When you first start your business, you want it to be something that stands above and beyond everybody else in its field. While you can do this in most cases, a lot of budding entrepreneurs are stymied because an idea has been done before in some way or another. To them, it seems ridiculous to do something that has already been done before. They think their idea needs to completely break new ground, as if such a thing were possible.
Your business doesn’t need to be a clone of anybody else’s, but copycats are inevitable. The objective here is to select a type of business that someone else was able to be successful within, and then take it to a place they never did. If their business sold widgets to one niche of people, try selling better widgets to an entirely different group. This may sound like you’re just aping off of someone else’s success, but what you’re really doing is making use of an existing, proven business model. Why invent the wheel all over again if you don’t have to?
In a lot of ways, taking an established business model and twisting it just a little bit is the best way to get your feet wet. This might not be the business where you make your first billion, but it will certainly teach you a lot of important lessons. Besides the obvious things, an established business model will show you where you could be making small mistakes that add up quickly to being major pitfalls. If you’ve been struggling for an idea, spend your time on building a business that is already thoroughly proven.