Transforming an “Ordinary” Business to an Extraordinary Moneymaking Machine

One of the key lessons from Dan Kennedy’s “How to Make Millions With Your Ideas” is that it is very difficult to make money from as-yet-unseen, revolutionary products or services. After all, how do you even know that a real market exists for your new idea?

A more low risk alternative is to make an “ordinary” business into an “extraordinary moneymaking machine”. Kennedy cites Larry Harmon’s De-Mar Plumbing Company as a great example. The business was so successful that, in 1993, it reached Inc. magazine’s 500 fasting growing business list. By surveying and listening carefully to his customers Harmon differentiated his business from its competitors in three main ways:

1. Guaranteed same-day service. This immediately addressed the number one irritation of customers that competitors would often advise that they could get out to them in “about three days”.

2. 24 hour/7 day service. Again, addressing what the customer really wants. If you have a leaking pipe you want it fixed NOW regardless of whether it’s a weekend or the middle of the night.

3. Flat rate pricing. This differed from the labor pricing + cost of materials model (which often shocked the customers) by effectively providing a price guarantee and therefore reassuring the customer in advance about exactly how much a job would cost. “We’ve developed a price book that covers 98% of all the jobs we face”, said Larry.

So perhaps it is time to spend less time on new shiny innovative ideas and simply rework a traditional outmoded and very “ordinary” business model.