21-23 Aug 2024
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Top five pivot opportunities for integrators

Jul 20, 2020

The year 2020 will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most disruptive that we will likely endure in our lifetimes. But in adversity, can the AV industry find opportunity?

Article written by Paul Skelton

“When lockdowns end, if you approach the ‘new normal’ by doing the same stuff as before COVID-19, there’s something wrong,” CEDIA Board Member and prolific volunteer and instructor Peter Aylett says.

“A lot of people are suffering, but business owners can’t just sit on their hands. You cannot deny what’s happening; you must plan.”

In fact, Peter says, there’s a lot of merit in the buzzword-du-jour – ‘pivot’.

“This word is everywhere, isn’t it? Everyone’s ‘pivoting’; but what is it and what does it mean? To some, it has become a meme, a joke, but it’s a really important concept.

When we say pivot, we’re not talking about going from being an integrator to owning a shoe shop. We’re talking about going from being a technology company that makes buildings better to one that makes the lives of people that live in those buildings better.

Pivoting means you’re always looking for new opportunities, and for different strategies to embrace them.”

So, how do you ‘pivot’ your business and explore new revenue opportunities?

1: Being human

In our industry, the first thing to consider is the “concept of human centricity”.

“When we say ‘human-centric’, most of us think of lighting, because that’s the only product set that we’ve currently put the words ‘human-centric’ in front of, but everything you do should be human-centric,” Peter says.

“Ask yourself how something is going to make your customer’s lives better because if it doesn’t make their lives better, why are you doing it?

“We need to shift from selling products to improving people’s lives.”

2: Building a brand

“Your brand is not your logo,” Peter explains.

“Your brand is not what you say about yourself; rather, it’s what everyone else is saying about you.

“When a potential customer has disposable income, what’s going to make them come to you?”

Peter explains that to succeed, every brand needs a meaning, an attitude and a promise.

“You also need to look at what your competitors are doing but forget about if you’re more expensive or cheaper.

“Instead, you need to make sure you are as good as your competitors in every aspect but are better than all of them in at least one thing.”

3:  A clear vision

“A vision is so important because if you don’t have a destination, there’s no way you can plan how to get there,” Peter says.

4: Resources

“You must be brutally honest with yourself about the skills and resources that you’re going to need to embrace whatever you’re going to do in the future.

“If you just add more services and things to your business, that’s not really pivoting. That’s just adding a lot of noise.

“The chances are that if you simply add something without taking something away, you’re likely to fail. You’ve either got to do it or not do it.”

5: Embracing change

According to CEDIA vice president of education and training Samantha Ventura, you must embrace the concept of change.

“Change itself is not necessarily what we fight against or what we get nervous about; it’s actually the transition that’s attached to change,” she says.

“The transition is what causes us to feel so many different emotions when something gets changed for us.

“Change is very scary for many people, but it is necessary, particularly now because we don’t have a choice because of everything that’s going on.”

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