The 95:5 Rule

Houston entrepreneur, Tilman Fertitta, has a book titled, “Shut Up and Listen!” Mr. Fertitta’s company owns Landry’s Seafood, Morton’s Steakhouse and numerous other restaurant chains. Fertitta also controls casinos, hotels, resorts, attractions and is the owner of the Houston Rockets NBA team. Fertitta is on the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans list.

For me, the most interesting part of Fertitta’s book is his 95:5 rule. In the book, Fertitta states, “Most moderately successful businesses are good at 95 percent of what they do. It’s the remaining 5 percent that can determine if the business excels or not. That 5 percent isn’t just important—it’s absolutely essential.”

In Standard’s business, our 95 percent includes accurate estimating, managing projects within the budget, excellent safety, great quality, no leaks, and minimal or zero punch lists.

Standard’s 5 percent includes answering the phone within 3 rings, never placing a caller on hold for longer more than 30 seconds, professional and courteous answers on phone calls, maintaining clean/neat job sites, treating employees with respect, displaying a positive attitude, prioritizing our customers’ needs, holding weekly safety and coordination meetings, and delivering on the Standard Guarantee: “If something goes wrong, we will make it right.”

Fertitta goes on to say, “This culture must permeate your business. Five percent is the attention to potentially small details that a great business owner and staff might miss, but a great team would rarely overlook...with your business—a seemingly small change can have a big impact. It is also essential that you have complete control over that 5 percent.”

As a company, we do our best to adhere to Fertitta’s 95:5 rule, or risk becoming “one of the pack”—an unfortunate place to find any business.

Remember, once you define what the 5 percent is for your business, you will be able to have control over it. Take responsibility, actively manage the 5 percent and lead your organization to excellence!

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