I coach CEOs and entrepreneurs all over the world on how to create high performance, high profit companies.
I teach them literally hundreds of business building techniques. But if I could only get them to do one I would make it this one: Copy the best.
COPY THE MOST SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES IN YOUR FIELD
This advice is controversial – in fact it goes directly against traditional business strategy wisdom, which is that you need to come up with a different product or service to thrive. But trust me, my decades of business experience has shown that copying successful companies is vastly more efficacious than trying to do something original.
Doing original business concepts sounds noble, but it often fails because not enough people want that new, original solution. Or you find it isn’t cost efficient to deliver it. Or that consumers can’t be bothered trying the new version etc, etc. The reasons for potential failure go on and on.
STATISTICALLY PROVEN CONCEPTS ARE A BETTER BET
On the other hand, if you look at the best companies in your sector very carefully, you will learn many ways you can grow your business, merely by copying them.
Well consider copying top competitors in these ways:
* Pricing – they have probably tested the perfect price point.They know it works really well. Why try to come up with something different?
* Positioning – however they have positioned their product clearly resonates with potential customers – what parts of their positioning could you use in your own marketing?
* Product mix – do they bundle their services in a particular way? Could you do the same?
COPYING DOES NOT MEAN STEALING
Let me be clear about this; I am not suggesting precisely taking the exact wording, positioning or product attributes of the top players in your field. That is just stealing and could easily lead to legal action being taken against you.
I’m suggesting you take general concepts that seem to be working for them and make small changes to them – so that you’re taking their general ideas but making them different enough to avoid exact duplication.
Use your own wording, add your own flair, but take the best of what they do and integrate it into your company’s offering.
MANY GREAT COMPANIES ARE GREAT COPIERS
Steve Jobs openly said that he was “shameless” about taking great ideas from other companies. Whenever a new Porsche comes out numerous competitors buy the car to take it apart to see what ideas they can take from it. Almost the entire fashion industry is built upon borrowing designs that seem to be popular and making slight changes to them.
Copying the best is one of the most effective techniques in the entire business world to grow a company safely. Don’t be too proud to do it. Study the leaders in your industry relentlessly until you find what makes them tick – then integrate those strategies into your organization.
It’s a fast, smart and easy way to make your company more successful.