In life, we often get advice “don’t reinvent the wheel.” But another maxim says: “Stick with the winners.” If you find yourself struggling to come up with a business idea to start or if you are wrestling with the same problem, step away from your world and take a look at what other people are doing. You might find the solution to your problem by peeking over the shoulder of a business that is doing well in your area, or better yet, just far enough away that you can mirror their business without competing with them directly.
At one point I was looking to purchase a franchise. I learned a lot of things in the process. In my conversations with owners, as well as studying their sales material, I came to believe that I could mirror their success and build upon it in a way that worked for me. This dramatically improved the initial success of my company. Franchises have done the homework and usually have a successful marketing strategy, competitive and profitable pricing, and an image that is considered professional looking by its customers. There may be a franchise, or a small business, you admire within your industry that can teach you something valuable prior to starting.
Listing five companies that you do business with and admire. Ask yourself, “What qualities do these businesses have that capture your attention? Why do you choose to do business with them?”
Mirror these qualities in your own business. Figure out how customers might experience these same qualities, starting with the day they first contact you. What would make them feel as if they were doing business with one of the companies you admire? Think about how these same qualities might be reflected in your service delivery and follow up. Some of these company qualities may also become part of your mission statement or incorporated into your marketing/advertising efforts. If they involve customer service, you may use them to help screen the workers you employ.
Begin reading about successful companies, whether through monthly periodicals such as Inc. and Success magazine or through online sites. Cut out photos of articles of companies you want to be like and put them where you will see them each day. Also, read through this blog post about how mirroring the success of others can be life changing.