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New AV company

101music

Established Member
Hi all,

Been a regular forumite here for a while, so I thought it would be good to get some feedback on starting your own AV firm.
I took the plunge recently and left a nice job to start up my own custom install company: it's been interesting to say the least so far....I'm open to any helpful advice from those of you already in the game on what to do/not to do as I get the business off the ground.

Cheers
Adam
 

vex

Prominent Member
Cash is King.

Manage your cashflow all the time and you will be ok.

It is not easy, hours are long with clients wanting evening and weekend meetings. Especially with the two youngsters I have.

NEVER burn your bridges, even if you hate the project and are loosing money on it, be honest with the client and finish it, otherwise it will be detrimental to all of us with a client never wanting 'anything to do with that stuff again'

HTH

V.
 

101music

Established Member
Thanks Vex. I've got two kids myself, and my wife's still on maternity and can't drive for another 4 weeks so it's proving a challenge doing the school run whilst running a business!

Agree on the burning bridges bit...fortunately 10 years in and I've seen only a few projects turn sour, mostly due to poor communications and the sales and installers not managing clients expectations properly.
This is something I am concentrating on getting right, although sometimes it's not always easy if the clients go missing and don't return emails, voicemails or text messages.
 

crestron boy

Established Member
be a 100% sure the system your designing is feasible and will work be wary of certain manufucures over promising the feature's of there products
 

Linx08

Established Member
Yep, check check and check again on your quotes/system designs. Its very easy to forget something small but costly that is vital to make your system work. You'll then 'usually' end up swallowing the cost and watch your profits vanish :(

One of the biggest moans I hear from clients I have gone to take over and finish off systems someone else couldn't.

Is communication.

If you are running late or you can't make it for christ sake let your client know, nothing p*sses people off more than being left wondering if your turning up or not. As Vex says if people have a bad experience with a Ci company it reflects badly on all of us, it's hard enough out there at the moment as it is.

Other than that, take your time on quotes ask the right questions when you go to see clients so you can make sure you give them what THEY want not what you need to shift this month.

Hope this helps, bit of tough love in a way I guess but I'm sure you can understand.

Kind regards,

Linx
 

hornydragon

Distinguished Member
Yep, check check and check again on your quotes/system designs. Its very easy to forget something small but costly that is vital to make your system work. You'll then 'usually' end up swallowing the cost and watch your profits vanish :(

One of the biggest moans I hear from clients I have gone to take over and finish off systems someone else couldn't.

Is communication.

YOu get that too... Also stick to your guns, if the client says they have a quote for the "same" for half your quote don't be tempted to follow it most certainly wont be the same system and will generally not work! I have rescued more installs than i care to think about some from idiots, some from people who didn't understand the kit and mostly from people who didn't understand the client and listen to what they actually wanted....

It is after all Custom Install not generic install....
 

Sam Ash

Established Member
With 2 decades of solid experience and by that I mean in the advertising, brand development and marketing communication industry - I have come to hate the term "Perception versus Reality".

In other words, the world is full of charming men and hot dazzling women who have become experts at painting amazing pictures in the minds of people to win them over but are unable to meet their claims at that level when it comes to the most important part of business: Delivery to meet or exceed the client's expectations.

The front end should be realistic, honest and friendly and the back end should not only be able to fulfil the promise made by the front end but exceed it by far. That translates to fulfilling the brand promise - and remember, it is not you that make your brand. It is in fact your clients that make your brand. Allot of people in business miss this very important point.

In my opinion, it is better to have an average front end and a strong back end than have a strong front end and an average back end.

Basic business ingredients such as integrity, time consciousness, prompt service, sensible reasoning and most importantly - admitting to making mistakes and dealing with them in a professional and ethical manner as well as flexibility is diminishing.

Having worked in any industry for a number of years enables one to make an acute analysis and ask such questions:-

1. Where do most people go wrong ?

2. How can I avoid making mistakes and enhance my credibility ?

3. What can I offer that others cannot ?

4. How can I add real value to my services ?

5. What knowledge can I build to get an edge ?

6. What are the main weaknesses of people working in my industry ?

7. How can I take advantage of those weaknesses ?

8. Can I build a unique quality in my business that will help sales ?

9. How can I be creative as opposed to run off the mill ?


I know it is easier said than done but I hope I've been able to give you some confidence !!!

Cheers :)
 

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