Openess

Geoff Smith Portrait

BY Geoff Smith

POSTED ON NOVEMBER 8, 2011

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This is just a simple blog about the second most important thing that I finally figured out about business.

Everybody thinks the construction business is a poker game, a contest of wits, a never ending price cutting duel with your competitors. Hide the money, outsmart the other one, be the smartest person in the room.

I’m thinking not so much (though brains are certainly of vital importance). We have three or four projects right now that are among the most profitable we have ever undertaken. If all of our projects were nearly as profitable as these, I would be enjoying a massage on a very large estate in Tahiti right now instead of typing.

What these three projects have in common is that from the outset, we shared every bit of information with our clients and their teams. Every dollar and every detail. They knew everything we knew, and everything we didn’t know, and about every dollar of our profit.

For sure, we have outstanding people on these projects, otherwise we’d be dead and gone. And there were certainly some intense negotiations, because we guarantee our performance commitments. But the negotiations were conducted with every bit of known information out front and on the table.

It’s all about complete openness, every detail and every dollar. That’s where the client loyalty lays, the financial rewards, and the future opportunities. (It also works in lawsuits and marriages, but the lawyers will never tell you that.)

Wish I’d learned that a lot earlier, though Tahiti would probably get boring after a while.