Playing Nice with the Competition

Working with the competition is a long-term strategy that can pay off, yet is not a common practice most business owners think about. Competitive collaboration ( we know… whaaat??) can actually improve your business and boost profits. Building a business means building relationships with not only potential customers but competitors as well! Think about it…

You can help build the overall impression of your industry.

In order for your business to succeed, you need your industry as a whole to succeed too. By supporting your competitors, you are growing the environment that both businesses thrive in, ultimately attracting more potential customers. In return, it ideally creates more than enough opportunities to go around. 

 

You can keep the jobs you want. 

By growing your industry alongside your competitors, you start to develop and carve out a specific niche for your business. If there’s something you don’t want to focus on or bother with, this presents opportunities for cross promotion and referrals. For example, if you are an electrician, but you like to work on high voltage jobs, you can outsource to another electrical company for the lower voltage jobs. Both businesses thrive, have a distinct niche and work together towards the same end goal – making customers happy.

 

You can take the high road.

Learning your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses can help you develop a strategic plan to promote your brand. However, you should never talk badly about another brand or person as it always comes back and ultimately says more about you and your brand than theirs! When comparing companies, talk about the positive differences and how you can help bring value to your customer instead of bashing the other guys. 

 

You can collaborate to present yourself as a one-stop shop.

More often than not, businesses can’t provide a truly perfect solution on their own. Collaboration yields higher profits, makes the environment more productive and improves customer satisfaction. A few ways that you can collaborate with your competition are by working together on larger products (see #2), or even purchasing products in bulk so you both realize a discount. Want to really show that you’re a good sport? Select a charity that both companies are passionate about and come together to raise money for a great cause! 

While it may seem a little crazy to work with someone who could potentially “steal” your customer, if you strategically select the right people and companies to work with and nurture those relationships wisely, it can grow your business in ways you never thought. And even if you don’t want to work with your competitors, don’t get nasty. You never know if a customer’s previous vendor was their brother’s best friend or even someone you may know!


MEET HARRY SEMERJIAN

If you need something cleaned, call Harry. Seriously! Even if it’s not his mess, he’ll offer to fix it for you. As Stellar’s SEO expert, Harry's insight into a client's business is a valuable tool reaching more than just online audiences, but customers in the real world too! Harry has owned a handful of businesses since the ripe old age of 13 ranging from manufacturing to real estate to business services. A true Renaissance man, Harry can speak with someone for less than 30 minutes and have a complete business strategy worked out in his head leading them to definite success. A father of two teenage boys, Harry knows a thing or two about dealing with people on the brink of insanity. He fits in well at Stellar.


MEET BODHI

Named after Patrick Swayze’s character in Point Break, Bodhi joined the Stellar team in May 2017 and we don’t know how we got through the prior 6 years without an office dog! Adopted from Animal House Shelter, Bodhi is a Pitbull/American Bulldog mix that his human Lindsay cannot believe someone gave up. Bully breeds definitely get a bad rap because there is nothing sweeter than this 65-pound “lap dog” climbing into someone’s chair as we gather around the conference table. With as much charisma as his namesake, Bodhi greets visitors to the office with a toy in his mouth ready to play. He hasn’t quite developed any marketing skills just yet, but he can spot a duck or another dog out the window like nobody’s business.


MEET KRISTIN KILIAN

Anything that gets thrown Kristin’s way is handled with ease… at least as far as we know. Coming from the retail industry, Kristin is no stranger to a fast paced, ever-changing environment and has no problem adapting to the chaos that comes with managing Stellar’s high profile clients. With years of experience managing all aspects of communications for Fortune 500 companies, Kristin is able to schmooze clients, conquer any task, and ensure everything is running smoothly… even when it’s not! A Hallmark movie fan, Kristin loves spending time with her firefighter husband and rambunctious toddler.


MEET SYLVIA CARRANO

Lover of tacos, dogs, and all things Justin Timberlake, Sylvia brings an honest perspective to not only projects, but office chit-chat as well! When onboarding new clients, tons of experience making people happy in the service industry and her marketing degree from DePaul allows Sylvia to jump right in and hit the ground running. In her role as Account Manager, Sylvia truly gets to know a client – understanding all the ins and outs that make them stand out from their competitors. Sylvia’s skillset is continually expanding and ranges from social media to email marketing to web design and more. She loves to travel and has been around the world and has visited 45 of our nation's 50 great states!


MEET LYNNE HARKIN

Using a space heater at her desk year-round, Lynne is no stranger to turning it up. With a background in retail and corporate sales, Lynne brings practical knowledge to help Stellar clients determine their path to success. As our content writer extraordinaire, Lynne helps brands find their voice and reaches a whole new world of customers. You may hear her getting flustered from time to time, but it’s always short-lived. Her get ‘er done, take charge attitude works in her capacity at Stellar and as the busy mom of 3 busy boys.


MEET CHRISTINA WOJTOWICZ

As a lover of spicy treats, Christina is a no-nonsense, get the job done kind of a girl. Any task thrown her way is done quicker than you can say Siracha! As our resident Web Developer, troubleshooting issues is her specialty… just like at home as the mother of two young sons! Christina’s ad agency background and experience developing websites adds another layer of insight to our client’s marketing efforts. You’ll often see her hiking and biking with her family (with a stop off at their favorite Dairy Queen for a treat!).


MEET MOLLY FIVELSON

Known around the office as Molly Pee Pee Pants, our resident Graphic Designer has more than just a small bladder. Her experience designing logos, developing brands, and creating amazing materials for Stellar clients brings a fresh perspective and artistic flair.  Molly’s easy-going attitude makes her the perfect candidate to work with constant changes and multiple ongoing projects. When she’s not out saving lives along the side of the road, she lives as a baseball widow and chauffeurs her kids to all their activities.


MEET SIN VAN V

Known for her rainbow hair, Sin is never one to settle for just one style. She pushes the Stellar team to think outside the box and consider things they would have never done before. Her Bachelor’s in Graphic Arts & Illustration from the American Academy of Art is just the tip of what she’s learned. With real-world experience in business management, marketing and promotions, event planning, and vendor coordination, Sin’s experience gives Stellar an Edge over the competition (see what we did there?). Despite her edgy moniker, Sin is a kid at heart riding her scooter, dragging the Stellar team on crazy outings, and smothering her adult son and daughter with embarrassing hugs and kisses.


MEET LINDSAY COATS

Known as the Dream Crusher, Lindsay’s level head keeps the office running like a well-oiled machine. When everyone else is trying to get in human-sized balloons and doing mid-day yoga, Lindsay is crunching numbers in a spreadsheet – literally one of her favorite things to do. With a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Lindsay has the know-how to help Stellar clients make the right decisions to reach their goals. She loves problem-solving and making things work. She has a soft spot for kids and animals… she’s been known to grab babies from strangers and roll on the ground with any dog that will snuggle her.