We’ve all heard this old adage, and there is a great deal of wisdom contained therein. I try not to stray too far from that wisdom, most of the time, but in a business sense and as a business philosophy, I do tend to hang on to one or two assumptions at least. One of those assumptions is as follows: I assume that I need to deliver the most bang for your buck humanly possible. There, I said it, and having said it (well, written it) I feel the need to explain myself. Going into a meeting with a potential client, I assume that money is an object, that budget concerns are important to them, paramount in fact, and that if I don’t find a way to deliver a product that solves a problem or addresses a perceived need, in a fashion that is rooted in producing value (bang for your buck), then I won’t get your job. That, in a nutshell, is what I assume when walking into every meeting I walk into, without exception. That assumption will do the both of us more good than harm, I believe, even in those rare instances when money isn’t a concern of the first order.
Being so focused on producing the most effect for the least amount of money possible has led me to institute some practices or techniques that are, perhaps, unique to Outdoor Concepts. One of them is the simple ‘pond-less’ water-feature. This is a water feature I build without too many bells and whistles, skipping for example, the superfluous ‘bio-falls’ that some build into their systems. I try to keep the components as few and simple as possible, decreasing the likelihood of break-downs/breakage/malfunctions, and increasing the likelihood of trouble-free usage. Another development we use is, I believe, unique to us. Not wishing to give away my most valuable secrets, I will direct you to another page on this website, to click on the following article at our website: A Secret. Not for everyone, perhaps, but do read the accompanying article and think about this approach; a nice, affordable solution for many if not most people.
So, to summarize my attitude toward assumptions, I make few assumptions about a potential client’s tastes, or what elements might work better than others at a given site. I’m there to listen, first and foremost, and if a client has a particularly misguided idea I will raise an objection, but then and only then. I’m there to listen, unless someone specifically asks for my ideas; then I’m quite happy to give them, but I need that kind of an opening. Many meetings I go into the prospective client may announce, up front, that he or she has no experience or ideas in this realm, and is looking for input. Fair enough, I’m happy to give it. Many meetings are with folks who have a very good idea—maybe even a design or plan—of what they want. We have implemented the designs and plans of other companies many times over the years, with very good results. So, there you have it—few assumptions by us, and that simply liberates the entire process to proceed in a good direction for all involved. One last suggestion: read the article on our website titled: Budgets.