I've worked for people like you before I started my own business, the best thing I can say is get your niches established and learn more about how versatile your business is. I say this because I'm an artist and I've been through hell with people screwing me over and pulling the rug out from under me because they're afraid of my talent being competition to theirs one day. You have to accept the fact that first of all..... nobody is going to work for you unless they have some type of interest in that field of work... which may mean running their own one day. If you find someone who hates the job, doesn't want to do that type of work for a living, etc. they won't have any passion about it and will cost you money in the long run as they let things pass that their instincts are geared towards catching. Your situation is why companies create different departments so different people are doing different things all day and are too busy for the right hand to stop and see what the left hand is doing. So you may have one person keeping books, but they don't know how the machine works, one person knows how to run the machine, but they don't know how to make effective sales calls, if you were to hire one person and make them cover all that then yes you would have a problem creating competition. You have to realize that nobody can be the king/queen of everything all at once, which means you can't hold an entire industry down all by yourself, which also means the person who leaves your shop and opens their own can't do it either. There are toooooooooo many different markets with toooooooooooooooo many different people who identify with toooooooooooo many different things for you to not be able to still make money doing what you specialize in even though they're out here doing something too. Don't be one of those guys who hires someone and sees they have bigger ideas than you thought and start trying to screw them around. I don't want to blame every downfall in my life on someone else, but at the same time people have gone out of their way to do things that messed me up for quite a few years in terms of getting my life and finances back in order. Stuff like that makes us bitter and makes us want to destroy you so when we finally do open our own place, guess who's customers we target? If you're kind and respectful to your employees, they will have a sense of respect towards you later on and try to make sure they don't cut into what you're doing. You may both do fashion, but you may be targeting two different types of customers. I personally send people to other artists all the time because I have my niche and even though I can step outside of that there are other people who specialize in that vibe of art and do a better job at it than I do. For example, you could specialize in a Japanese anime style of art while someone else specializes in Graffiti style work. If you know a person wants a graffiti style, why not send them to the person who specializes in that dominantly? When you do things like that, some of those individuals will appreciate that and send you people as well. Everyone is competition but share a mutual responsibility for an industry and its' value. One thing I tell other artist is "don't beat me out by going down on your price, beat me with your quality or how much you offer for the same price." I say that because if you have a customer who wants something that costs $20 everywhere they go, but they don't want to pay $20 for it, let them NOT HAVE IT. If you get them accustomed to paying less, then the item looses value all across the industry in that community. Enforce things like that to your local competition if you see them devaluing the industry. Other than that, if someone dreams of doing something, they're going to do it weather you're a part of it or not, so they're gonna be there one day anyways, if you go against them, they will be against you. If they do so well that they do start taking away business, find a way to still benefit from it. Be their whole seller for t shirts, sit down and figure out what your establishment is equipped to do that theirs isn't and come up with a way to contract your service to their company in a manner that will do well for how they're set up to function. Learn to think like that and you'll do a lot more than if you isolate yourself from the industry around you because you're trying to hoard over everything. You can't be a part of an industry you hide yourself from and it's inevitable that we take blows here and there in business, so just suck it up and strengthen your plan so you don't feel as intimidated by others because there is toooooo much out here for one person to turn your entire life upside down, if that happens, it's because you weren't on your game about things, think outside the box and keep those thoughts to yourself until they're put in action, that's how you secure your business and make sure you always have a need to fulfill.