One universal truth of business is that imitation is inevitable. Competitors are going to copy your work, especially if the product or service you have designed is successful in the marketplace.
But, just because you should expect it to happen, doesn’t mean you have to sit back and do nothing when it happens. Here are some tips to staying ahead of the competition when they steal your idea.
Tip No. 1 – Determine What Makes You Different
Just because a competitor copies an idea doesn’t mean you can’t stand apart from them. There is something that your business has or does that no one else can. Find that difference, build it up, and capitalize on it on it by including it in every aspect of the business.
Not sure what that differentiator is? Analyze your business for your “more” factor. Are you more passionate, more innovative, more friendly, less complicated or less corporate? Whatever it is that makes your business stand out, shout it out. Own your place in the market and be sure everyone knows what makes you unique.
Tip No. 2 – Be Better Than the Competition
So they stole your idea. Now you just have to execute your idea better than they do, which should be relatively simple since it’s your idea. When faced with copycats, strive to be better than them. Put all of your passion into your business. Go above and beyond the expected call of duty to be sure you shine above the competition.
Tip No. 3 – Constantly Innovate
Improve on your product or service whenever you can. This will position you as the innovator and not the copycat, giving you a leg up on the competition.
The original idea is yours, so you should understand it better than anyone else possibly can. This gives you leverage to improve the product or service and maintain position as a market leader. You own the framework for the idea, so you have the ability and the tools to adjust that framework to stay ahead of the competition.
Tip No. 4 – Get Closer to Your Customers
Your customers can help you stay one step ahead of the competition. By establishing positive relationships with key customers, you can gain market and competitive insights that you can use to fuel innovation.
This also builds customer loyalty. When your customers trust you, they are less likely to fall prey to competitors, even if those competitors try to claim they have the same product or service for a better price. Loyal customers will know you and choose to stay with you.
Healthy competition is good for business, and imitation is to be expected as part of that competition. If you find that your products or services are being copied, take a deep breath, embrace the competition, and find a way to keep one step ahead of the copycats.