New years come with new hopes. An opportunity to fix your most common AV business mistakes. Much like the midnight resolutions at a New Year’s Eve party, these ambitions often quickly go by the wayside as old habits resurface and the hopefulness of a new year returns to normalcy.
For those able to take the new year as a meaningful pivot point for your AV business, I salute you. However, for most, I believe that great businesses (and even good ones) do not require a fresh calendar to keep moving forward.
These companies have it in their DNA and they work on it every day. 2019 does bring a continued rapid change to AV and technology as a whole, and while I do hope that every reader and their company have a great year ahead, I believe there will be some companies that may not make it to 2020.
Here are a few AV business mistakes I see these failing companies making once again in 2019:
1. Too Slow
Most AV Integrators fit into the small business bucket, but many of them operate like government branches; in other words, slow. Change is happening all around us. Microsoft and Cisco are continuing to become more engaged in our business.
Apple and Amazon are bringing voice to life to control our technology. If custom software and programming and huge racks are still the bread and butter then you are heading for the edge for sure.
Company culture is huge in dictating how fast you can change. Knowing you have the right people and that they are on board to change and change quickly is the key.
2. Wrong Partners
The companies that were the best technology partners 10 years ago simply may not be anymore. If you aren’t looking at new, more strategic partnerships with companies that are building fast, standards based tools, that align with the way people are working every day.
There are certainly going to be a need for custom installed rooms, but the volume of those versus huddle and flex spaces will continue to diminish as work continues to evolve.
3. Service Gap(s)
If this is one of those AV business mistakes that hits you a bit hard, it shouldn’t. We’ve been talking about the need to transition to a recurring revenue, service model for about a decade.
The way companies are procuring technology is moving to more and more of a consumption based model.
This is how we pay for SaaS tools and now even our IT infrastructure. The model companies want is more like Amazon or HPE On-Premises where you can use only the amount of a service or infrastructure as you use.
AV has historically wanted to oversell for what may come in the future and customers are not going to like that as an option. If you haven’t built a sustainable recurring revenue service business, then you are shortening your business life AND reducing the value of your organization.
May the new year bring your business much success, but if you have some of the above traits in your company, I hope not another day goes by before you begin to address them.
It starts with culture, but the ability to support the transformation of employee experience, customers and IT with your solutions is critical to continuing to add value for your clients.
Longevity in this business will come down to the ability to change quickly and adapt to your customers.
The good news is that every company has the potential to fix their AV business mistakes. Whether they do or not, is completely up to them. Good luck in 2019!