How Would You Deal With Competition...

Business By todolomio Updated 28 Jan 2009 , 2:14am by todolomio

todolomio Posted 25 Jan 2009 , 4:52pm
post #1 of 10

Alright so I posted this accidently int he How do I section and decided it was best suited to be posted here!

Dear CC peers!

I recently moved to a small town. After I moved I found out that there is a local baker that has done cakes for a while (maybe 10 15 yrs. now) I kept investigating and I found out that he lives two blocks from me!!! I feel bad because I know he has had a good chunk of the business for a while and I don't want to have him think I am trying to steal his customers or ruin him. He seems to be a nice guy and very helpful to others. I sat down and started my marketing plan and decided it would be best to just leave my town out of the picture. Things are getting tight around here. This is what I do best and I don't want to just give it up when my family really needs the income. How would you work with something like this? It sounds weird but, I have no problem competing with someone else like a bakery but competing with a neighbor hmmm? Should I got and introduce myself or should I just let it be? I thought of introducing myself and tell him if there is anything he may need he could call me. But, I think that might not be right either. icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

What would you do or How would you feel if you found out about a direct competitor?

9 replies
CakeForte Posted 25 Jan 2009 , 6:01pm
post #2 of 10

Personally, I would find out all you can about them first. ARe there local bridal resources? Ask local venues that use him. Find out anything you can.

Then introduce yourself and network. Just because it's competition doesn't have to mean it is negative. He may be able to refer you leads when he is too busy or not available and the same for you. A friendship could even develop...who knows.
There is plenty of business to go around and he can't have it all even if he tried...so I think you should just go for it.

costumeczar Posted 25 Jan 2009 , 7:04pm
post #3 of 10

As long as you approach this professionally and don't say negative things about him to your clients, you have no reason to feel bad about having a similar business.

indydebi Posted 25 Jan 2009 , 7:23pm
post #4 of 10

If he specializes in one thing and you in another, it could be a good win-win for you. Just as example, if he does all BC and you do fondant, then you each have your own corner of the market.

I said in an earlier thread today .... competitors don't have to be enemies. My best relationships and friendships are my "competitors". thumbs_up.gif

leah_s Posted 25 Jan 2009 , 7:35pm
post #5 of 10

Sometimes when I'm booked solid I need another baker (or two) to refer to. It's nice knowing someone else in the biz.

todolomio Posted 25 Jan 2009 , 7:35pm
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

If he specializes in one thing and you in another, it could be a good win-win for you. Just as example, if he does all BC and you do fondant, then you each have your own corner of the market.

I said in an earlier thread today .... competitors don't have to be enemies. My best relationships and friendships are my "competitors". thumbs_up.gif



I was waiting for your response!!! But, unfortunately he does exactly what I do. Hmm... gotta get this mastermind a big brainstorm icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif Nope, just what I thought nothing icon_sad.gif

j-pal Posted 25 Jan 2009 , 10:42pm
post #7 of 10

Honestly, there should be enough business for the both of you. Some of my best friends are other decorators. Many of them were students of mine and several of them became licensed, legal "shops" and were my direct competitors. We would call each other and say, "Hey - did you hear from that crazy bride who wants, this, this and this.... for this!!!????"

Last spring I had a situation where we were unable to do a particular cake for a bride due to my mother's stroke. I called and found 3 other local decorators who would do her cake, for the same price we had quoted her. I called the bride and gave her the news. She threatened to sue us! Well, my friends all decided that this bride could just go find someone else and they refused to help her. The cake was a $1700.00 cake, but they were willing to give it up because this bride was bad-mouthing us.

This neighbor / competitor could end up being your best friend and supporter in the area! Give it a chance, be professional, do your thing and you'll be fine. We cake people are generally pretty good sorts! (And if he's not, then it shouldn't be a bad thing if you get some of his business.)

costumeczar Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 12:16pm
post #8 of 10

Yeah, go introduce yourself and tell him that because you're going to be doing similar things, you didn't want him to think that you were being sneaky about it. Ask if you can refer people to him if you can't do it, and at least he'll know that you're not trying to undercut him.

niccicola Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 10:30pm
post #9 of 10

There is another cake decorator who lives 4 houses down from me and, tho we've never met, i have referred clients to her if I couldn't take the order. I don't see it as "competition" though, because we're all offering something different. There's only one lady in town (met her through a program our children were in) that does 3D cakes and loves the fact that there are other decorators because she is constantly turning down people. She has offered to "train" me because she is constantly turning down 3d cakes.

There is enough business out there. Everybody has special events throughout the year, and with all the tv shows that are on now relating to cakes, people are coming out of the Wal-Marts and grocery stores to find a specialty baker.

todolomio Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 2:14am
post #10 of 10

Thanks for all your comments. I now think its a great idea to introduce myself. I will let you know how it goes.

Thanks,

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