Managing Director of Foundation One
Here’s a deceptively simple question: How does your company provide value?
If you answered with some version of “by doing x and doing it well,” let me suggest you’re missing a key point.
Doing your core business well is vital – but clients are unlikely to see that as adding value. For them, that’s simply what’s expected of you.
For example, our company maintains commercial buildings. If you watched our team, you’d see them checking, maintaining and fixing the things that keep buildings operating.
It’s important, necessary work. And we strive to do it well.
But from our clients’ perspective, the kind of value that gets them excited only shows up when they can see that what we’re doing enables them to achieve their business goals.
Unless you provide that kind of strategic value, you’ll struggle to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Most of our clients are commercial property managers. Their main concern is enabling their clients to gain maximum value from their buildings over time without undue worry about compliance, health and safety, cash flow, or any of the other issues that come with owning a commercial building.
We’ve made it our business to enable our clients to deliver value to their clients.
Now here’s the key point. With that in mind, we’re clear that we’re not in the business of doing things. We’re in the business of delivering outcomes.
If you want to be a strategic asset, you have to be clear on the outcomes you’re delivering, and own them like your life depends on it.
It’s not as complicated as it might sound. We still repair, maintain, install, refurbish, reinstate and build. But always with the intention of helping our clients better deliver on their promises to their clients.
That means we also anticipate issues and talk to clients about them before they blow up. We seek opportunities to do things more efficiently, or defer costs to facilitate cash flow.
We hire not just for technical competence, but also for strong communication skills and a great customer service attitude. We stand behind all our work, fixing things quickly when they go wrong and ensuring our quality standards are high enough that things rarely do go wrong.
We hire people who can deliver on those promises and give them autonomy to solve problems without deferring to a more senior person.
Real success comes from going beyond the doing, and putting your attention on delivering outcomes that your clients regard as offering real value.
Do that, and success will not be far behind.