~~ Contractor Best Practices Newsletter ~~

by Ron Roberts
The Contractor's Business Coach



Volume 2 - issue 1

January 3, 2007


Tip of the Week:

If you have a valued customer who cannot receive gifts, find out the name of his or her favorite charity and make a donation in his or her name.

Today's Article:

Discovering Your Competitive Advantage

What advantage do you hold over the competition?

In other words, why should a builder or owner hire you instead of your competitor?

By any chance, was your answer "better quality"?

All contractors think they produce better quality than the competition.

Hate to break this to you, but that's rarely a competitive advantage in the construction industry. Even if you do build better, your client probably can't tell the difference.

Heck, most customers have unrealistic quality expectations. Your idea of great quality
is their idea of barely-acceptable quality. Many customers actually believe they are paying for perfect quality. Which is both unreasonable and impossible.

Now, back to the question - what advantage do you hold over your competition?

Until you can express your answer simply and pursuasively to your prospect,you are going to have difficulty landing good work. Here are a couple of rules that apply to competitive advantage:

1. Your competitive advantage must be something prospects care about.

2. Your past customers should be willing to testify to your competitive advantage.

3. Your competitive advantage should resolve a specific problem your prospects would have if your competition did the work.

Here are some potential areas of competitive advantage:

* Quicker response
* Better communication
* Budget assistance
* Superior on-time completion
* Cleanliness
* Perfect safety record
* Adequate financial resources to allow slow payment

Competitive advantage: once you discover it or create it, it must become a permanent part of how your company conducts business. Your employees must understand that failing to live up to the promise of your competitive advantage is unacceptable.

It is the reason your clients hire you. It is the reason their jobs are secure. Your marketing materials and selling scripts should be centered around your competitive advantage.

Once your competition realizes that you are landing the best clients, they will try to copy your competitive advantage. If they succeed, you will return to price competition until you develop a newer and better competitive advantage.

It seems like the majority of contractors struggle to live up to the minimum standards of performance. You may get lucky and be able to live off your current competitive advantage for a long time.

But, if your competition has the competitive advantage, you'd better get to work creating your own!

Until next week, good luck with your business.

Ron Roberts,
The Contractor's Business Coach

P.S. Share this with your contractor friends. They will thank you for it.


Independent Lease Review, Inc.
Experts in equipment lease negotiation and contracts.
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Construction accounting, lead generation, and customer relationship management software consultants and trainers.



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magazines. Bookmark their site and check it monthly
to find helpful articles.

This website contains an abundance of great articles
and helpful tools to help owners improve their business

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