They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.  Do you agree? When you run a business and another business is out there imitating you to the extreme, are you actually flattered? Let’s face it……it’s annoying and rather underhand.

We all work hard to build and grow our businesses so it feels like a real kick in the stomach when another business copies what you are doing.

How far have they gone to copy your business?

Do they post similar things to you on their social channels?

Do they post similar content on their website?

Are they copying your content themes?

Are they using the same terminology as you?

How far have they actually gone to copy your business model, and to imitate your brand?

In some cases the business copying you may have been involved in your business in some way.

What can you do about a copycat?

The simple answer is nothing.

You could, of course, decide to take the legal route but ultimately you may end up spending time, money and energy when it’s just not worth it.

You can choose to go head-to-head or you can choose to change.

Whatever you decide to do, you can choose to hold your head up high and know that your integrity is intact.

Let’s be honest.  When you start a business there is nothing stopping anybody from opening another business similar to yours.  The world is full of the same business types. It’s a fact of business.  Good ideas never belong to one person for very long.  Take it from me, others will try and copy you.

Take a deep breath and get used to it.  When you create a great business, people will steal, mimic and copy.  Competition exists in all business markets.  It makes us stronger, fiercer and smarter.

But there are the biters.  The people who copy what you have done to advance their own goals and business.  It’s not fair but it is life.

Don’t let the copycats kill your vibe.  Push your own limits, raise your own bar and let them carry on copying you if that’s how they think it’s the right way to do business.  Even when you (and they) know its wrong.

And I know it might be difficult to get your hand round this one…..know they are paying you a compliment.  Take comfort in the tribute they are paying to you by copying what you do.

Stay close to who you are, what you do and the loyal people that always stick by you.  The ones that follow the copycats aren’t the right people for you.

Finally, and this one is my most favourite way to deal with copycats.  Ignore them! Yes, IGNORE them!

If people are selling your ideas and approach – let them do it.  What really matters is that people can’t copy you as a person.  They can’t copy your character, personalities or the morals and values you live by.

Focus on your own growth and let the copycats steal your next move if they want to.

I know it sounds a lot simpler than it feels, believe me – I know.  But trust me, it is the only way to go.

Should you speak up?

In some cases yes I think you can.  But if you decide to do this, know that the business copying you will probably ignore the fact that they are copying you.   They won’t take responsibility for this, even when it’s obvious the copycat acts they have committed.

Copycats believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing and entitled to every wish despite the lack of their business etiquette, integrity and moral values.

And usually, the copycats are those that publicly are charming and show a different story.  They are extremely convincing despite the fact that they always have an ulterior motive and show zero remorse for their actions.

So…..if you come across a copycat in your business, ignore them.  It’s the only way.

And remember, in order to be in the game and compete with you in the first place, they have had to copy you to hold that position.

I would love to know if you have experienced a copycat?

What did you do?

Amanda Ayres

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