When I started my first online business, I knew my idea was not original.
I was teaching adult swim lessons at my local YMCA, and most people coming to me were triathletes.
As I researched better methods to teach these people, I found there weren’t many resources for triathletes to get better at swimming online.
However, that doesn’t mean there were NO resources.
So, I used the information that was available to create my first online program.
It was not original. I didn’t invent the style of swimming that I taught. I took it from various swim coaches who had published their information already.
But I distilled it into an online program that people could easily follow. And I added my own flavor to it.
Just as the modern day swim coaches had done with past coaching methods when they started.
Reinventing the wheel, coming up with a brand new idea, is not at all necessary when it comes to starting a business.
In fact, I believe it holds people back.
My current business, Work Hero, is another example of not being obsessed about coming up with something brand new.
I started with an idea that was a little different from what was being offered out there, but I wasn’t the first to do this either, so there was a blueprint out there for much of it.
Yes, I copied others.
So did my favorite rock band, Led Zeppelin. The songs on Led Zeppelin I were all derived from other rock songs. Here’s a list of their songs written or inspired by others.
Yet, Zeppelin is considered the greatest rock band of all time by many people.
And remember the whole red pill/blue pill concept that started with the movie, The Matrix?
Wrong. The Matrix stole that idea from the 1990 film, Total Recall, which presented a red pill as reality.
When it comes to the startup business world, most are trying to invent something, or come up with some new way of doing things that no one has thought of or executed on before.
We read about the rare exceptions of businesses that came up with some idea and went from 0 to a million dollars a month in sales because they capitalized on a market demand.
But here’s the thing- you can be “me too” business, be able to drop the idea of reinventing the wheel, and still build a successful, profitable business.
With Work Hero, we provide a needed service- WordPress support and maintenance- where there are literally 100s of millions of potential customers in the world.
And you better believe there are other companies that do similar things to what we do!
And that was the great thing about making this business go from 0, to now 12 paying subscribers- we could borrow from businesses that came before us.
The blueprint was already there, so that took out a lot of ground work that we otherwise would have to do. The systems, the software, and even the pricing was made much easier by copying instead of reinventing.
And it’s not to say we don’t have our focuses and specialties- but a WordPress as a productized service is not some fresh-out-of-the-box idea.
We were able to take what had been done with other companies, use the best and most useful ideas in creating ours.
From other, similar businesses, we learned:
-The best design
-How to set up our pricing page
-How to price our products
-How to hire developers
-What SOPs to set up
-How to delegate tasks
-How to roll out an affiliate program
and much more!
Momentum is everything in running a business, specifically with a startup.
The advantage of being a follower is getting a business to market much faster, with greater ease, then having to come up with everything “from scratch”.
If it’s already been done, but the market demand far outweighs the supply of businesses serving that market, then waiting for the right opportunity to reinvent the wheel is not likely your best bet.