How Can Good Relationships With Competitors Help You Succeed?
I remember being in a BSCAI seminar many years ago and the speaker asking everyone in the room who was sitting there next to them. Of course, everyone said, “My competitor.” The speaker proceeded to say that we were partly correct. They may be your competitor most of the time, but some of the time they will be your collaborator, sometimes they may be your customer, and sometimes you may be their customer.
Here I am many years later and that speaker was correct! We are subcontracting from/partnering with other BSCAI members more than $1,000,000 of business and we are subcontracting to/partnering with other BSCAI members almost $ 1,000,000 of business.
We are not always the best option to help serve our customers needs. Sometimes, we need to “partner” with a competitor to service a customer. By having good relationships with competitors, we have been able to grow our business in new areas, both geographically and in market segments.
Paul Greenland, President
Aetna Building Maintenance
It only makes sense to be close to other BSCs and share ideas and solutions with people within the industry that has similar experiences.
When you share a market segment, you are not only sharing customers, you also share the same difficulties, same laws and regulations, same labor issues such as turnover and unionization, supply price increases, weather conditions, etc.
We are members of the Capitol Association of Building Service Contractors (CABSC) since 1993 and we find it invaluable in helping us stay at the forefront on all industry related issues, including: networking with other industry professionals; supervisor trainings and educational seminars; and regular meetings where the association brings recognized speakers with industry related subjects. Ultimately it fortifies the industry. It makes it more professional.
BeeLabor Janitorial Services Inc.
When I was first invited to join a trade association, I feared that my competitors would find out about and steal my customers. I wanted no part of that! When I finally did get involved the surprising result was that Mr. Clean Maintenance Systems became a much stronger company and competitor through it. While I encountered a few rival companies, most were in different markets. I developed relationships and long-term friendships with other business owners and learned from their experience. As our trust grew, we were able to work together to produce improved cleaning methods. I found that sharing only helps raise the level of professionalism for everyone. I learned and passed on to others many organizational skills, processes, forms, procedures, regulatory information, and more. The value of information to be gleaned from friendly competitors far outweighs the risks; in 31 years I have never lost a customer to one.
Mr. Clean Maintenance Systems