Ah, the New Year’s resolution. It’s coming up soon, and though certainly not everyone decides to look inwardly and create some goals for this annual tradition it does provide a perfect opportunity to reflect on your business and where you hope it is headed in 2024.
We can all use an occasional audit of our personal and professional lives. Admittedly, I wound up working to improve both areas of my own life this year and although it is now December, I’m still focused on achieving some of those objectives.
I must say, my wife impressed me last year when she decided to tackle the nearly 1,500-page paperback edition of Les Misérables as her goal; she started on Jan. 1 and managed to finish it a couple of weeks before 2022 ended.
She took a systematic approach — getting through a handful of pages on most nights … and it all added up to a rewarding accomplishment. And unlike some stereotypical New Year’s resolutions, the little-by-little nature of her effort seemed to aid her stick-to-itiveness.
There are plenty of ways custom integrators can introduce goals into their businesses, even if Jan. 1 ultimately is an arbitrary date to do so. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions worth exploring.
Attend a New-to-You Tradeshow — If you already go to CEDIA Expo, perhaps it’s time to look at ISC West, the big security show held each spring in Las Vegas. There’s also ISC East in November in New York. Want to foster partnerships with designers? Try the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in February. Looking to crack into commercial? Check out the Commercial Integrator Expo co-located event with CEDIA Expo if you missed it this year; or visit InfoComm in June and sign up for some curriculums.
Also, do you ever delegate other team members to go in your stead? Employees tend to be more content when they are tasked with greater responsibilities, a career path, and a feeling of importance within their companies. Throw them a bone and they’ll likely take it and run with it.
Embrace More Social Media — Do you want to show off more of your projects to wow potential clients with your work? Start documenting your work on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. The quality of videos and photos on today’s smart phones is incredible, and with the proper promotion you’ll reach a wider prospect pool. Obtain permissions, ask existing customers to like and share your posts, and don’t be daunted by the process — chances are you have young, social-savvy employees who’d be happy to work their magic.
Cultivate Builder Relationships — Homebuilders have always been reluctant to embrace technology, but they’re quickly catching on that homeowners desire simplified smart home controls, bulletproof wireless networks, lighting and shade controls, and more. I’ve chatted with dealers who spend time cold calling luxury and production builders in their market; you might experience a bunch of “no thanks,” but you never know when that one “yes please” will turn into a lucrative, long-term relationship. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.
Get into Lighting Fixtures — If there’s one category that’s dominated CEDIA Expo and buying group summits lately, it’s lighting fixtures. More and more lighting manufacturers are discovering our channel — and learning that integrators are darn good at pitching clients, designers, architects, and builders on fixtures. HTSA launched Lightapalooza a couple of years ago and it’s already become the must-attend event. If there’s only one new event you can book in 2024, make sure it’s Lightapalooza at the end of February in Glendale, Ariz. You won’t regret it.
It’s never too early to start making productive changes, and it’s never too late to stop being stuck in old habits.
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