133 - Original Or Imitation, Your Choice

Everyone knows an original, especially if you’re talking about artwork, is far more valuable than a copy, no matter how good it is. Even a photocopy of an original document is never as sharp as the original, and if you copy a copy, it gets duller each time.

Business Follows The Same Principles

And this is a mistake often made by new business owners, and even some existing businesses are still making, which is why they find it challenging to grow their business and expand, they try to copy what others are doing.

No Original Thoughts 

And here is where the problem lies; there are no original thoughts.

If you copy what another business or individual is doing the only way it can be successful is if the demand for what they’re offering is so high, and the existing companies in the market cannot keep up with demand, and therefore you can quickly cash in.

Short-lived Success 

I remember the solar roofing industry going through this BOOM a few years ago, and also the training industry, but as government incentives dried up, so did most of the businesses. 

So yes, there will be times you can copy someone else during boom times and succeed, but it’s usually short-lived, and the earlier you get in and get out is the key. Timing is everything.

Copying A Past Employer

More often than not a new business owner will copy what they’ve seen elsewhere or what they’ve learnt working with a previous employer, and if their former employer was successful, it makes sense in their mind that they will also be successful.

All they need to do is duplicate the idea.

As I mentioned, if the demand is high enough they will succeed, but if there is not a high demand for what they are offering it’s hard to break peoples buying habits.

Hard To Break Buying Habits

If I buy my bread from the local bakery, one block away from where I live, if an employee leaves and opens a store on the opposite corner and produces the same bread I’m not going to change my buying habits. 

The new baker has two options:

  1. Be more original, and WOW ME to get my attention
  2. Be an imitation and lazy, and try to grab my attention by being cheaper.

If your goal is to be the cheapest and this is how you plan to grow market share, it may work, but I don’t believe this is the best way to develop.

Be More Original Beats Discounting  

I think you can do better by being more original.

Ask yourself the following six questions about your prospective business:

  1. How many businesses in your area provide the same service as you intend to deliver?
  2. How many are doing everything the same way?
  3. Are they all using the same processes?
  4. What will distinguish your business from your competitors?
  5. What skills have you got that they don’t?
  6. What equipment are you going to purchase?

Confused Clients Do Not Buy

If you cannot tell your business apart from your competitors, what chance do your clients have? NONE. 

Also, why would someone refer a friend or family member to your business instead of to the company they’ve been using for the past few years if you’re not offering something better?

If you’re currently in business, you need to put some time aside and answer these questions. You MUST find a way to separate your business from everyone else and stand out in the crowd. 

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” - Albert Einstein

So if you’re not getting the business success you want, you need to change how you’re doing it.

If you have any questions about this episode, please email me email/tf)(tysonfranklin.com


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