As a successful business owner, you might think that you have everything figured out. You've built a thriving business from the ground up, you have plenty of customers, and you're continuing to head in the right direction financially.
But what happens when your business turns stagnant, and you start to lose some of that spark you had when you first began? Maybe you've exhausted all of your great ideas, and you have nothing left in your bag of tricks.
If this is the case for you, then maybe it's time to start drawing inspiration from what other businesses have accomplished.
There are a few reasons why this strategy works. Number one, you can see what other businesses are doing right, and try to do that as well. Keep in mind though, this is not the same thing as copying or stealing their ideas. You never want to outright steal another companies idea, but you can certainly play off of their good ideas. You see this all the time in tech companies, such as the ongoing rivalry between Apple and Samsung. When one company invents a new piece of tech, the other one will implement that same piece of tech in their new smartphone, but expand on the idea and make it better. This benefits the industry as a whole because it births new ideas through friendly competition. Ideas that might not have come about if the two companies hadn't played off of each other's ideas.
The second reason finding inspiration from other businesses is a good strategy is that it shows you aren't stuck inside your own little box of continuous pats on the back. You show people that you are open to other ideas, and if you're ideas aren't working, you know how to get your business back on track. This has good implications for people who want to invest in your company, of course, but it also has a secondary effect of earning the respect of customers. Make sure people know that you're not always concerned about you, and that you are open to suggestions and ideas from other sources.
Lastly, it's not all about another businesses good ideas. People have bad ideas, too. Ideas that inevitably will harm their company, but you can use this to your advantage as well. You can observe someone, see what strategy didn't work, and learn from someone else's mistakes. You don't want to go down the same path as a failing company, and repeat the errors that they made. So, in a way, you can find inspiration for your own business through someone else's bad decisions.
Your ideas are great, but sometimes it takes an outside source to get your business moving in the right direction. Don't be afraid to look to others for inspiration!
Contributor Caleb Hennington is a 24-year-old writer, who manages the Atwill Media and FGmarket blogs. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
When not writing, Caleb enjoys camping, running, collecting comic books, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.