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10 ways to make your competition go crazy

Have you thought about why people never give themselves a fair chance to succeed? Yesterday I passed even a newly opened “cafe/sandwich bar/pie-place.”They have probably been open a few weeks, but I just noticed it yesterday, even though it's situated only a hundred meters from my home.
Why haven't they told me that they are open? Why haven't they distributed flyers in the area with introductory offers? Were they really thinking ”I will start my own business, but won't tell anyone about it? I will probably get loads of customers anyway.”It's hard enough to get a business up and running, so why make it even harder than it already is?

I hope they will do well, but the hardened marketer in me says that the premises will be vacated some six months from now. Too bad, because it really isn't all that hard to market yourself even if you have a small business. People who know a little about guerrilla entrepreneurs know exactly what I mean.

Today's topic is: How do you make your competition go crazy?
Here are ten tips:

1. Imagine what your customers are going through as a customer of your company
I just got home from a holiday break. For the first time, the ferry company understood their customer's needs. In the ticket booth a friendly woman asked if we were travelling with children and then gave the children each a set of pens and crafts have while we waited for the ferry. Well done!
Another step would have been to give me a clever napkin with something cleaner dashboard that could occupy me during the half hour it takes to sit in the queue. To gain an understanding of what customers are going through is to do the right thing. Make sure that your customers have a good time and you will be quite alone.

2. Stay in contact with your immediate surroundings
Let's use the example of the cafe/sandwich bar/pie place ”that I just mentioned. Why haven't they turned to other businesses in the area and offered to supply them with lunch sandwiches? Why haven't they told the local press that they have opened a shop and why didn't they tell the news in a spectacular way? Why haven't they stood outside the venue and invited passers-by (on their way to the subway) for coffee during the morning rush? Why haven't they bothered to try to get customers to understand that it just opened a place that is more than just another coffee shop? Why haven't they done lots of these things to create a position in our hearts? Do that and your competitors won't stand a chance!

3. Extend your warranty
Always make your warranties bigger and better than your competitors. Anyone who buys my book on Guerrilla Entrepreneur from our company have not only the 10 days statutory buyback, but 30 days. Why? Simply because it makes it easier for our customers to buy. The 30 days remove the immediate risk from the buy because you may regret your purchase. Whoever buys a book from us knows that he/she doesn't face a tricky business if he/she isn't satisfied with the product. Having an expanded and stronger guarantee than your competition will make them mad - and it's just because many of your competitors don't understand the mechanisms behind stronger guarantees. Maybe they think your 30 days instead of 10 will result in loads of repurchases, but it won't. If your customer is happy with your product, he/she will keep it.

4. Give away things for free
Give away some of your knowledge in a newsletter. Prepare your free information on time so that your competitors are hopelessly behind. If you start with a newsletter, be sure to have 10 of them ready before sending out the first one. If you intend to produce a leaflet with tips in your field, do 5 at once. It's about letting your competitors know that you are ahead, no matter how much they are going to make an effort, they will still be behind. It makes them mad.

5. Institute a prize related to your line of business
Connect it to your company name. Have you, for example, a bakery - arrange an annual contest for the best pastries in cooperation with the local newspaper. Local newspapers are always a good partner when it comes to competitions. This can not only make your competitors angry, it will infuriate them. Why haven't they thought of this idea themselves?

6. Accept your competitors' discount coupons if you can
Teach your customers that you are also accepting your competitors' coupons, this way you will allow your competitors to pay for your marketing costs.

7. Identify your competitors
If price is your main competitive advantage, find out exactly what customers earn if they buy from you. If it's about service, find out exactly what they get if they buy from your competitor. Tell it to the customers.

8. Never, never, never slander your competitors when you're with your own customers
Some companies don't understand how people work. They assume that I as a customer believe that their argument that the competitor across the street is not a good company. The only thing they do, is to indirectly tell me that the company across the street is a threat to them. Be happy if your competitors are talking badly about you, it makes their intelligent customers suspicious. Could it possibly be that jealousy is lurking in the shadows?

9. Correct any mistakes immediately
Make your competitors mad by being honest. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Solve any problems straight away rather than talking about whose fault it was when something has gone wrong. Tell the customer the bad news as soon as you can. Problem won't be solved by themselves and your customers will notice the problem. Sticking your head in the sand will never solve problems.

10. Know your “enemy”
By becoming a customer to your competitor, you will notice a lot of important things. What happens after the purchase, for example? What happens if you complain about the product? Put identities on your competitors' cheap, but incredibly poor service, ”Good service, but expensive.””Very good service, good prices and good follow up.”When you face the last category, you will see where you need to concentrate your own forces in order to surpass them. Make your competitors crazy by always staying one step ahead in knowledge.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.