You Don’t Have to Be First to Start a Business 4

Most people overvalue ideas and being first. You don’t have to be first to have a good business, and you don’t have to be unique. Far more important than being the first is just the simple foundation of giving your customers good value. Give good value for every dollar spent, and that will build return business, and word-of-mouth advertising, and a good business.

Instead of asking yourself whether you’re the first, ask yourself can you get customers? Can you get enough of them to make it work? Will they recommend you, and come back for more? If you can answer yes to these questions, then you can build a business even if you aren’t the first.

Relatively few successful start-ups depend on the ideas or uniqueness. What matters is doing it, starting it up, getting it done. For example, when Apple Computer started in 1976, thousands of people had the same idea. Altair and MIPS were already producing. Every hobbyist club in the country talked about it in their meetings. Jobs and Wozniak, however, did it. They found the resources, contracted people, took the risks and started up.

There are plenty of good examples. Was Federal Express patentable? No, but they did it. Look at; it was a good idea, but easily copied. In that case they knew they had to move fast and gain visibility very quick, to pre-empt competition. McDonald’s? By the time you’ve had a good idea, so have hundreds or thousands of others. Build some advantage first, develop the idea and work with it, bear down and make it work.

About the Author Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry. Follow Tim on Google+ Read more »

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  • Hanan

    It is very supportive ideas, and I am impressed cause it have core ideas and realistic points, for those who are starting up a business.

  • Tammy

    This is a great and very encouraging article.

    The “fairly obvious” stuff was indeed new to me. In fact, I had operated under the assumption that I couldn’t start up my biz without having something new and unique that no one else had.

    I’m encouraged to know that I can still move forward even though I don’t have the latest “gimmick” or “new and improved” item.

    Thanks again for the article!

  • Tom

    I just wanted to say that this article helped change the way I was thinking. It’s inspiring articles like this that help start the next big idea. Thank you.

  • http://nowebsite minhaj

    i m a new buisnessman and i dont know how to do buisness so i want some points which help in starting buisness please pay urgent attention thanks!!!!!!


    We have a lot of resources, information, articles and calculators on the website all designed to assist you in starting and growing your business. We are not a consulting service, so while we can offer guidance in helping you find information, we can not help you with any type of consulting. We also have our software, Business Plan Pro, which is designed to help walk you through writing your business plan.

    Good luck in your new business!

    ‘Chelle Parmele
    Social Media Marketing Manager
    Palo Alto Software

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