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Author Topic: Business Minded Questions  (Read 17753 times)

Ray Aberle

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Re: Business Minded Questions
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2016, 05:21:05 pm »

My first reaction is that I can't justify that kind of pricing when a 55" TV is selling for $300 at walmart. Yes I realize I'm providing interconnects and cabling to connect to source, but it just seems too high for a smaller TV screen. LED wall, sure. Projector, maybe.
There's more to the cost than just the display.

Take your two $300 screens. (I'd want to get something 5-6 hundred bucks, but hey, whatevs)

- Add two professional floor stands to your purchase, and those can be up to $1,000 each

- Add cases - a single display case, custom built, can be up to $750; a dual case $1,250.

Now your two $300 displays are running $3,800 for the pair.

And then there's cabling. SDI cable to do it well. Black Magic or AJA SDI to HDMI adapter boxes. Add another couple hundred bucks per display. So now you're over $4k for the two displays. Makes a $400-$500 each rental rate a bit more logical? ;)

-Ray
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Business Minded Questions
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2016, 07:03:30 pm »

There's more to the cost than just the display.

Take your two $300 screens. (I'd want to get something 5-6 hundred bucks, but hey, whatevs)

- Add two professional floor stands to your purchase, and those can be up to $1,000 each

- Add cases - a single display case, custom built, can be up to $750; a dual case $1,250.

Now your two $300 displays are running $3,800 for the pair.

And then there's cabling. SDI cable to do it well. Black Magic or AJA SDI to HDMI adapter boxes. Add another couple hundred bucks per display. So now you're over $4k for the two displays. Makes a $400-$500 each rental rate a bit more logical? ;)

-Ray

Ray is so spot on with this.  It's not always the gear.  If the want a TV they can go buy one and toss it after the gig, let's see how far they get with that.

The product is the show, the tools just need to work.

I had a tech ask me why I put $300 lights in a $500 case.  After you buy three sets of lights because they get destroyed shoving them in a canvas bag.  Plus rolling up, opening the case, lifting the bars out, it's a more professional experience and repeatable.


Transportation, maintenance and storage are all variables that have to be factored into total cost of ownership of an item.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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brian maddox

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Re: Business Minded Questions
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2016, 07:07:52 pm »

...

The product is the show, the tools just need to work.

I had a tech ask me why I put $300 lights in a $500 case.  After you buy three sets of lights because they get destroyed shoving them in a canvas bag.  Plus rolling up, opening the case, lifting the bars out, it's a more professional experience and repeatable.

...

this.

I"ve a friend with a Sound Co. in the area that has ATA style road cases for his ultimate speaker stands.  Cases were DEFINITELY more expensive than the contents.  But his stands still look brand new after years of use.  And most importantly, we're not pulling broken stands out of the bag on site and trying to figure out how we're gonna put up 8 speakers with 5 stands....
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brian maddox
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Business Minded Questions
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2016, 07:10:15 pm »

this.

I"ve a friend with a Sound Co. in the area that has ATA style road cases for his ultimate speaker stands.  Cases were DEFINITELY more expensive than the contents.  But his stands still look brand new after years of use.  And most importantly, we're not pulling broken stands out of the bag on site and trying to figure out how we're gonna put up 8 speakers with 5 stands....

Exactly right. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Business Minded Questions
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2016, 08:04:25 pm »

There's more to the cost than just the display.

Take your two $300 screens. (I'd want to get something 5-6 hundred bucks, but hey, whatevs)

So now you're over $4k for the two displays. Makes a $400-$500 each rental rate a bit more logical? ;)

-Ray

Haha I didn't mean I had $300 screens!  I have $250 screens :P haha just kidding.

I got them on sale, but yeah $600 or $700 a couple years ago, now more like $450 these days. But I have a case ~$500 and HDMI/VGA over Cat6/7 ~$200. Trussing was going to be the stand, but still thats a ~$50 mount, ~$20 in clamps, ~$400 stick of truss, ~$200 base plate. So say $2000 total each.

My point was that the customer is going to say to me: "why are we paying for $500 TV when I can buy one on BF for $300 at walmart?"

Ray is so spot on with this.  It's not always the gear.  If the want a TV they can go buy one and toss it after the gig, let's see how far they get with that.

The product is the show, the tools just need to work.

I had a tech ask me why I put $300 lights in a $500 case.  After you buy three sets of lights because they get destroyed shoving them in a canvas bag.  Plus rolling up, opening the case, lifting the bars out, it's a more professional experience and repeatable.

Transportation, maintenance and storage are all variables that have to be factored into total cost of ownership of an item.

And now I have such a wonderful answer! Thanks guys  8)

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Steve M Smith

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Re: Business Minded Questions
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2016, 03:09:03 am »

The business side is very important.  Unfortunately, most of us who come into this as sound geeks are not very business minded.

I would probably agree to do most jobs for a cup of tea and a few biscuits!

However, my son is the exact opposite of me and manages to get some good contracts for us.

I'm sure it's possible to learn to be business minded, but at 52, I don't think it's going to happen to me!


Steve.
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James Feenstra

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Re: Business Minded Questions
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2016, 11:53:34 pm »

I'm trying to get there. Currently we have a good number of 'totes' from Lowes. I'm slowly working my way toward an all flight case solution for ease/efficiency.

Could someone expand on the label scheme? Why is this necessary? What are you labeling? That they are yours? The length? The type?
Can't people look at cables and know what type of cable and guess at the length, or is it more efficient to have them labeled in all aspects?
Length labeling is important because a 10-15' XLR and a 25' XLR look really similar, same with 50/75/100 when sitting side by side. Most people can tell the difference between a 10' and 100' cable, but maybe not between a 75' and 100', so knowing the length is important before running it out
Quote
Who uses which labeling scheme most?

1. [name of company, phone of company, type of cable, length]
or
2. [name of company, type of cable, length]
or
3. [type of cable, length]
or
4. [length]


[length] [company label] is pretty typical. Might do a colored boot on XLR to designate number of pins as well if you use 3, 4 and 5 pin for various purposes

For length, the absolute easiest method of labeling I've seen is resistor code:
Black = 0
Brown = 1
Red = 2
Orange = 3
Yellow = 4
Green = 5
Blue = 6
Purple/Violet = 7
Grey = 8
White = 9

so a 25' cable would be labelled as red/green, with red being closest to the connector, 125' would be brown/red/green, etc
----

In regards to your pricing questions, there are a LOT of people that think just because the gear is sitting in their shop that day and 'not making money' they can throw it out on a gig for a few extra $$, like it not being booked one day of the year suddenly diminishes its value.

The problem with this is the next time that client wants a show, that equipment may not be available, but they'll still expect it to be provided (at the same price) because it's what they got last time. Now you have to go and rent it (or buy it) which means the show you were previously making a little money on now ends up costing you. It's not a good strategy for companies that are trying to grow effectively.

Quote
Haha I didn't mean I had $300 screens!  I have $250 screens :P haha just kidding.

I got them on sale, but yeah $600 or $700 a couple years ago, now more like $450 these days. But I have a case ~$500 and HDMI/VGA over Cat6/7 ~$200. Trussing was going to be the stand, but still thats a ~$50 mount, ~$20 in clamps, ~$400 stick of truss, ~$200 base plate. So say $2000 total each.

My point was that the customer is going to say to me: "why are we paying for $500 TV when I can buy one on BF for $300 at walmart?"
To that I would tell them to provide the screens, and then bill them for the mounting and video distribution systems, probably somewhere in the $300-350 range. Alternatively explain to them that these things are included in the price of a $400-500 TV rental. They should quickly realize that it's not quite as simple as just getting a TV.

There are tons of things included in the rental price of most things. Generally speaking, if I'm renting lights or speakers, I don't expect to pay for the cables required to plug them in, so a $100 single moving light rental should include 1 data cable and 1 power cable. Every six lights should include a soca and breakout/breakin, plus six data and six power cables.

These additional (non-billed) items add up pretty fast in terms of capital expenditures for a production company.

Personally I've put the majority of my companies capital into cable- There's 10-20 big rental houses in town that have a myriad of fixtures and speakers I can source from, and if I go to them saying that I only need the lights, no cable or anything, it's not difficult to get a big discount because cable is VERY labor intensive to package into cases and carries a high overhead on their end.

For a case of cable you're looking at 60-90 minutes of shop work between checking it in/out and pulling it, plus the value in the cable/case itself. Also, with all the cable going back to one shop (mine), it's easy to pack it up at the end of the show as it doesn't need to be sorted into company A/B/whatever's stuff- put it all in cable cases and send it away!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 12:02:26 am by James Feenstra »
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James Feenstra

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Re: Business Minded Questions
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2016, 12:00:46 am »

Ray is so spot on with this.  It's not always the gear.  If the want a TV they can go buy one and toss it after the gig, let's see how far they get with that.

The product is the show, the tools just need to work.

I had a tech ask me why I put $300 lights in a $500 case.  After you buy three sets of lights because they get destroyed shoving them in a canvas bag.  Plus rolling up, opening the case, lifting the bars out, it's a more professional experience and repeatable.

Transportation, maintenance and storage are all variables that have to be factored into total cost of ownership of an item.
100% this

this.

I"ve a friend with a Sound Co. in the area that has ATA style road cases for his ultimate speaker stands.  Cases were DEFINITELY more expensive than the contents.  But his stands still look brand new after years of use.  And most importantly, we're not pulling broken stands out of the bag on site and trying to figure out how we're gonna put up 8 speakers with 5 stands....
Another argument for standard cases- speaker stands fit nicely into a 1/2 pack truck case, that can be also used for cable if you're not using the stands. Keeps them nice looking and in good repair so you're not replacing them or sending a truck with a spare stand down to a show.

Trucking costs a huge amount to drop gear off to shows where it was forgotten/arrived broken, and can't be billed back to the client. Between maintenance, gas, a driver, and parking (sometimes), the average driver drop will run $150-200. If you have to have an extra truck head down to even 10% of the shows a company does in a year because of gear that doesn't work, you're looking at a HUGE amount of money that a good road case will save.
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brian maddox

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Re: Business Minded Questions
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2016, 11:55:38 am »

Trucking costs a huge amount to drop gear off to shows where it was forgotten/arrived broken, and can't be billed back to the client. Between maintenance, gas, a driver, and parking (sometimes), the average driver drop will run $150-200. If you have to have an extra truck head down to even 10% of the shows a company does in a year because of gear that doesn't work, you're looking at a HUGE amount of money that a good road case will save.

Not to mention the delays in setup while we all wait for the truck to arrive with whatever bit got left behind or arrived broken.

Even worse is when it holds the whole load in up.  Nothing like telling lighting that they can't fly out their truss yet because i'm missing a flying frame for my center fill speaker that i'm hanging on his truss. 
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brian maddox
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James Feenstra

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Re: Business Minded Questions
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2016, 10:07:39 pm »

Not to mention the delays in setup while we all wait for the truck to arrive with whatever bit got left behind or arrived broken.

Even worse is when it holds the whole load in up.  Nothing like telling lighting that they can't fly out their truss yet because i'm missing a flying frame for my center fill speaker that i'm hanging on his truss.
exactly....half a dozen guys waiting around for two hours because you forgot something small gets real expensive real fast!
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