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How to Launch a Million Dollar Local Business in 27 Days- Day 2: Finding out how your competition sucks by using Yelp


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This is Day 2 in our Zero to Launch in 27 Days series. Yesterday, we did some quick idea validation and chose our site concept.

So the main focus today is to figure out how we are going to approach building this business in a way that allows us to get and keep customers.

We’re not looking to throw up a website and hope for the best, we’re figuring out how we can build a sustainable business and try to grow it into a millions of dollars per year company.

And we want to get this kicked off in 27 days!

No time to muck around.

Figuring Out How The Competition Sucks


The goal here is to head to Yelp and find as many 1 star reviews as you can find.

It doesn’t matter if it’s in your city or not. The goal is to hunt down 1 star reviews and read them, laugh your ass off, and write down all the things clients complain about over and over again.

You’ll soon see that city makes no difference. You’ll find the complaints are the same over and over again. Those ones that keep repeating from company to company and city to city are the industry-wide problems.


One Star Yelp Reviews for competitive research

Hidden in these one star Yelp reviews you’ll find the dark underbelly of your industry.  The things that businesses fail on over and over regardless of city.  We’re going to pay attention and take notes.

Once we know how our competition is failing their customers we’ll be able to use that information to present a better offering!



Screenshot 2015-09-03 12.25.24

This is a super important process for figuring out the inner workings of an industry that you might be completely new to.   Even if you understand the industry, don’t skip this step.  It will reveal some interesting things about human nature that will be important when you are trying to position your own offering.

Yelp complaints for lawncare



Here’s how things looks for the lawn industry based on the well over 100 yelp complaints I read:

1. Folks do not show up when they say they will

2. Folks don’t show up at all

3. There is no evidence that someone shows up if they do (i.e no note on the door)

4. They blow the leaves against the fence lines and hidden corners instead of moving them

5. They miss spots on the lawn

6. They require monthly contracts or make it difficult to get out of contracts

7. They never returned calls or requests for quotation

8. No response to emails

9. Provide services people don’t ask for

10. Provide services in the rain or when it’s windy so there’s no benefits to the lawn (though some folks were mad they didn’t come out in the rain)

These were the main points and I”m sure you would find some others to add to this list, but this is the stuff that jumped out at me across the board.

Crafting our competitive advantage

Now, sure, at this point, I could have just said to myself that I’ll create a company that won’t do any of these things.

That would have been a good first step.


But the way that we are going to dominate the market is by flipping these pain points and using them to craft our competitive advantage and kick ass right out of the gate.

And of course, this is exactly what we’re going to cover In Day 3

Sign up anywhere on the blog to be notified of new posts in this series and CLICK HERE FOR DAY 3!

Tools and resources:

Groovejar – Conversion Rate Optimization Tools

Launch27–  Booking form and scheduling platform

GrooveLearning – Facebook Group, Training,  and Motivation

Themestreet– Local Service WordPress Themes


Rohan Gilkes is the CEO & Co-Founder of Groove Living Startups, LawnTribe, Launch27, and WetShaveClub. He loves building stuff that matters and crushing fools in table tennis! :-)

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Business plans are a joke. The market is NEVER saturated. Innovation is over-rated. Your customers are often wrong. A minimalist’s look at launching and growing a successful business!


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