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Let’s be honest, business is and always has been a copycat endeavor. We like to imagine businesses being the product of individual genius planting the seeds for a mighty empire. While there is definitely a kernel of truth to that, and a lack of individuality, insight, and passion for your project will doom it from the start, the truth is we’re all focused on trying to determine what industry leaders do and figure out how we can do it too.

That said, your copycat endeavors don’t have to be too elaborate. The traits that the most successful companies have in common are quite simple. Here are a few of them.

Set Short and Long-Term Goals

You probably know already that you won’t go anywhere unless you can lay out a business plan. What may still remain a mystery to you, however, is how to set each plan to suit your short and long-term needs and goals, because these likely will be different.

Have a vision for where you want to see your company in three months, three quarters, and three years.

Knowledge Is Key

You cannot succeed in an industry you don’t understand. That means understanding the nature of the industry today. Just because you had a pretty good grasp on your field a decade ago doesn’t mean that you are savvy to current market trends, technology, and consumer taste. Make sure you and your team are well-informed as to all of these before making any moves.

Adapt or Die

Those two aforementioned points lead into this one, perhaps the most important secret to success – that you either adapt or die. Artists from Shakespeare to Picasso to the Beatles adapted and changed their styles over their careers. Companies like Apple and Netflix have successfully adapted to the times and changing tastes. While we’ve all heard the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” if you don’t adapt with the times, you risk your company and its reputation among customers breaking beyond repair.

Goal-setting, insight, and adaptation are all key to helping your business achieve and sustain success.