Originally Posted by Steve
How did that work out for them? Are any of them still in business? Do you ever find yourself competing for customers with them?
they are all still in business and are all doing very well for themselves.
we still keep in contact regularly and we actually from time to time trade work, for example if i get something that is too small or out of my preferred area i give it to one of them and if they get something too big or need help by way of man power or equipment they use me.
i also like to buy in bulk and we pool our purchasing of supplies and materials together to make our orders bigger and reduce our costs.
it makes a big difference with everything in that regards and one example is fert and weed control products, i usually go through about 10 palettes of fert in the spring time alone and the other guys combined go through about 10 together so i will call up the distributor directly and have a whole tractor trailer load dropped off at my shop which totals 20 pallets and believe me when i tell you that the savings is unbelievable.
last year alone all of us combined went trough 6 tractor trailer loads of granular alone.
i have never looked at my competitors as a enemy or even competitor for that matter and i have always went by the philosophy that there is strength in numbers and we all have far more to gain working together then against each other.
the only guys i frown on are the low ballers which i am sure most do anyways and we all work together to kind of monopolize the area rather then under cutting each other and driving prices down.
it is bad for all of us when a customer calls 10 different co's and gets 10 different prices.
i was actually very happy for my guys that went on their own and even though i was sad to see them go i was happy for them that they moved on to bigger and better things and we all just carried our relationship to the next level and kind of created a semi partnership that benefits us all.