A Great Business Differentiator

As a business advisor, whenever I deal with contractors, I dream of a contractor who has a reputation based on one idea:

We start and finish what we said we would do, when we said we would do it.

That’s it. How hard could it be?

Really hard! – I know this because we try and live by the same rules at our business and we can’t pull it off every time.

If a contractor is on a job that is dependent on other contractors, the first contractor to have a delay, will start the problems for the other contractors.

  • Outside contracting work is affected by the weather which is out of their control.
  • Suppliers can hold up work with delayed production or shipments.

However, there are some things that could be implemented that move the business world closer to this dream:

Honesty – When a contractor knows upfront they are over-promising, just say so. What is the benefit of promising a certain date when you know you can’t deliver?

Communication – Better communication of changes in the dynamic world of business will allow others to adjust their schedules accordingly.

And most of all:

A penalty for tardiness and a reward for timeliness.

Why are most contractors missing deadlines? Because they can and it doesn’t cost them anything. Where is the motivation to fulfill a promise?

A 5% penalty for missing a deadline is a good start. How about a 5% bonus for making a deadline!

What if a contractor shows up on time, they get paid on time? For every day they are late, we add a month to the payment of their invoice?

I am aware of a small percentage of contractors who are quite reliable. We need to make sure to recognize, appreciate and reward a contractor who actually delivers on schedule.

I hope this type of positive reinforcement will spread to the majority of the other contractors until soon the dream will become a reality.

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Author: Paul Foster
Paul's life’s purpose is to bring more cash, freedom and happiness to independent business owners. Paul wants to learn about your toughest business challenges and frustrations so he can help you tackle them.