A Great Business Differentiator

What if all businesses deliver what is promised when it's promised? It's a great way to differentiate your business.

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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