4 Common Types of Restaurant Concepts and How To Choose One That Fits You

Setting up your restaurant business for success starts by understanding what type of business model you’re looking to create.

We’re going to dive into the four F&B business models so you can properly choose which one would fit your specific lifestyle.

Whether you want to build an ice cream shop, bubble tea, banh mi, burger joint, or you have an amazing recipe that you want to bring to the world, you need to understand the nuance of each model. Each model has its pros, its cons, and the amount of money that it’s going to be able to make.

When I first started out my ice cream business, I never thought about the amount of work and money that is needed. This was a big mistake.

You do not want to make that mistake and then realize the model you chose is not what you expected. But by that time you’ve already spent the money and time.

Let’s dive right in.

1.) Fast Concept

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The first type of restaurant concept that we’re going to be talking about is the fast concept type.

We’re talking about something like an ice cream shop, a dessert shop, or something that’s more of a specialty, a coffee shop. These are the fast concept types, which have an average order value of roughly $6.

A typical space, we’re looking around 300 to 500 square foot place. Not too big, but just enough for you to be able to operate a tiny shop. You need to situate these locations at high-traffic places because of the volume that you need to be able to generate the profit that you’re looking for.

The amount of servers and talent that you need at the space is quite limited. You might even choose to have no server and stick with one or two baristas.

Now, in terms of projection of how much you’re going to be able to make at a location like this, given the fact of a $6 average for an item, you’re looking at around and aiming at 300 orders per day. That would net you around $50,000 per month, which itself is an amazing business if you’re looking a business that is relatively low in stress, low in investment, and low in workload.

For example, our ice cream shop, 720 Sweets, is a fast concept business. We serve ice cream, we serve bubble tea, and these are really high-generating items. It only took us three months to be able to open up the shop.

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Photo Credit: Domoiscraving

The major equipment that we needed was the ice cream machine and fridges.

The investment to open up this place was only $100,000.

I talk about in this video, how we made more than $36,000 in our first month, and this itself is an amazing location for something simple. Staffing wise, we only have five employees per location, and that’s on a rotating basis. On really busy days, we may have 2 – 3 staff in the store at one time, but most of the time we have one.

The shop is completely hands-off for me, which is the reason why I love this model because it’s profitable when you can make it profitable when you look at all the different numbers, and when you can actually control them and know what to do with them.

Pros

  • Low investment
  • Easier set up
  • Low amount of labour required
  • Do not need skilled labour

We’re talking about a low-investment model. Because you have such a small place, the amount of equipment that you can purchase is completely minimal. You’re not looking at a full-on scale kitchen.

The set up is a lot simpler, which means city permits and licenses is going to be a lot easier for you to get.

The amount of labour you need is also substantially lower than a full-service restaurant, which is why this type of concept is so popular because it’s so hard to be able to find talent out there. These are the pros.

Cons

  • Limited offering for customers
  • Lower revenue

Now, the cons of running a business like that it has a limited amount of offering that you have for your customers. You only have so much space and so much equipment that restricts your menu.

This also affects your revenue because you’re only able to offer certain types of food and drinks. Your average ticket price will be limited.

2.) Fast Food

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The second type of food concept that you’re going to be looking at is the fast-food type. I’m talking about something like a donair shop, a burger joint, or a banh mi shop. These are food items that are quick grab-and-go.

Average prices we’re looking at is around 8 to 15 bucks, so we’re going to put it at $11, our average pricing for projections.

For a place like this, we’re looking at around 500 to 900 square feet. You don’t need that big of a space and don’t need front of the house staffing since it’s more of a grab-and-go or cafeteria-style. People are not expecting full service, which is beneficial for you because it keeps the cost much lower.

For a projection we’re looking at $11 average pricing. That nets around $2,750 at 250 servings per day. In a month, you’re going to be able to generate around $77,000 for a concept like this. Not too shabby. Once again, this is a little bit better than the fast concept places.

Pros

  • Lower investment required
  • Do not need skilled labour
  • Low amount of labour required
  • Higher revenue potential than fast concept

Now, some of the pros of a fast concept place is that the investment is also relatively lower than comparing to a full-service diner because the equipment you need is a little bit less.

The skill level to produce these items is, once again, a lot lower than a full-service diner. As mentioned, the amount of staff needed is quite low since you don’t need servers.

The revenue that it can actually potentially bring in is a little bit higher than a fast concept place.

Cons

  • Higher investment needed than fast concept
  • Lower revenue

Now, the cons of running a fast-food joint is that the equipment costs more, meaning that your investment will be higher for this concept compared to a fast concept.

You’re going to be able to cap your revenue based on you’re offerings. At 11 bucks, you can’t really offer too much, right? For example, if you look at a donair shop, they can only offer so much. People only come in to grab-and-go for lunch or for a quick dinner.

That itself is limiting the different revenue streams that you can generate.

3.) Casual Dining

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The third type of restaurant that you can build is casual dining business. For casual dining, you do need front of the house staffing because there is an expectation of some service at these establishments.

Average pricing we’re looking at around $16. You can expect average tickets to go up with drinks and desserts being added to the mix. That’s the type of places that people actually go in, and it’s like a hole-in-the-wall shop that is offering grandma’s a recipe.

For a place like this, you’re looking at roughly around a thousand square feet. That gives people enough space to actually soak in the ambiance and actually enjoy the food. The location of a casual dining shop could be at a high-traffic or even a destination location because people don’t mind driving to a specific place just so then they can have like the best spaghetti in town.

For projection, we’re looking at roughly $3,200 per day, given an average value of $16 per meal. You’re looking at roughly $90,000 per month. This is your million dollar business if you’re looking to create a business. A casual dining experience would be able to help you get there.

Pros

  • Fulfilling to run
  • Higher revenue potential

First of all, it is super fulfilling because now you can actually create your grandma’s recipe and you can actually bring it to the world and for everyone to enjoy this recipe. It also gives you a lot more room for creativity and provide different offerings.

Also, the revenue that you’re able to generate is much more. This is your seven-figure business.

Cons

  • Higher investment required
  • Skill of labour is higher

The cons of running a casual dining experience is the investment is much higher than a fast-concept and fast-food business. From more expensive equipment, to a bigger space, to more expensive ingredients, to city permits and extra labour, they all are required for a casual dining spot.

Not only that, the staff you hire need to be more skilled as well. This is because they need to actually prepare a dish, which has much more variables that can go wrong.

If you don’t manage all the moving parts in a casual dining business properly, even though you’re making a million dollars, you could still be making way less than someone that’s running a fast-concept shop. That’s because you don’t control your costs of goods sold or staffing effectively.

4.) Full Service

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Last but not least, a full-service dining experience.

We’re talking about this as like full-on front of the house staffing. You have food service. You have wine. You have dessert. Everything. People are coming to greet you by your first name.

Average item cost is around $50. For a location like this, you need it to be a bigger place. We’re talking about 1,500 square foot to 3,000 square foot.

Now, the average ticket, we’re looking around $50 because there’s wine, there’s a full meal, appetizer, dessert, everything. We’re looking around $6,500 per day and $180,000 each month in revenue.

But, just because the revenue is there, it does not mean the stress, the risk, and the work level is worth it. It is the reason why I always, always stay away from concepts like this.

Pros

  • Fulfilling and allows for creativity
  • High revenue potential

One of the pros of running fine dining experience is that you have your creation out there for the world to experience. You’re basically creating art for your customers, and that fulfillment is definitely irreplaceable.

If you can manage your restaurant properly, this fine dining experience properly, and you have line up out the door all the time, the financial reward that is going to give you, it’s much, much higher. We were talking about millions of dollars in revenue.

Cons

  • High investment required
  • Skilled and specialized labour required
  • Higher expectations involved

The investment to create a fine dining experience is well over a million dollars. We’re talking about a full-on ambiance with a full-on makeover of a unit. We’re talking about alcohol license. We’re talking about full-on kitchen with all the state of the art equipment and accessories.

The labour that is involved to run a fine dining experience needs to be well-trained and experienced. The expectation is much higher for both the service and the food. This means your front-of-house and back-of-house staff needs to be top-notch.

A lot of people have trouble finding talent to create good food for them and controlling your food costs to make sure that you have a business that is profitable.

There you go.

The food money-making models for your food and beverage shop.

Just because someone else is running a bubble tea joint that is super successful, it doesn’t mean it’s suitable for you.

If you have dreams of bringing your grandma’s recipe and showing it to the world, then that’s not the place for you. That’s not the model you want to choose. You want to choose a casual dining experience that you can provide your customers.

Now, I’m going to be covering the three different elements to consider when choosing the different models that you would be best suitable for your needs.

3 Elements To Consider When Choosing Your Business Model

1.) Stress Level

Man on sofa feeling burnt out

The number one thing that you want to consider is the stress level. Are you signing up for being super stressed out every single day for years to come, or do you want to just have a coffee shop that you would want to go to?

You don’t mind it not making that much money to begin with, and you have time to spend with it, and you meet all the customers there, and you just have this really homey place?

It’s really coming down to the stress level that you want to take on.

For some people, they like that chaotic environment. They like being in that stressful environment because that’s how they thrive.

With different types of business models, they have different types of stress levels, so know what you’re signing up for before you choose that type of vehicle.

2.) Risk Level

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The second element to consider is the risk level. We’re talking about if you’re wanting to open a fine dining experience full-on with alcohol license, you’re talking about over millions of dollars in investment.

Are you up for that type of risk?

Are you going to put your house on refinancing just so then that way, you can create this fine dining experience with no experience, or do you have a hundred thousand dollars saved, and you just want something that is your own?

You want to escape your nine-to-five and you just want to have a coffee shop that you feel good about and that you can actually just be there, and you’re completely fine with it.

Well, the risk level of a hundred-thousand-dollar investment and a million-dollar investment, that’s completely different.

So at the end of the day, consider the risk level for your needs because everyone’s needs are different.

3.) Work Level

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The third type of element to consider is the work level. In the food and beverage industry, the work is always going to be crazy.

For those first six months, you’re going to be working in the business all day long until you have a process in place, until you figured out how to hire people that can help you out.

So after the fact that you are working there for six months, everything is already on automation. Do you want to continue to be working in there, your business? Do you want to be in the kitchen cooking up your grandma’s recipe and showing the world how great it is?

That’s a casual dining experience, or just like, “Hey, I want this as an investment. I have a bubble tea shop. i hired people to build, run it from me on automation, and I’m just going to go there once a week just to check it up.”

That, for me, is the work level that I chose, which is the reason why I chose a fast concept because it’s very easy for me to be able to monitor the type of work and the type of quality that people are churning out.

It really comes back down to your work level that you’re choosing to meet your needs.

So there you go.

At the end of the day, just because someone is successful with a taco shop, it doesn’t mean it suits your needs.

Choose the one vehicle that brings you to your destination.

Choose the one that is the most fitting for you (risk level, the work level, and stress level).

Do not be tempted to follow what other people are doing. Choose one that is the most fitting for you.

Top 5 Most Profitable Food & Beverage Business Ideas

Recently, I interviewed 100+ food and beverage restaurant owners to see which types of food businesses are actually making money and what isn’t.

It gave me a lot of insight into how people invest and the type of service that is being offered.

From the interviews, I was able to nail down the top five most profitable food businesses.

A typical food and beverage shop’s margins range from 5% to 10%. That is very, very slim margins.

The five food businesses that are most profitable all range from 20% to 35% margins. We’re talking about 20% to 35% margins take-home – which is incredible.

All right, let’s dive right in.

1.) Bubble Tea Shop

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The number one most profitable food and beverage business is a bubble tea shop.

It’s the most profitable because the cost of goods sold (COGS) is relatively low. It ranges from 10% to 15%.

The items are also super easy to make and it is relatively simple to keep the quality consistent. All you have to do is just follow the formula and recipe.

Once you have all the powders and the syrup, you’re good to go.

Lastly, training staff is super easy because bubble tea doesn’t require any special skills (unlike cooking) to make and only require minimal service talent.

Pros

Some of the pros of operating a bubble tea shop is that it has high demand. Nowadays, everyone is drinking bubble tea and if you do not know what bubble tea is you definitely are missing out.

The second thing is the high turnover rate. You don’t need a big space to do a lot of volume. People tend to grab their bubble tea and go. That why it is such an attractive business model.

It doesn’t require a lot of investment. All the equipment is actually very affordable.

The fourth thing is quality control. It doesn’t require a very high skill to be able to make the product good because it’s all in the formula. That’s what makes this product and this business model so attractive.

For 720 Sweets, we actually started selling bubble tea two years ago because we saw how profitable it is and the demand it has.

Cons

Now, the con of running this business is that the average ticket price relatively low. This means you need a lot of volume for you to be profitable.

It is also very competitive. I’m not sure about you, but in Vancouver there are more bubble tea shops than 7-Eleven’s and Starbucks. Going down a block you’re going to see at least five of them. It is because it is such a profitable business idea out there.

I have a few friends who own bubble tea shops, and a lot of them actually surpass seven figures selling bubble tea.

We’re talking about peak times – more than $200,000 per month. That crazy amount of volume and demand was the reason why 720 Sweets began selling bubble tea too. Our franchisees love us providing this as well.

2.) Ice Cream Shop

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The second most profitable food and beverage business out there is an ice cream shop.

Luckily enough, our 720 Sweets, our dessert chain, is in the forefront of this as well. This is the reason why we’ve expanded so rapidly.

Pros

The cost of goods sold (COGS), once again, is relatively low in comparison to a full-service restaurant.We’re talking about around 20% to 25% in cost of goods sold (COGS).

The quality control is definitely a pro because when you make these things in batches, it becomes a formula. Basically, you just need to follow the recipe and create mix A, mix B, mix C, and out comes a product. This means it doesn’t require highly skilled labor and talent to create the product.

And who doesn’t like ice cream? Everyone loves ice cream and the volume you potentially go through is crazy during the summertime.

Cons

Now, some of the cons of running an ice cream shop is that the equipment is a little bit higher in cost, seasonality is a problem and the low average ticket cost. So just like bubble tea shops, you’ll need a lot of volume.

The reason why 720 Sweets was able to do moderately well is because, knowing the fact that seasonality would be a problem, we introduced bubble tea and taiyaki in our menu. This allowed us to lift our average ticket cost.

People don’t only come in for dessert. They can also can come in for a light lunch or a light dinner. We created taiyaki sandwiches, which is a croissant sandwich that people love, which helped us increase our average ticket cost and tackled the seasonality problem.

3.) Ramen Shop

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The third most profitable food and beverage business idea is having a ramen joint.

Pros

Ramen is amazing when it comes to profitability. The cost of goods sold range from 15% to 20% and there is a high demand for it – people love ramen.

The average ticket cost is a lot higher compared to a bubble tea or ice cream. It can be lifted even more if you have alcohol available and set menus like a bowl of ramen and a plate of gyoza.

Although ramen isn’t as simple to make as bubble tea or scooping icecream, it only requires medium-skilled labor. A full-on trained chef isn’t required since a lot of the processes are actually preset.

Best part about a ramen business? The super-quick turnover.

Not only is ramen quite fast to make, but it is also fast to eat. In Japan, ramen is meant to be a quick meal, where you’re supposed to eat and slurp the noodles right away.

I have a friend who is in the ramen joint business. His place is only a thousand square feet and he makes more than $2 million dollars in revenue. It is mind-blowing.

It is crazy how much volume they do because of how high the turnover is.

Cons

On the flip side, the investment is a lot higher compared to a bubble tea or ice cream shop. You’ll need to consider more expensive equipment, ingredients, and number of staff.

For a bubble tea and ice cream shop, there are cases where you only need 1 or 2 staff on site. A ramen shop needs more on a regular basis for it to run.

And because of how popular ramen is, the competition is quite fierce. You’ll see many of the big names from Japan set up shop overseas. You’ll have to consider how you’re going to be able to compete with them.

4.) Pasta Shop

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The fourth type of super-profitable food and beverage ideas is having a pasta joint.

Pros

After interviewing more than hundreds of food and beverage owners, F&B shops that specialize in pasta always sits near the top in terms of profitability because of how a staple this item is. Just like ramen, people love pasta, and the COGS is incredibly low because they’re just mixing flour and water.

We are talking around 15% to 20% cost of goods sold, high demand, average ticket cost is definitely a lot higher than bubble tea and ice cream.

Cons

The amount of investment needed to open a pasta joint is higher when it comes down to it. You’ll need a full-on kitchen and higher-skilled labour to open up a pasta place.

5.) Pizza Shop

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The final most profitable business idea in 2019 is having a pizza shop.

Pros

This has always been super profitable because you’re basically mixing dough and water. You’re talking about maybe 10% to 15% in cost of goods sold (COGS).

Now, we’re not talking about those $1 pizza spots. But your COGS will be higher depending on what type of pizza you serve. Some people might have arugula and have different types of really upscale meat so, for those joints, their cost of goods sold is definitely higher.

When it comes to pizza, the skill required to make pizza is lower than a full-on restaurant as well. If your shop is more grab n’ go and cafeteria-style, you can also avoid having to hire extra staff.

Cons

On the con side, the investment for having a pizza shop is definitely a lot higher as well.

So there you go, the top five most profitable food and beverage businesses in 2019. I know I’ve focused a lot on the cost of goods sold but because of the fact that when it comes to running a food and beverage business, the margins are really determined by the COGS, by your labour, and rent.

So if you can control any of these to a minimum, that’s where upside comes from.

Starting a F&B shop or already own one?

Join the Restaurant Success Facebook Group and be part of a community of other like-minded individuals in the food space. Join here.

Amazon Competitor Analysis: How to See Who You are Competing Against & Win

With how savage the competition on Amazon has become, it will be no stretch to describe the internet’s biggest marketplace as a warzone. Thousands of online sellers are constantly fighting for the attention of consumers. When it comes to eCommerce warfare, as with all warfare, one rule rings true – know your enemies.

So, in this digital age, how exactly do eCommerce sellers get to know their enemy?

The most effective way to do it is through an in-depth competitor analysis.

By analyzing what your competitors are doing, you’ll know how to stand out and outperform them.

There’s A Lot To Learn From The Competition

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“You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die.”

~ Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba

To learn from the competition, you need to break down their online presence and thoroughly understand their overall approach.

You can then leverage this knowledge to develop a strong competitive advantage and sustain that advantage by always being one step ahead.

What You Can Gain From Tracking Your Amazon Competitors

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Amazon FBA sellers have much to gain from performing an Amazon competitor analysis. The value of the insight that can be gained from your competitors’ successes and failures cannot be understated. Having a thorough understanding of the competition allows one to:

  • Improve the precision of portfolio scouting and sourcing decisions
  • Optimize advertising campaigns and maximize the efficiency of ad spending
  • Improve performance and profitability tracking

How to Conduct Your Competitive Analysis

Identify the competition.

You can’t analyze the competition if you don’t know who your competitors are. Knowing the competition will let you:

  • Use their strengths and weakness as a guide on what you should and shouldn’t do.
  • Better understand the Amazon FBA landscape and how to position your business above the competition.
  • Keep track of the competition so you are never caught off guard and can stay one step ahead.

Find Your Competitors

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Making full use of Google and Amazon search engines is one of the fundamentals of how to do competitive analysis as an Amazon FBA seller.

Here’s an example of how to leverage the immense power of these two search engines to cast and wide net and get an accurate view of the current competitive landscape of your chosen industry:

  1. Go to Amazon and search for your planned business name, product ideas, and overarching business ideas.
  2. Take note of the top results as they will most likely be ones you’ll have to compete with.
  3. Go to Google and search for the different social media channels, organizations and online communities of each of the competitors you’ve listed in the previous step.
  4. Utilize a combination of free and paid tools to find more information on your competitors. Such tools may include:
  • SpyFu – a competitor analysis tool that helps you research and download your competitors’ most profitable keywords.
  • SEMrush – a tool that helps you to conduct competitive research on any domain name and to use the data to optimize your campaigns.
  • SimilarWeb – a competitive analysis tool for digging into a site, app or platform.
  • Alexa – a tool that provides deep analytical insights to compare and optimize businesses on the web.
  • Keyword Competitor – an all-in-one competitive analysis tool that shows you keyword opportunities that your competitors have been ignoring.
  • Social Mention – a tool that provides real-time search on brand mentions.
  • Rank Signals – a backlink checker tool that helps you uncover SEO backlinks & traffic sources of your competitors.
  • Buzzsumo – a social networks tracking tool that helps you find the most shared content for a given topic.

Categorize Your Competitors

After finding the competitors you believe will be a threat to your Amazon FBA business, it’s time to segregate them. You can divide them into three main groups based on their threat level:

1.) Primary Competition

  • Targets the same audience as you or;
  • Sells a similar product to yours

Example: A Nike retailer is a primary competitor of an Adidas retailer.

2.) Secondary Competition

  • Offers a high-end or low-end version of your product or;
  • Sells a similar product to yours but to a completely different audience

Example: A Rolex seller is a secondary competitor to a Timex seller.

3.) Tertiary Competition

  • Sells products tangentially related to yours

Example: A seller of gems and precious stones is a tertiary competitor of a jewelry seller.

Find and compile the following information for each competitor:

  • Name of store
  • Mission statement (if available)
  • Product offering
  • Strengths and weaknesses of their business
  • Category of competition

Examine your competitor’s website & customer experience.

Now that you know the basic information about the competition, it’s time to dig a little deeper.

Take a closer look and put yourself in their customer’s shoes. You can do this by finding the answer to relevant and important questions such as:

  • How good are their product images? How do they communicate the details of their product?
  • How detailed are their product descriptions? What information can be added and what information can be omitted?
  • How are their calls to action presented throughout the online shopping experience? Do they feel organic? Are they easy to notice?
  • Do they have an email capture strategy such as a newsletter subscription opt-in? If yes, how prominent is it?
  • Where are their social media buttons positioned?
  • Do they maintain a blog? How often do they post? What type of content do they publish?
  • Is their website optimized for mobile users?
  • What are the available ways of contacting them? Do they offer 24/7 customer support?
  • What is their average response time to emails, live chats, and contact form submissions?
  • Do they have reengagement strategies such as an ‘Abandoned Cart’ feature? If yes, how do they tell their customers about it?
  • What information do they include in their marketing banners and callouts?
  • How often do they run promotions such as discounts and freebies?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you identify what competitive advantage you have over your competitors.

Identify your competitor’s market positioning

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Understanding the positioning strategy of your competitors will give you valuable insights into the prevailing demands and expectations of your target market. Knowing how your competitors position themselves will give you an idea on how to position yourself against them.

To do this, you need to look at their website and messaging and answer these three simple questions:

  • What is the main reason customers buy from them? Is it the price? Is it the experience? Or is it something else entirely?
  • How do they differentiate their product from that of their competitors? What feature/s and benefit/s do they highlight the most?
  • What, according to them, makes their product unique?

Here are a few tips to help you gather as much relevant information as possible:

  1. Sign up for their newsletter and check out the messaging of their newsletter campaigns.
  2. Subscribe to and follow their blog. Look at what type of content they publish and what tone they use.
  3. Follow their official social media pages and analyze how they communicate with their followers.
  4. Put an item into your shopping cart but do not complete the checkout process. Wait and see whether or not they will try to convince you to complete the purchase. Study the language and structure of each email in their ‘Abandoned Cart’ email series.
  5. Purchase a product and analyze it. Determine how it compares with your own product.

Take a peek at pricing.

Your pricing strategy can make or break your Amazon FBA business.

There are numerous factors to consider when setting the price of your products. You can use the way your competitors priced their products as a reference.

Doing so will give you an idea on how much your target consumers are willing to pay. Check their prices on both Google and Amazon.

Keep in mind that your prices don’t necessarily have to be less than your competitors as long as you offer something they don’t. That extra value can come in the form of peace of mind, expedited shipping, better buying experience, etc.

Don’t forget to factor your startup and operating costs when setting your prices. It is essential that you earn enough to profit to make your time as an Amazon FBA seller worthwhile.

Take a temperature check with reviews.

Find out what consumers are saying about your competitors’ products and the overall customer experience they provide.

You can gauge the health of an ecommerce business by how good or bad the online word of mouth about it is. The number of available reviews also indicates how much interest consumers have on a particular product.

Knowing this information is essential to identifying the best items to sell on Amazon FBA.

Check the reviews on the competitor’s Amazon product pages, on their website, on review sites, and on social media.

Read the comments left on their blog posts too, if you can.

Customer reviews might show you something you can capitalize on or give you hints on something you have that you can turn into a competitive advantage. Identify the things consumers complain about.

Find ways to ensure they won’t make the same complaints about your product.

Review their social media.

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Taking a closer look at a competitor’s social media accounts can tell you a lot of things.

The number of followers along with how much they talk about the product tells you how viable that product is.

You’ll also learn the general consensus consumers have about that competitor’s business. You’ll see which attempts at engagement fail and which succeed.

Check out as many social media accounts you can find for each competitor. Use the following questions to gauge how strong or weak their social media presence is:

  • How would you define their overall social media presence?
  • What social media channels do they use the most?
  • What tone do they use when speaking with their followers?
  • What are they posting and how often?
  • How often do they post something new?
  • What relevant social media channels do they ignore?
  • What percentage of posts talks about their business?
  • What percentage of posts is aimed at increasing engagement or attracting new followers?

Amazon is the largest online marketplace on the World Wide Web. It is also the most competitive.

Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch.

You can use the trials, failures, and success of your potential competitors as stepping stones for your own Amazon FBA business.

Your competitors are goldmines of valuable information. They can give you an idea of what the best items to sell on Amazon FBA are. They can tell you what you should and should not do. They can give you ideas on how you can differentiate your brand.

Understand your competition and Amazon FBA success will be well within reach.

How to Find Your Target Market for Your Ecommerce Businesses

Knowing the intricate nuances of your target market plays a crucial role in the performance of any eCommerce business.

Because there are so many competitors out there selling a similar product as you, you need to make your products stand out and speak to your potential customers and current customers. That way, they buy from you over the guy down the street (web). 

Failing to put the work in doing the research and doing the testing may mean pushing the wrong messaging and wrong visuals to your intended buyers. Which means a lot of wasted time and money.

Know Who You’re Marketing To

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It is incredibly hard to succeed as a business if your target audience is not clearly defined.

A big mistake beginner business owners make is trying to market to everyone. That is, using the same messaging and visuals towards each demographic cluster. 

The problem is that a universal marketing strategy does not exist in today’s age.

Why bother marketing to consumers who are unlikely to buy your product? You’ll end up spreading your budget too thin.

Aim for consumers who are most likely to connect with your brand. This is the best way to use your marketing dollars and your best chance of succeeding in such a vicious industry. 

What is “Target Market”?

You can find several variations of the target market definition on the internet.

I find Shopify’s definition is one of the most accurate:

“A target market is a group of consumers or organizations most likely to buy a company’s products or services. Because those buyers are likely to want or need a company’s offerings, it makes the most sense for the company to focus its marketing efforts on reaching them. Marketing to these buyers is the most effective and efficient approach. The alternative – marketing to everyone – is inefficient and expensive.”

-Shopify

Why Do I Need To Know My Target Market?

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How can you sell to consumers if you have no idea what they want or need?

Each person has different demographic qualities, interests, and pain points.

Selling without a target market is like traveling without a specific destination. You’ll likely get lost and never achieve the goals of your journey.

On the other hand, if you target the right audience, success will be well within reach.

If you find an untapped market, you can even disrupt the market.

Let’s take a look at this recent success story.

Do it like the Dollar Shave Club

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The Dollar Shave Club took the shaving industry by storm. It completely disrupted the personal grooming market.

How did it do this?

First, it found an untapped market. And which market is that, you ask?

It’s the men who don’t like the hassles of going out to buy razors and grooming products.

During that time, all sellers of razors and male grooming products required their customers to come to their stores.

Disruption is the Key to Rapid Growth

The Dollar Shave Club’s business model changed the face of the male grooming industry forever.

The company sends its subscribers razors and grooming products delivered to their house. Subscribers only have to pay a small monthly fee in return.

The Dollar Shave Club then topped this off with its memorable and catchy tag line, “our blades are f***ing great!”

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The Dollar Shave Club became a well-known brand in the US within a few months.

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It owed half of its success to its business model. The other half was thanks to it choosing the right target market.

How Do I Find My Target Market For My eCommerce Business?

The process of identifying your target market can be broken down into the four steps listed below:

Step 1: Define Your Target Market

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This first step is all about identifying the problem you solve or the desire you fulfill.

You need to know the pain points you want your marketing to aim for.

Consider these tools and areas during your research:

  • Amazon Reviews – look at the negative review and positive reviews of a similar product a competitor is selling. See what works and what doesn’t.
  • Quora – a Q&A board where you can see what people are struggling with or curious about in the topic your product is in.
  • Answer the Public – displays all the questions people ask online about any term or topic.
  • Facebook Insights – input a Facebook page of a global company that caters to a similar target audience and see the interests and demographic information about them.

Write down all the key information you find in these platforms, specifically:

  • what are the biggest pain points people are having?
  • what is the goal people are looking to achieve?
  • how does the product make them feel?
  • what brands, books, known individuals are mentioned?
  • what demographic and psychographic patterns to do you see?

Let’s say your service delivers razors and other male grooming products to subscribers.

Who would be your ideal target audience?

You can target working adult males who are too busy to go to the department store only to buy a razor.

You can then use this to create your buyer persona. Buyer personas make it easier to make your marketing, product, and packaging have the same target. 

Let’s say that our buyer persona is John, a 31-year-old working father of two.

Step 2: Refine Your Target Market

Now that you have a buyer persona, it’s time to refine it.

You need to factor in the demographics and psychographics of your potential customers so you can get into their heads. 

Demographics can include gender, age, income level, education level, marital status, and the like.

Psychographics can include behaviors, attitudes, and the like.

Here are some examples of how to refine the buyer persona we’ve created above:

  • John, a 31-year-old working father of two who is separated and takes care of the kids on his own
  • John, a 31-year-old working father of two with a stay-at-home wife who does the shopping for him
  • John, a 31-year-old working father of two who is rich and has a housekeeper who buys groceries for the family

Step 3: Validate Your Target Market

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Now that you have refined your buyer persona, it’s time to check its validity.

How? You do some old-fashioned research.

Proper market research is needed to ensure that there are no major flaws in your chosen target market.

So far, you’ve built your buyer persona based on assumptions. It’s time to put those assumptions to the test.

Here are some of the questions you should answer to ensure the eligibility of your target audience:

  • Are there enough people in your target market segment?
  • Can they afford your price tag?
  • Are there existing competitors?
  • Can you deal with them?

Step 4: Evaluate Your Target Market

Let’s say the research supports the validity of your target market.

Don’t jump the gun just yet. Don’t forget to test the waters.

Create a test launch were you try to sell only a few products here and there.

Or you can test it by talking to individuals who fit your target market. This means actually going out there to find multiple “Johns”.

If the results are positive, then you’re good to go.

If they’re disappointing, use the findings to refine and adjust your strategies.

The bottom line is that you have products you want to sell, but you can’t market to everyone.

No business has the budget for that.

To spend your marketing budget efficiently, you need to find the right target audience.

You need to find the segment of consumers who need and/or want your product. This will allow you to maximize the conversion rate of your marketing efforts.

Don’t make the novice mistake of ignoring this crucial step. Put in the work and figure out your target audience. It will be well worth it down the road.

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses

People love stories.

It’s why some stories originally told over a thousand years ago endure up to this day.

We’ve loved stories from an early age, back when we barely understood them.

Stories entertain. Stories inspire. Stories fuel the imagination.

Storytelling in Marketing

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It’s no surprise that storytelling has become one of the most effective tools used in marketing.

Its ability to establish a deeper connection with consumers is unparalleled. Storytelling can humanize a brand and make it more relatable.

When done right, eCommerce storytelling can reach out of the computer screen and “touch” consumers.

It can also be the catalyst to mobilizing a legion of loyal fans. 

What Is Storytelling For eCommerce?

Marketing is a necessity if you want to succeed in eCommerce.

There are countless competitors selling products identical to yours.

It becomes a race of who can capture their audience’s attention first. When it comes to engaging your audience, few can be as potent a tool as storytelling.

Capture the Imagination of Your Audience

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Online stores can make consumers experience their stores physically.

So you need something else to reel them in. Engage them. Make them understand what your brand is about. Let them know what you stand for.

Tell a story that makes your audience imagine themselves enjoying your products.

Take Consumer on an Emotional Journey

A powerful story can do a variety of things for your brand.

It can compel your audience to trust you.

It can evoke an emotion that leads to a desire to buy your product.

A good story can make consumers feel like they’ve known your brand all their life.

Why do I need to care about storytelling?

Stories make your brand feel more authentic.

Stories can make your audience feel like they are talking to a trusted friend.

Stories allow you to converse with your audience on a more emotional level. Stories add depth.

They can make your brand seem more than just a product or service.

Stories can make your brand an entity that consumers want to be friends with.

Information overload

Let’s face it. Consumers today find most conventional advertising methods boring.

You can’t expect a consumer to read a boring wall of text. We’re in the digital age.

Consumers are overloaded with information:

  • Google receives over 63,000 searches per second
  • The average consumer processes around 100,000 digital words each day
  • A person encounters an average of 5,000 marketing messages per day
  • 3 trillion online ads are sold each year

Most consumers don’t bother with marketing messages. Almost 80% of people scan content and only read the parts that interest them.

Ecommerce storytelling can compel your audience to read every word of your message.

Develop stronger relationships

Communication is a two-way street.

Consumers aren’t content with just listening to you.

They want you to listen to what they have to say too.

Tell a story your audience can relate to. This will make them feel that you understand them.

The more relatable stories you tell, the stronger your bond with them will be.

Make Your Audience Feel They’re a Part of Something Greater

Define your brand with a core set of beliefs. Make sure these core beliefs resonate with your audience.

This will build goodwill between you and your audience. It will add perceived value to your products and services.

This perceived value will allow you to charge higher than your competitors without losing your customers.

Consumers who feel strongly about your brand will also become your brand ambassadors.

For instance, Warby Parker has the mission to solve the problem with access to glasses. Their Buy A Pair, Give A Pair program encourages customers to be part of their initiative and help solve this crisis. This adds to the alure of buying a pair of glasses from Warby Parker.

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 27
Warby Parker Buy A Pair, Give A Pair Program

Similarly, LUSH is an active participant in donating and discovering ways to help solve various environmental and animal crisis. Their strong activist brand attracts those who share similar values and adds to the “feel good” state of customers when they see that portions of sales goes to LUSH’s many ethical campaigns.

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Some of LUSH’s initiatives

Stories are motivational

Stories can move people. A good story can motivate consumers to do what you want them to do. Build a story around these motivations. To do this, there are three factors you need to consider:

  • What you want your audience to feel
  • What action you want your audience to take
  • What call-to-action (CTA) will be the most compelling

How Do I Start Telling A Story About My Business?

1.) Focus on emotions

Most consumers make buying decisions based on emotion instead of logic.

Paint a clear picture of how much they’ll love your product or service. Focus on positive emotions.

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 29
Casper focusing on how they help people get better sleep

Make consumers see themselves being satisfied with what you offer.

2.) Talk about how your product makes the customer’s life better

Focus on the benefits instead of the product or service.

Emphasize why your product or service is superior. Highlight why it is unique.

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Casper’s Mattresses

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Bellroy showcasing how their wallets can handle wear and tear through time

Last, clearly define what consumers can achieve by getting it.

3.) Explain how your company solves customer problems

Attack the pain points of your target audience. Describe the problem in detail. Include its causes and its impact.

This will tell them you understand what they’re going through. Then describe how you’ve developed a solution for the problem.

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Bellroy visually showing the difference from regular wallets and theirs – the pain most people have with their wallets.

4.) Make the story shareable

Build a story around the core values of your brand. Present the story in a way that makes readers want to share it.

Create a short hashtag that summarizes your core message or the story.

Encourage your audience to share their own stories using the hashtag.

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 33
Warby Parker’s story that makes you want to root for them

5.) Be more transparent

Consumers tend to assume the worst when there’s something they don’t know. So say tell it to them right off the bat.

Tell them about your company culture and how it’s like for the people working for you.

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 34
Zappos’ perspective on company culture

 

Describe your manufacturing process.

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Warby Parker shows the full process from prototype to completion

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 36
Everlane sharing their factory details for their products

Talk about where you came from and how you got to where you are today.

6.) Be socially conscious

Give back and pay it forward.

Get involved in local community events. Donate to charity. Sponsor a local project. Fund a few scholars.

Any good thing you do can be incorporated into the story of your brand.

Sharing this story will further endear you to your audience.

But make sure to be authentic with this. If you don’t believe in the event or charity, do not force yourself to be part of it. People can sense it.

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Everlane’s ethical approach

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Patagonia’s Denim

7.) Highlight your brand’s origins

People love success stories. It inspires them.

Share a story about the evolution of your brand.

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 39

Highlight the challenges and setbacks you’ve had to overcome.

Talk about the mistakes you’ve made and the lessons you’ve learned.

8.) Humanize your brand

Don’t only talk about your company or your products.

Tell stories about your employees.

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 40
LUSH has video features of their employees that share their work and life

Highlight what they bring to the table.

Showcase the various ways they contribute to your company.

Talk about people who founded your company.

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 41
The story behind Huckberry

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 42
Story of Yeti

9.) Enhance product descriptions

Many Amazon FBA sellers have trouble finding ways to tell their stories on the Amazon.

Ecommerce storytelling is harder to do on online marketplaces. So what should you do?

Use what’s already there. Use visuals and stories to describe what your product is and what it’s like to use them. 

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 43

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 44

10.) Use real-life stories from customers

Encourage your customers to share their stories involving your company. Offer them a prize to encourage their participation.

This will give you a chance to collect user-generated contact. It will also add authenticity to your storytelling.

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LUSH user-generated content

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Daniel Wellington user-generated content

Why Storytelling is Crucial for Ecommerce Businesses 47
Tweets and Instagram posts from Casper customers

Storytelling is vital to eCommerce success. It’s vital for a business’s longevity. 

A good story will not only make someone want to read every word of it, but it will also connect with them on a much deeper level. It transcends what the product is about. 

The beauty of a well-established brand is creating that connection where what you sell matters less than what you stand for.

And when you stand for something and mean something more than just a product to them, you build a tribe that will root for you in the long run.

Amazon FBA Sellers – Why You Need to Build a Brand Before It is too Late

There’s a surprising number of Amazon FBA sellers who don’t think that branding is important.

They believe that it’s okay to sell the same product as everybody else as long as they offer a better price.

This strategy can be viable in the short term but it is rarely sustainable for the long term.

You do not want to settle for being the cheapest in the market. You don’t want to compete with other Amazon sellers that also think the same.

It will become a competition of who can set their prices the lowest. This will hurt your profit margin.

What you want is to be able to compete with other sellers even if your prices are not the lowest. And you can do that through branding.

Reasons to Start Brand Building Today

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You need to get started on your Amazon FBA brand development strategy as soon as possible.

And here is why:

Stand Out from the Sea of “Me Too” Products

95 million Americans have Amazon Prime memberships.

Consumers purchased over 100 million products on Prime Day 2018. These two Amazon 2018 stats are proof that Amazon is a lucrative marketplace.

Amazon gives its FBA sellers the chance to make it big quick.

The benefits being so great is also a disadvantage. Everyone wants in on the action. Thousands and thousands of new sellers join Amazon each month.

This creates a sea of “me too” products, where everyone is selling the same white-labelled products and using the same strategies. Many of the listings end up becoming indistinguishable.

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A sea of “me too” products

 

Escape the Saturation Plague

A significant part of Amazon sellers offers generic products.

This causes the marketplace to suffer from a high level of saturation.

Market saturation is one of the most glaring Amazon issues. This makes it a lot harder for a new seller to enter his desired niche.

After all, it’s hard to stand out when a thousand other sellers offer the same product as you do.

You can change this with branding and actually stand out. 

This doesn’t mean just slapping on a logo. It means taking the deliberate path of creating a brand that means something, that has values, that has a story, and goes beyond just the logo.

Charge a Premium Instead of Being a Commodity

Selling is all about perception.

Make consumers think that what you’re selling is different.  

This will allow you to make them buy even if your prices are higher.

There can be no better example of this than Yeti’s $300 cooler. People were shell-shocked.  

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It was surprising that consumers were actually willing to shell out 300 bucks for a cooler.

It was so baffling that it became a popular meme. 

But even if it became a meme and was considered outlandish by many…Yeti is getting the last laugh.

Because while other people sell coolers for $80, they are able to sell their’s for triple the price. And it works.

Amazon FBA Sellers - Why You Need to Build a Brand Before It is too Late 51 Amazon FBA Sellers - Why You Need to Build a Brand Before It is too Late 52

Build a Brand That Demands a Premium

So what gave Yeti the audacity to charge so much for a cooler?

Yeti believed in its brand.

While most Amazon sellers focus on being the cheapest, Yeti did a 180 and decided to be the most expensive.

This was possible because Yeti was able to establish itself as a premium brand.

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Yeti makes their products look premium and advanced

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When consumers buy a Yeti product, they don’t pay only for that product. They also have to pay for the brand.

Develop Customer Loyalty & Build a Loyal Fan Base

When was the last time you bought a generic product online and remembered the seller?

It’s hard to build customer loyalty when your customers can’t even remember your name.

And what can’t they remember your name? You’re selling the same unbranded product as everybody else so why would they bother?

In the minds of consumers, there’s no reason to remember you.

They believe that they can get the same product from another seller. It won’t matter if they can’t find you again so there is no point in remembering you.

But if you spend the time and effort to build a brand that focuses on them, they will remember you and think of you.

Build a Brand That Inspires Confidence

The first step to building a loyal fan base is creating a brand that commands trust and respect.

Let’s look back at Yeti. Imagine a lesser-known brand selling a $300 cooler. Consumers would most likely dismiss it as nonsense. Some will even outright laugh at the foolishness of it.

The $300 cooler only worked because Yeti did it.

What did Yeti’s loyal customers do after they heard about the $300 cooler?

They rationalized that the cooler must be far superior to other coolers. They didn’t feel skeptical. They believe that Yeti always gives them the right value for their money.

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Build a Superior Customer Experience

By having your own brand, you can offer your customers a unique experience.

You can engage your fan base on social media. You can convince them that you care for them. Show them you respect their feedback.

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Yeti showcasing customer’s photos of their product

Consumers love the feeling that the seller actually cares.

Publish useful and/or interesting content on a regular basis. This will make consumers want to follow you. Make them look forward to new products you are planning to sell.

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Yeti Youtube Channel

Become a Trusted Resource of Your Niche

Build a thriving community around your brand.

Become that dependable friend.

Be the first thing consumers think of when they need to buy something.

Think of ways to offer a customer experience consumers can’t find anywhere else.

For example, you can offer to send articles on how someone can make the most out of a product they bought. All they have to do is provide you with their email. You can then use the collected email as leads for your next marketing strategy.

Enjoy Creative Freedom Through Brand Longevity

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It’s easier for an Amazon FBA seller to be creative when they know that they have a fan base that will give them a shot.

Knowing your loyal customers are there for you will give you peace of mind.

You’ll have more confidence to launch a contest or event. All you need is one viral campaign to make your popularity explode.

And each surge in popularity helps ensure the longevity of your brand and your business.

Don’t be Afraid to Defy Conventional Marketing Wisdom

Remember KFC’s 11 Herbs and Spices Twitter campaign of 2017?

All KFC did was follow only 11 people on Twitter: the five original Spice Girls and six guys named herb. Then KFC waited for someone to notice.

Remember what happened when someone finally did and twitted about it?

That original tweet had been favorited more than 700,000 times. It also received more than 300,000 comments.

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Why did KFC come up with that campaign? It knew it had enough Twitter followers to make it work.

Branding is essential if you want to be a successful Amazon FBA seller.

You will be another generic seller in a wide sea of generic sellers if you don’t.

Building your brand should be one of your top priorities. A strong brand will give you the competitive advantage you need.

Your brand will ensure your business will remain sustainable for the foreseeable future. 

How To Overcome The BIGGEST Fear That New Entrepreneurs Have

Today I’m going to talk about the BIGGEST fear that so many budding entrepreneurs have. Even seasons entrepreneurs have trouble with this.

When I was first starting out, I was also super scared. I felt like I was alone on this journey.

I felt crippled. 

But eventually, I was able to combat it and overcome this fear. I’m going to share with you my tip on how you can beat this fear too.

Let’s dive in.

The Fear That Cripples So Many Entrepreneurs

The biggest fear that entrepreneurs have is the fear of the unknown.

It cripples entrepreneurs from taking action.

It cripples entrepreneurs from having the confidence to make a decision.

Whether it be signing that new lease, buying their first batch of inventory, or starting their first business, it is a fear of the unknown that stops them.

Do you remember when you were growing up…as kids, we were always scared of the dark. But now as adults, we know that there’s nothing lurking in the dark. Yet there’s this sense of insecurity because we can’t see what’s going on. We can’t see what is in front of us.

The root of the fear of the unknown is the inability to see something.

So to combat and to actually thrive and to win from this is the ability to visualize. That is how you defeat the fear.

And that’s the number one asset that entrepreneurs need to have is the ability to visualize.

The Ability To Visualize

Think back to the first time went on a date. I’m pretty sure you spent hours (or days) anticipating how the whole thing would go down.

Like every single detail, you thought deeply about it…

You’re anticipating from picking her up to how she would react, to approaching to the restaurant, to having a wonderful conversation, engaging with her, making her laugh, flirt a little bit with her, trying to impress her a little bit, to bringing her home, giving her a peck on the cheeks, being a gentleman, and hopefully get invited for a cup of coffee.

Sounds familiar? 

So prior to going on that date, you most likely visualized how the whole date would go – from beginning to end. And you can do this with your business too.

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Everyone Can Visualize

How To Overcome The BIGGEST Fear That New Entrepreneurs Have 60

When it comes to business, it’s the same thing.

You too can visualize how it can turn out by asking yourself a series of questions like:

  • What’s gonna happen?
  • Now that I have my product, what should I do?
  • Now that I have my product, what should we do with marketing?
  • Now that I have the product and now that I’ve marketed from this strategy, how should the people feel when they receive my product?

I do this all the time and it keeps me going, it keeps me super engaged, and it keeps me awake at night because I’m so excited to go about building the business.

Because I already see how this whole thing will play out.

And the more you ask yourself these questions and the more you get exposed to business, the more you can visualize something. Your experience will help make your visualizations more vivid and realistic. 

It’s just like going on a date. The more dates you go on, the more you can visualize how this whole thing would play out.

And it’s a skill set that you can actually hone, and it’s a skill set you can develop.

It Stops Becoming Scary

Then you can actually go ahead and go date that girl and start that new business of yours.

It’s the ability to visualize your idea and the project that you’re working on.

That’s what’s gonna combat the fear of the unknown – the ability to visualize.

Once you turn on the light, there’s nothing to be scared of.

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Why Product Positioning Is Crucial For A Successful Business

It has become easier than ever to create your own product or to source them. Places like Alibaba and local wholesale markets has spawned an era of private labeled businesses for passionate and opportunistic individuals to take advantage of. 

And with so many places and channels for someone to potentially see your item, product positioning has become one of the most discussed business strategies.

Not having the right positioning and strategy could mean a huge loss of time, money, and brand equity.

What is Product Positioning?

Why Product Positioning Is Crucial For A Successful Business 61

Product positioning is a form of marketing that presents the benefits of your product to a particular target audience. Through market research and focus groups, marketers can determine which audience to target based on favorable responses to the product.

Shopify

Basically, product positioning is carefully and strategically putting a product in front of a certain target audience to generate sales and revenue.

It is a form of marketing that requires a high level of research to place a product and create favourable feedback from the targeted market. It involves nailing down the visuals, feelings, and words used to market to a specific demographic. 

For instance, the words and imagery of a sleek modern minimalistic watch would be entirely different when it is shown to busy fashionable women and to the businessmen in their late 20s to early 30s. 

Daniel wellington - product positioning example
Photo Credit: Daniel Wellington

The market research for each of those target audiences found different interests that the positioning

Product Positioning vs. Product Differentiation

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You’re probably wondering how is product positioning different from product differentiation?

While product positioning focuses on a niche of audiences, product differentiation focuses on the qualities of the product and comparing it to what its competitor cannot offer.

The goal of product positioning plays a huge role in building the necessary bridge between your company and the market you’re looking to target.

Let’s take a look at the 6 Types of Product Positioning you can apply to your business.

6 Types of Product Positioning

1.) Customer Benefits Focus

This is one of the most used strategies used out there. From the word itself, you are using the key beneficial qualities of your product and market it in a specific audience.

For example, your company sells adorable little plush dolls. Of course, you wouldn’t market these to the male audience. What you can do is present the qualities of your products to the female kids since they’re the ones who will most likely appreciate the product.

2.) Quality Approach

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As for the quality approach, you are marketing your product while highlighting the quality of it compared to the other brands.

For example, if you were to buy a car, would you settle for a used dealership or a completely brand new model? Coming into this, you’d assume that the former is cheaper in quality than the latter.

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3.) Application Marketing

For this method, you are marketing your product for a certain use. This way, you can set up a specific audience and work from there once it grows bigger.

For example, if you are to market swimwear…Naturally, you will do this in the summer since this season is where swimwears are often used.

Once you establish a market, regardless of the season, you can introduce more products that would entice your audience without compromising loyalty – a foundation you established during summer.

4.) Product Process

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Photo Credit: Daniel Wellington

This is one of the most used product positionings that you may not have even noticed.

You use a model as a representation of your market and use that as a bridge to your audience.

For example, you want to market high-end tote bags. Like every luxury brands out there, you can hire celebrities or supermodels to market your products and set a standard within the community or your target audience.

5.) Product Class

A simple technique that only requires you to set your products within a certain range as an alternative.

Let’s say you are to market lip balm for example. You wouldn’t put it in the dairy section, right? What you would do is position it in the beauty section of a certain market and build your engagements from there. It’s a simple method that often works if done right.

6.) Cultural Symbols

As one of the widely used methods of product positioning, here you are setting your market within a certain culture.

You are creating an engagement without compromising the cultures of these places to show respect and build a market within them.  This is also defined as using a cultural symbol to create a market engagement.

To use an existing example, nudity is one of the most prevalent symbolism in today’s music industry. Several albums from artists like Shakira, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry were all marketed globally that explicitly shows graphic covers. To respect certain cultures, the labels decided to photoshop these covers for them to market them in countries where female nudity is a major offense.

As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do if you want to position your product in a certain market.

You can choose to focus on one strategy or make a hybrid of two or three of these to make a super marketing plan for your products.

Of course, do not forget to conduct research to as this will be a vital component before the execution. 

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How To Choose The Right Business Idea And Opportunity To Start

As an entrepreneur, my mind is always filled with new business ideas and opportunities.

But which one is worth the time, energy, and money?

With already 3 businesses (I like to call them projects) running and managing over 100 staff…I have to choose which project to start carefully.

And even if you’re just starting your first business, it is crucial to pick carefully which to really sink your energy into. Because choosing the wrong business to start may result in some massive setbacks in your life. And even though people say that “failure” is good, you should still be strategic about which business to build.

Even if the whole project goes south, you’ll end up learning a lot more if you go through the process methodically and with intention. 

Here is how I decide which business to start:

Have The Key Components And Resources

When it comes to business development it really comes back down to what are my chances of winning as opposed to yours.

Me VS. You.

Whenever I look at a business opportunity, I see whether I have all the key components and the resources to make sure that these components are all taken care of.

If I do have all these things, I honestly believe I have an incredibly larger chance of success compared to you.

Basically my chances of winning > your chances.

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There are two key components and resources for this to happen:

1) Having A Major Advantage In Your Industry

When I was creating my ice cream brand, 720 Sweets, I thought about the major hurdles and major advantages that is important when developing a dessert chain.

Ask yourself: What is the biggest obstacle and advantage you would have when creating your business?

For any food and beverage business, that would be your supplier since it comes back down to the quality of your products. One of the biggest costs when it comes to developing a product is also connected to your supplies.

If you can control that, it’s a huge advantage for you compared to others.

I was fortunate to be connected with the owners of the biggest Bubble Tea suppliers in Western Canada. It also helps that they own a high-quality tea farm in Taiwan.

Finding him as a resource and as a partner was important when I was deciding whether or not I wanted to enter this business.

If he wasn’t on board, I most likely wouldn’t have chosen to be in the ice cream and bubble tea business.

So when you’re choosing what business to start or amongst the different business opportunities, see whether you have a major advantage over the competition. 

2) You Must Have A Dedicated Spearhead

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The second component and second resource I look at is whether there is a dedicated spearhead for the business.

Because I’m handling multiple different projects at the same time, there must be a spearhead who is 120% dedicated into that project. That person, that spearhead, needs to be extremely dedicated and committed right from the get-go and all the way to the end.

If you’re purely focusing on one business project, you can take the place of being the spearhead. This is most often the case if you’re starting out. You would be the person who manages the daily operations and strategic vision of the business. 

Luckily, I was able to find Brian, who became my partner at 720 Sweets. He’s been super dedicated throughout, which helped support the operation of the business. He became my spearhead for my ice cream business.

By having a major advantage through my supplies and having a dedicated spearhead, I was able to go ahead with this ice cream business.

At the end of the day, it happened because I was resourceful when it came to this business.

If I were to open this shop versus you were to open this shop, I would have a bigger advantage in doing so. My percentages of winning would be at least 60% to 70%, in comparison to everyone else in the market.

That’s when I decide to enter into business. And that’s how you should think when you’re choosing the business idea to start. 

What do you have that increases your chance of success compared to others?

Many people will say that they don’t have the same resources and same network as me to create that advantage. But I disagree with that. 

The key is to be resourceful and create that advantage for yourself. 

How Do You Be Resourceful?

A lot of times when a budding entrepreneur, they try to do something, they handicap themselves by thinking that it’s all them.

That they are the ones that are in charge of developing the whole business. That they’re not going to reach out for help. As if it is a solo mission.

But that shouldn’t be the case. Each person has a network that can create that major advantage for you. 

It is about whether you have the guts to reach out for help. To put yourself out there. 

Here’s how:

Audit Your Circle

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Look at your circle of friends and look at what they do.

Whether it be your relatives, whether it be your uncle, uncle’s dad, or your dad’s friend…Look at what do they do and what kind of resources they have access to.

Where do they work? What is their position? Who do they know? 

When you’re able to really fully audit your whole resource and your whole connection, you would start to naturally fill in the gaps.

For instance, if I was launching a new food product, I would think who in my circle would be able to help spread that. I know that Jason’s the guy that knows all the Instagram Foodies and Bloggers, I would talk to him for help or for a partnership.

When you can start being creative and resourceful around the people that’s around you, that’s going to increase your level of success. The chances of you succeeding in the business is when you become resourceful to the people around you. 

What If You Don’t Have A Network?

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A lot of people ask me when they’re first starting out: “I don’t know anyone. I don’t have any network. I can’t start this business or I can’t do E-commerce because I don’t know anyone in the game.” 

That is only an excuse.

It takes years to develop relationships that you can count on, but that shouldn’t hinder your level of success just because you don’t have the connection to do so.

Nowadays, there are so many networking opportunities out there with meetup.com and with business associations in your city. These are the places where you get to meet new people in your industry. 

And when you put out the intention of seeing your friends and family as a potential resource, putting it out there as, “Hey, can you make an introduction to someone you know who does this?”

When you put that intention out there, automatically they would have someone in mind. 

If someone asks you, “Hey, I want to start an ice cream shop. Who would you go to automatically?”

You would be like, “Oh, Wilson. I know Wilson. He started an ice cream shop.”

It is putting the intention out there and seeing it from a different perspective. Not seeing them as someone that you poach or someone that you take advantage of.

This is how I choose amongst the many business opportunities available. I encourage you to look at the resources you have available to you. Do this by seeing what major industry advantage you could have and having someone who will put their 120% into the business. 

Being resourceful is the number one way to achieve those two things. This means auditing your circle of influence and going out there to network with people.

All the greatest business owners in the world didn’t have the network either when they first started. You need to be creative and be uncomfortable. 

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