Find Your Differentiator and Quadruple Your Revenue
So there I was, a 25-year-old who looked not a day over 17, and all of the sudden I’m the CFO of a 20-year old company. (If you missed the last step in “My Journey”, click here to get up to speed.)
This company was Boa Construction, a company with around 100 employees, doing about $8 million annually. That’s a daunting job for a nervous newbie, but I was ready for the challenge. And it certainly helped that Boa had some amazing advantages over the competition…which meant more beans for me to count.
The Differentiator That Kept Customers Coming Back
Most construction companies (heck, most ANY company) don’t have a real handle on their costs. But Boa had built a proprietary software platform that gave us nearly real time data, and it was EXTREMELY granular when need be.
One reason this was so helpful, was that from time to time, we would do projects on a “cost plus” basis. Basically that means that a client awards us a project, and we do the work at our cost, PLUS a percentage for overhead and profit.
Many contractors struggle to get these kinds of deals, because your average homeowner will not trust the contractor to keep costs in line. Heck, can you blame them? Under this sort of contract, the builder makes more money the higher the costs of the project go.
So why did the cost plus strategy work for us?
We had the real-time data to put homeowners at ease, and a reputation among our repeat customers that we could be trusted. This was the first differentiator we used to set Boa Construction apart from the competition.
Yet while cost plus worked great for the loyal clientele we had grown, we still needed a way to convince NEW customers that, unlike other contractors they may have worked with, we were ABSOLUTELY operating in their best interest.
The Differentiator That Won Over New Customers
To win over new customers, we implemented a company-wide protocol that required 3 bids on any materials purchase or subcontract over $1,000. And we tied this into our contracts with our clients as well.
But it wasn’t just lip service. Our system integrated purchasing with project management with accounting with estimating…you name it, it did it. So for each major purchase order over $1,000, our clients would receive a report summarizing the bids, and providing backup details on the proposals from our vendors.
Now we had sophisticated reporting capabilities combined with a purchasing protocol that contractually obligated us to operate in our client’s best interests.
Soon, we were bringing on more multi-million dollar projects than ever before. ALL at cost-plus. Meaning we had almost no downside risk.
Our competitors typically didn’t stand a chance when they went up against us. Because we had a massive differentiator. And it allowed us to go from $5 to $23 million in just 4 years.
So what’s this got to do with you?
Well, if you want to take your business to the next level, you have to answer this question. What is the differentiator that truly sets you apart from everybody else in your market? What is the thing you provide that makes your competitors not stand a chance?
If you’re not sure of the answer, consider this.
Can You Get By Without Differentiating Your Business?You CANNOT get to the top without a strong differentiator. 'Me too' businesses are unremarkable. Click To Tweet
You get by without being different, but you CANNOT get to the pinnacle without a strong differentiator. “Me too” businesses are not remarkable.
To dig deeper into this and a whole lot more, I recommend that you check out Dov Gordon’s work. Dov’s real focus is on helping EXPERTS grow their businesses. Of course one area he tackles is branding, differentiation, and positioning. But that’s just one piece of the holistic method Dov has outlined.
A great place to start with Dov is his 88-page manual, “How to Systematically and Consistently Attract First-Rate Clients.” It used to be $97, but recently Dov made it free.
Don’t ask me why. It’s way too good to be free, so all I can say is…snag it while you can.
If you’d like to check it out and download your copy, click here. I hope this story, and Dov’s manual, will help YOU along your journey. Going to check out 'How to Systematically and Consistently Attract First-Rate Clients' by @DovGordon Click To Tweet