COVID-19 has taken its toll on the whole world, and in the United States, home to AVPro headquarters, it may still get worse before it gets better. However, as we start to see the light on the other side, now is not a time to shut down. Now is time to look at things from a different angle. In this guide we want to show audio/video integrators that there are steps to take, where you can stay active, grow your knowledge, and continue finding paying jobs that can push you through this uncertain time. Remember, optimism is key.
THE TOP THINGS A/V INTEGRATORS CAN DO TO BE SUCCESSFUL DURING COVID-19:
First and foremost, you must be aware of and abide by your current restrictions on a local, state, and national level. This will vary depending on your location.
Prospecting with Existing Clients
Follow up with your existing customers. Happy customers want to be followed up with, and you might find that this is your way to go from a good installer to a GREAT installer. When following up with your clients, ask how their system is running, and if they need any changes. This is also the time to pitch upgrades to 4K displays, adding a home office for working from home, or setting up a learning from home area for children.
For a lot of integrators, not hearing from a customer is good news, it means the system you installed is working! Change that mindset! This is the time to gain favor with those clients. Give them something to talk to their friends about, word of mouth is a potent tool, use it to your advantage. Setting up one home office or learning area may turn into 10.
Installing New Construction
Pre-wiring, finish work, and design can continue.
Jobs where you have to get on-site before the sheetrock goes up to pull wire, work with building plans to layout a potential design, hang panels, and mount speakers can continue in empty office places and new home builds. Do this with the knowledge that at this is the time, we should be working alone or not within 6 feet of others. Don’t bring a big crew, don’t make unnecessary stops before or after the job.
The goal is to continue working, but make sure you are following CDC guidelines at the same time. If there is a different crew working during the day, ask the contractor if you can come in at night when no one is around.
Communicating with Customers on Upcoming Jobs
You must continue to communicate with existing clients. Find out how they are feeling, what steps they are taking, encourage them to stay positive and fix any A/V issues they are finding. This communication will lead to new jobs, and it will lead to trust in your company as someone who is proactive during this time. You don’t want to just see how things go. If you have delays caused by the pandemic, make sure you have touched base with your client to schedule an updated time to come in. Keep track of what else is happening around the installation. Is the high voltage person coming in before you? Do you know when the tinners or the drywall is being finished? Make it a point to find out so you can keep this on your calendar.
How an integrator handles their current jobs will determine their reputation for years to come; this is the time to exceed expectations from the customer.
Find yourself with extra time or have employees that don’t have a full day of work? This is the time to increase your knowledge of the new and emerging technologies used every day by integrators. A lot has changed over the last five years, and if you have found yourself installing all day, you might be behind on the latest and greatest.
Taking this time to become a better, more knowledgeable integrator will help you come out on the other side of the pandemic stronger than ever before. You may even win a few more jobs with the solutions you learn about. To see AVPro’s full COVID-19 training schedule, click here. Also, look to CEDIA, AVIXA, CEPro, Residential Systems, Commercial Integrator, SCN, TWICE, and HDBaseT for additional training.
Booties and Gloves; now is the time to be extremely careful and clean. If you are going to send a person into someone’s home or business for an installation, understand that it can be nerve-racking for everyone involved during this pandemic. Make sure your integrator knows what they are getting into, Call ahead, be clear that the people at the installation location are comfortable with having you come into their home. Make sure anyone going on-site is dressed extremely clean, with booties to cover their shoes and gloves to cover their hands. Make sure you are never going on-site if you have had any interaction with someone exposed to the coronavirus, or if you have had even the slightest symptom.
We want to continue working, but it’s up to the Integrator to take every precaution possible.
THINGS INTEGRATORS SHOULD NOT BE DOING:
Integration companies that are doing nothing are at risk of closing their doors. Take this time to work on the parts of your business you needed to put time into but couldn’t find it before.
This solves nothing and gets you no closer to finding cash flow during this pandemic. It will cause your co-workers, employees, and customers to do the same. Thinking logically in this time is how we are all going to get past this, ask yourself, “What would Spock do?” 🖖🖖🖖
National News Non-stop
Everyone wants to be informed about what is happening, but focusing on the news 24/7 isn’t going to solve any company’s problems. Give yourself a break, get uninterrupted hours in concentrating on how to continue business. Check the news periodically, stay informed, and continue operating at whatever level you can.
We hope nothing but the best your yourself, your family and your businessess's during this time. Stay positive, stay safe.