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Copying a Business Idea-Good or Bad? 

  Copying someone else’s business idea is good as long as an entrepreneur applies his own innovation and creativity into it.
BY Jaspreet Kaur
Feature Writer, BusinessEx
Jul 06,2019

A startup idea is like a flower bud, which slowly blossoms and changes its form, becoming a beautiful flower in the end. It does not matter if a startup idea is unique, success eventually comes if the business plan is properly executed. 

Before laying the foundation of a company, it is important to create a business outline, which gives information about the product, operations, profit margin and so on. This will help to exhibit the business model properly and further identify mistakes in it prior to its establishment. 

According to a Harvard Business School’s study named Why Companies Fail—and How Their Founders Can Bounce Back, “Start-ups often fail because founders and investors neglect to look before they leap, surging forward with plans without taking the time to realise that the base assumption of the business plan is wrong. They believe they can predict the future, rather than try to create a future with their customers.”

Through this study, it seems that it is challenging for startups to sustain the business environment. Perhaps, companies need to think ahead of time. 

Don’t Follow a Flock of Sheep

As time progresses, disruption takes place in the business sphere as well as in other segments. In recent times, e-commerce has been one of the biggest disruptions in the consumer market, which is also giving a tough competition to offline retailers. With the advent of e-commerce platforms, buying commodities have become easier for consumers and thus there is the biggest shift of consumers to online shopping platforms. 

After the rebranding of the Indian e-tailer, Flipkart became an immensely popular platform. Witnessing the success of Flipkart, its business idea was copied by many other entrepreneurs and therefore, many other e-commerce platforms began to come up eventually. 

For most people, following this business idea like a flock of sheep, became immensely difficult to attain that kind of success in the field as there is a lot of competition and also, high demand of innovation as well as investment required. 

For instance, ShopClues, one of the e-tailers, branded itself to be a really cheap seller of all items. While offering cheap products to customers and getting some success in this sphere, it had not foreseen future events. Thus, when Flipkart got Walmart’s financial backing, the e-tailer’s business increased and its foothold surged manifold,  impacting other small e-commerce companies like ShopClues. 

Meanwhile, ShopClues did not have plans to cope with bad times and it gradually faced losses in business. “Over the past few months, ShopClues orders have shrunk to about 15,000 a day, and these continue to decline steadily. Its social commerce platform, EzoNow is also struggling in the midst of well funded social commerce-focused companies.” as reported by daily news, Entrackr.  

This shows that copying someone else’s business idea may be good as long as the entrepreneur applies his own innovation and creativity into it and most importantly, has foresight.

Finalised a Business Idea?

Amid existing business models, if one does not find an existing business model to work with, then one can think of a unique business plan, too. However, others' advice and recommendations should also be considered before working on it, all of which needs a lot of critical thinking. 

Further, an individual needs to check on the internet if there is any business or enterprise which is somewhat relatable to his startup idea.  Researching will help to understand the underpinnings of the business and thus facilitate in executing the business plan correctly. 

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