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AV companies have a big challenge when it comes to keeping their overhead costs in check. The nature of the AV industry is that it’s very subject to change, especially since it has digital transformation at its core. Cutting edge technology continues to disrupt the way AV systems are installed, their complexity, and their cost. To meet these evolving demands, AV companies must ensure their talent is constantly evolving to keep up.

AV companies also need to be wary of slow periods caused by organizations budgets, industry budgets, seasonality, and economic conservatism (such as businesses being reluctant to spend on AV equipment and upgrades).

The status quo for most project managers is to rely on a permanent technical staff, with a go-to team of AV specialist subcontractors to help scale. But what happens when your go-to team isn’t available or those who are available can’t perform an installation because they don’t have the right skills? Projects won’t have enough talent to stay on schedule and become unsustainable.

Want to know a foolproof way to reduce the overhead costs year-round and keep your staffing healthy even during slow periods? Read on.

Hiring More Freelancers

There’s now a growing AV freelancer marketplace online, which means it’s becoming easier to pinpoint the talent you need. While boosting your recruitment efforts might sound counterintuitive to saving on overhead costs, hear us out. If you have easy access to a large pool of freelancers and an efficient way to manage and onboard talent, you gain vital flexibility during seasons you normally wouldn’t have enough manpower to take on extra projects. Hiring freelancers is incredible important, but it can be tricky. That’s why AV Junction makes it easy.

When you rely only on your permanent staff and your go-to subcontractors, you run the risk of losing out on potential clients. There are guaranteed to be times that your go-to team has already been snatched up by other AV companies for the season. Access to more freelancers prevents this situation from recurring and generates more profit from more projects.

And with the advent of Infocomm’s installation microcredentials, which give candidates the ability to display digital badges that confirm their skillset, you can verify that freelance technicians have essential skills at a glance. Beyond microcredentials, it’s now easier than ever to review potential techs and freelancers through certifications and AV specific skillsets for a variety of projects.

Generating and Negotiating Fixed Price Contracts

A sore spot for both project managers and freelancers? Contracting and the ways it affects everyone. Often the problem with contracts is that they aren’t generated in a timely manner before an AV project is underway. There are more tools available nowadays, fortunately, for easily generating and regulating contracts. So, the real issue lies with staying within budget.

The best way to stay competitive while still offering fair pay to freelancers is to negotiate a fixed price contract. When you receive more quotes from multiple freelancers on a project, you’ll have a clearer picture of the best fixed price. Fixed price contracts also keep the final cost of completing an AV project in check. Not to mention negotiating such contracts reduces the risk of disagreements for the duration of a project.

The Gig Economy Has You Covered

The gig economy is booming, with permanent employees and full-time freelancers both participating actively in it. This new normal is super beneficial for AV companies who are trying to reduce their overhead costs. But have you considered at how much it costs to onboard new permanent staff?

Sometimes project managers believe the best decision is to hire more skilled candidates to expand their internal staff, but this can come with some complications. For one, you must be certain that you have enough resources to properly train new hires if they are relatively fresh to the industry. And of course, we all know about the egregious costs of bad hires...

A steady mix of your current trusted team, your go-to team (when they’re available) and qualified freelancers from a trusted online marketplace like AV Junction, will grant your company constant flexibility. And when the name of the game in AV solutions is digital transformation and disruption, being flexible is about the best quality an AV company can possess. Combine that flexibility with preparation and you have a formula for success: AV Junction can help you combine the two.

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Paul Weatherhead

Paul Weatherhead

Prior to founding AV Junction Inc., Paul worked for a tier one AV systems integrator in an operational management capacity for 10 years. His knowledge and experience have helped him oversee hundreds of system integration projects in a variety of industries. Paul’s leadership skills as matched by his sense of humour and easygoing nature. When he’s not at work, you can find him outdoors, exploring new places or spending time with family and friends.

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