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Category: Blog

3 Steps to Combat a Copycat

Copycatting. Plagiarism. In our growing technological world, these practices happen more often than we would like. In the business world, copycatting can be our worst nightmare. When someone imitates us, it’s supposed to be flattering, but when someone imitates our body of work it can become angering, fast.

The unfortunate thing about success is that it breeds plenty of copycats. When people like your product, they will sometimes try to revamp or improve it to make money from your idea. When people like your content, they’ll sometimes take it and plug it into their own website. When people see a marketing strategy that works, they’re bound to try their hand at a similar method. It’s unfortunate, but it does happen.

Copycatting is annoying, but it happens. If you’re in business for yourself, the likelihood is that you’ll come up against this issue at one time or another. So, what should you do if you feel that you’re being plagiarized enough to take action? (link )

Start Small
The best way to handle this type of conflict is to address it directly, wherever possible. This works in two ways; it makes you identify whether or not you truly believe you’re being copycatted, and it makes you more real to the perpetrator. Reach out and express your concern; explain the trials and tribulations that you have faced in designing your strategy, and offer some advice for someone just starting out. Ask the copycat respectfully to alter their course, and hope for cooperation.

Going Above The Copycat
When the plagiarism or copycatting is obvious and undeniable, and direct contact has no impact, the time may be upon you to go above their head. The next step with any online copyright infringement is to contact the host. Send a quick note to shed some light on the situation that you’re in and ask for the host’s help in convincing your copycat to cease. The host has far more leverage than you do.

Seek Legal Advice
If nothing else works, it may be time to consider talking to a lawyer. Keep in mind that plagiarists are plagiarists through and through and they’ve likely poached the work of others as well. If you can find other victims and form an alliance, you may get further in your journey to have your content pulled.

For more information on how you can protect yourself, Plagiarism Today is a great resource.

Have you ever been copied? How did it impact your business or make you feel? Were you successful in taking the copycat down? Leave us a comment so we can learn from your experience.

When and Why to Revise Your Business Plan

You know that business plans are important, but as a business owner, you also know that figures and strategies can often change. You’re probably aware that you should revise your business plan once a year, but there are times when an annual look just isn’t enough. If you’re unsure what constitutes revising your business plan, here are some scenarios where you should take inventory to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Scheduling is All Wrong

When you’re consistently behind schedule, it’s not good for anyone. Clients feel like they’re not important, and you feel like you’re stressed to the max. When you notice that your big projects, or all of your projects are falling behind schedule, your business is in dangerous water. Take some time to re-examine what is happening and make some changes.

Employee Attitudes

Every company should run like a well-oiled machine. If your employees are slacking, losing motivation or lacking in focus, it’s probably time to address something within your business. There are a number of reasons that employee morale can slip, but it’s up to you to find out what is at work and to fix it.

Being Outsold by Competitors

Sometimes your business plans are thwarted by new or suddenly aggressive competitors. Often unexpected, this can feel a little personal; remember that it isn’t. Your competitors are out to make money and retain clientele, just like you are. Instead, sit down and really think about what you can do to stay afloat, but don’t wait in this instance. Address it fast!

Sales Figures Drop or Projections Are Off

When your sales and financial projections are off, it’s a definite indication that your business plan needs to be revised. The positive to this is that you should have a better idea of your clientele and sales than you originally did. That means that it will be easier to forecast realistically.

When it comes to your business plan, the main thing to remember is that it’s an imperative part of your success, and that problems will not fix themselves. Pour time into revisions when you come up against problems and get your company on track and where you’d like it to be.

Are You Left or Right Brained in Business?

You’re a problem solver. You take a look at every obstacle that you are facing and find the quickest, most efficient way to tackle it. Everything is a puzzle waiting to be solved, and you like it that way. It’s organized, comfortable and strategic. You rely strongly on your left-brain.

…Or not.

Maybe you’re creative! You can visualize the most stunning settings and collaborate in intensely creative ways. You’re able to think outside of the box and get things done in a way that many others could not. You’re the right-brained kind of person.

Many people believe that the business world is for left-brained people, while right-brainers should be left to designing business cards or sandwich boards. More and more often in the business world of today, right-brained people are finding their niche and making their way to success.

Right-brained and left-brained people aren’t generally interested in the same things, but even when they are they tend to approach these things in completely different ways. Typically, one would expect to find a left-brained person in industries such as medicine and law. Right-brained people are more likely to lean towards things in the arts or design, but anything can be creative if you can look at it from a unique perspective. It’s unlikely to find a right-brained accountant, just as it might become hard to nail down a left-brained expert in musical theatre. Depending upon your wiring, your passions will vary, and those variations will carry over into your career choices.

No matter your persuasion; left or right, if you decide to enter into the entrepreneurial world, you can successfully do so as long as you put some tested tactics into place. In business, it is always important to have goals, both lofty and immediate. Set your sights high, but aim for small, achievable goals right out of the gate. This is the best way to feel encouraged, measure your success and also ease yourself into the stress of owning a business. This also works to keep your tasks simplified, which helps you to focus on one thing at a time, no matter your goals. Focus on your immediate goals, and as you achieve them, regroup and move forward.

When it comes to creative business ideas, integrate them slowly and responsibly. Don’t jump too far ahead of yourself too quickly, or you’ll find that you overshoot your target. Make note of any of the methods you’ve put in place, define whether or not they have been successful, and then look for more of the ones that are.

Whether left or right-brained, there’s room for you in the business world. When you’re in doubt, don’t hesitate to turn around and take a look at the starting line; you’ll easily be able to see how far you’ve come.

Goal Setting for the Creative Maker

You know your final destination, but do you know how to get there? Goal setting is a BOR-ING task but oh so necessary if you want to actually get to the finish line of any dream.

You’ve most likely heard the common way to set goals is to make sure they’re “SMART” goals… (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) but the problem with those types of goals is that I get caught up with making sure the goals I set actually meet this criteria! LOL!!

The way that I set my goals to be achieved is to break them down into bite sized (or action based) pieces. Starting from the END result, work your way backwards.

Let’s break a goal down to show you what I mean.

Create and Upload New Items to Etsy

Research materials
– Decide whether to use fleece or cotton
– Design colour palette

Create items
– Cut materials
– Match patterns and quilt together
– Iron and sew
– Add labels

Write descriptions
– Research keywords and tags for listing
– Write descriptions

Take photos
– Set up backdrop
– Ensure lighting is adequate
– make sure all items are clean/ironed
– Edit photos if necessary

Come up with pricing (based on time & costs)
– Figure out timing
– Calculate costs
– Combine both factors to come up with pricing

Upload to Etsy Shop
– Go through all the steps to add your listing to your shop.

Wait for the “Cha-Ching” Sound 😉

Notice that each one of these tasks has a list of tasks in and of itself, this is the important part of setting goals as it makes the process not so overwhelming. The hardest part of goal setting is indeed the fact that it generally becomes too daunting and ends up falling by the wayside.

You can add dates and times to these if you want to be held accountable, but I find that adding dates and times doesn’t really help me. The bottom line is to make things as simple as they can be – you don’t have time (nor the want) for things to be overly complicated, but you do have to get stuff done so that you can move your business forward.

Do you have a system of goal setting that you use? Share in the comments so we can all be productive together 😉