Fortune Cookie Friday Small Biz Wisdom: A Perfect Statue Never Comes From a Bad Mold
This week’s nugget of “takeout” wisdom…
A perfect statue never comes from a bad mould.*
How does this apply to you in your small business?
Well, it stands to reason that your business will have its faults if you model it after another that’s significantly flawed. Everyone knows that, so I need not say more on that point.
But beware of trying to outright copy another business. Period. While you might find it tempting to create yourself in the image of a successful competitor who seems to be doing EVERYTHING right, you’ll lose.
Who is your small business brand anyway?
Trying to mold yourself into the exact likeness of a competitor will leave you frustrated—and a phony. You can’t be someone you’re not. Without your own brand persona and distinctive ways of doing things, you’re a copy. And copies are never as good as the original. You and your brand need to find your own voice and your own unique value proposition.
But know there’s nothing wrong with examining what others are doing well and incorporating those qualities and approaches into your own business. Don’t copy, but rather use what you’ve observed and learned to improve your ability to serve and connect with your customers.
A few examples:
• Craft your own unique referral rewards program.
• Consider actively using an online social media platform you’ve seen that your competitors are using with success.
• Refresh your website content (with your own unique content, of course).
• Start blogging.
• Pursue partnerships with complementary businesses (different than those whom your competition works with) that can help you expand your offerings.
It’s OK to emulate best practices, but it’s absolutely critical to make them your own.
Watch, learn, and apply them in your business in your own unique way so you’ll never be seen as a copy.
Chime in! How would you interpret this week’s fortune?
*Apparently the fortune cookie bakers are British.