I believe it is a good plan to meet the competition and exchange ideas. I did this in my small local area, everyone I talked to was very helpful!
I would start a conversation with an owner and introduce myself as being new to the business. Everyone stated there was plenty of work to go around and would usually volunteer info about their pricing and other aspects of their business, however if they didn't volunteer it, I would not ask.
In one particular conversation, I found out that a BIG commercial acct was taking bids this year. About a week later an aqaintance urged me to bid on it, I decided not to.
One reason I'm new and want to stick with residentials, but mainly because I knew how excited the guy was telling me about bidding on it. I don't believe in burning bridges or cut-throat competition.
I strongly believe in fair competition and professionalism, especially evident at this site.
Altavista Lawn Care