We keep hearing more and more bad news. Trade shows are canceled. Restaurants are forced to close. People are told to stay at home. The stock market is crashing. Toilet paper is sold out everywhere. The Rolling Stones are canceling their latest final tour. Movie theaters are closed. And….. quarantine is bad for business.

But is it?

No. I’m here to tell you it’s not bad for business. Sure, there is a storm to wait out. There will be some bumps in the road. 

However in the end this will INCREASE business not derail it. How is that possible? The CI business thrives off of new construction and retro work. The construction business is going to stall a little until the quarantines are lifted. Construction will rebound quickly due to back logs and new sales. Retro will thrive again like it hasn’t in ages. Why? The new construction market will inevitably use this as an opportunity for builders to embrace more home entertainment features. The retro market will look to upgrade their home entertainment features. 

This will all happen for a very simple reason: people will have been forced to stay at home and live without proper home entertainment. Movie studios are releasing new movies straight to digital in response to theaters being closed. Consumers are watching these movies on inadequate systems and losing out on what the Director intended. Children are at home. Their attention spans are famously low. Streaming services and video games are all being used and again it’s on inadequate systems. New music is being found by people looking desperately out of boredom. Most are finding it with smart phones and headphones. They aren’t using a state of the art home streaming service and pumping the new beats throughout their homes.

Consumers are stuck in their homes. They’re using everything without the ease of automation. They’re opening and closing blinds. They’re trying to remember if they shut off lights they previously rarely used. 

Take advantage of this opportunity, as now is the time to prepare yourself for tons of people who lived inadequately during these troubled times. Have marketing  materials ready to educate them on what they could have experienced vs what they did experience. Embrace the time you spend in your own self quarantine to give you the opportunity to sell more theaters, distributed audio, and automation when society reverts back to normal.

Remember consumers were just forced to spend time with their families at home for an extended period without escape. They’ve been forced to experience everything wrong with their home entertainment. It will be a great time for up-selling. Listen to your clients. Introduce options that they now know they need. Consumers will have lived without a proper home theater or media room. They will have streamed movies, TV, etc. on 65 inch or smaller TVs for the most part. Projectors might be a hassle but thanks to UST solutions available today, more spaces than ever can be converted.

They don’t like the look of speakers everywhere? Invisible in wall speaker sales are waiting to happen. Consumers will have lived without proper kitchens. Expect a lot of kitchen renovations. Connected kitchens are a real thing now. Consumers will have lived without distributed audio. Consumers will have lived without lighting control, temperature control, automatic blinds, and toilet paper.

In our industry we are often trying to educate our clients on purchasing options they don’t know they need. Trust me, after an extended time at home living without, they will now KNOW they need a proper media room just as they know they now need a bidet. 

Editor’s Note: Jacob Atkinson has over 20 years experience in the AV field having pulled wire, programmed, designed, and sold just about everything and has a true love for high end audio. Hi-Fi Representation was founded in January 2020 by Jacob Atkinson and Gabriel Garland to offer the custom installation market a Manufacturer’s Rep Firm focused on best in class solutions to help dealers differentiate themselves by offering unique and superior products.  

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