What does your company do well and make money doing? In the early years, we did just about anything a potential client asked us to do. It proved to be impossible to be good at everything and to make everybody happy. As our company matured, we limited what we did to full-service single-family residential remodeling for clients willing to pay for a good experience from the first call to the completion of the job.
In the process of becoming clearer and more self-assured about how special our approach was, it became easier for me to not try, yet again, to do what we weren’t good at and/or work with potential clients who were not interested in our company being successful.
So when another remodeler or business person asked me what we did, here is what I eventually would say: “We will do anything for good people who trust us, who will allow us to be in control, and who will write checks with our company name on them for lots of dollars.”
You might think that sounds crass. Let me explain by breaking down the key words in that sentence.
By “anything” I mean within the limits of what the company can do well and/or find capable trade contractors to do under the company’s management. You want to be the first company a former client calls whenever the former client has a problem of any kind with his/her home.
Most of the time you can tell who is a good person and who is not. I agree that it is not always crystal clear. By “good people,” I mean those who are basically happy with their lives and don’t have big axes to grind. Good people let those who they have decided to work with do what they have paid the contractor to do.
If there is not mutual trust then the job will end up stinking at some point. The inevitability of this happening is hard to grasp when one is starting out and willing to work for anybody. You might ask how I found out. Don’t get me started!
The right client does NOT want to be running the job. The right client wants a competent professional to run the job and will allow that professional to do so. The right client will feel the job is under control if the contractor communicates with the client in a disciplined and deliberate way, always proactive in keeping the client informed.
Checks with Lots of Dollars
We had two types of good clients. One would tell me that our company was very good and expensive. We worked for several decades for a number of such clients, doing multiple jobs, and those clients knew that they couldn’t get “good” for less. The other type of client did not seem to care what we were charging. They were happy to have a dependable resource that they could count on. In either case it was a pleasure to work with these people because they knew what they wanted and were willing to pay for it.
How About You? Keep refining your range of services. Keep on inching your gross profit goal up. Get clearer and clearer about who you think deserves to have you work for them.
The more you do the above the better and better your business and your life will be. That is a pretty good business model!