It was with these type of thoughts in my head that I answered my phone that Friday. "Hello, James with Pristine Floor Care, how can I help you?" The caller explained that his name was Scott and he also ran a cleaning company. I knew right away who it was. Scott, of Scott's Services, is a long time floor care provider in Traverse City. He is an expert in the field and specializes in cleaning high end rugs as well as top quality carpet care. I was honored to take his call, but a bit intimidated wondering why he was phoning me. He explained that as a long time service provider in the Grand Traverse area he liked to keep up on who was working in the field. We discussed my training and equipment and Scott explained several ways that he has been able to work with other local carpet cleaners. He even offered several words of advice for me as I start out and a job referral that I could follow up on.
As a young company I can't tell you how valuable this kind of interaction is. Of course advice and job referrals are huge, but it really reset my paradigm in thinking about others who provide the same services that I do. It is easy to look at others in the same field as you are as competition. But Scott is secure enough in his own reputation to see other cleaners as brothers in the same business. It challenges me in how I think, how I might speak, and act towards other businesses. Since that day there have been several conversations with Scott that have blessed me, set a good example of collaboration, and have lifted my spirit's as I continue to plug along in my small business journey.