From the "Secret" of The Copycat Principle
Article by: Marty Foley
John D. Rockefeller is reported to have said:
"When you hear of a good thing - something already working for the
other fellow - don't delay but get in while you can." Therein lies
a key to saving time and money in your business, as well as improving
your chances of success: the "secret" of the Copycat Principle.
The established leaders in your particular field have already blazed a
trail for you. They've spent considerable time, money and effort researching
what works and what doesn't. What the trail blazers have learned only
through much trial and error experimentation and expense is largely available
for you to learn - easily, and at little or no expense to you. There is
no need to reinvent the wheel. (Even giant corporations borrow ideas from
one another. You can do the same.)
Closely examine the leaders in your field to determine the things they
are doing right (so you can adapt them to your own situation) and the
things they are doing wrong (so you can avoid them). Study their operating
methods. Get on their mailing lists. Scrutinize their catalogs, brochures,
ads, (especially their repeat ads), and other marketing materials. Try
to adapt the winning elements of these to your own business, without copying
anything illegal or that can otherwise cause problems for you.
Ideas can be gleaned from others to help you in many areas, including:
new products (and services) to develop or acquire, how to price them,
how and where to market them, etc. This is not to say you should copy
others too closely. Isn't variety the spice of life? Be a creative imitator.
Aim to refine and improve on the ideas you glean. Use your own imagination
and ingenuity, adding your own unique twist. Who knows, you may even come
with something better!
Especially when first starting out in business, lean heavily on the Copycat
Principle. Venture into uncharted waters with extra caution. Once you're
well established, you'll have more experience to draw from, making ventures
into uncharted waters less hazardous. You have limited time and money
to risk in your business. You can reduce that risk, thus increasing your
likelihood of success, if you use the Copycat Principle.
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