By Todd Anthony Puma June 19, 2013
Handling delays in projects can be a real headache. Even if it’s a
personal project, say remodeling your kitchen, any delay can be
frustrating. Another week of take-out sounds great, unless you’ve been
living on take-out for the past six weeks. It’s even worse when it
impacts your business and your clients.
By Todd Anthony Puma June 11, 2013
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that
several months ago I was invited to a neighbor’s house for dinner. He
didn’t know what I did for a living and he was raving about his Sonos
system and Harmony remote. I promised to write again when I had them
over to our house. Well, now that I’ve fully installed my Crestron
system, had all the bells and whistles programmed in by industry veteran
Richard Fregosa, and have installed all of my floorstanding, in-wall,
in-ceiling, and invisible speakers, I was ready to have them over.
By Todd Anthony Puma June 05, 2013
Several times in this space I’ve mentioned the Home Theater Rebuild.
This is an organization I started a couple of years ago to give back to
the industry that gave so much to me. It also has helped develop new
service providers in the industry and assisted those who need a little
guidance or advice on taking their business to the next level. It’s been
a labor of love, and I’ve been rewarded several-fold in with new
friendships, business relationships.
By Todd Anthony Puma May 21, 2013
One of the challenges of doing many, smaller projects is that service
calls can become a large drain on profitability. Even with fewer, larger
jobs, the more complex a job gets, the more visits are required to
By Todd Anthony Puma May 15, 2013
Months ago, I wrote in this space about not judging a customer by how
they dress or what they drive. Last week, I described ways to build
partnerships with other firms in the industry. This week, I want to
bring it all together. The bottom line is focusing on customer service
as the priority. Make the customer happy, work with each other as peers,
and we will all not only grow the industry but make more money and be
By Todd Anthony Puma May 07, 2013
There is a lot of competition between integrators, but there needs to be cooperation as well. Everyone needs a way to quickly scale up or down, or just have someone they can lean on in a time crunch.
By Todd Anthony Puma May 01, 2013
When business is slow, you have bills to pay, and payroll to meet, it’s hard to turn down a job that you know isn’t the right fit for your company. Most times, it’s important to trust your instincts and know when to say “no.”
By Todd Anthony Puma April 24, 2013
Like many custom AV integrators, I work really hard and spend long days
doing estimates, programming systems, and keeping my company’s
financial books in order. So my wife finally convinced me to take a
vacation this spring, and I’m glad that I finally did.
By Todd Anthony Puma April 10, 2013
It happens in every industry, to everyone. It’s what killed Border’s and Circuit City. Price-shopping online. We’ve all felt the pain of a client taking our estimate, after we’ve put in hours of work to formulate the perfect package for them, and then calling us back a day later telling us how they can get everything cheaper online, completely ignoring our expertise and time put forth to recommend just the right product. I’ve found it tends to happen more in the middle-market (jobs under $30,000), but will still occur in the high-end as well.
By Todd Anthony Puma April 03, 2013
The key to success in our business is referrals. Doing great work and providing top-notch customer service are the cost of entry, so in order to grow and expand, you need your clients to pass along your good name. While client referrals are awesome, and we all aim to get those, there just isn’t always enough volume there. That’s why we all strive to work with designers, architects, and contractors.