Home – New Forums Starting your journey Is it worthwhile getting in touch with a competitor?

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  • #967048
    draz
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    Hi there,

    I have been contemplating as to whether or not it is worthwhile approaching a competitor as an offer came up to have a chat with an existing competitor in my industry. I am still in start up mode, so am thinking making it aware that a new competitor is out there probably won’t do too much good.

    Does anyone have any views on this and what could possibly be gained from engaging with a competitor?

    Thanks,

    Draz

    #1022936
    JohnSheppard
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    I would question weather you need to worry about competitors? If you spend your life worrying about them, you lose site of what your customer wants.

    Depending on the industry I guess it can be handy to have an alliance or be known…

    At a place I once worked we used to refer people down to our competitors quite regularly if we couldn’t service them.

    #1022937
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    I always talk to my competitors.

    The reality is no matter how hard you try, you will never control 100% of the market, your competitors will always get some.

    I regularly try to pop in and catch up with my competitors, sometimes I learn new things from them, sometimes they learn new things from me. Sometimes I’m in a tight spot and they help me, sometimes they are in a tight spot and I help them.

    I wouldn’t ever recommend abusing this friendship to gain clients though.

    #1022938
    BrightSpark
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    Depends on the field of business. I know that in a past life I owned an ISP and would go to business and “Network the Internet” which back then most computer business didn’t know how to do it. What you do while you are doing your thing may be “the same” but when you get down to it what you do is totally different from what your competitor does. Also wouldn’t a non confrontation relationship be better for both businesses.

    #1022939
    Accountix
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    It never hurts to listen to what the competitors are saying, as they often may know of things going on in your industry, that you don’t know about.

    Having said the above, make sure that you don’t divulge to much about your business e.g. if you have a proven way that you attract customers, there is no need to tell your competitor this.

    Also never discuss specific customer details or price fixing.

    Shane Holbeck – Accountix
    http://www.accountix.com.au

    #1022940
    James Millar
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    Some of the best corporate finance M&A transactions come from such discussions. Trade sale, merger or full sale takeover – communicating with your competitors gives you options for succession and exit.

    These deals may seem to be the realm of the large corporates but its not always the case. I’ve seen plenty of success in small business deals.

    Just keep it mind that there are trade practices regulations that have some bearing on some communications within industry. If you operate in a tight closely held industry and you start colluding on things like price and supply then you can run into trouble.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1022941
    Burgo
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    Draz, Draz, Draz the ONLY competition you have is YOU.

    Introduce your self to those that are in the same industry, you never know when they will pass some work your way, or vice versa.

    About five years ago carpet cleaners wouldnt talk to carpet cleaners then a forum became popular and now we have carpet cleaners helping each other, and there are three in your area that socialise as well, so you see by talking to others in your industry you will learn and grow.

    Beside what do you have to loose.

    #1022942
    beanydc
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    Burgo, post: 27050 wrote:
    Draz, Draz, Draz the ONLY competition you have is YOU.

    Introduce your self to those that are in the same industry, you never know when they will pass some work your way, or vice versa..

    Yet again, Burgo has hit the nail on the head (must be all that wisdom of years). You may each have a particular niche, you may have a type of client you can/can’t deal with, you may be over-committed, you may need some emergency cover. You may just want some time out in the “tea room” sharing your joys and woes.

    All the best.

    #1022943
    beancounter
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    Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II said ” My father taught me many things here – he taught me in this room. He taught me – keep your friends close but your enemies closer.”

    Not that your competitors are necessarily your enemies – but by knowing them and what they are doing, as Burgo said, can work in your favour

    #1022944
    CruzAccountant
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    There are differences that set businesses apart. Whether it’s geographic location, flexibility, specific industry & niches, your business may not be exactly the same as your competitor. I agree with the above that they may send work your way…

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