t kill it, improve it.

3. All businesses in the world face problems, all of them, but some success to solve and many dies, why? They got the right strategy and executed it fearlessly and aggressively.

4. Think globally, you see, a long time ago, like 40 years ago, if a business had a problem, they had to hire tons of experts and university graduates to come up with solutions, those experts had to do tons of case studies and research to come up with a solution.

The internet, in my opinion, had changed the entire game, it made two significant impacts on our business, you can find any idea about any topic in the world in a few minutes, you can take it then adjust it, and redistribute it to the entire world in a matter of few seconds, at a much lower cost than other types of media channels.

Now take a minute and think about that for a second, isn’t that so powerful? The entire world in your hand and it’s almost for free, isn’t that amazing? The internet is very valuable, know how to use it right, and you can gain a massive power.

5. Always take the risk off your clients’ shoulders and apply it heavily on your competition, this will make them freak out and play to catch up with you, while you give your full attention to serving the end customer. “Play a game they can not see.

5. Keep an eye on the competition. Still, you put most of your effort into serving the client; they are the ones who got the money and power, don’t be obsessed with the wrong target, tracking the first is very limiting and disasters.

6. Use insights only to serve you for gaining competitive advantage, don’t copy someone’s plans for the sake of copying, or you might end in someone’s else graveyard.

7. Have an infinite, and growth mindset rather than a finite or fixed mindset, always be looking for the long-term, business is a non-ending game, you play to win and stay, serve your staff and customers from a place of love, compassion, and care, and they will reward you in return.


The concept of winning in business is simple if you can see it and visualize it, there are two major forces that control the entire game of business.

The first force is the environments and market that you are playing at.

Every market has specific technological tools and operational rules that you should monitor and follow. This environment surrounds your customers and creates the illusion of their reality.

Those groups of specific customers have specific behaviors, wants, needs, frustration, and desires that need to be fulfilled by you or by someone else.

Keep in mind that customers are consumers, not producers, and that’s why they have to work hard, earn money, and pay for solving problems and gaining pleasure.

They are loyal to the business that benefits and treats them the best. Put it simply, they follow businesses that look for their best interests, which means businesses that make them happier, wealthier, and healthier, Period.

Those customers also have a specific purchasing power, this purchasing power is affected by the overall economy, and it affects how they buy things. Therefore, always be aware of the overall situation of the local economy.

Taking this into consideration will require you to be very flexible with your approach to modern business, by relying on data and analytics, rather than relying on your gut feeling.

It also might require you to make some changes in your supply chain, such as outsourcing your manufacturing to stay up-to-date with manufacturing new products and be cash afloat to invest more in creative marketing.

The other force of the market is your competition. Most small businesses make the mistake of focusing all of their resources and effort on their competitors, rather than focusing on the customers. This is a huge mistake.

As we said at the beginning of this article that most small businesses are lazy and not creative enough to create winning strategies for the future, and if you blindly copy their tactics, you are putting yourself into the risk of driving your business to failure.

This doesn’t mean that you should not track their progress, you should, however, always keep your primary focus and control on the market and the buying customer, they are the beginning and the end of the thread, everything else is just minor details.

Here you go, now you are ready to boost your business and crush your competition, just don’t be too excited, drive way-too fast and crush yourself.

Take it one step at a time, slow down a bit, and make it as gradual and natural as it could be.

Focus on quality, precision, and long-term vision rather than sloppiness and short-term tactics, do your research and have a clear strategy of where you want to be. The rest is only a matter of fearless execution.

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