I am trying to dispel the myth that brand-new, original products are the only thing for the start-up or small business owner. I risk being shot down by the innovation priests who turn up their noses at copycats but pirating ideas is the backbone of small business.
I probably shouldn’t even bring this up but a lot of small businesses use imitation as their main business strategy. Take a look around your local business community and see how pervasive copying really is.
Some examples: holiday accommodation, computer stores, antique shops, coffee shops, hair salons and even fish and chip shops. All part of imitation clusters.
With small business owners struggling in these recessionary times and many plunging into debt and being forced into bankruptcy, it would seem reckless to encourage new ideas for products and services.
Essentially, if you are going to start implementing new products and services, you’re in effect starting a new business. But then it can be said that when you pursue and secure a customer with any product or service you are actually in business.
Many people are being forced into creating a business of their own because of losing their jobs. This week we have seen how Pioneer Foods is retrenching 1,500 senior and middle managers, 10% of their 15,000 employee complement. Continue reading “Can imitation mean innovation?”