Insight: Are You Commercial?
The current new business opportunity buzz is commercial. Manufacturers are talking about it, reps are talking about it, and even the press is talking about it.
The commercial business is very different than the residential consumer business. What are the key differences? Here are just a few:
The products you sell. How many 4 source by 16 display audio/video switchers did you install in a residential system last year? If you are in the commercial business, understanding multiple sources and displays in one location is common and requires different products than your typical A/V receiver.
Who designs the systems? In the residential business, the custom retailer is almost always responsible for the design and build for the A/V system. In commercial installations, many installations are designed by consultants or other design professionals who do not do the install. You are the mechanic not the designer.
How are products connected together? BNC, VGA and XLR connectors are typically used in commercial installations. Throw away the consumer connectors as they easily come off the equipment being used.
Reliability. Although most consumers want high reliability, they usually have more than one display. In a commercial installation, duplication of environments is not as typical. The equipment has to work.
A good working knowledge of commercial building and electrical codes in your area. As an example, interior sprinkler systems are required in most commercial establishments.
How you are paid. You may find that you are carrying higher receivables with commercial business.
Profit margins. The commercial business is traditionally a cost-up business, not a list-price discounted business. Many commercial products do not have the high margins that consumer products have.
All of the above requires a different knowledge-base and expertise in areas not normally performed by the traditional custom retailer.
The following survey is designed to find out how many of the current custom retailers are doing commercial business and the performance results from the commercial area.