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Competition in the business

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  • Competition in the business

    For anyone that is self-employed, I am curious what you opinions are on the competition.

    I live in a small community about 2 hours away from any major cities. Up here, there are more and more fly-by-night network companies opening up, plus every computer retailer advertises themselves as a network expert. For the past five years I have gone behind several of these people and cleaned up their messes.

    I have a handful of customers locally, but I find there is more business outside our town so I have major companies in other towns and cities. Much of what I do is remote. I do not want to be the biggest, and I don't want it all. Right now I have a nice balance that allows me a quick response time, plus I make a comfortable living.

    There is another "computer consultant" nearby who happens to specialize in a proprietary software area that is out of my scope. I wished to collaborate with him by contracting his services through my company to look after a customer or two of mine. I though it perfectly reasonable and ethical to ask him if he would mind signing an non-disclosure non-compete agreement first. I know I have had to sign them in the past for two WAN companies I provide technical support for.

    Was this an unreasonable request (protecting my interests)?
    Network Engineers do IT under the desk

  • #2
    Re: Competition in the business

    I would say no. I work for a small real estate broker and every contractor, employee, and partner we use/have has to sign a a confidentiality agreement and depending on the service, a non-compete.

    Network Consultant/Engineer
    Baltimore - Washington area and beyond


    • #3
      Re: Competition in the business

      Ditto - he should have no problems signing such an agreement

      Tom Jones
      MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
      PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
      IT Trainer / Consultant
      Ossian Ltd

      ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **


      • #4
        Re: Competition in the business

        If the contract would be limited to those two customers of yours, then yes I would definitely have him sign, you'd be a fool otherwise.
        "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan


        • #5
          Re: Competition in the business

          Since you want this gentleman to help you out and grow your business, why not throw him a bone while you protect your interests? Any chance he can sell his proprietary stuff to your clients? Include a clause making that possible (if practical). Also, what's your long term goal? Not to be the biggest but to be bigger than you are? How about a separate discussion on how to work that in the future should this current situation go well. Makes the Non-compete easier to take.

          You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.


          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

          © 2006-2099 R Valstar. This post is offered "as is" for discussion purposes only with no express or implied warranty of any kind including, but not limited to, correctness or fitness for use. Nothing herein shall be construed as advice. Attempting any activity based on information in this post is done at your own risk.


          • #6
            Re: Competition in the business

            I have a few customers that use Business Visions accouning and I do not specialize in accounting software and troubleshooting Pervasive SQL issues. I am only interested in subcontracting the individual for the benifit of a few customers.
            Network Engineers do IT under the desk