28 September 2016

Copy Cat Businesses and how to Cope!

Picture by Anne-Marie Sanderson

I am feeling so annoyed having read one of my friend's posts on Facebook where she tells us that whole chunks of her website copy and ideas have been stolen and placed on someone else's website and business literature.
It's made me think about all the times that Gunter and I have suffered from this same copycat syndrome. It doesn't stop there, they will go after your client base too. We even had a business that tried to steal our name and our logo, let alone the ideas!
The gratifying factor is that they copy the things they see but they will never know the true secret to your success that they try to emulate, that's not to say that copying doesn't undermine your business and take the bread out of your mouths but it does mean their days are numbered, their longevity is questionable and their ethical sensibilities are none, even if they insist their business is ethical.
When someone copies you, the usual response from well-meaning friends is that you can choose to see it as flattering, however if someone steals your car, no one says that is flattering. I prefer to look at it this way, the threat to your business is a challenge for you, a challenge for you to focus on the positive and not the negative. Choose to concentrate on your business and all the good things you do and choose to ignore the other business, do not support it, or help to promote it. The one thing that I have noticed is that people that copy are intrinsically negative thinkers and struggle to realise their own brilliance, when they realise their own brilliance, they won't have to rely on yours and in that lies their weakness, if they take on you and try to compete against you, with your own ideas, not their ideas, then how will they ever win that battle? They can't! Their days are numbered because once you cut them from your circle and you are not so generous with your time and your ideas, they will have to stop copying you.
It is a long, slow and painful lesson for them to learn but copying just does NOT WORK. It is a simple equation a business that copies = FAILURE. That business will not last long because copying someone else means that faced with their own challenges in business, they will not have the resources, the though processes, or the experience of how to deal with challenges, they only know how to copy.
So, to anyone, especially my friend, who feels copied in business and stolen from, please take comfort in this, as long as you focus on your business and your positives, you will succeed no matter what, unfortunately I cannot say the same for business owners that copy. They say jealousy is the sincerest form of flattery, that's what they say about copying too......but copying only cheats everyone involved, the business owners and the public.
The one that copies will almost always be a friend, a friend who asks your advice and then takes your secrets for themselves, they'll treat you kindly and then take from you, rather like a conman....'He always seemed so nice', people say after their life savings have been taken, think about it, he wouldn't have been able to take your life savings if he seemed nasty, would he! Yes, it will feel painful cutting them out at first because you're a human with a conscience.
Having been in this situation many times over the past 7 years in Enfield and in Shepton Mallet. I know the way forward for you is to know your positives and concentrate on them.
It is hard to focus on the positive but keep going and blank that business out from your radar. Focus on your goals and your aims and what you are doing.

6 September 2016

Schmeese Vegan and Gluten Free Pizza

Right now, cooking in my oven is a Schmeese Vegan and Gluten Free Pizza!

I've got to blog this recipe quickly, as it only takes 15 to 20 minutes to cook and I want to finish this, so that I can eat it! Yum, yum!

So, this is how I made my Vegan and Gluten Free Pizza:

First of all prepare the Schmeese!

1/ Put one tablespoon of coconut oil into a saucepan and heat.

2/ Then add one tablespoon of buckwheat flour.

3/ After about half a minute add 1/2 a cup of almond milk slowly to the pan, whilst stirring.

4/ Then add two tablespoons of Engevita Flakes and stir them in well.

5/ Put this on the side, whilst you prepare the base.

Now, prepare the base.

1/ Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.

2/ Prepare a baking tray or pizza tray by putting grease proof paper on it and oiling the paper really well.

3/ Put the following into a jug or bowl;

1/2 a cup of Buckwheat Flour

2 tablespoons of arrowroot

2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed

1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder (Gluten Free)

1/4 a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

a pinch of salt

4/ Mix well.

5/ Add 1/2 a cup of water to the mix. You may need to add more buckwheat flour as you go to make it combine into dough that can be rolled into a ball without being too sticky to handle.

6/ Put the ball of the dough in the centre of the baking tray/pizza tray and flatten then spread out by pushing towards the edges with your fingertips. Keep going until it is a nice round or rectangle shape.

7/ Then spread the following on top of the pizza base:

1 tablespoon of tomato puree

Freshly crushed garlic, or powdered garlic.

Chilli Flakes

Mixed Herbs.

A touch of Tamari Gluten Free Soya Sauce

8/ Then sprinkle a grated carrot over the top and lay out some spinach leaves.

9/ Then drizzle the Vegan Schmeese Sauce over the top!

10/ Put the pizza into the pre-heated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Well, my pizza finished cooking, about halfway through writing this, I presented it on a bed of salad leaves from our local Shepton Mallet Friday Market and it was delicious. The salad leaves come from Tasty Leaves and most of the ingredients to make the pizza are available from our online shop, or come and visit us in Shepton Mallet. My Coffee Stop, 34, High Street, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5AS!