Cooperating with the competition? What a Weird idea. In the 90’s the mantra was “crush your competition” or even “eliminate or annihilate your completion”. Fact is, that many companies have not only worked this process, but they have thrived because of it.
In the Central Florida Area, where I live, (Orange, Seminole, Osceola and southern Lake County) there are 30,000 +/-marriage licenses issued each year. If half of those Brides booked your product or service, you would be able to handle all of them, let alone most of them. Very few could handle 1% (150 weddings). That being the case, you will always have competition.
Good Competition is not a problem. When a Bride has a positive experience with one of your competitors, it lifts your industry. When they have a bad experience, that vendor needs to change very quickly or simply get out of the wedding business. The industry associations such as for photographers, videographers, wedding planners and more are designed to raise the bar to insure Great service is offered to all Bridal couples.
One of the key components to cooperative competition is to find like thinking vendors in your Industry. Let’s take a photographer. Many photographers are owner/operators and are limited to what they can book. If they book one event a week, they are doing a lot (considering the back end time involved). Based upon that, they may have several brides asking for the same Saturday. Once they have that Saturday booked, it behooves them to send that Bride in a good direction towards someone they know and trust will do a great job. This will do two things:
1) Help a friend who may return the favor
2) Protect that Bride from A hobbyist who is only interested in her money, not a performing a great service.
An Adage to live by:
“all things being equal, people do business with people they like and trust. All things not being equal, people still do business with People they like and trust”
Get to know people who will like and trust you and search for those you can like and trust. It will do wonders for your business, and it never hurts to have a few more friends.