How do I get more customers profitably?

Find and feed your starving crowd


I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ribs…

Before 2022 I’d never been to Chili’s. Since then I’ve been 20 times.


In 2022, our family moved 7,794 miles from our home in Virginia to Okinawa, Japan. My wife is an officer in the Navy and we took a new post.

We’ve since gone to Chili’s a ton because there is one on base and it feels like home. My kids shout “Tillies!!” from the backseat when we drive by.

You want your business to be like a Chili’s, on a military base, in Japan.

You want your business to “feed a starving crowd.”

The Chili’s, on base in Okinawa. Feels like it could be Anywhere, USA.

The Simple Strategy

The Simple Strategy.

“Feed the starving crowd.”

Fix a real problem that people are hungry and can pay for.

Put yourself where they are.


Word on the street is that the Chili’s on Kadena Air Base has the highest revenue of any restaurant in the whole chain. This place is always packed and for good reason.

  • It serves food that feels like home.

    • When you’re 7,000 miles from the states, any American restaurant feels like home.

  • There are a ton of people.

    • At last count there are nearly 80,000 Americans on Okinawa.

  • Prices range from $8-$18 for entrees.

    • Everyone from Junior-Enlisted up to the Flag Officer can eat here.

  • It’s in the center of base.

    • Everyone knows about this Chili’s.

The Chili’s here is exactly like the Chili’s in the states. Same burgers, same sizzling fajitas and baby-back ribs.

Why is it the top grossing restaurant out of 1,200 in the chain?

It has a starving market.

Why it Matters

When you’re running a profitable business, you have to be selective about how much you spend to attract customers. When there are a hundred other options for dinner, like there are in the states, you have lots of competition for their dollars.

If you’re the only game in town, or the only Chili’s on Base, proximity and word of mouth will tell your story for you.

Now chances are you aren’t actually the only game in town. You have competitors. That’s fine! It validates there is a need!

But finding your starving crowd will help you to get smarter with the time or money you spend on advertising your business to get leads.

The less we spend getting leads, the more we can lower operating expenses and stack profits.

How it works

There are four hallmarks of a starving crowd.

  1. A desperate pain or hunger - People buy Tylenol all the time, vitamins only occasionally. Tylenol fixes an acute pain (usually a headache), where vitamins protect against a possible negative future.

    1. If you can fix the pain rather than sell a benefit, you have less convincing to do.

  2. A growing market - In his book $100M Offers, author Alex Hormozi give an example of a friend who sold to newspapers. They increased revenue for their customers, but the market as a whole was shrinking, so the company never thrived.

    1. You want to ride a rising tide, not fight a receding one.

  3. A willingness and ability to pay - Because we move often, I’ve changed jobs 6 times. I got really good at finding a job. A few years ago I tested launching a course on “How to Find a Job.” When I asked people how much they might pay, they consistently said “I don’t have money to spend, I need a job.”

    1. Your customers might be willing, but not have the means, or vice versa. You need both.

  4. Can be targeted- The Chili’s on base thrives because it has a captive audience. Their customers are - Americans, on base, want to have a sit down meal, and have food that tastes like home. They spend $0 in advertising off base, because their customers aren’t there.

    1. They know exactly who their customers are and how to reach them.

How to Apply it

If your consistently executing, but it always feels like a grind to get new customers, it’s possible you haven’t found your starving crowd yet. The good news is now you can!

Remember, there are only 4 mark of a starving crowd.

Your next play

Think for a moment about the market your business serves.

Can you identify the following four marks?

  • A desperate pain

  • A growing market

  • A willingness and ability to pay

  • An ability to be targeted

If you can’t easily pick these out, think about pivoting how you talk about your product or service and where you show up for your customers. If you are a “nice to have” can you change your product into a “need to have”?

It’s worth the effort to figure this out.

Do it today and you’ll win faster tomorrow.

Catch you next week!


The Simple Strategy.

Find and feed a starving crowd.


Whenever you’re ready, I help bootstrapped entrepreneurs increase their profit in two ways.

  1. Find the fastest ways to increase profitability for your business with a tailored 1-hour strategy session, 1-on-1 with me. These are best for businesses in the launch stage, usually under $200k in revenue. It’s amazing how much we can get done in an hour.

    Book your call here.

  2. Actively increase your profit with our structured 3-month program, focusing on foundational growth, strategic direction, and actionable plans. A cross between coaching and consulting, it includes 2 major deliverables; a financial analysis and a strategic plan that you can actually use. These are best for more complicated businesses that are scaling, usually between $200k and $1.5M.

    Book a call here.

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