Most people start in business without a clue about what their competitors are up to, how they’re getting customers, what they’re promising them, and how they’re fulfilling that promise.
New entrepreneurs tend to be concerned with their idea, especially with creating something truly unique or selling a unique product in eCommerce. And there’s nothing wrong with that, however, it’s much harder to stumble on the right approach and succeed in that manner.
Think about being asked to choose between two pills to cure a cold. One pill has never been tested before, but a group of world-class scientists thinks it will provide a complete and rapid cure based on their own expertise. The other is a traditional pill given during colds, that provides relief, and helps your body fight the illness, and it has been given to millions of patients already, without many problems.
Which one would you choose?
See, when it comes to health, most people go for the safe choice. But not so in business, especially with first-time entrepreneurs. Everyone goes for creating the “next big thing”, but of course, 95%+ fail.
Bad Entrepreneurs Invent
Now there’s nothing wrong with invention. It’s actually a great thing. But the word is dangerous, since most people tend to associate it with creating something from nothing, rather than standing on the shoulders of giants.
See, we have the wrong image of what an inventor is. We imagine that inventing is about creating something completely new, whereas in practice, it’s more about re-combining existing things to solve existing problems.
For this reason most new entrepreneurs tend to be bad entrepreneurs. They spend their time creating the “next big thing” that no one thought of before and they consider that once they build it, the masses will adore their invention and make them rich. Of course, this rarely, or almost never, happens.
What tends to happen is that nobody actually cares about the invention once it’s made. It’s either not useful to them, it requires too much sacrifice, or it appears to be too much of a risky proposition. Or even worse, the entrepreneur does not know how to sell or market it.
The result is failure. At this point, most who have tried their hand at entrepreneurship, drop their cards, and leave the playing table forever. However, some do remain and keep playing for another hand. Those who become good entrepreneurs, learn from their initial foolishness. This time, they check what is already selling.
Good Entrepreneurs Copy
And they end up copying their competitors. Why invent something new, when something is already working? There is some logic in this approach, and usually these entrepreneurs end up having a modicum of success.
When you look at your competitor, analyze their funnels, see what products are selling and copy their approach, you’re bound to end up with something that works… afterall, that’s why your competitors are investing money in it. It’s working.
However, there is a problem hidden in this approach. It usually leads people to build a “me-too” business. It leads to them becoming followers rather than leaders, which cripples their growth and puts a cap on their success.
Many of these owners end up building a job for themselves, a business that takes a lot of time, and has small margins. It enables them to build a living out of it, but they can’t take it to the next level and create true wealth.
Real wealth is for the “thieves”…
Great Entrepreneurs Steal
Before you get any ideas… by “steal” I do not mean illegally appropriating the property of others. Rather I mean that instead of just copying, you copy what works and make it better. You make it your own. You care about it. You improve it.
You see, the fact is that most great businesses out there weren’t built on unique ideas. They were just great ideas with much better execution. Whether you look at Facebook (against MySpace) or the iPod (against Creative Zen), the entrepreneurs behind them were keenly aware of what their competitors were doing.
But they weren’t satisfied to simply copy it. They wanted to steal it – to make it their own, and make it even better. And that is what led them to execute better than their competitors, and become LEADERS, not followers.
A leader isn’t someone who ignores the competition and thinks they have all the right answers. A leader is someone who keeps an eye on the competition, but also watches the road ahead (the market’s demands). They take what’s good from competitors and make it even better, satisfying even more unmet needs.
The Shortcut to Your First Business Success
The truth is that you don’t have to start as a bad entrepreneur, become a good entrepreneur and then finally a great one. That is how I initially started, and it does take a long time. You can jump straight to being a great entrepreneur now that you have the shortcut.
And here’s how: don’t jump into business without doing an in-depth analysis of your competitors, and identifying a gap in the market that can show you how to improve upon what your competition is already doing. Start by becoming the leader right away, don’t postpone it.
If you’re already in business, then it will greatly benefit you to go back and do this analysis as well. You may discover new areas where you can improve and beat the competition. And doing so will be key to growing your business.
The fastest way to do this is to use a proven competitor research & market analysis process. Inside my direct response agency I use a 360 Degree Competitor Analysis to discover the competitors of all the clients who hire us. I reveal the exact same blueprint inside my 5-Steps to Create a Money-Making Machine Course. In fact, the step is so important that it is the foundation of the course.
It enables you to go through a proven process that identifies the key parts of the funnels your competitors are running, where their weaknesses are, and what you can do to improve upon them. Once you go through the process, you have the perfect foundation for building a solid funnel that has the potential to make you a lot of money.
So remember, whatever you do, take the shortcut: study your competitors and then make sure you do better than them. Don’t go blindly into the market with “the next big thing”, and don’t just copy them. Do it better.