Small Business Strategies: What’s Your Thrill Factor?


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Many of you have heard me say in order to stand out in your industry; your products must make people go crazy over you. They need to be special, unique, even shocking.

Seek the thrill. This is where many small business owners go wrong, they think they need to cut their prices so they can compete. WRONG! Many people don’t realize that they already have a competitive advantage- the thrill factor. For example, in Dallas, there’s a barbershop that offers patrons a beer while they wait to climb into the barber chair. In Kansas City, there’s a dry cleaner that beats the biggest brands by offering a more environmentally friendly cleaning process, along with pick-up and drop-off service to residents at no additional charge. They even have an annual Saint Patrick’s Day tailgate in their parking lot for top customers. These are examples of simple things that show customers you want to provide a better experience. Look for that special something that can make you and your products different.

Make it impossible to emulate. The more customized your service or product is, the more difficult it will be for anyone to copy you. And when you make your product or service hard to copy, you also make it memorable—people want to talk about how great you are. And, more importantly, price is no longer their main focus.

What’s the secret ingredient?

YOU! Your business is a reflection of you! And your clients are probably the reason you started a boutique business in the first place— you wanted to make something better, more appealing, and awesome. You wanted to create an experience that your clients could not get anywhere else.

Action Steps:

1. Make a list of all your products and services. Look at which ones can be easily copied or mocked. Are they your most popular? Which offerings are most often cited as the reason people come to you?

2. Seek out other business owners in your community who are doing something that makes people rave about them. Get to know them and their businesses. Take them to lunch. Offer to help them so you can learn how they do what they do.

To get more tips on pricing, marketing and branding a small business that can charge what you’re worth, download a free chapter of my New York Times Best Selling book, Worth Every Penny: Build a Business that Thrills Your Clients and Still Charge What You’re Worth at

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