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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Business Lessons Learned from the "Bad Times"

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Churches, or rather “Houses of Worship,” or HoW as our industry likes to acronym them, have become big business for a lot of AV integrators on the commercial side. With large congregations sometimes exceeding thousands and ministries that include live bands, light shows and multi-screen video projection, they often need fairly elaborate AV systems.

The part of the country where I live is often referred to as “The Bible Belt,” and we certainly have no shortage of churches; I pass by dozens while driving to and from work. In fact, I pretty much pass dozens on my way to and from anywhere. In order to attract the attention of passers-by, or gather new members, or just out-church the church next to them, many like to advertise with some catchy religious-themed slogan on their reader boards out front. Every couple of days the message will change to something new and eye-grabbing like, “Know God, Know Peace. No God, No Peace,” “Honk if you love Jesus; Text while driving if you want to meet him,” “Staying in bed and shouting ‘Oh, God!’ does not constitute going to church,” or “How will you spend eternity---smoking or non-smoking?” Seriously, some of them are pretty hilarious and awesome. I imagine there is a book full of them somewhere, a veritable Jack Handey’s Deep Thoughts for church signs they cull from.

One church put up this GIANT billboard that was just so horrifyingly awesome I sometimes found myself driving out of my way just to gaze and marvel at it. It was a picture of Jesus being crucified, but this Jesus looked more like Stallone circa Rambo and Rocky with huge, blood-red text that read, “You drew First Blood! But I’ll be back!” I mean, this Jesus was *totally* ripped and cut up, his stomach rockin’ an 8-pack and looking like his preaching consisted of CrossFitting from one city to the next beating unbelievers within an inch of their lives and then asking if they had their tickets to the gun show. His Last Supper would have been like 15 skinless chicken breasts washed down with a super dose of X-Treme Creatine Muscle Blaster Fuel followed by a dessert of multiple reps of pec and lat shredding.

We even had this bit of 3D Church awesomeness spring up that I literally had to stop, make a U-turn and drive back to take a picture of:

While driving to Florida for a recent family vacation, I passed a church sign that caught my eye and really made me think. Not so much about my eternal soul, but about the state of the custom installation industry. It read, “The good times are a blessings and the bad times are a lesson.”

For several miles after I thought about this, and it really resonated with me. And if you’ve been in this business for any length of time, say before 2005, then you likely experienced the inverted-V of the blessings, bad times, (hopefully) back-to-blessings period of the economy’s effects on your business.

Hopefully through the down time, you did learn some “lessons” that helped you to rebound and ultimately become a better installer, employer, and company altogether. Here are six lessons our company learned during the “bad times”…

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