What I am about to say may strike a chord of discontent among many of you . . . but that’s okay.
It will bring to light a strategy that many of the Internet’s most successful and profitable business persons have adopted on the road to increased business and nice incomes.
I will ask the question again, “Who gives out points for creativity and innovation?”
Most entrepreneurs and new small business owners feel that in order to be successful at Internet business, they must create or invent the next unique and valuable product – something different from all others in the same niche market.
I beg to differ.
Now I am certainly not opposed to being creative or innovative, all of the other things being equal, it’s a real blessing to have these personal characteristics manifest in your business. . . but . . .
Most often though, success is found in other ways. Here are some examples:
1. Find a strategy that is working well and earning a good living for its owner and copy it.
You don’t have to copy the product itself. Copycats are not a good thing, and in fact could bring legal action against you.
You don’t even have to create a product – there are others (like freelancers and programmers) that you can hire to do that for you.
Observe the way the product is marketed, observe the product’s web site, observe the sales process and the product delivery mechanism.
You can easily set up similar systems to clone the success of your model.
Why try to reinvent successful strategies which remain to be proven when they can be copied?
Of course, you should never copy narrative, or text, or a product per se. That is plagiarism and it’s against the law.
But you can observe how a sales process is set up, how products are delivered, etc and use those same techniques.
That is not stealing, at least in my mind. You are simply modeling success that has been learned by others.
2. See what is successfully being done in other industries or market niches (unrelated to yours) and adapt those same techniques to your own niche.
This strategy is a variation on the first, but it takes a bit more work to become familiar with other niches and to figure out how to adapt the success you find there to a new type of product.
This technique can be very effective because often most of the successful companies within a niche are all competing with each other using basically the same overall methods and systems.
When a new and different approach shows up in the niche, it is very often profitable because customers see it as innovative, creative, one-of-a-kind, etc, and they will welcome “the breath of fresh air” that you bring to an otherwise stale market.
3. Look for holes or gaps in the products and services that are currently offered to your niche market. It may be that there are “hidden” pockets of profit in your niche because, for whatever reason, businesses have not recognized them or don’t go after them.
The gaps could be anything: tools used to solve problems in the niche market, community gathering places where market participants come together to discuss the niche issues, software that automates some process or makes the subject of the niche more enjoyable or easier to accomplish, or guides and tutorials on some technical aspect of the niche.
It could be anything really. Simply look at what’s available currently in the niche and brainstorm to see if there are other products or services that could fit in nicely that folks would pay for and that aren’t available right now.
Visit niche forums and see what is being discussed. Often you will notice recurring complaints or people venting their frustration about not having something available that they would like in the niche. These area of “demand” are prime targets for you to supply, for a price of course.
4. Find a product or service that isn’t working efficiently and make it better. I’m guessing that the majority of the profitable small businesses operating today were created to “build a better mousetrap.”
The entrepreneur realized that a niche product or service could be made to work faster, smarter, more cost effectively, longer, more comprehensively, with a lower up front cost, with an easier learning curve, with a newer technology, with additional automation, . . . the list of ways to add improvements is endless.
The point is – the market will treat a better product to increased profits. If you are the one to recognize the current product shortcoming and figure out how to make it better, you will be in an enviable position.
None of these approaches requires that you be a creative genius.
Sometimes the most profitable businesses are those that seem rather boring but that have distinct advantages over the other products within the niche market.
Just remind yourself that nobody gives out points for business approaches . . . do whatever you have to find a strategy that works for you.
To your online business success!