Is There A Good Way To Be  Social In Times Like This?

In this issue…

* How to stay busy despite social distancing

* 441 words, total reading time 2-1/2 minutes

VITAL has worked with CI companies from under $1M in annual revenues, to over $20M. There are more similarities along this spectrum than you might expect, but one of the most significant differences is largely unrelated to the size of the companies.

It’s the size of the jobs that varies.

At one end you have companies that focus on production housing and churn out jobs in the dozens per day. At the other, companies whose primary focus is large, long-term projects – very custom and expensive, with lengthy completion horizons.

Our general view of these two extremes is that it’s better to tilt towards larger jobs, than smaller. They require more professionalism to sell, and more skill to design/install/program. Because they are less prone to competitive pricing, the higher ticket on these projects also tends to be higher margin. From fewer projects come higher profits.

The problem, though, is that schedule slips on large projects leave large holes in the production schedule. That could be happening to you right now – on top of not being able to get into some clients’ homes for retro and/or service work. And big jobs you might sell this month won’t go into production for a while.

How do you stay busy?

Little Marbles

One of our favorite clients describes a month of work as a jar with marbles in it. If the jar has nothing but big marbles in it, there will be a lot of unoccupied space between the marbles. Little marbles can help fill that space. (Sand, as a last resort, can completely fill the space.)

If you’re seeing holes in your schedule right now, you need some little marbles to fill the jar. That means finding clients willing to let you into their homes to complete a small but important project you might be able to talk them into. This won’t be without its challenges, but these are challenging times.

Start by picking up the phone. Call your favorite clients. Check in on their health and well-being. Offer to help them out in any way you can. And then, maybe, you’ll get into a conversation about their network, or security system, or too-small TV that they’ve been watching too much, or the soundbar that doesn’t cut it for listening to music at stress-relieving volumes.

And even if that conversation doesn’t happen, you’ll have at least shown you care, and come away happy that you made the call.

Now call the next customer. And the next. Close the unsocial distance that comes from too much texting and emails. And maybe add some little marbles to the jar in the process.

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