Musings on competition and differentiation

A word about our competitors: there is no lack of remodeling companies in the marketplace.  Even with the recession, which saw many established contractors close their doors the market remains competitive.  One advantage for the consumer resulting from this “contraction” is that the ones who survived did so because of better business practices.  Therefore the client faces less risk and can be reasonably sure of getting a quality product in choosing from among those contractors.

So in discussing competition lets assume the following: the contractors Cornerstone competes with have equally as good business practices—they are honest, fiscally responsible and are for the most part well respected.  Second, our competition produces an good product—they have high standards of craftsmanship, employ good carpenters and do not neglect quality control.  Third, our competition has generally the same overhead being of similar size and therefore similar margins.  So being equal in these things how will Cornerstone stand out?  What is truly unique about us?

First is our “people first” business model.  From the bookkeeper to the subcontractor, from the carpenter to the customer we will be known for fairness, consideration, and professionalism and being “good people”.  Many think businesses need to be tough and ruthless to gain a competitive advantage, we don't.  How you treat people comes back to you both personally and in business.  Obviously, we will not put ourselves in a position to be walked on but in-so-far as it’s up to us we will create a win-win situation and foster an atmosphere of fun and congeniality.

Second is our commitment to doing the right thing for our clients and their homes.  We will do things right even if it creates tension between the customer or design partners and us.  We will not cut corners and we won’t compromise quality or safety.  Like being “good people” we believe doing the right thing comes back to you.  Our reputation will be built on our work.

Third is our attention to the client experience along the way.  We want our service to be second to none.  Whether big jobs or small we will emphasize a continuity of experience marked by excellence in communication, paperwork, predictability and project management.  Every client should feel like they are getting the royal treatment when interacting with one of our people.  And while we aren’t naïve enough to think we can make everyone happy all the time, we can strive for that ideal.

Fourth, we will make every effort to do what we say.  Whether that’s returning a phone call or delivering samples or completing a project on time we will be known for following through on our promises.