We’re in a unique time in history and, while most of the news related to the coronavirus outbreak and the AV industry has had a twinge of negativity, the biggest positive for companies of all sizes is the chance to go through what industry consultant Tom Stimson calls “a do-over.”
“All the cards are on the table,” said Stimson in his weekly webinar that’s part of a series focused on the live events industry called “The Show WILL Go On.” “You can reboot your business any way you want.”
Stimson sees three paths business leaders can follow once the COVID-19 pandemic is in the rearview mirror across the U.S. and around the world: one based on securing work based on offering low prices, one focused on increasing market share and a middle ground that is a hybrid of both models.
“You should be charging more for labor and less for gear,” says Stimson. “What you do in terms of people is far more valuable than we give it credit for. People will push back (when you charge them more for people) but they won’t push back for long.
“The landscape is going to look a lot different. We’re going to have to let go of things we’ve taken for granted. Great deals are made in that middle section between what the customer wants and what the seller wants,” he says.
New Model for Business Success
Stimson says protecting the status quo “will backfire” and accepting deposits on a percentage of the overall project rather than a specific dollar amount is “weak.”
With a potential do-over on the horizon, business leaders can choose a tiered payment model, in which the more a customer pays upfront, the bigger overall discount they get on the price of the project; the pay-as-you-go model, which breaks a project into segments and gives the customer the right to shop the design of each step; and the process billing model, in which the customer commits to the full project and gets billed at each stage.
This feels a little bit like those old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books I really liked reading as a kid. I can’t wait to see which adventure AV business leaders choose and what it means for the landscape and the future of the industry.