TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
Inside the 100 Hottest Bars and Nightclubs of 2015
See if your favorite spot made Nightclub & Bar's 2015 revenue-based ranking of nightlife venues.
 2 of 5
Trendy CitizenM Hotel Surprises with iPad Automation, Makes One Mistake
Hotel rooms feature elegant iPad-enabled automation with Philips Hue lighting, AV and temperature control, and motorized shades. But what was the fatal flaw?
 3 of 5
Last Look Inside BB King’s High-Tech Tour Bus
Legendary guitarist B.B. King never got the blues inside his tour bus, which is complete with serious AV, touch panels, security, lighting control and surround sound.
 4 of 5
Mad Men Offers Glimpse at 1960s Office Technology
Mad Men’s portrayal of old-school office technology didn’t get as much attention as its depiction of day drinking. But it was still enjoyable to drink in.
 5 of 5
Roger Federer Hologram Coming to Revamped Tennis Hall of Fame
Court legend's image uses different technology than Tupac reflection at Coachella in 2012.
5 Simple Steps to Improve Profits in 2013
Let’s focus on the little things to make sure the profits that drive our businesses are big.

Article


Tightening up accounting and communications practices will help your company run more smoothly and more profitably.
January 04, 2013 By Daniel L. Newman

Every year brings new opportunities as well as new challenges. That is especially true given the nature of the integration business, which is dependent on construction and cap-ex investment to continue to grow our top lines.

While growing that prestigious top line number is sexy and certainly important for those trying to improve their top-50 statuses, it pales in comparison to that bottom line number that funds payroll, investment and continued operations. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons there are no lists of top-50 bottom line performers.

Improving the bottom line requires healthy sales blended with well-run finances and operations. While this may sound simple enough, it isn’t always so easy. The little things can make the difference between profits and problems. So this year, let’s focus on the little things to make sure the profits that drive our businesses are big.

Here are five everyday items we should all work to do a little bit better in 2013.

Margin Management
Many CIs allow their sales personnel to handle quoting. This in itself is OK, but many sales personnel tend to use straight margins across all product subsets. Make sure items such as accessories, racks and audio equipment – items that customers tend to shop less aggressively – are given appropriate margins to offset the erosion that is taking place with products such as projectors and video-conferencing gear.

Purchasing
As an extension of margin management, it is important to treat purchasing as a key to your profitability. Many of the larger integrators have figured this out, but it has remained a problem for smaller CIs. This is due in part to the investment that has to be put into purchasing management. If careful purchasing management can yield 1, 2 or even as much as 5 percent improvement to cost of goods, it can become a profit center, and those percentages are very attainable.

Accounting for All Costs
While CIs generally have a good understanding of hard project costs like labor, far too many integrators don’t consider the soft costs of running a business. Known as a G&A (general & administrative) cost, many integrators don’t charge for this (whether buried or as a line item). This is because many integrators have difficulty explaining it or just completely overlook it. But costs like these add up and can be worth as much as 10 percent of a project’s worth.

Service Attachment
Let’s make 2013 the year to find ways to incorporate service into every project. Think about how much more profitable your business can be if just 10 percent of your total revenue is backfilled by high margin services.

Clear Communication
This one is a “big” item that is wrapped up in little ones. I call it “Management Osmosis” where managers think that through some form of telepathy or osmosis, employees know what their management wants from them. This year, make sure to use the many available forms of communication to let your employees know exactly what it is you want for them to know. It amazes me how often employees don’t feel they clearly understand a company’s vision, mission or even their marching orders. If you improve this, everything else will follow.

The little things may not be exciting for executives, but they are key components to a business’s success and profitability. Pay attention to them and reap the benefits of a better bottom line. Perhaps more importantly, doing the small things well will allow you to seize the opportunity to focus on planning for what is next.

About the author

Daniel Newman is the founder of BroadSuite Consulting (link digital to www.broadsuite.com), a specialized consulting firm that focuses on helping brands and businesses to be found, seen and heard online. Prior to finding BroadSuite, Newman spent his entire career in various integration industry roles including CEO of United Visual, a 60-plus-year-old commercial integrator. Part-time MBA instructor, he's also a contributing writer for Huffington Post, SAP and IBM.
View all posts by Daniel L. Newman
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources
White Paper:
17 Definitive Dos and Don’ts of Installing Outdoor AV

Whether you’re just starting to install outdoor displays or consider yourself a pro, it’s important to note the very specific but easy-to-follow rules for AV in the elements. This free Partner Series download runs down the dos and don’ts.

White Paper: How Activity Based Working Recalibrates Workplace Technology
White Paper: Out with Outsourcing, In with Lighting in AV System Designs
White Paper: Booked Up, Busy, and Billable: Strategies to Maximize Tech Utilization
Webcast: 10 Rules of Video Wall Content Creation
White Paper: Zooming In on Eye-Opening Surveillance Technologies
White Paper: 8 Ways To Calm a CIO’s AV Anxiety
Webcast: Inside PASS Electronic Equipment Guidelines to Safer Schools
View more papers or webcasts



Recent comments

One thing to consider is what is the intent of the display. If the information is meant to be used to either…

Posted by Sander Phipps on 2015 05 20 · commented on
'The Internet of Display'.

BOILER UP! HAMMER DOWN! LET’S GO BOILER FOOTBALL BTFU!!!

Posted by Adam on 2015 05 20 · commented on
'Purdue Football Fans Get a Clearer View of the Action, Rain or Shine'.

Thanks for the insight. I completely agree. Have a great one!

Posted by Reymund Del Real on 2015 05 19 · commented on
'Marketing For the Integration Firm: It Ain't What it Used To Be'.

Not sure how the University of Cincinnati’s 86 millon dollar upgrade to the nations 4th oldest football…

Posted by Vince on 2015 05 19 · commented on
'Top 10 Most Dramatic Football Stadium Upgrades'.