Dealing with Competition

We all know - It doesn’t have to be another sewing studio to really be considered competition, does it? 

New, awesome class offerings for all ages keep popping up every single day where I live and operate my sewing school. I’ve sort of just become used to it!

In fact, A School of Rock franchise just opened up in the building where my studio is. I don’t know a lot about this company, but I do know that it looks awesome and kids are going to think so too.

And even though it’s not direct competition (they obviously do not teach sewing classes) their class offerings are probably going to attract some of the same kids of students that our classes attract. 

Not gonna lie - their recent opening had me a little rattled. 

If I get really honest, I find it totally annoying to work tirelessly, year after year, building and improving my business.  To watch some newbie who just purchased a 20k franchise come in and try to do it too? And more than likely take some of my business in the process? Frustrating to say the least. 

But when I come back to my senses, I remind myself there’s enough for all of us to go around. A scarcity mentality gets you nowhere in this business. The negative feelings I generate when I get into a scarcity mindset are not serving me in any way. 

Here are some of the things I try to remember when too much competition starts getting me down. Maybe you’ll find them useful too:

  1. Try to ignore the competition (for the most part). I focus on reminding myself that I have a successful studio for a reason. I work very hard to make my classes really good which gives me a leg up on the competition.  My proven track record and satisfaction from my students is what keeps them coming back. When I put my competition blinders on, I can keep the focus more on being the best that I can be, despite what else is out there.

  2. It’s way better to be FOR each other not against each other. I've found over the course of my career my "competitors" can sometimes become my business allies. When I encounter another business that I find is doing a really good job and seems to really have their act together, I wanna make friends with this business owner. Rather than view them as my competition and keep to myself, I know there are things that we can help each other with. And this doesn't mean that this business owner will respond to my requests of being their business "friend". But If I reach out and they decide they don't want to form an alliance with me, it's okay. I feel better knowing that I tried.  Maybe one day they will change their mind.

  3. Remember abundance. NEVER forget there's more than enough to go around for all of us in this universe. And yes, there's more than enough even in the small town where you operate your business. The scarcity mindset is an idea that somehow I will lose if another gains.  It says there is only a finite amount of “success” to reach in a certain industry and if one person reaches it then everyone else loses.  Not only is this false, but it's toxic to business. It's a mindset that only sees short term, and tends to promote jealousy at other people's success. Yes, this is a hard one to remember. But I promise you it couldn't be more true.

    I got the chance to introduce myself to the new School of Rock owners the other day while I was checking my mail. And I had about a 30 second back and forth dialogue in my head before extending myself and introducing myself to them. It wasn't my default to "make friends". But I did it and I'm glad I do. I let them know in a confident way about myself and my business and I heartily welcomed them to the "neighborhood" and I meant it. 

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