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How to Copy Successful Startup Business

Do you want a startup business idea you can copy? Are you having a problem deciding which business to start? Do you know you can copy what successful businesses are already doing well? However, you have to know what they are doing and why it’s working for them before you copy.

It’s much safer in life to follow what works than trying to reinvent new ways. As a startup business, you probably don’t even know much about the business you intend to start. Having an example to copy would help save you from the unknown.

Starting a business is much work. It can even be challenging to begin with if you are not sure what business to start. Not to talk of knowing what business would work for you. You may have an idea of what you would love to do. However, it will be safer to know startup businesses that are already successful in it.


The idea of copying startup business to start yours is not illegal. It’s still a choice between success and failure. The only advantage is that you have an example you can study to know what works and what doesn’t.

It still doesn’t change how you start your business. It only changes what you need to start your business. More of the value and standard you choose to offer your customers. Also, it can help you understand the market better and see what people want.

How it works

There are fundamental rules in copying a business. It’s not like the kind of copying answers students do inside the exam hall. You can’t copy a startup business blindly even if it’s successful. The rules of starting a business must follow as well.

You must avoid what makes startup business fail when copying. Moreover, you must understand what you need to copy.

The first group of startup businesses to copy are your competitors.

Another way is to adopt tested business ideas from other countries. Adaptors take tested business ideas that have worked in other countries or states and implemented them to the regions that lack this ideas or business models.

Let’s use Nigeria such as. The population is large enough. The economy has all the signs and potential for growth. However, there are not many cool tech and industrial startup businesses here.

Someone needs to take successful startups from another place and start them in Nigeria.

successful startup business

Why You Should Copy Startup

If you want to copy a startup business, make sure it’s a business that has existed for up to five years. I’m trying to be cautious here for you. According to the Small Business Association (SBA) reports that 30% of startup businesses fail within the first three years. In Nigeria that could even be up to 80 per cent. However, all those statistics are not necessarily correct.

There are real reasons why businesses fail. It’s not a matter of statistics, instead what the startup business owners were unable to do.

However, choosing to copy a startup business helps you study what they are doing well. Also, most importantly how the market is already responding to their product or service. That gives you an idea of how to improve on your services based on what the market needs.

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However, that’s not sure proof that the business might not fail. You will also have to avoid what makes businesses fail.

See a list of six of the things you should avoid here:

1. Ignoring to investigate the market properly
2. Not having a stable and realistic business plan
3. Not having adequate and proper financing
4. Wrong Location, overlooking the internet and poor marketing
5. Being too complacent
6. Also, the drive to expand too fast

What to Copy from Startup Businesses

There are also things to watch out for when you want to copy a startup business. There are five signs of successful startup agreed by both Entrepreneur.com and Forbes. While Entrepreneur focused on the early signs, Forbes looked at the sure signs.

Let’s start with the early signs from Entrepreneur:

1. The startup must have a clear strategy
2. Consumers are the ones finding out about them
3. Is their positive cash flow higher than their burn rate?
4. Do they have a great team in place?
5. How focused are they on their purpose?

Now, let’s also look at the sure signs from Forbes:

1. Do they know in advance what customers are willing to pay the price they ask for?
2. Are they showing signs of strategic perspective?
3. How conservative are they with early-stage funds?
4. Is their operation transparent?
5. How good are they in communicating both good and bad news?

These are the signs to watch in startup business you want to copy. Note that you cannot access their books to know if they are profitable. You can only view the signs to imagine how the market is treating them. You might not be correct, but you will be right in most cases.

Low Startup Cost Businesses

In choosing a startup business to copy, you have to be conscious of how it all plays out online as well. Any business that cannot start online should not be in your list of options.

In a few years from now, the world as we know it will have a problem dealing with any business offline without an online interface. That is also low-cost to start.

A domain name and web hosting probably cost around $100. Moreover, you can quickly get a simple website designed for you for as low as N150,000.

Adoption of any startup business concept may also come with unforeseen challenges. It’s always advisable to do it low-cost first.

Top Online Startup Businesses

I want to share with you successful startup businesses that you can copy. You have to browse through and find one that suits you. Even though these businesses are all blogs, but the ideas behind them cannot happen any other way.

1. Greatist – This site creates reputable, trust-worthy health content backed by science that is hard to come by. It has over 10 million visitors monthly. Moreover, boast of revenue in the eight digits in dollars.
2. Nomadic Matt – Matt started as a personal travel blog. Also, later diversified its income streams by creating and selling their products. Staying small, lean, and extremely profitable.
3. Nerd Wallet – This is Understands search intent and created the best type of content and user experience depending on the keyword. It reviews everything from credit cards, mortgages, insurance, and all things finance. Moreover, that swells its worth to $500 million.
4. Nerd Fitness – this startup business has grown into a massive community of regular people who want to learn how to get fit and have fun doing it.
5. The Penny Hoarder – interviews exciting people on their site and share how they’re making money. It’s not a scam, which is very easy to fall into in the “make money” niche. Last year alone, it generated close to $40 million. Also, they did it without any advertising.
6. Coindesk – It’s the most successful cryptocurrency blog in the world, getting over 10 million visitors per month.
7. Ars Technica – this site writes detailed news stories. Unlike other tech blogs merely report the news, Ars Technica analyses the content.
8. Apartment Therapy – is one of the leading blogs about home design. The site makes revenue in the range of $20 million annually.
9. Kitchn – this site is one of the most abundant food and recipe blogs in the world.
10. Digital Spy – Do you want to know the blog responsible for all the #1 rankings for just about any movie or tv show? This blog dominates every movie or tv show like that. Just search for a tv show or movie, and they’ll pop up number one.

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successful startup business

Action Points On Startup Business

Now that you have an idea of startups you can copy, it’s time to take action. Below are your specific steps to take. Remember that, they do not replace the process of starting a business. Although some of the steps align with the business startup process, you still need to follow laid down rules of starting your own business.

Step One: Do Your Market Research

Researching about the startup business and the market is the first step to take. The more details you know about the startup and the market the more secure your investment.

Don’t invest out of emotion or love for business. Get all your facts rechecked before you dive.

Step Two: Create a Road Map

Have a clear vision and actions you have to take. Writing a business plan is one of those particular roadmaps. If you don’t know how you plan to meet the result, you may make unnecessary mistakes that will lead to failure.

Step Three: Conduct a SWOT Analysis

You need to access your strength and weakness, even though you are just starting A SWOT analysis will help you see areas where you are strong, weak or have better opportunities or likely threats.

Step Four: Secure Intellectual Properties

You can strengthen your advantage by acquiring relevant intellectual properties. It gives you exclusive rights over certain products your competitors may not have. It’s one of the sure ways of ensuring your success as a startup business.

Step Five: Decide on Branding

Branding is more than choosing a business name. It involves deciding the identity of the business. A name that should convey the experience you want to create and the solution it provides.

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It’s also when you should pick the domain name.

Step Six: Incorporate Your Startup

You have to make your business legal. It gives you specific rights and privileges as well. Your choice of a business registration group is personal. But whatever decision you make, it will give you the power to run a business.

Step Seven: Find a Mentor

If it’s your first time as a startup, you need a mentor. Although finding a good mentor may not that easy. But you need to have one to guide you. A mentor can offer deep industry insight and wisdom to help you navigate some of the challenges that come your way.

Step Eight: Raise Capital

The success of your business relies a great deal on the financing. If you need to raise capital for your business, you should begin by deciding how much money to raise and how it will affect your startup business. You have to figure out before deciding how you will be raising it.


You may be thinking if it’s right to copy a startup business. Well, you may need to know that even if you don’t copy them, the idea to start your business is a copy as well. 99 per cent of business ideas are copied.

Facebook may be the leader in the social network, but it didn’t start social media. Gmail may be the preferred email account now, it didn’t begin email business either.

You can copy a startup and get better and more significant than them. It won’t make you the pioneer of the idea. The same with man. We are all a copy of the original man. The first man is no longer in the world. The same way many pioneer businesses will one day no more exist.


You need to understand fully how to Start a business before you can copy one. I have picked an article for you to read: How To Start a business. Also, you need to increase your knowledge of other business ideas. You should learn how to find the right business ideas as well.

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