Building Resilience Into Your Schedule

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It’s important to be resilient. In this context, that means being prepared for the worst. Everyone knows Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” And there are others like, “The first casualty of every battle is the plan,” or “Every solution has two problems,” and of course, “You don’t need to go […]

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Details and Communication

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I was recently meeting with one of my dealers and he expressed frustration at how may times he has to repeat himself on jobsites when communicating his requirements to trades like the electrician or the HVAC guy in order for them to do the thing he needs them to do, so he is able to […]

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What’s Holding You Back?

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Whether you’re working on improving yourself personally or professionally, it’s essential to have the ability to be introspective and analytical, in order to identify what you need to work on. That’s also true when you’re coaching others. In that, self-improvement has a lot in common with troubleshooting systems and equipment at work: diagnose, analyze, repair, […]

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The Joys of Cable

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Some topics, when you review them every couple of years, you come to realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I remember all the prognostication ten years ago about cable cutters and the death of TV. Being me, I always took a more pragmatic, some might even say cynical, view. […]

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The Joy of Change Orders

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It’s a truism that the first casualty of every battle is the plan. One of the realities of building things is that sometimes the plan gets changed. While ideally every eventuality gets considered and decided upon during the design and planning stages, we don’t live in an ideal world we live in this one. Consequently, […]

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Go Big Or Go Home

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One of the most crucial pieces of advice I’ve ever received was, “Don’t decide for the client how much is too much. It’s not your job to say ‘no’ on their behalf.” Put another way, don’t be afraid of overselling the job; be afraid of underselling the job. This is a separate issue entirely from […]

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Three Simple Things

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Since I know that I have a reputation for aphorisms, let’s start off with this one: How you do one thing is how you do everything. Best practices are a drum that I beat on a regular basis. But that’s only because they’re important. When discussing anything, it’s often helpful to frame it differently, to […]

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Holdbacks

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It’s not a particularly glamorous topic to write about, let alone read, but anyone whose work falls within the bounds of the construction industry needs to have a grasp of liens and holdbacks, since they affect all parties, including suppliers, subcontractors, general contractors and owners. The definition of a holdback is related to its context, […]

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Filtering Out Bad Clients

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Previously, I’d gone into depth about the basics of managing your relationships with your clients which, when you drill down, is about how you manage your communication with them. Early on, while talking about initial interviews and needs assessment, I’d alluded to the using the initial needs assessment as a filter, not just to identify […]

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Partnering With A Buying Group

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Owners, general managers and inventory managers of AV companies routinely need to consider the pros and cons of buying products either from the manufacturer or a distributor. In addition to those options, there are also buying groups: an organizing of dealers who negotiate terms with their suppliers collectively. The primary rationale for buying groups is […]

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Subcontracting, Part 2.5

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View parts 1 and 2 of this series here and here. There’s the old saying that sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you. In order to stretch the analogy to its limit, I wanted to digress from my topic of addressing the pros and cons of hiring and using subcontractors to […]

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Subcontracting, Part 2

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Previously, I began an exploration of the relationship between AV pros and subcontractors, and examined ways in which the relationship can work. Now it’s time to consider the converse: when it doesn’t. We all know that not everything pans out. Silicon Valley old-timer James Altucher famously said, “90 percent of everything doesn’t work out.” One […]

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Subcontracting: Part 1

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It’s not lost on veteran AV pros that even as they need to make the best use of their client’s budget, in order to do that they need to make the best use of their own. That means allocating your firm’s funds, resources and expertise in a way that maximizes everything from effectiveness to profitability. […]

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The Joys Of Troubleshooting

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Everyone who knows me knows that I have an aphorism for every occasion. (I have sports metaphors too, but that’s not the topic at hand today.) One of my favorite aphorisms (although really, I have so many, it’s hard to choose a favorite) is that “Professionalism isn’t about not having problems: Everyone has problems. Professionalism […]

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Adapt or Perish

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Everything changes and the pace of that change can be dizzying. Change for its own sake, however, isn’t always advisable. It needs to be carefully considered. A recurring trend in my discussions with consumer electronics dealers is their efforts in exploring avenues by which they can both differentiate themselves and seek new margin-building categories. Over […]

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