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Adeyeye Ayobami: Beat the Competition with These Winning Moves



Most times, as startup entrepreneurs, we are always confident that our startup business ideas and sound marketing strategies will make all the difference, as we roll out our new ventures. But things are not always that simple. The market often has unpleasant surprises awaiting us, in terms of stiff competition from established brands. We feel lost as we watch our new business crawling on its feet. Don’t you hate it? Yeah, I hate it too.
Here are eight winning moves that your startup business can adopt to beat the competition, and guaranty you success in a dynamic market.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started.

Establish customer needs for your startup business
You’ve got new business ideas and are ready to launch? Great! Just pause and think first. Before you start promoting your new ideas, try to really understand what your customers want and why they want it. Spend a time on customer research. It will save you from shame of rejection and help you serve your customers need better.
It’s a win-win game right?


One of the winning moves is to establishing customers’ needs. This is done through market research, where you try to know who your customers are, and what gives them tickle; think of things like lifestyle, work demand, budget pressure e.t.c. It is what experts called “buyers persona”.
Also you may have to research on their shopping preference i.e whether online or in stores. This is very important, especially in Nigeria.

Match your new business ideas with the customers’ needs
Far too many startup businesses in Nigeria failed, because they were trying to serve customers who did not want the service, or believed they did not need it. This is why it’s essential for every startup entrepreneurs to clearly understand what is it your customers really want; otherwise, your startup business will be doomed before it even takes off.
How do you match your new business ideas to your customers needs, then? The trick is to focus on the benefits of your startup business to your target market/customers. Remember, not every customer will be attracted with the same benefit, so work it out so that each customer has certain benefits they are expecting from your new product or services.

Establish the unique selling point (USP) of your startup business
Every established entrepreneur understands the need to cut down on expensive marketing campaigns, so why won’t you cut down yours too?

Sounds cool, right? Then your best bet is your USP. In marketing your new business ideas, you have to find that special thing that makes your product or service stand out from the crowd, otherwise your startup business is at the risk of a slow death.

So, how do I establish a proven USP? Well, Susan L covers it in detail. You can check her full article here. Simply put, your USP is the reason for your customers patronize you, and not your competitors. To get this straight complete this phrase: “My customers have no option than to patronize me because my business offers……” {Fill this in as it’s applicable to you.} Remember, USP is a dynamic phenomenon which changes as your business/market evolves.

Embark on rigorous marketing strategies for your startup
Marketing strategies for new business ideas are important; they connote unique plan of action that aids you, as a startup entrepreneurs in achieving your business objectives. If your hot business ideas in Nigeria must stand the test of time, you need to go back to the worksheet and plan out your marketing strategies i.e. create effective ways to present your new services to the acceptability of all.

Like I explained with USP, the tried and tested method of creating such wining marketing strategies is to adopt the tried and tested method of self – questioning. With the first three steps above completed, it’s easier for you to fashion out great marketing strategies. Your marketing strategies will include, but should not be limited to the following:
∗ Brand positioning
∗ Pricing strategy
∗ Product/Service channel
∗ Communication

Set realistic goals for your startup business
Once you embark on new business idea, your business goals are the only things that will propel you on in the ever dynamic business environment. Goals provide direction, motivation and a clear way to measure your progress. Now, as a startup entrepreneur you must develop sound and achievable goals for your business. For example, it is ideal for you to break down your goals into short and long-term goals. This will aid you when creating worksheet for achieving them. As a precursor to your goal setting, my advice to you will be to adapt the SARE mnemonic.
SARE is a mnemonic for sensitive questions that should be in the mind of every startup entrepreneurs setting goals for their startup business.

S- Are these goals soundly based? Will they be achievable either in the long run or short run?
A- Are these goals achievable, through both external and internal resources?
R- Are these goals realistic? Truly, your business goals must be optimistic in nature, but are these goals overrated when compared with reality?
E- Are the goals meeting its expectations? There are certain expectations in your mind as an entrepreneur as you set goals for your business; are these goals meeting them?

Invest sufficient time and money in your startup
The rate at which several startup businesses fail due to lack of funds and other resources is disturbing. Most startup entrepreneurs think  that because they are armed with lucrative business ideas in Nigeria, they are bound to succeed.  This is not entirely true. You need to invest your time and pump sufficient financial resources in your business to start seeing that financial rewards that you dreamed of. When rolling out new business ideas, make sure you have capital that can last you and your team for at least six months. Starting out without enough capital is killing your “unborn child”.

There are times when capital may not be enough, but when these situations present themselves, it forces you to become an expert and learn all the nuts and bolts of the business.

Focus your sales efforts to achieve results
Unless you have the size of the budget of MTN, Jumai, and host of others, you should devote your time to focusing your sales efforts on a specific segment of the market where you can become the real player. The best way to focus your sales efforts when marketing your new products or services is to define your ideal prospects in a detailed manner. Then concentrate your sales efforts on that group. This will help you build your authority within that group, as you will be able to understand and resolve their issues and problems.

Flexibility to amend your grand plan
No marketing plan should ever be set in stone. The marketing environment is dynamic, and as you gain better understanding of your market and your business evolves, you can alter your objectives and sales forecast. Your marketing efforts should be set as a working document and should regularly be a point of reference in measuring your performance against your forecast.

There are lucrative business ideas in Nigeria; with the right qualities, you also can always forge ahead and build your empire.

Photo Credit: © Dmitriy Shironosov | Dreamstime

Adeyeye Ayobami is the founder of BIIN, a business blog committed to helping startup entrepreneurs with sound business ideas and insights in Nigeria. To learn more about BIIN, visit Follow my business tips and insights on Twitter: @business_naija Facebook: @pressdetails Pinterest: Business Ideas in Nigeria


  1. Oloye

    November 13, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Thank you, Ayobami. This article is very insightful.

  2. Adeyeye Ayobami

    November 14, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Glad it helped

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