Business

The 17 Best Stories of 2018 That CE Pros Never Read

In 2018, many CE Pros skipped a lot of important business articles in favor of lighter fare. Let's change that.

The 17 Best Stories of 2018 That CE Pros Never Read
Lelch Audio Video imparts some important knowledge about serving a niche market ... but you might've missed that story.

Andrew Nichols · December 3, 2018

Google Analytics shows that CE Pros love the high-tech stories, industry scandals amd cool smart-home installs we post on online. But they generally skip past the business articles in favor of the easier, breezier fare.

Yet, year after year, we get responses and surveys from industry professions suggesting they need to bolster their RMR, accounting, marketing, and HR. 

When we asked the CE Pro 100 about the biggest challenges facing integrators in 2018, many of them cited troubles finding qualified employees, maintaining efficiency, and managing growth. 

While these topics may not provide the wow factor, they are important reads nonetheless:

17 Business Stories You May Have Missed: 

1. 5 Tips for Becoming a Better Interviewer

  • In order to hire qualified employees, it's very important to ask the right questions and conduct yourself in the best way possible. 

2. Sacramento Showroom Flip Makes Smart Home ‘So Easy to Sell’

  • June 06, 2018 Liberty Bell Smart Home transformed Control4-certified showroom to promote simple security and home-automation packages based on Alarm.com and Interlogix Ultrasync on the lower end, Control4 at the higher end.

3. How Sound Affects Your Home Theater Customers’ Emotions

  • This is one of the CE Pro staff's favorite articles of the year! Richard Fairbrother of Bitstream Media discusses high-level concepts like Emotional Contagion and how listeners often mimic the emotions they perceive in music. 

4. Should You Buy or Lease Your Showroom?

  • It's a simple question: Buy or lease? CE Pro's Editor-in-Chief Jason Knott goes over the options to make your options as clear as possible. 

5. The 43 Metrics You Need to Track to Measure Success in the A/V Industry

  • Okay, so 43 things is a lot, but there are a few key ones like making sure you're getting the most from your vendors in terms of support that are very important. 

6. Want to Provide Better Service? Start with Sales and Project Processes

  • Often, integrators avoid the topic of service during the sales phase because they don't want to scare customers away. Don't worry, it's important to set proper expectations off the bat. 

7. CE Pro 100: Biggest Challenges Facing Home-Technology Integrators in 2018

  • Among the highest-revenue home-technology installers, the biggest challenges for 2018 will be finding employees, tight product margins, maintaining efficiency, and supporting a profitable service/RMR business.

8. Should You Add Surcharge to Clients Who Pay by Credit Card?

  • Lots of clients pay via credit cards, but surcharges are a pain. How can you avoid this? Maybe consider offering a discount for those willing to pay with cash or checks. 

9. 7 Evolving Trends for Upscale Brands in 2019: Luxury Institute Report

  • It's time to get ahead of the game and prep for 2019, so take a look at these luxury trends and know what to expect! 

10. 31 Business Tips from Top Earning CE Pro 100 Integrators

  • From systems documentation to employee management to pricing labor, the industry’s highest-revenue integrators offer ideas for best practices to implement now.

​11. Home-Technology Industry Braces for Tariff War: Are You Prepared?

  • CEDIA, CTA, smart-home dealers and manufacturers share fears and strategies for impending tariff wars: on raising prices, absorbing costs, and communicating with clients while avoiding political arguments.

12. Smart Home Pros Kill ‘em with Coddling, when Customers Just Want Convenience

  • Sometimes simplicity is best. In this case, the takeaway is simple enough: Big spenders don't necessarily need hugs to feel like valued customers. Take a page out of Amazon or Uber's book and go with a more basic approach to service. 

13. 7 Ways to Avoid Client Sticker Shock

  • Some clients might balk at the price of a massive install, so consider breaking it down into chunks and be upfront about your market position. 

14. How to Tap into the Lucrative, Fanatical Video Gaming Market

  • Deep down, many gamers are tech geeks interested in a $91 billion industry. That's a lot of money up for grabs for those willing to stock a few more products. 

15. How One L.A. Integrator Spiked Its Black Friday Sales by 37%

  • Everyone loves a sale, and while many integrators offer a discount on their products, maybe what they should be doing is offering a discount on service/installations. 

16. Basement Remodeling Strategy Feeds Integrator’s RMR

  • Lelch Audio Video uses strong marketing techniques, specializes in basement remodeling, and embraces responsive service plans to target Millennials.

17. Terminating Employees Can’t Be Done Pleasantly, But Can Be Done Properly

  • No one likes having to let someone go, but by using some of these tips businesses can make the process and pain-free and respectful as possible. 


7 Clever Ways to Hide Home Technology - CE Pro Download

Most technology products are not that visually appealing. Black boxes and tangled wires do not add to the character of a high-end smart home project. Luckily, our integrator readers have a number of clever solutions so these components don’t have to be visible in your next project.




  About the Author

Andrew is a journalist and educator living in the Providence area. He was previously the Editor-in-Chief of a gaming and tech website, and the Managing Editor of his university newspaper, The Torch. He received his Bachelors in Writing and Masters in Teaching from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Andrew at andrew_nichols@ehpub.com

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Andrew also participates in these groups:
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View Andrew Nichols's complete profile.



  Article Topics


Business · Business Operations · Blogs · business advice · Business Resource · Human Resources · Marketing · Sales · All Topics
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