Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s also the best way to discover best practices for your industry and get your business off to a strong start. One way you can do this is through modeling. When you model a business, you find a business that is similar yours and look at what they are doing from an operational, financial, and marketing perspective. You then take what you learned from that and develop your own version. Modeling isn’t copying, far from it. It’s taking what is proven to deliver results and making it your own.
To find a business to model, start with the companies you know and admire. Become an avid consumer of their communications. Go to their Web sites. Subscribe to their newsletters. Add their company names to your Google Reader and Google search function. What you are doing is paying attention to how they do business. What is their voice? What products and services do they offer? What promotions do they run? Pay attention and pick up the parts that will work for you. Don’t just pick one. Choose several and watch them closely. Make it part of your daily education and inspiration.
Modeling works to your advantage because you aren’t reinventing the wheel with your business. You are allowing yourself to become more aware of the competition you have, understand what companies you want to be like, and fill the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Finding a business to model that inspires you is a good way to get there. Then YOU become the owner of a business that inspires someone else!