Marketing blog

Emulating Another Business’ Ideas: Expectations & Reality

Every entrepreneur has a moment when they see something another business has done and think: “wow! I wish I’d thought of that.”

The cause of this thought could be anything. It might be the brightly coloured lanyards that employees are wearing at a trade event; you marvel at how much more noticeable they are than your standard blue affair. Or it might be something larger; a marketing strategy, a new product idea, a delivery service that you can immediately see is going to welcomed by their customers. Effectively, anything that gives you a sense of jealousy, and a wish that you’d had that idea first.

It’s at this point that you’re faced with a choice. Do you:

  1. A) Forget what you have seen. It’s their idea, their innovation, and while you wish you’d done it, you need to leave it alone. All you can do is hope that you have your own ideas in the future; ideas so good they will make other business owners feel the same envy that you’re experiencing now.

Or…

  1. B) Copy it. After all, no idea is truly original anymore, so what’s the harm in you doing the same?

If you decide to opt for option B, then be well aware that you might be on thin ice. Here are a few things you need to consider before taking the leap.

 

#1 – They Might Call You Out On It

Let’s go ahead and assume that you know not to steal intellectual property or anything that will infringe copyright. Therefore, if you’re “called out” on emulating an idea, it shouldn’t be too damaging; it’s not like you’re going to get taken to court. However, you might find yourself on the receiving end of a few snarky comments.

How To Handle It

Just explain that you’re just doing what’s best for your business. Compliment them; say how much you liked their lanyards, and how it made you want to track down the original site they got them from, and get some for yourself. Explain how their new marketing strategy will benefit you, and you’re always looking for good ideas to experiment with. Provided you haven’t infringed upon their legal rights, then they can moan if they wish, but there’s not much else they can do.

 

#2 – It Might Not Work For You

Just because a technique works for one business doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. So by all means, experiment with something you have discovered, but don’t expect it to imminently deliver eternal wealth and prosperity.

How To Handle It

Start small rather than jumping into this new idea, keeping a firm eye on the budget, just to check that it’s viable for your business. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, at least you haven’t invested too much in it.

 

#3 – Your Own Ideas Fall By The Wayside

Emulating something successful is wonderful, but don’t let your own imagination fall to waste. Sure, do your own version of an existing idea, but don’t lose focus on trying to come up with the next great idea for yourself.

How To Handle It

Keep innovating, keep thinking, keep your eyes open for opportunities and ways to benefit your business. You’re walking a fine line, but you can stay on track if you keep these aspects in mind, and keep trying to come up with the Next Big Thing for yourself.

Marketing blog

6 Techniques For Ultimate Business Growth

There isn’t an entrepreneur out there who doesn’t want to have a better business. You may not want to grow your business to the size of Apple, but you might want to get more profits, leads, and exposure – just enough so that you’re finally the size you want to be. The following 6 techniques are perfect for business growth. You won’t believe how quickly you can get better!

Branch Out Into Other Markets

Figure out if you can branch out into other markets. If you’ve been targeting the same market for a while, work out ways to target others. If you’re smart, you could get your business a whole new following of people!

When starting your business, you don’t want to try to target everybody. That would be silly, and you’d likely water down your attempts to become successful. However, branching out into other markets later on is almost crucial for growth!

Create A Complementary Product

Take a look at your product range. Some businesses start out only offering one product, and that’s absolutely fine! However, if you want to grow your business, creating a complementary product, or one that follows on from the last one, is a wise choice.

Head To A Trade Show

Going to a trade show is expensive, but you could meet more leads than you can shake a stick at. As a rule, you should only go to a trade show if you can make more leads than the show is costing you – know your numbers and estimate how much you could stand to earn. To be successful, you’ll need to make sure your booth looks good. Not only that, you should consider giving your perspective on a subject with a talk or presentation! You can find more hints all over the place. It can be a scary thing to decide to do with the expense and the pressure, but it can more than pay off.  

Form An Alliance With Another Business/Company

Is there a business or company out there that you could form an alliance with? Joining up could mean you both get results, as you’re basically sharing one another’s followers/fans/leads etc. Maybe you could host competitions with another company, or come out with a product. For example, the famous lip balm company ‘Carmex’ brought out a limited edition tub with a design from the brand ‘Skinny Dip’.

Target Influencers That Fit In With Your Brand

Influencers are a wonderful way to make sure you’re getting your brand message out there. Instagram influencers and bloggers can be some of your biggest advocates, but you must make sure they suit your brand. Make sure you track how well your campaigns with them are doing too!

Treat Your Staff Well

Finally, treating your staff well is going to go a long way. You’ll save a ton of money on training and hiring, not to mention time. Retaining your best employees is a must, but they’ll only stay if you’re making them happy. You don’t want to get a reputation as a business with a high employee turnover rate!

Which of these techniques will you use for business growth?

Marketing blog

Overcome The Challenges Of Spikes In Demand

You might not think a surge in demand for your services or products would be a bad thing. But if you’re not set up to cope with a spike in demand, then your reputation and your business could be ruined overnight. We all want our businesses to grow, but a sudden peak in customers could be enough to tip us over. Are you ready for a sudden rush or big order? Here’s how to overcome the challenges of extreme demand:

Every business owner is determined to grow. That puts you in a good place to know what to expect as your customer base expands. You’ll probably need the following:

  • More supplies for more stock
  • More employees
  • Better delivery capability
  • Better customer service provision
  • A shift toward customer relationship marketing for future re-orders

So how can you have these things on standby when your current turnover simply can’t cover the cost?

 

Start with your stock and supplies. If you outsource your manufacturing, then make sure you regularly review your ordering capabilities. What is the turnaround for a temporary ramping up of demand? What promises can you make to your customers that your suppliers can guarantee to meet?

Agency staff can deliver employees in just twenty-four hours. The trouble is, you need to have the trained and productive quickly too. Review your training and safety manuals and check your in-house resources for managing more people.

 

If your delivery capabilities depend on a third party business, you might have to consider using additional services. Your business might need to utilize bigger trucks like flatbeds to shift stock or supplies around the country. Look at specialist truck firms for more information on the different vehicles that are available. Using a third party will always be cheaper than developing your own logistics division!

Developing effective marketing campaigns isn’t easy. But when it works, you’ll have a lot more customers to deal with. Not all of these customers will be 100% happy. Others will want to contact you to ask questions. You need to have the customer service team ready to tackle these inquiries. If you outsource this, make sure you have scripts ready, and answers to the typical questions they’ll face.

One sudden surge in customers isn’t going to provide consistent long-term growth. But each of these new customers, if managed well, can become customers for life. Every business should have a good customer relationship marketing program in place. Regular communications and special promotions can help retain customers. This increases the lifetime value of each customer. That boosts your return on investment from that original campaign.

One of the best ways to handle any surge in orders is to have everything in place before it happens. You might not expect this spike in demand, but if you’re prepared for it, it won’t catch you off balance. Make sure you have supplier details on hand, and that your business is set up to ramp up should orders suddenly exceed held stock. Always be transparent and honest about any delays the customer may experience. Communication is key.