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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    I am wondering if there are some unwritten rules amoung beekeepers about competing in the same market?
    I have had a few scenarios this year with friends and fellow beekeepers competing for the same business.

    I have one friend who is selling his honey in the same small town where I live and is traveling 1.5 hrs from his home to do it. Isn't there some sort of turf rule? This irks me but I haven't said anything to hime yet.

    Another former customer who I've sold packages to in the past, we know most of the same beekeepers, and lives about 15 miles away, is now selling packages this year. What?

    Another situation regarding a group of beekeepers who have been purchasing most of the nucs I produced for the last several years, desided to start to buy from a new business that has opened in there area, no problem, but never told me of the change. Should I be upset they didn't notify me or is this just the way people are?

    Just curious about what your thoughts are on competing against a friend?

    Thanks,
    Ron

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,815

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    My take is that's just the way people are. An apple grower told me once, if the guy down the road is 5 cent's cheaper, go down and look and there will be all your customers.
    I don't compete against my friends, and will through customers there way if in there area, but as everything money talks. hope the nucs are working out, heard the weather isn't the best down there.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,157

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    Papar, focus on QUALITY. Whether it's nucs or sub ect... Make quality products, the rest will follow into place.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,788

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Papar, focus on QUALITY. Whether it's nucs or sub ect... Make quality products, the rest will follow into place.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
    Posts
    308

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    what does unwritten rule mean?
    Business is business, He or she that produces a value for a customer base will be profitable, those who wine and wonder about rules get left behind! As in real estate the 3 rules are location, location, location, translates into the only 3 rules of business Sell, Sell, Sell.
    their are 330 million people is the USA and not enough honey is produced in this country, the value of locally produced honey is huge, raise your price and make some money with it.
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    I've been in sales as a profession for many years. Price is usually not the number one reason a customer purchases from you. Price is usually number 3 or 4 on the list. For a small percentage of customers it is all about price and have no brand loyalty. I sell products that are usually the most expensive. I find that being the most expensive is actually an advantage to me most of the time. I don't want the bottom feeders that only shop price. Value added is where the market is really at. 2 products that are basically the same, the product that the customer perceives is the best value will get the purchase. How is your product Nuc, package, or honey) a better value? Most of the time it's about the service before, during, and after the sale. Do you follow up after the sale? Never expect a customer to keep buying from you. When you do, you're dead. Know the competition, and their products. Compare 2 Nucs; Both are $125, 5 frames, cardboard Nuc box, new queen, and busting with bees and brood. If 1 has frames drawn out last year, and the other has brood frames that look like they're 10 years old, which would you purchase? I'm not saying you do this! I'm just giving an example. Position yourself such that the customer perceives that you are giving a product that has superior value. Get out there and work for those customers or your competition will. Write down what your strenghts and weaknesses are. What are the strenghts and weaknesses of your competition? Sell your strenghts.

    Wisnewbee

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    Take a look at people who are successful. They never pass up an opportunity to plug their product of service. There is a guy on here that does that all the time. Keith Jarret does a terrific job of promoting his product, Nutra Bee. He has done such a good job, I wish I was big enough to buy it. Why, because he has done the work to promote the product as the best on the market. How much does it cost? Don't know, don't really care. The best costs, so I'm already expecting to pay a little more. That's value added.

    Wisnewbee

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,120

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    Amen Wisnewbee, preach it. Quality,price and service. Do you wanna be Neiman Marcus or Walmart?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,818

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    It woudl be nice if you could just pick what you want and that woudl mean success. It is called competition and i suggest you do what will cause you to come out the winner. that means finding out what the customer wants and provide that. if it is better price. than produce lower cost nucs. if it is quality then produce better quality nuc. and if it is volume then produce volume. There is a saying. there is quality quantity and price. you can pick two. And that is very true.

    You want a hobby. you can pick what you want to do. you want a business you better do what your customer wants.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,539

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    If your sales are based solely or significantly on low price, you are in a "race to the bottom"....which means you will keep lowering your price, your competition will keep lowering their price...until you hit bottom. Unless your volume is increasing a lot (like, exponentially), this is not a long term profitable race to be in. I'd come up with some way to differentiate what you are doing vs the competition...and perhaps raise your prices.

    But, unwritten rules? Keep confidential information confidential. Don't lie. I'm not sure what other "rules" are worth worrying about.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    There is a long time beek just up the road from me. He sells way cheaper than I do but I still sell out every year. Granted I'm not keeping 200 hives like he does but I still managed to sell 500 lbs. this year at an average price of $9.00 /lb after packaging cost. So don't fret over the competition, try to make your packaging different from theirs and set your price at a level that is profitable for you. People will buy what they perceive to be of better quality and value. Better value doesn't necessarily mean cheaper price, it means the customer feels they are getting a better product for the price. When I sell out I send people to this fellow, yet when I extract and put my signs out or set up I still get return customers that I have sent to him.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,120

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    Are you in business to make profit or to make friends? The other folks who are in business to make profit won't take it personal like those who are in it to make friends will.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    Excellent advice from everyone. Thank you.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,120

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    Do you ever watch "Your Business" on MSNBC? It can be informative. Have you ever taken a Small Business Course at your local College? Give it some thought. You might be glad you did.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,749

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    my brother in law is in upper management in a large package delivery service. I will always remember one thing he said when I told him Walmart moved into a near by community, and which I commented on how Walmart would hurt the local busineses.

    He said there is nothing better for business than competition. Keeps the businesses striving for market share and will attract more consumers into an area market. He was right.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,682

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    I hate to say it, but when customers go somewhere else, it means they've found better value for their $$ typically. I would check out what the competition is selling that's making it more attractive then what you're selling. What other said too, communication is key, talk to your customers, follow up and see how satisfied they are and be willing to take some criticism and improve your products/services.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    I have a feeling that some of my customers who might be getting nucs elsewhere, will eventually come back. I have alway provided quality and good service.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,329

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    >Should I be upset they didn't notify me or is this just the way people are?

    You should never be upset. It will only cause stress and harm you health and shorten your life. Not everyone sees things the same way.

    A lot of good advice on quality vs price etc. and I agree. Better to have a quality product that is priced at what it is worth rather than the cheapest price. I've never seen the point of trying to compete on price. You only hurt yourself and your quality when you do.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,596

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    Quote Originally Posted by papar View Post
    I have a feeling that some of my customers who might be getting nucs elsewhere, will eventually come back. I have alway provided quality and good service.
    All we can do is provide top notch service and the best product we can.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Unwritten rules for competing against peers

    I have heard of so many beekeepers that have lost hives this year. Some feel the cause was poor nutrition in 2012. I am certain anyone starting a nuc last year and didn't provide supplimental feed might have a dead hive this year. Some will blame the producer but I guess that's part of the learning process.

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