Book review: OVERSUBSCRIBED by Daniel Priestley

If you’ve read business startup books in the past, one of the tips for setting up a business, or finding a way into any market is to look at what other people are doing and copy it, adding a few unique selling points.

oversubscribed‘Oversubscribed’ by Daniel Priestly is a book that teaches how not to do this. The premise of the book is that if you do everything the same as every other business, your business will probably not reach its full potential, and may even struggle to grow. Priestly says, however, that the best way forward is to position yourself in such a way that you are oversubscribed.

Here are some of the ways in which your business can become oversubscribed, according to Priestly:

1. Don’t let the market set your price

If the going rate for providing marketing on a freelance basis is £100, Priestly advises not to pitch your business at that price. He explains the importance of creating a demand for your product or service, meaning you provide the most excellent version of what you supply to a limited number of people at a higher price.

Citing brands like Apple, who have people sleeping rough just to get their hands on the latest iPhone or iPad release, it’s easy to see how creating a demand for your product can pay off.

2. Being different is a good thing

Using that same example as before, Apple’s products are often sold out even on preorders, and this creates a buzz (more like frenzy), making people talk about their products and more eager to get their hands on it.

While your business doesn’t have the huge marketing machine that Apple has (yet), letting your customer base know that your product and/or service is in demand and that there is only a limited few is what Priestly describes as a good way of increasing your business fortunes.

3. Be generous with ideas and charge for implementing

An analogy for this is a web designer. If this is your line of business, when a potential customer gets in touch, they’ll want to work with you more if you sound knowledgeable, and they can trust you. To get to this point, you’ll need to give them time during your initial contact, explaining how they can save money, the best platforms to use, and any other tips you can offer them. Once they are hooked in, you can then charge them to implement all these great idea.

4. Customer satisfaction is key

It’s a known fact that people are more likely to tell all their friends about a poor service or useless product. This is why it’s important to ensure yours is an excellent product or service.

Priestly recommends keeping an element of surprise so that your customer feels that you are working really hard for them. For example, if you know that you can deliver a product by Wednesday, if you let your customer expect it on Friday and then call them on Wednesday regarding it’s availability after some ‘pulling strings’ on their behalf, they’ll be delighted.

‘Oversubscribed’ is packed with examples and case studies that are relevant. Priestly does an excellent job of detailing how to position a business in such a way that you can work less, but earn more by giving the smaller number of customers the best experience possible. This is a must-read for any business mum, regardless of what stage you are at in your business.


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Written by Joycellyn Akuffo

Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.

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