I was talking to a small business owner recently who told me a story about a competitor who was copying every move she makes in order to poach some of her clients.
She seemed worried. But I didn’t think she needed to be.
Her business model is her own. And it’s been working for years.
From where I’m standing the competitor is either jealous or desparate.
And a competitor planning a business strategy from either position isn’t a threat.
McDonalds and Subway are competitors in the fast food space. They serve the same market, but they certainly don’t serve the same food. Both are successful because they’ve figured out their own niches and developed business models to service them well.
As a small business owner or consultant it’s up to you to find your own niche and develop a business model of your own that works.
That doesn’t mean you have to ignore competition and best practices. You can certainly learn from the people who are doing things right. Take a look at the strategies that are working for those in your space and apply them to what you’re offering. But I can tell you that a simple “cut and paste” of someone else’s service offerings isn’t going to help you.
Even if your expertise is similar to what someone else is offering, you need to be able to differentiate yourself. Find an angle that is unique to you and appeals to a under-serviced part of the marketplace.
Define your clients and then create offerings that appeal to them. Don’t let your competitors drive your thinking.
Copying anyone else’s business model and targeting the exact same clients is not a recipe for sustained success.
In the case of the small business owner I was speaking to, the competitor’s efforts were actually driving traffic her way, because a quick Google search brought up her site and all the services her competitor was trying to copy.
If you are struggling with your business model, I’d like to talk to you. Send me a quick email and let’s set up 20 minutes to speak about what you’re doing now and what you should be doing tomorrow in order to make your business grow.