7 Unique Ideas to Boost Business, Improve Efficiency

Azione Unlimited members share business ideas like hosting a top chef at your showroom for an evening to paying employees an additional 50 cents per hour to quit smoking.


One of the best results from any networking event is getting ideas from your peers. Here are seven quick ideas generated by members from roundtable discussions at the Azione Unlimited (AU) Spring Soiree conference in Phoenix this week, some of which are actually being done and some that were just ideas.

Hold Movie Screenings – One integrator has had success with “movie nights” in his showroom when Blu-ray releases of blockbusters like Jurassic World and Avatar come out. Invitations are sent out to existing customers and to the local community, with popcorn and candy served.

Create a “Service Club” – One integrator has a “Service Club” for his clients that guarantees them automatic software and hardware upgrades, overcoming the fear of obsolescence that can sometimes paralyze a client from making decisions on products. The club also gets them access to 24/7 service for an annual fee.

Take “Before & After” Photos – Dealers brainstormed an idea to ask customers to take an image of the room they want to re-do and send a digital scan to the integrator. From there, dealers can photoshop an “After” image of the room to impress homeowners on their design abilities.

Send Text Promotions – Homeowners are usually very free with their email addresses, often creating new ones just to accommodate promotions. But when a customer gives you his cell phone number, that can be gold from a marketing perspective. With their permission, of course, one integrator sends regular (but not too regular) texts to his clients promoting new services and equipment. He says the response rates are very strong.

Hold Lunch & Learn 'Hate-fests' – CE pros often do not know how to “talk the language” of architects, builders and interior designers. The best way to do that is to find out from those trades exactly what it is that integrators do wrong. So, one idea from the group is to actually hold a “hate-fest” lunch and learn with architects, designers and builders encouraging them to rattle off everything you do wrong so you can learn from it.

Host a Top Chef at Your Showroom– Everyone loves food. One AU member integrator shares that he routinely brings in a noted local chef to cook in his showroom kitchen and invites the community to attend.

Incent Employees to Quit Smoking – One integrator has a program in place in which he has a standing offer to his employees that if they quit smoking, he will immediately boost their salary by 50 cents per hour. The offer does not apply to employees who don’t smoke already, and staff members can’t “stop and start” smoking. About 10 percent of his staff on a regular basis smokes. By eliminating the filthy habit, he is not only helping to improve their lifestyle but boosting productivity (no more smoke breaks). By the way, he also reimburses employees for gym memberships to keep them healthy. 

About the Author

Jason Knott
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.