How VARS Can Get Started with Audio Video Systems
Professional audio video systems are everywhere these days, from digital signage and video walls in retail applications to video conferencing technology within the corporate world. For value-added resellers (VARs), pro AV represents an exciting opportunity to branch out into several different growing markets – and grow your business like never before.
Consider this awe-inspiring annual list of the top 50 audio visual integrators in the U.S. and Canada in 2013. As you can see, pro AV offers a chance to make significant profit; just ask the No. 1 integrator on the list, AVI-SPL, which brought in more than half a billion dollars in commercial AV revenue last year. (Amazingly, even No. 50 on the list raked in an impressive $15 million.)
If you’re ready to get started in the pro AV industry, there are several relatively small steps you can take to begin incorporating AV into your product offering. By gradually adopting pro AV technology, you’ll minimize risk and build that aspect of your business over time.
Here are some ways to get started with audio video systems:
1. Learn the basics.
Ready to dip your toe into the audio video world? With pro AV growing each year, the internet is chock-full of resources and information on the topic. With a little research, you can find blogs, whitepapers, articles and other resources to start your audio video education.
If you’re interested in pro AV training courses, industry organizations like InfoComm International provide online and in-person classes at a variety of price points. And many technology manufacturers provide VAR training on a regular basis. Check with your technology partners to find out what they offer.
2. Build your referral business.
With a little persistence, your customers can become your biggest source of new business. After each successful install, ask your customer to recommend any businesses or locations they might know that are in need of similar solutions. You can even offer a certain percentage off their installation or service cost for each verified referral.
3. Branch out gradually.
You may already be selling datacomm, building automation, digital signage, big data and other technology. For many organizations these types of devices naturally lend themselves to pro AV systems, such as video conferencing, projection and audio solutions.
As you meet with potential (and existing) customers, ask them about their interest in complementary audio visual technology. You might stumble upon more business than you ever expected.
4. Partner up.
To really establish a firm foundation for your new pro AV business, partner with a technology distributor that knows the industry, has worked with new VARs in the past and can help you keep pace with emerging technology trends.
The pro AV industry moves quickly, so working with a leading distributor can be one of your most significant steps toward success. Many also provide VAR training on such topics as technology trends, best practices and sales techniques.
How likely are you to get started with audio video systems in the next 12 months? If you’re unsure, what is holding you back? If you’re definitely moving into AV, what steps will you take to get started?