How to Beat the Competition

This is one of my favorite topics, and I’m pleased to present ideas mostly borrowed from INC that I never used (but might have), even while tripling sales in my family company (my first entrepreneurial venture):

  1. Buy a competitors former phone number: in this day of acquisition by out of state businesses, one of your competitor’s old phone numbers might be for sale as a ‘market expansion number’.
  2. Have a phone number that’s easy to remember, preferably one that relates to your business. Numbers with two or three zeros, or alliterative properties are good. For example, when I started my consulting practice, my phone number was 602-995-4000. Made me look like a big time player. Even now, our main number, 480-200-5678 is easy to remember.
  3. Talk to shelf stockers. Find out where the best location for your brand is. It might be better by the door. Talk to your customers, too. Buy as much shelf space with retailers as you can afford, because it makes you seem larger.
  4. Talk to users of your product. My wife and I have a thing for packaging, which might be child proof (assuming kids bought the product) but breaks fingernails in getting it open. The idea is to make using your product as easy as possible.
  5. Snoop through public records. Public companies will often disclose strategy through public filings and you can counter them. My partner in one of my companies found a trade loophole in a patent filing, which we charged through.