You hear a lot about cost in the construction industry, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes it doesn’t come down to cost. So I sat down with Ken Y., Training & Development Manager, and asked him, how do you set yourself apart in the construction industry? Here’s what he had to say:
One of the things I will never forget from business school is a single statement one of my professors made- “Most businesses fail because they do not know who they are!”
I have thought about that statement so many times through my career and all of the companies I have worked with. While having a discussion concerning the competitive factors companies can exploit, that statement immediately came to mind.
Where Do You Make Money?
I managed our Account Management Team for many years and worked with countless customers of iSqFt; I have always asked the same question- “Where do you make money?”
It has always been asked as a means to help identify specific type of opportunities for companies. However, through the years I have realized that a lot of companies do not know where their real margins are generated and what type of project is “THEIR” project. They pursue every opportunity available. I do not adhere to that approach and believe pursuing specific opportunities is where success lies.
Your People Are Your Biggest Asset
I have always believed the greatest asset any company has is their people. If we know our people and their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, we can identify where we are successful and where our challenges lie.
I believe many of those successful opportunities are missed because people are chasing the wrong thing. Knowing our own people and instilling a belief that every single person represents your company is what will set you apart from everyone else and ensure you are successful. Many companies may do what you do but they cannot be you. You and every person at your company are the competitive factor that should be exploited.
[Tweet “You are the most unique thing you can bring to a project.”]
Boring & Profitable or Sexy & Poor?
I was the VP of a Cast Stone Manufacturing company for a number of years. I had to face this issue head on. I loved doing the really sexy projects with the complicated stonework. We lost money on every single one of those projects.
Then there were the schools that had flat banding around the school at four different levels. We produced that stone so fast we made great profit, but it was so boring. I had to face the fact of our production capabilities at that time and start pursuing the profitable work if we were to stay in business.
“Boring and profitable” wins out over “sexy and poor” every time. Take a look at what you’re doing. Where do you make money? How can you start identifying those specific opportunities that will allow you to exploit your greatest asset: YOUR PEOPLE! Good luck.
[Tweet ““Boring and profitable” wins out over “sexy and poor” every time. “]
What do you think about what Ken had to say? Is he right on the money or totally off base? Share your comments with us!