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Don't be afraid of the competition. Business networking for women in Kent, Ashford, Maidstone, Faversham

Who’s afraid of the big bad…. competition!? By Caroline Love

Something has got Caroline riled recently, and she felt it an important lesson for others too. Read on to find out what we can learn from our competition about how to do – or not to do things!

Before I start this, something you should know about me is that I am known for my placid nature. A friend frequently says “you are so laid back I could flick you and you wouldn’t notice.”

But this morning I was riled, my goat was well and truly got!

I saw a notification in my Facebook timeline that there was a new networking meeting for women being set up in my local town. I was really pleased as there isn’t much in the way of networking in my home town and as I have recently started a business with my daughter I was keen to get the word out and meet new people. So, I duly asked to join the associated Facebook group. But.. can you believe it? I was refused!

I was really surprised to receive a message that there may be a conflict of interest with me joining, as I already run a fee-paying networking group. I can only assume that the group owner thought I would be there to ‘steal’ her customers.

There are so many reasons this was the wrong attitude to take. I think I must have been applying Metis Women values of support and collaboration which obviously don’t apply everywhere.

Here are a few reasons I was p*****d off:

1. I was dismissed before the group leader knew anything about me. Yes, I promote Metis Women but I also have other interests, businesses and activities which make the whole person. I, like most women I know, am multidimensional and applying prejudice is just plain wrong.

2. I am a local business woman and the group was for local townsfolk. Why advertise it as such if that’s not true?

3. A similar business isn’t always competing with you. In Metis Women we have many businesses which are similar who set up projects together, look out for each other and generally give and get support. Competition isn’t a bad thing. There is always something unique about you that makes a customer choose you rather than someone else, and it’s probably your personality. People buy people and what is right for one person won’t suit another. In fact, having several similar businesses endorses the fact that there is a market for your product. Your clients can get your product anywhere. I can buy the same things in Tesco, Asda or Sainsbury’s. There are several different reasons why I would buy in one shop rather than another. When we run small businesses that choice often comes down to ‘who’ rather than ‘what’.

4. It’s a women’s group. Aren’t we supposed to be standing together and supporting each other? So much for being collaborative rather than competitive.

5. In business it’s really important to be open to new opportunities, whether it’s to meet people, new projects, ways of doing things or simply a chance to learn from and be inspired by other people. We all need to take the chance to share expertise and experience, pay it forward and learn from people who have ‘been there’. In my early networking days I learned loads from people in vastly different businesses to my own and very similar ones. In Metis Women we have a collaboration slot where a member puts a problem or issue to the room for group feedback and this is one of the principles of masterminding – a well-known business growth strategy. Whenever you hear the responses and solutions people propose it is good practice to think ‘How could I apply that to my business?’

6. SHE GOT MY NAME WRONG!! Nuff said.

What have I learned?

As Louise Hay says: ‘What other people think of me is none of my business.’

Let it go!!

And … if you sweat the small stuff you will burn your lunch.

Rant over!

Learn about your competition, don’t jump to a defensive assumption. If there really is going to be a conflict of interest somewhere, then discuss options if you can. Competition is good as it shows there are people out there that want it. Be the best unique you and attract those that fit with your vision and principals.

Upcoming Workshops

Marketing & SEO – 27th June <<< Key Workshop to boost your Website
Following a really successful learn session we asked Alicia of Clockwork Moggy to go into more depth about how we can make our websites more likely to be found by the right people. The practical session includes: How to choose your keywords, optimising your web pages, how to write keyword dense blogs that both bots and humans love, using Google Analytics and other tools, and so much more. Book your place now >>

Other workshops over the next few months will cover Life Skills & Wellness, and Productivity & Finance.

For the full program and to book your space head here now.

Workshops are open to members and guests – & not just women 🙂

Upcoming Meetings

Book your place now. Links are below.

Ashford – 7th July, Kennington Hall – Learn Session: Amanda Holges, Time for Profit
* Sponsored by Kennington Hall, Wedding & Events Venue

Maidstone – 14th July, *Note Change of Location* The Centre – Mind Body Sprit, Moto Services, M2 London Bound Learn Session: Barbara Luna, Exceptional Customer Service
* Sponsored by The Centre – Mind Body Sprit, Workshops, Healing, Therapies

Faversham – 15th June, Judd’s Folly – Learn Session: Anna Bell, How To Tell Your Story
* Sponsored by Judds Folly, Hotel, Restaurant & Wedding Venue

Meetings run from 9:30 (For networking) – 12:00

Book Now:

We are currently not running any meetings, for further details see our facebook page

Have a good weekend

Amanda & The Metis Women Team

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