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Business consultant Tom Stimson embraces modified Monopoly mentality to helping your AV company achieve its goals, but it’s rooted in strategy.

You’ve probably heard the words “pivot,” “adapt,” “agile” and “nimble” more in the last two months than in most of your business career before the coronavirus outbreak across the U.S. and around the world—but these words truly are among the most important ones for your business’ viability.Related: Strategic Thinking Will Chart Your New Business Course

“We’re all having to change course and do things we don’t want to do,” said AV industry consultant Tom Stimson during the ninth installment of his webinar series, “The Show WILL Go On,” which is aimed at helping live event professionals navigate the business uncertainty.

“You need to distinguish between what you can do and what you should do. It’s better to do one thing the right way than to try five things and not master any of them,” he said.

“There are reasons to be talking to your customers and ways to leverage your expertise right now. You may only be using 5 percent of your capabilities but it’s work and something that can keep you going for a little while longer,” said Stimson.

Business Agility Dictates Strategy

Many live events professionals and AV integrators are “having to go back into startup mode,” he said. That’s obviously challenging for an established company with a legacy of success but it presents an opportunity to do something new and create new opportunities for the business.

To successfully pivot, not only do you need to be agile and nimble, you also need to work for a company with a management team that’s comfortable with enacting a new business strategy, said Stimson.

Management’s job is to execute strategy based on resources, boundaries, circumstances and rules. He compared it to playing Monopoly or other board games and even created a modified version of the Parker Brothers classic to illustrate how the business landscape is changing.

“Think strategically about your business, how you make choices and why they’re important,” said Stimson.

Companies focused on diversification have more chances at income, while those that focus on a particular market segment will generate more income for themselves in one area. Low barriers to entry will attract risk-averse companies, while bad luck can be random so cash is a necessity.

Loans can help companies grow but liquidation can come at any time, said Stimson. Investing in more assets lets you reach for grander projects but doesn’t guarantee you’ll win them all. Having no strategy at all, he said, means you’re guaranteed to miss opportunities.

“You should be rebooting your business to carry less overhead,” he said. “That will allow you to be more scalable.”

About the Author

D. CRAIG MACCORMACK, Executive Editor


Craig MacCormack is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience covering local and national news and sports as well as architecture and engineering before moving into his current role. He joined Commercial Integrator in January 2011.