Don't Hate...Collaborate (With Your Competition)

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Sean Adams, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    “I swear to God if I see that $#@%^& I’m going to kick his $%#!”

    Wow. Pretty rough. Oh wait, I forgot to tell you that this is a portion of a conversation I had with a lawn and landscape business owner who told me that he had some of his customers stolen by a competitor and the next time he saw his competitor he was going to…. well, you get the picture.

    I asked him why or how he had these clients “stolen” from him. He told me that he offers maintenance services only and a few customers asked him about doing irrigation work. He explained he did not do the work but gave them the phone number of a company in the area that did do this kind of work.

    Long story short, the company he referred is a full service company and they effectively upsold these customers on maintenance.

    I explained to the angry business owner that he should have told the other business owner that it should be understood that he should not “steal” these customers.

    His response….

    “Oh no, I never talked to the company or the owner, I just know they do irrigation so I gave my customers their number.”

    Really? What did he expect this other company to do?

    The conversation shifted and I asked him what his plans were for the future. He stated he wanted to remain maintenance only. So I explained to him that he needs to find other companies in the area that offer the services he won’t. Contact them, reach out to them and explain that he wants to lead people their way – hardscaping, irrigation, lawn care, softscaping, lighting – whatever. Explain that he wants to work with them in a manner that is either an agreement to swap work or a commission scenario.

    Instead of hating the other guy, work with him. Everyone gets a piece of the pie.

    By the way… I am not suggesting you attempt to work with your direct competitor who works hard to take customers from you. I am referring to companies that will recognize the benefit of working together and sharing the spoils together.
  2. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,563

    Lawn care is funny

    I work with direct competition for power washing. Sometimes we even help each other.
  3. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    I lent 2 generators to another company who used them on their 4th of July parade floats. Yes we do compete but their is no hate. We have pulled each other out of jams before.
  4. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Makes sense....some agree and some don't, but usually there is plenty to go around for everyone.
  5. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,563

    Most people don't believe that. That's the problem.
  6. sealcutter

    sealcutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 255

    Been there Done that, We do work for two other larger outfits. We trade off when in a pinch, has worked out well for over 5 years. My very first foreman started his own lco about 7 years ago and I throw him a bone every once in a while, he is doing well and I might need to call on him at some point.
  7. clcare2

    clcare2 LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 224

    To be honest if I fix your work i have nothing to do with that company, but that is mostly involving service other than mowing. As far as mowing goes, there is a member of this forum who is much smaller than i am and more capable of handling some smaller yards that I send work to and we have never spoken. I am not even sure he knows about it.

    Also, good luck "stealing" my clients. They are locked down tight, and if they are looking or leaving I dont want them anyways. My people look at our clients like family.
  8. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    This is all just so insanely stupid..... There is so much darn work to be had that smaller companies should never even be having this conversation... And by smaller companies I still mean multiple trucks, grossing 1 million plus, multiple employees. Really, the only ones that should be having this conversation are the biggies... Brickman, True Green, ValleyCrest and those guys... These guys are bidding jobs... yes jobs.. in the multiple millions of dollars. Universities, municipality work, Nation wide HOA type stuff.... "He took my 25 dollar lawn account and I'm going to kick his @$$!" This is complete malarkey.... I wonder if this same guy drives the biggest half ton diesel he can find with a lift kit to boot.... Insecure anyone?
  9. CuttingEdgeLandscapes

    CuttingEdgeLandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 196

    What's a half ton diesel?
  10. rootytalbot

    rootytalbot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

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