Custom HT installation as a business??

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Scott Prock, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Scott Prock

    Scott Prock Auditioning

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    I have been reading the forums for some time and after talking with a local business owner who installs whole house wiring for just about anything needing wire in a new home, I started thinking about HT installation as a business.

    Forgive me if this topic has been covered, I did a quick search and couldn't find the info I am seeking.

    I understand all the planning and legal issue of starting and running a business, but what I would like to hear others talk about is how to get started, and grow a HT installation business.

    Let's assume that all the legalities (business license, liability insurance, bonding, registration etc.) are all taken care of.

    What will it take to get a business like this going? I understand if I had a large amount of money (which I don't) I could advertise and start off with a large marketing campaign, but I will have to start this part time and grow it from there.

    My local area has only three companies doing this type of work, and from what I have heard and seen (I am a Cable TV technician of 10 years) these companies don't do that good of a job, and there is a lot of room for improvement and plenty of room in the market.

    I was thinking about starting off with doing installations for a couple of friends to start getting word of mouth, but are there courses and or training that can be taken to cover the technical side. Being in the trade I am in, I have a good number of technical certifications in CATV and I have a strong understanding of the HT field, but I want to learn all I can while starting this out.

    I may have more question but I hope this can get things started, I have loved reading all the views and opinions of everyone here.

    Thanks . . . Scott
     
  2. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    Check out Cedia.net It's the trade organization. Word of mouth is the best way to go...
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Do you have a theater? If not, could you build one or talk a friend into letting you do one? My thinking here is that if you just put up a website for your new company with at least one example of your work, people might start coming to you. Take a look at the websites for the other guys in town and make sure your's is better. I know this sounds trivial, but for any technical type of work I usually shop online and if a company doesn't have a website, or has a piss-poor website they usually do not get my business.
     
  4. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    Scott, I think getting certified by CEDIA would be a good start, then I imagine you could be listed on their website, and gain a lot of credibility. Once you've done a few setups for you and your friends, talk to local shops who sell equipment but don't do the installation or design part. You might be able to set up partnerships (discounts?) and do some back and forth business. And I agree, get a nice website up with a few projects and quotes from happy customers, and you're in business!
     
  5. Erik Farstad

    Erik Farstad Supporting Actor

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    Start local for friends, family, whomever...and then the work will come to you! [​IMG] It worked for me.
     
  6. Scott Prock

    Scott Prock Auditioning

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    Thank you all for the comments, and I do have plans for a website. In fact anytime I research a business name I check the availablility of the domain name first [​IMG]

    I did manage to find this article for those who are also interested in this field of work.

    (can't post URLS yet) resmagonline.com/articles/publish/printer_91.shtml

    The above URL doesn't have any w's but should work just by copy and paste.

    I agree CEDIA looks like a great place to get certified,and trained, but I think I want to get a few projects under my belt before going that route. Not to mention starting out with a few to begin with will help me decide if this is INDEED a business I want to be in. I would hate to spend all the money in training and find out that it wasn't what I had expected.

    Thanks again . . . Scott
     
  7. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I think word of mouth is a very good way to spread business.

    Eventually you might do a good job for a client that's then willing to invest in your company to set it off.

    Word of advice.. even if you know the people, don't put too much trust in the exchange and get everything in writing and signed.
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    That last point can't be emphasized enough. Verbal communication is ok for general talk, but a contract needs to be written.

    In fact, I started to provide services for a "friend" last fall. I even "fronted" them some money to make up for the rest of the supplies and labor that had to be provided. The labor was by myself and a person I hired on to assist me. The agreement was that once the house sold, I would receive payment. Well, the house sold over a month ago, I did receive a partial payment, but the person - who is no longer a friend, has started to indicate that some of the repairs were not "up to par" which I find kind of silly because all of the digital pics that I took upon completion of the work made the sh!thole look pretty prestine. When I took on the work, there was major water damage, rotted floors and walls that had not seen paint in 30 years - most of it was the original builder's paint on the walls. Oh, the house sold for over $650K when all was said and done.

    No matter how good of a friend or customer you might have, they'll still be a thorn in your side towards the end.

    Best of luck to you.
     

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