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Which route would you take?

  • Mine - Leave the business and learn more

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  • Fathers - Stay and grow what we know already

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We never wanted to listen to our Dads.
What do they know?
Your father knows two things,you and the current market.

Can you apply some of what you learned within the company ?
I have developed presentations for Security/CCTV, and packages for custom home builders (Good, Better, Best LV systems, price included). I have talked to and emailed store planners and regional managers. I understand its all personal selling and referrals in this business. But starting from the bottom is tough. If I had more experience on how to sell to these people then I'd be laughing!
 

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Contractor of the Month
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I believe 90% of the LV companies will eventually do complete home-automation and getting my hands dirty now is better then later.
I doubt it.

I think alot of companies are happy to keep things simple, I put in alot of time wiring and doing basic distributed audio/video systems until I stepped foot into automation/teleconferacing/video distribution/control.

Automation opens up a whole new chapter of headaches and opportunities to tug the hair from your scalp, but there's nothing I enjoy more then working with people and playing around with automation...just remember a big system is a long rope, don't hang yourself.

Your education will always help you no matter what feild you in, that is an asset no body can take away. Although you know business and thats just dandy but you need to be educated in electrical work, networking, construction, programming etc. Installing automation encompasses nearly every aspect of a home/business.

Get job hunting now, but if you don't have alot of expierience with networks/programming/automation you're probably going to have to go through a few years of wire pulling and education before you can get your hands dirty on the AMX/Crestron goodies.

good luck:thumbsup:
 
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Synacom
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What you really need to do is sit down and write a business plan. Prove to yourself that there is a viable market for what you want to do. After you do the research and fill 20 or 25 pages with thoughts, marketing plans, financing, revenue, etc. you should have the answer.
 

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Ryan,

Business and marketing is a great start for education. I would also recommend construction management classes.

What you have indicated is that you want to learn HA systems by working for another company to learn technical, managerial, sales, etc and have a successful co. in 5 yrs. It sounds like you are getting the experience at your dads company, you just need specific HA system training. The inner workings of the installation business will be close to the same. You should incorporate HA systems into your dads company as a subdivision. Become a distributor for HA systems, they (the HA system producers) will give you the training you need to install their systems. Work on growing your dads business and the HA side of the business and eventually segregate it from your fathers business.

I would not discount the security market due to the factors you listed. When you offer a proposal to a GC, Subcontractor, or Owner direct you should offer to install and support all of their low voltage systems. Your cost of mobilization and overhead will reduce by performing multiple tasks on a site. At minimum you should offer to sublet these systems to the customer. Many HA systems will incorporate security as a feature. The recurring revenue off of the security monitoring is very good. Just be available for service.

The information in these posts by all will help you to formulate a business plan as mentioned by Synacom. This is the critical first step to success.

Good luck!
 

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Thom
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For the time being, forget the new construction market. It will be cost competitive in the extreme for a few more years. This market is almost entirely price driven. Trying to sell yourself is a waste of your time and energy.

Marketing directly to consumers in the retro-fit market has much greater potential. You can sell yourself and up-sell your products. The ultimate consumer makes decisions based on emotion as much or more than on cost/performance comparisons.

You can up-sell a consumer by providing 20% more expensive product (same installation cost) for 50% more dollars.

When you market to the final consumer, if you have the talent for it, your margins can multiply by 4X to 10X for the same amount of time and effort. To make this happen, you must be comfortable with selling and good at it.
 
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