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Custom Install Company

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by marty123, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. marty123

    marty123
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    Hey (first timer poster)

    Can someone tell me this, why are more people not starting up custom install companies! I have plans at the minute to start a company for cinema, multiroom etc installation and was wondering why more people are doingit? Am i missing something? At the moment there is only 2 in my area (which is huge) and neither promote themselves!
     
  2. vex

    vex
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    It is quite hard work, a minefield of technologies and clients can be a nightmare changing ideas, reducing spec and budgets etc.

    The interesting thing will be the responce we see at the Smart Home Show later in April. Last year at the sister show, Home Building and Renovating we have certainly seen an increase of people with the right sort of budgets.

    Two years ago, it was a case of 'its how much!, I don't think we will be doing that'

    Last year it was 'we have £10K as a budget for AV and Automation will that be enough or do I need more'
     
  3. ntslik

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    I think you would actually be amazed at just how many of us are doing it, you may find your approach a little too late, we have had to make commitments to automation companys and suppliers years ago with the foresight that this industry would grow.

    If you started a company today, I think you may find it a struggle to obtain any decent accounts, you would also require a very large investment in demonstration rooms, as most companys won't touch you unless you have the right demo room, qualified and trained staff
     
  4. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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  5. marty123

    marty123
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    Come on Gordon, i think that is a bit harsh! I was just looking to see the different ways that people would do this osrt of thing! It's harsh to say i need training, yes I don't know every range of product available but i know how everything works! At least get to know me! ;-)
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Marty; Everyone needs training...I continue to get trained.....I see nothing harsh in what I said. If you feel you are already knowledgeable enough to do a good job and that you do not need further advice then congratulations. I wish you and your new venture every success.

    Gordon
     
  7. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    I have to agree, it is amazing just how much you don't know about a subject even though on paper all you have to do is plug the various things together, make them talk to each other, and put a nice finish on the work. It couldn't be farther from the truth. Control systems really do require a lot of experience and training to setup *properley* - you can get them to do impressive things quite easily but to get them to work flawlessly and do all the things the client expected them to do is quite a different thing. And that's before you actually start integrating the control with lighting, heating, security of which it may be a system you have installed or it may be something already there that you have never seen before...

    Not taking into account the wide range of training and experience required (of which you need a LOT), it's hard enough to work out what the client actually wants to achieve from their system!! Especially when they leave you to guess their budget requirements most of the time, and they don't tend to know themeselves what they want. But you can be damn sure if you get it wrong you won't be getting paid!! The installing and making it work, while incredibly important in their own right is still only half the job. The requirements analysis at the beginning (and throughout), the timetabling of the job (and costing apprpriately), the selection of components and the integration with existing devices and working alongside other contractors on the site is what makes or breaks a good install outfit.
     
  8. marty123

    marty123
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    Thanks Guys for all the help! I had drawn up a detailed analysis of how i was going to do things! But it would appear that i have infact entered the market too late! And my apologies Gordon, i thought you were having a dig at me! You are absolutley right that training is a life long process! Oh well, I will make sure all my good work has not gone to waste when i construct a flawless house for myself! Thanks everyone!
     
  9. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    I don't think you are entering too late to do proper custom install, manufacturers are always on the lookout for companies that can do their brand justice, can offer the client the kind of service they need and aren't going to misrepresent their brand. It's just a LOT more work than it would first appear.

    Best of luck with your house, perhaps you could turn it into a forum project and keep regular updates etc posted. Might prove good promotion material if you were to get into CI.
     
  10. marty123

    marty123
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    Thans for the encouragement Liam! I just think i can deal with all that on a personal level, but your all right about the continued learning! I will make a decision this week!
     
  11. Trudge

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    Dear Marty, saw your thread and thought would offer some encouragement. Looked into starting a CI business about 12 ms ago. Teamed up with a mate with similar interest, and we have now gone live. Both from completely different backgrounds (pharmaceuticals and IT training / hospitality). Funded it ourselves
    Good places to go for training -
    CEDIA EXPO (design and installer tracks are available, we attended as non-members and we made very welcome - and learnt a lot
    Some distributors also offer training - we found Armour to be really useful, they train you on their products, sure - but it helps with the basics as well as specifying
    Asking other installers to tag along - we have done this once each, and it was really useful.

    I think that we need to "team up" more across areas of the country - the market is big enough for all of us (from the larger companies like Sevenoaks moving into CI as an added service, to the more established companies from high end audio backgrounds etc, and the one or two man bands like ourselves) and the biggest step forward that can be made is the development of the market by us all. Consumers, developers etc just don't have it front of mind enough - but when it is, they love what the technology can do for them.

    Hope you decide to give it a go, Marty. Been scary so far, but worth leaving the rat race for...

    Anyone got any thoughts on what can be done at local levels?
     
  12. marty123

    marty123
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    Yeah see thats the things, i have loads of different ideas in order to reach the market and differentiate oursleves from all the other installers! Whereabouts are you based?
     
  13. Trudge

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    Cambridgeshire, with my colleague also living in Nottinghamshire. Have had enquiries from both these areas. Have been doing installs for friends of friends so far - that seems to be the way to start off, and to build a referral portfolio. We have completed 3 installs so far, ranging from a lounge based LCD home cinema through to a multi-room audio / TV install. the margins are low, but we are doing it for referrals in the future (long game view on this).

    How about you? Where are you working?
     
  14. Les E

    Les E
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    Interesting to read this thread. The wife always said if I wasn't working in the art industry then I'd be doing installs 'cos of the amount of fiddlin' I do with my set-up!! :D

    It is an interesting (& expensive) hobby, and I always think I really don't know enough about the products/cabling...I would probably surprise myself though!

    On the subject of people doing it part time and for friends, is there anyone in the Merseyside/Cheshire area who fancies some weekend/evening work calibrating a new HC install with the PJ and amp?
     
  15. vex

    vex
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    The thing you don't see it the work that can go in on the non-luxury end.

    I had an installer today pulling his hair out on the loft box part of his install. He did the first fix cable installs and he was 2nd fixing today, 4 coax's installed to a lounge location for Sky+, a return and a spare.

    Spare damaged after his 1st fix and un-useable.

    Both Sky feeds causing major FM interferance for the radios injecting into the Living Controls system. Swapped out the triplexer, Interconnects and tried several different 'suggested fixes' from me. Still no sucess.

    Whole day spent trying to sort it, not glamourous at all.
    Back on site 8am Thursday with me and a £1000 TV meter to try to solve it.

    I am not saying it is not worth it, it is, just not all glamour!
     

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