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Do you consider your local competion friend or foe?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by blueben, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. blueben

    blueben Member

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    I know on here it seems like everyone is willing to help each other out on designs, tips, etc. I am just curious if you are the same way in your local area. I am not a big company at all but I do really well for myself. I know I cannot compete with some of the other big guys around here and I am fine with that.
    I work pretty close with 3 of the other companies around here. There are about 20 in the area and only 6 of us are licensed contractors. Some of the sign guys just bad mouth each other constantly and will not even sell you a piece of vinyl just to finish a job.
    The way I figure it, I would rather be helpful when they need it rather than shutting them out and not working with them. 2 of the sign companies I work close with dont do business cards or other small printed items. I do their cards, brochures, and such. I dont have a boom truck and use another sign companies truck pretty much when ever I need it. As long as they dont need it. They even made magnets to go over their logo for me.

    Just curious what you think about the subject and if you help out locally like you help out on here.
     
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  2. TheSellOut

    TheSellOut Very Active Member

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    Good question BlueBen! One of my best friends is a signmaker in a town up from me and I have a lot of other good friends in the business that are close enough to be competitors too! I love meeting people who are truely into this industry and try to befriend anyone willing!

    I love going to the sign expo in Atlantic City for the people alone! It is like meeting long lost family members that you can chat it up with for hours on end!
     
  3. fmg

    fmg Very Active Member

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    one hand washes the other.
     
  4. mikey-Oh

    mikey-Oh Very Active Member

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    depends on how local..... mosh once suggested my favorite business model. i'm inclined to agree, it's hard to argue with the governator
     
  5. Sticky Signs

    Sticky Signs Very Active Member

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    I try to be friendly and helpful to all my "competition". I've not only made some new friends this way, but I've also secured some priceless back and forth help. IE - Hey, my machine is down, can you help me? Or, I need about 10 feet of vinyl, can you help me? Or, so and so called in sick, can you help me? And so on and so on.
    I'm in the process of trying to set something up with one of my "competition" so that some of my equipment compliments some of his equipment. He's has this, I have that. Let's make em work together.
     
  6. binki

    binki Premium Subscriber

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    we don't like to share if there is a chance we have the same customers or compete in the same physical area. if it is outside of that then we are ok with it. most places outside of our city would be ok but not within a few miles of us. we dont even purchase from distributors that also retail in our industry unless they are the only game in town.
     
  7. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    pretty much foe..... except my brother, we usually don't bump heads
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2010
  8. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    I'm buds with most of the locals. Know some shops that don't like me, but hey, whatever. Keep on being friendly. :) always better to have more friends than enemies! :)

    Learned a lot of valuable stuff from some local sign guys. Why would I ever wanna push em out?
     
  9. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    neither. we are business partners.
     
  10. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    LOL

    yea, your bidding on a $20K job against your business partner.....


    i can see it now, no you take this one, i'll get the next....


    pure fantasyland
     
  11. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    We all know how you don't like anyone buddy, no need to embellish on it.
     
  12. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    speaking the truth.

    if your shops produce different types of signage, sure you can be friendly. BUT if your bidding on the same work, can't see it....
     
  13. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    Why? Me and JDB are 1 mile apart. Sure, we both want jobs, I think we've even bid against each other. So what. Don't need to be asking to see the other persons bid, let your shop....sell itself. I got another guy that's like 3 blocks from me. He focuses on quick and affordable signs, I focus on a different market. We collide once in a while, but I win some, he wins some.

    I believe it's a dog eat dog world, but that doesn't mean you can't kick back some beers after the fight. And there's been times where a local needed vinyl, hey no prob. Got some here. One time my computer broke, competitor came here on a Saturday and got her running.

    Network bro..... my best job of the year came from a local who usually undersells me, gave me a huge print job he couldn't handle. I just sat and watched hundreds of square feet just print and print and print. :)
     
  14. asd

    asd Member

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    everybody is on their own here, I don't expect my competition to help me, but I also don't expect them to try to rip me off, i send them some files to get printed because my printer is down, and this were their quotes
    1 sqft calendar vinyl unlaminated $26.75 + 25% more if I need it next day
    the other competitor was at 18.00/sqft two weeks turn around and the other one with a solvent printer only does paper so the answer to your question is I consider them foe
     
  15. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    We're all pretty friendly but for the most part everybody sticks to themselves. I have no problem loaning them materials and no problem asking to borrow some. They're all welcome in my shop, as far as I can tell I'm welcome in theirs.
     
  16. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

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    :thumb: I agree for once!
     
  17. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    flame,

    quite a difference between friend and "business partner" as wraps put it.

    i was simply stating how ridicules wraps statment was.

    but, in general you are correct, i dislike most people....

    i go to work to make money, not friends. competitors are my enemy, and i would not lend them one square inch of vinyl to better their business. i ask nothing from them, and give the same.
     
  18. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    They're all friends until proven differently. Lot's of newer guys and gals I haven't met but I am always open to cooperation, helping or being helped. The bottom line for me is that there has always been a lot more upside than downside.

    The last time I am aware of that someone crossed the line was in the late 1980's.

    A couple with a shop located less than 5 miles away stood up for the Mrs. and I at our wedding in 1989 (Best Man & Matron of Honor); we still play cards together on weekends; we've watched each other's kids grow up; and we send each other jobs better suited for the other.
     
  19. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    well ddarlak... we do one thing. and we do it well. to put it mildly. hence there really is NO competition. they have learned, as have we, that they can make more money selling a product that we can provide better, faster, and still allow a margin for them to appriciate.

    its taken 3 years, and its been a journey, but its paying off in spades.

    we are not a sign shop, we are a wrap shop. the product we provide is best suited to us in our market. my reply was based on my experience, and my product.

    i appriciate your reply and respect it. we are possibly and probably different than most. but it works for us. it works damn well.

    im sorry you feel my statement was "rediculous". your a different person than i, and you run your business different than i. if it works for you, then great. but dont be so quick to call my statement "rediculous".

    as much as an a$$hole as you are, i could still prove to provide your company profit on a job that you couldnt even come close to doing profitable. if you were in my market of course.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  20. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    i have no competition,, therefor they all my friends..
     
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