24 September 2007

Double take

I was having a quiet sort of morning. I made a list of things to do this week - not just work, but a few other tasks - and started gradually working my way through it. Then a potential client called offering me an urgent job. I agreed to take it on and got stuck in immediately.

From about lunchtime, my phone never stopped ringing. My callers were, almost without exception, applying for my vacancy.

Except I'm not offering a job to anyone.

The problem is that I have a trading name that is almost identical to a larger collective of people who operate in a similar field to me. Three years ago, when I was hunting for a trading name I searched Companies House and the trademarks register to ensure my chosen name would be unique. And so it appeared that it was. Except my rivals have been trading for around twice as long as me. I have long been aware of them and they, no doubt, of me. Neither of us has taken action against the other, probably because there's not really much need, although I have toyed recently with trademarking myself. We seem to have very different pools of clients.

Things changed today. My rivals apparently advertised a vacancy in a national newspaper today. Interestingly, they asked candidates to make contact only by email. But of course, all those candidates wanted to know more about the company offering the job, so they got googling. And of course, my site generally comes up higher - way higher - as my SEO is better. And my phone number is on my site. Hence it ringing off the hook. I was distracted all afternoon by people calling to ask questions about the job. If it was me hiring, I wouldn't have picked any of them if they can't follow the instruction to contact by email only. The first rule of editing is accuracy...

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