strategies posted in business strategies  on 29 January 2007
by Andrew Lang 
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Can I copy your business?

Easy business models tempt a lot of people. By 'easy', they usually mean most or all of the following:-

  • product / service with obvious mass market demand

  • low cost to set-up and run the business

  • not much time or skills needed to run the business

It all sounds very good - everything is easy to set-up and operate.

The only problem is low-to-zero sales.

This is because the easier your business is to set-up and run, the easier it is to copy. And the easier it is to copy, the harder it is to sell your service/product. Why? Because if your business is easy for others to emulate, then it means your market is already saturated and crowded with competitors - it's human nature to try out the paths of least resistance. An easy idea can turn into a hard sell if you don't distinguish yourself from the herd (see our previous article Selling Online Successfully and 'distinguish yourself from your competitors').

On the other hand, the harder your business is to copy, the more 'niche' you are - and the less competitors you have. Being hard to copy normally involves things that put off the masses, because they involve too much dedication:-

  • learning new skills

  • devoting more time to customer care

  • devoting more time to improving products / services

  • diversifying and increasing the products / services range

  • devoting time to researching markets to find niches

It certainly helps to enjoy your work - the above will not require any external motivation if you do.

It is no coincidence that our most successful clients are ones who either provide unique services (such as hand-made items) or are hobbyists who supply goods/services to other hobbyists.

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