I’ve worked with twelve of the top 50 contractors. So what do they do differently? How do they stay on top and continue to grow, even during this economy? There are two things that I see. And we all know this to be true. We may even spout it out in strategic plans or mission statements or proposals. Many of us proclaim the same things, but fewer actually invest the resources to make these two things a top priority. What are they, you ask? You may be thinking of them right now. The two things that differentiate you from your competitors are:
YOUR PEOPLE and INNOVATION
Think about it. Everyone pretty much pays the same material prices, labor prices, subcontractor and vendor prices, and overhead costs. The difference is your people and the ideas that you implement that give you a competitive advantage. This is true now and it will be even more true in the coming decade. BIM and other automated processes will ensure that everyone is bidding the same thing. Companies are already experiencing the fact that there aren’t enough good people out there to execute this coming tidal wave of work.
So if you want to maintain your competitive edge, do the following:
1. Invest heavily in your people. Train them, take care of them, make them a part of your family. Give them reasons to stick around. Enable them to grow as employees and human beings. Let them know that you value them, that you care about them, and that you love them. They will be the ones who will add value to the construction process and differentiate you from your competitors.
2. Create an atmosphere of innovation. Use the improvisational concept of “YES, AND . . . ” When folks come to your managers with ideas, do they reply with YES, BUT? Do they say, “Yes, but we tried that and it didn’t work.” OR “Yes, but that will cost too much money.” You can bet that it will be the last idea that person will try to contribute. You must be deliberate with creating this innovation atmosphere. You must embrace technology and new ways of doing things for every aspect of your business.
If you want to know more about these two vital areas and how to make them a part of your culture, contact me. I have some great, innovative ideas!