The answer to the headline question really has two parts. If you come up with a successful idea competitors will try to copy you. That is the reason why I encourage you to develop a professional service rather than a professional product.
You could develop your own product, the problem with that is typically it is very capital intensive, has a long lead time and a high probability that if it’s successful you’ll get knocked off. So you can do that strategy and you can develop it and there are situations where you can do that in conjunction with a service that makes a lot of sense.
But from a pure marketing advantage standpoint, the beauty of having a service versus a product is that the big guys can see what you’re doing and try to copy it, but they will be missing a key element of success.
Professional niches thrive on the personal knowledge and skill of the operator. It is not the idea that will make you successful. It is not possessing the ability to do it that will make you successful. It is actually doing it right that makes a service niche work.
People will copy you if you are successful. But often what they think you are doing and what you are really doing are critically different. Many business novices are intimidated by this fear of the competition. They are afraid to take the leap of converting their idea in to practice because they don’t know how to protect their idea from being stolen and copied.
That is a natural reaction when you don’t quite know what you are doing. But if you know the inside secrets to business success you would know how to turn this fear of action, in to a thriving business. The reality is, if you set up your business plan correctly they will be unable to duplicate your success.
There are no new ideas. There is nothing original. There is nothing that I’m going to say in this blog that you couldn’t have figured out on your own or read a book about or found on the Internet somewhere.
But as you will learn later on, that really doesn’t matter, because the key to developing a professional service is understanding how to overcome those mental barriers to success and produce something that people will pay you for. Your business idea does not have to be new or unique to succeed. It just has to be properly managed.
What I do is to try to simply the how to in to actionable steps that anyone can accomplish.