We’ve all heard the phrase “keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” but how applicable is that in the business world? As a pest control company, should you make friends with other specialists in the area, or should you stay far away from your competitors? The answer to that question may surprise youâ€¦
The Benefits of Sticking Close to Your Competitors
Having a cordial relationship with the competition is always a good idea, regardless of the industry you work in. Sure, this may seem like you’re sleeping with the enemy, but in all actuality, you are creating mutually beneficial bonds with a potential source of leads for the future.
Most pest control companies have a certain specialty that they are known for; mosquito control, bee hive eradication, wild animal removal, etc. You may dabble in all of that and more, but there could be a certain area that you’re considered the “expert” in. If one of your competitors gets a project they aren’t equipped for or skilled enough to handle, they can refer their clients to you. This reference alone is all that client will need to trust you to do the work.
On the flip side of this, you may be able to refer clients to your competitors if you feel that they are better qualified to handle a certain task. You won’t lose the client for good, but you may lose out on one job that someone else is more prepared for. It is better to set your clients up for success than to attempt at a task and fail miserably. Then you WILL lose the client, and they will find their way to the competition anyway.
If your competitors simply do not have room in their schedule for a certain job, they may send new clients your way to keep them happy. You can do the same during your busy season, and hopefully you trade enough work to balance each other out. This is particularly great for startup pest control companies that don’t have a lot of clients to work for. They can quickly build up their client list and eventually return the favor.
If an emergency comes up that takes you off work for an extended time, it is nice to have someone you can trust to take care of your clients while you are away. If the person is working on your behalf, the customer will still feel connected to your company. You may be able to accomplish this through your own employees, but it won’t hurt to have a backup plan with your competition.
How Close Is Too Close?
Think of your competitors as friends, not family. You can get along with one another without necessarily sharing all of your trade secrets with someone else. Even if the person seems genuine, giving away vital information to your competitors could destroy your pest control company in the future. Don’t share business plans or marketing strategies with your competitors. In fact, don’t even discuss what their strategies are with them. You will be much better off figuring things out on your own, and you may end up far more successful than your competitors.
Don’t Forget To Get Close to Complementary Service Providers
In addition to getting close with your competition, you need to establish relationships with complementary businesses in your area. Lawn care companies and property managers are some of the best places to start because their clients are always looking for pest control specialists. If you can become the company they recommend to all of their customers, you will tremendously boost your job options in the future.