a moral question


we own a family business(electric supply), with about 16 employees, i have a customer, who was buying from me for about 10 years, he decided to open an electrical supply not too far away from my business, he seems to me that he is targeting some of my customers, and he is calling some of my employees to work for him, he convinced one of my employee to work for him.som of the manfactures who i deal with are calling me to tell me if they should sell him any products(some of those mafacturers like to protect their suppliers) would be uncharitable, unethecial or sinful to try to prevent him from having access to those manufactures, by telling them not to sell him the product. or should i give them the option to sell him or not to sell him.



I used to have a manufacturers’ representative firm that I ran with my husband a few years back, and I can tell you without a doubt that it would be a customary business practice to ask the manufacturer’s that you have done business with over the years to not supply this new competitor with products to compete with you. Ask them why they want to cut the same piece of pie up into smaller pieces. Ask what he is doing to actually add to the existing market. Opening him up for business likely will not benefit them in any way. It would be in their best interest to stay loyal to you, especially if in return for that loyalty you would focus your efforts on selling from those manufacturers. If anyone should be having moral qualms, it should be this upstart competitor looking at stealing your employees, your manufacturers, and your customers.


louie 12,

My father owns a tuxedo business and his manager broke off started his own company and even took an employee or two with him. My father is part of an organization that allows people to be in or out of a bridal show (this is big for tuxedo companies to be in the show) and my dad voted him to not be in the show. My father is a great Christian and probably the best Catholic I know. He forgave his exmanager and talks to him and everything, but that doesn’t mean that he was going to let him take all of his business. In other words, my dad treats him, as a person, just like any other person that did not, in a way, back stab him, BUT he also treats him as any other business man, when it comes down to business. I hope this helps you.

P.S. the exmanager is now out of business and has moved onto bigger and better things.

Pax Christi and God bless,


You’ve gotten some sound advice.

As long as you don’t go out of your way to tell the vendors not to supply him then i don’t see a problem. You can still treat him as a person but he is your competition. Remind your vendors that you have been here for a long time and have the creditable to keep their business. This new company may not last that long.



Don’t bad mouth your competitor to either your suppliers or customers. Simply be the better businessman with the better customer and supplier relations. Show them and tell them why they should do business with you and why it is to their benefit.

Keep everything positive. Yours is the better business and this helps everyone’s bottom line…including the cost to the customer. You do this by ethical, hardball competition.


This happens from time to time. If it were me, I would tell my vendors and my employees that their decisions with respect to the new guy are their own.

The danger here is to get yourself into a pricing situation where you and the new guy try to undercut each other and by doing so you race each other to the bottom. Don’t play that game.

Concentrate on what you do best by providing outstanding customer service, technical support and keeping up with new products. In the building trades, only 40% of buying decisions are based on price. There is always something more important to your customer than price.

Keeping smiling. Keep evolving. Go the extra mile and never let 'em see ya sweat. If this other guy is taking the low road with your vendors and employees, he may very well may suffer in the end. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.


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