Your Reaction as a School Owner on Being CopiedJul 06, 2019
My answer to your question: "How not to get mad, when competition copies me."
Do you really have time for that? Where do YOU get your ideas from? Don't you observe others? Doesn't it ever happen to you that you love the reception area of a school and want to do the same? Or you love how easy they made reservations for their clients, and you'd want the same for your school? This is how we grow, this is how we do better with each day for our students.
Copying someone in everything won't work anyway. So if someone tries to build their business solely by copying yours, don't worry about them. Copying takes time. Think about it....how long did it take for you to build all that up? Remember, by the time they get where you are now, you will be miles ahead. However, if you think they can copy you easily in a few days, then probably those ideas of yours weren't that unique anyway.
When I started offering workshops for kids in English in my city, there were only one or two other places that did the same, and I targeted higher quality than them. For them, it was more like story-telling, maybe a little bit of cooking, once in a while. I decided to specialise in workshops. That's my key differentiator.
Since then many other places in my town started to offer more specialised workshops too, they are all making them nicer and nicer and we are raising the bar. In fact, I see it as a positive change. For our market. We, collectively as schools, are giving a better service to our students in general. So I am proud of having made a difference at my local community, not only at my school.
I also try to collaborate rather than fight competitors, and I really appreciate when people are receptive to it. There is a school in my area that does world-class exam preparation. Looking at them, I felt like I wanted the same. And then I realised I didn't have to copy, or build it up myself (as other areas are my specialty). I rather contracted them just for that service. So now we are working together.
Looking at Jump Start Your School, when I entered the market of helping school owners, of course competitors reacted. Some attacked me with false accusations, which I felt was totally unnecessary, as they do have a decent business and I don't think they really needed to do that.
At the same time, a person, who is much more successful than the above attackers - in fact, the person I look up to most, and who is most successful in helping others build their own schools - reached out to me. This person is Richard Graham, he reached out to me with some encouraging words and some advice on my latest questionnaire, and this to me was priceless.
Thank you, again, Richard!
This is how I try to deal with others in my niche too. Even though our market in my city is not huge, I feel there's room for everyone. We are all unique, we each have a different style. Our clients each have a different style too. They either like us, or they don't. And they might like someone else more.
I want to work with those who like me. And those who don't like me, I'm happier if they go to another place.
So remember, when being copied:
- Be proud! You are doing great things, worth copying!
- Sit back and relax. You are unique, and however well they copy, they won't be YOU!
- By the time they get there, you will be miles ahead.
- Find people from your industry who cheer for you, rather than who fight you, and surround yourself with them and their energy.
+1 If it's super easy to copy you, you need to work on your uniqueness...
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