A lot of businesses don’t exist for more than six months before they fold up. Many startups never have the chance to breathe, let alone thrive in the business world. A lot has been written on #1. Put your clients first Your new business cannot thrive without clients. Since you are a new entrant into that business niche, building a solid, loyal, and reliable client base should be the priority. According to an infographic on Lireo, eighty-one percent of people are more likely to work with a business again after a good service. The study also found that by increasing your customer retention by 5 percent you can increase your profits to as high as 125 percent. The infographic also points out that loyal customers are worth ten times as much as their first purchase on average. And companies who make customer service a priority make sixty percent higher profits than their rivals. As a new startup, these data is very essential to your growth. Most of your competitors have a wide database of clients. At a point, they relent on their efforts to keep expanding their client base. This is a major loophole that you can leverage on. The way to achieve a large client base is by putting your customers first in all you do. Make them a priority in your business and before you know it, the word would spread. Once people begin to hear about your love for clients, they would begin to patronize you. #2. Listen to their unspoken needs Your startup is not about you. It is about your customers and meeting their needs. Your competitors have so much to do that they would have forgotten about this simple truth. Your business should strive to give products and services to meet the needs of your customers. This will always give you an edge over the big players in your business niche. You can even go a step further by not only listening but also anticipating your customers’ needs. #3. Be the voice of the customers Every business has a voice. To out-compete your competitors as a small business, you can use your voice to speak for your clients. Let your business voice make the statements in the minds of your customers. If you speak the voice of your customers, it means that you are listening to their needs. #4. Focus on fast delivery of service The structure of your business at this stage is an advantage. It is much easier to deliver services with speed when you don’t have lots of distractions in business. Customers want excellent service with speed of delivery. You have a small staff that you need to manage, so you have more time to deliver excellent services. #5. Be relentless in your efforts As a new business, you have a lot to do if you want to outrun your competitors. There are times that your efforts would be unyielding. But that is not the time to relent in your efforts in establishing your business. In a recent conversation with Angel Dhaly, the founder of ROI SEO, he confessed that there were times he felt like giving up when his business, ROI SEO, was a startup. “I just have to keep moving and pushing to be the best till I see results” he said. This is the kind of approach you will need to adopt in order to out-compete your competitors. #6. Learn to be proactive Being proactive is not a natural thing. It is a conscious effort that a new business owner must make at all times to become successful. You need to take proactive steps based on the trends in the standard of living within your society. Don’t wait till your competitors launch a new service before you realize that you could have done it also. Be the first to launch new things that will be beneficial to your customers. #7. Creativity must be a priority Clients love businesses that are creative. If you want to outrun your competitors, you must make creativity a priority. A start-up could out compete their competitors by giving their clients amazing giveaways. This could be in different forms. It could be a discount on your products or special gift during holiday seasons. Some start-ups even go the extra mile of rewarding their clients with exquisite gifts like, Travel Gift Voucher, Happy Socks, Animal Accessories, custom mugs, Limoges boxes, and other kind of gifts that creates special memories.There are so many things that your competitors are yet to do in your business niche. But you can’t do those things if you are not creative. #8. Neglect the pressure As a new business, there would be a lot of external pressure on you. A lot of people would be telling you what to do and what not to do. At some point, confusion might set in and this would make you muddle things up. If you want to outrun your competitors, learn to neglect the pressure. Run your business at your pace and have a business model as your guide at all times. #9. Stay committed to your business Commitment is necessary in business. There is no way you can run a successful business if you are not committed to its growth. You can’t be in business for a month, then go on a break for two weeks to resume afterwards. This is an improper business management style will present you as an unprofessional business person. When you are inconsistent, your customers cannot build their trust in you. As such, they would prefer to patronize your competitors. Commitment to your business will help you draw customers highly valuable long-term customers within a short period. #10. Upgrade your marketing strategies Marketing is the soul of every business. No one will know about your business if you don’t market it the right way. The fact that you are new in business might not give you an edge where marketing is concerned. But by upgrading your marketing strategies, your competitors wouldn’t have an edge. #11. Make deliberate sales You can’t be selling the same way your competitors do. You may need to make some deliberate adjustment to the prices of your products. Rolling out promotional offers as often as possible will help you to gain customers in the business. For example, you can offer special discounts on some days like New Year, winter sales, spring sales, Easter sales, etc. #12. Never stop learning No one know it all. As a new business owner, you must continue learning about business. You must know as much and even more than your competitors if you want to out-compete with them. In order to scale up your startup, learning must be a continuous process and not an option for you.