“Do you want to have a company that really stands out form the crowd?”

This was a question that was posed to me back in 2017, I was in the initial stages of launching BlackOak as a building company 

The question was asked by the late, great Nick Fisher

I had known Nick for around 5 years as we had some shared interests. He was an extremely talented writer and had experienced a lot of success as a result

Every time Nick opened his mouth, even if, just to say what had been going on for him that week. The whole room would stop what they were doing and listen. He had a fantastic ability to turn even the most mundane story into something interesting, inspiring, engaging and funny

As a result of this I had a huge amount of admiration and respect for him

When he asked the above question, I responded with “Yes of course I do, who wouldn’t?”

He said “ok listen carefully, if you do these things, people will think you are absolutely amazing”

He then went on

“George, do what you say you are going to do

Turn up when you say you are going to turn up, and if you can’t make it on time – call and give plenty of notice

Charge what you say you are going to charge”

I said “well yeah, that’s all simple stuff, of course I can do that. But what is the big revelation to make me stand out from the crowd though?”

“No that’s it” he replied

“If you can do those 3 simple basic things, consistently, people will think you are absolutely amazing. The reason being a lot companies don’t do them”

Now this all seemed a little farfetched to me, I mean – this was REALLY basic stuff. Anyone can do this, I couldn’t see how do these simple things that were just basic common sense were going to help me to stand out and build a great business

Fortunately, I had a huge amount of respect for Nick. He was a successful person that I held in high regard, therefore I would be crazy not to listen

I ensured that I put extra thought, care and attention into these points. I made sure that I was always honest with potential clients, even when it was not in my benefit. E.g. If I knew of someone who was more suitable for the job and would do it better, faster or cheaper than I could – I would simply hand over their number

In the short term it seemed not to benefit me financially – but over the long term it created the snowball effect that I talked about in last week’s blog “How to create good luck” . It created a feeling of trust and helped to build a brand that people could have faith in

It’s crazy that following simple things that most would class as common courtesy would have such and effect. I would hear time and time again from clients how impressed with the levels of communication. They would be surprised as in that industry it was not common apparently!

It’s not sensible to build a business around what others lack, but if you can make it a part of what you do, then it’s an easy way to make yourself stand out from the crowd

Hope that’s helpful to you, let me know your thoughts in the comments? It’s always good to hear from a different perspective?

Thanks for reading

George B


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