What To Do When Competitors Copy Your Business Ideas
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In a highly competitive market, it is often difficult to completely prevent your competitors from copying business ideas. As a business owner, seeing your innovation benefit a competitor can be a truly heart-wrenching pill to swallow.
Regardless of the stage your business is in, understanding the options you can take to protect your ideas and innovation is key to long-term growth and profitability. Of course, most understand that legal action can be taken if a patented idea or product is copied, but if that is not the case, there are other options to securing the aspects of your business that make you stand out amongst the crowd.
Tips To Deal With Competitors That Copy Your Business
Protecting Ideas Through Legal Means
When it comes to original ideas, processes, or innovation the more legal protection you can acquire the better off your business will be. Provisional patents on ideas and patents on new products are the first step to ensuring your ideas will not be copied. With legal protection such as a patent, you can also ensure that if your idea is copied you can pursue legal action that will bind the competitor through a legal judgment.
A trademark can also provide an additional layer of protection to your business as well. Should any legal issues arise that have to do with a copycat competitor, your registered trademark can serve as concrete evidence that the idea is yours, as well as recorded time stamps when the idea emerged.
Contact The Competitor
When you see a competitor clearly copying a product or idea, do not hesitate to reach out and contact them right away. In some cases, the competitor is simply unaware of their overstep and will stop using the copied idea or product.
Let the competitor understand that you do not appreciate them copying your product and you will contact a lawyer and pursue legal action if something is not done about it.
Offer Superior Products Or Services
If your efforts to contact the competitor fail and you have no legal ground to stand on, you can simply optimise your product or service to be the best it can be. Although the product is largely the same, you can find nuances such as material or build location to stand out amongst the competitors. Offering a superior service to your customers will lead to increased brand loyalty and brand trust amongst your clients and customers.
Build Brand Loyalty
Having a loyal customer base is one of the main factors that lead businesses to sustain long-term growth and profitability, even in market downtimes or financial hardships. Work hard to develop the best product or service you can, and always look for ways to improve the lives of your customers.
When you treat customers like they are an essential part of your business’s success (which they are) then they will continuously come back for more business. Even if a copycat competitor arises, loyal customers will opt to take their business to you because of your consistent efforts to make them feel like they are valued and they matter.
Understanding the courses of action you have when a competitor copies your business idea is crucial. Another important area of protecting your business is your insurance. You must retain the proper coverage to avoid a lawsuit that bankrupts your personal and business assets.
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