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Author Topic: New Business Start Up  (Read 5813 times)

Derek Worden

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Re: New Business Start Up
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2008, 05:26:48 pm »

Derek Worden wrote on Mon, 25 August 2008 06:33


I would run cable, terminate cables, build racks, and things like that tomorrow, but something like suspending speakers I don't want to get wrong and I want to learn the right and legal way first.


By this I mean I am comfortable to do some of this work, but I don't think I will start installation work right away.

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Brad Weber

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Re: New Business Start Up
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2008, 06:26:35 pm »

It depends on the application.  In the AV world, the InfoComm advanced CTS certifications (CTS-I and CTS-D in this case) probably mean the most, especially to potential employers.  The basic CTS is a good introduction but not really much of a certification.  NSCA (the National Systems Contractor Association) offers the C-EST certification, but that seems to be in a transition period due to the transfer of the certification program to the ESPA consortium NSCA helped start and I'm not sure what that will do to it, especially as ESPA seems to represent a wide range of interests with many of them focused on consumer electronics and residential systems.

SynAudCon is not a certification program (although you can get CE units for some classes) but is probably the best technical education opportunity available in commercial audio.  Great information, great resources and great people.

InfoComm and NSCA also offers classes at the annual InfoComm show (Orlando in 2009 then Las Vegas in 2010) and there will be a combined fall educational event, although the inaugural one that was to be held this year was recently cancelled.
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Brad Weber
muse Audio Video

Gary Creely

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Re: New Business Start Up
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2008, 11:11:13 am »

Derek,

It seems a lot of guys here are telling you to not do it. In many ways it seems rather discouraging, but they are right. Unfortunately we have all experienced instances when "that guy" came in and made a mess of things.

Although if the truth were known we all started somewhere, and have at some point in our career encountered projects that we were not completely experienced with.

My company primarily serves the HOW market. We are good at what we do, and can hang with other much larger companies in our specific market. In our very early days (more than 10 years ago) we were likely much like you in terms of experience, and the truth is we did some work I would not want to repeat. If I had it to do over I would have gotten more training be fore we started. We got much of our training from other more experience installation companies, and people.

I would say you are several years away from providing churches with reasonable service or advice on a for hire basis.


For instance you said- "but something like suspending speakers I don't want to get wrong and I want to learn the right and legal way first"

Suspending speakers properly is not difficult, you simply need the training and the equipment to do it. If you don't have even that level of knowledge you have no business starting a business.
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Gary Creely
Co-owner steeple sound avl
http://www.steeplesoundavl.com


Ivan Beaver

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Re: New Business Start Up
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2008, 12:57:57 pm »

Amen Brother-for you speak the truth!

Like you I got into this when there was not a lot of education of be had.  Times have changed, and education is much more readily available.

It is far better to give NO advise-than to offer bad/wrong advise.

But Hey, this is audio-when has that ever stopped anybody Laughing
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For every complicated question-there is a simple- easy to understand WRONG answer.

Can I have some more talent in the monitors--PLEASE?

Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.
Danley Sound Labs

Gary Creely

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Re: New Business Start Up
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2008, 02:21:02 pm »

This is a bit of the cart before the horse. If you do not have a reasonably complete understanding of installation matters I would say you really shouldn't be handing out advice on installed systems.

Your best designer/consultants are going to be guys who at some point had a good bit of installation experience. It is almost like paying you dues, or doing your time. Even though we have employees I still do a fair amount of installation. I would really focus on rounding out your knowledge base before trying to do any business.

I guess what I am saying is you talk like you wouldn't do anything beyond your abilities, but the realities is it is difficult to know what that is. For instance you are not confident rigging speakers, but your are confident playing a consulting role of some nature. What is interesting is rigging speakers (and installation in general) is far less complicated than serving as any sort of consultant. The problem is it (advice giving) looks easier than it is.
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Gary Creely
Co-owner steeple sound avl
http://www.steeplesoundavl.com


Jeff Babcock

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Re: New Business Start Up
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2008, 05:05:14 pm »

Starting from scratch as a one man operation is really risky.

In my case it is only in recent years that I have gotten into installations, and that has been via acting as a consultant for the largest sound company in my (relatively small) city whom I have a very longstanding relationship with.

If you're starting from scratch, how can you do things like product demos, temporary "loaner" equipment, where will you get crew from, where will sales, service, support come from?  

It might be different if you've been in the industry for years and built up contacts, relationships, and a good reputation.  But from ground zero is really tough.  You might be able to volunteer to help some churches but if you can't provide more complete services they will have a hard time justifying paying you for "advice".

I guess what I am saying is you need some allies to support you, going it alone in your position does not seem very promising.

Best regards
Jeff

Robin Parker

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Re: New Business Start Up
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2008, 10:57:32 pm »

I'm coming in a bit late to this discussion, having scanned the earlier replies - these topics may already be covered....  

Starting in the sound business requires a huge investment of time and money...  Just the tooling alone to set up one truck is in the (multiple) thousands... not to mention the investment of hardware,  parts, pieces, connectors, and the other thirty six thousand things you'll need(that is unless you like spending all of your time going to Home Depot, for that one 6/32 screw you don't have.) Have you considered all of just what may be considered "standard" with respect to audio connectors, adapters, fittings, cables, and interfaces alone? Pick up a BTX or Comprehensive catalog sometime - hours of fascinating reading. I speak from experience as I started my business 8 years ago, having spent over 20 years working for other contractors and then 5 years as a rep for a major east coast company - add to this 20 years of "on stage" experience with another 10 at FOH for local bands - OK, knowing what to do is one thing, how to do it is another - but none of it means squirt if you do not advertise and market yourself. I spend a gawd-awfully stupid amount of money to promote my business - direct mail will eat you alive, but you have to do it.

Keep in mind that each and every "compartment" of the largest company (sales, engineering, management, shop maintenance, running service calls, accounting, shipping, receiving, going to the post office, and UPS and Fastenal and the other 40 to 50 places you'll need to go weekly, marketing, answering the phone, sending faxes, floor sweeping, would you like me to go on?) ALL has to be duplicated, even if on a microscopic scale for a small business to function. It's now 10:30 on a Friday night and I just got in from a church service call and I'm just getting around to answering my e-mails - you do know that a church will not call for service until Friday don't you? And yes, they knew about the problem on Monday...

Labor - manpower - are you planning to pull cable by yourself? (note - it's a bit tough) and rigging speakers by yourself is not only dangerous, but stupid. How are you going to handle payroll, and taxes, and your monthly 944 deposits? Do you have an accountant and a pit bull for a lawyer? Who is going to invoice your customers and take time to file judgements when they don't pay? Oh, did you forgot to order the NL4's for that job tomorrow? And did you know that the rack came in damaged, and will have to be shipped back? You do have a big truck don't you?  

Now, do you really want to know the funny part about all of this? I haven't even started to scratch the surface.

No, despite what may appear to be the initial "tone" (pun intended) of this note, I'm not trying to discourage you - quite the contrary - I salute you for even having the balls to consider trying. Personally, I wouldn't trade places with anyone - there is a sense of pride that comes with your own business that cannot be put into words.

Do not be foolish enough to think that just because you know how to do something, that simply printing a business card will magically bring business to your door - running your own (successful) business is more work than you can possibly begin to imagine - and I love every minute of it!

If I may take a moment here to blow my own horn - please read my article in the July 21st issue of Sound & Communications Magazine (page 30) - it speaks directly to this subject and I hope you will find it informative!  
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Dennis Cimo

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Re: New Business Start Up
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2008, 02:35:08 pm »



very well said Robin, These are the very reasons that I am still working for a contractor. I get to do what I love and still spend time with my wife and kids most evenings.  

I haven't seen you since my days at ADI in Richmond. Glad to hear that your business is doing well!

Peace,

Dennis Cimo
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