Several times in this space I’ve mentioned the Home Theater Rebuild. This is an organization I started a couple of years ago to give back to the industry that gave so much to me. It also has helped develop new service providers in the industry and assisted those who need a little guidance or advice on taking their business to the next level. It’s been a labor of love, and I’ve been rewarded several-fold in with new friendships, business relationships, and just knowing I’m doing the right thing by my AV community.
Just this week, the best thing happened. One of the members of the Rebuild “paid it forward” and took on another service provider to help them out.
Home Theater Advisors (HTA) has been in the Rebuild for about a year, and has grown from a brand-new company operating “nights and weekends” to a full-time business that is set to exceed its annual revenue target in the next two to three months.
Another provider reached out to HTA because they were asked to re-install an unfamiliar remote control brand for a new client that was moving into a new residence. The owner of HTA was more than happy to help out and lend a hand to get a fellow company out of a jam and to delight a client. While HTA did get a little bit of revenue, the owner, Mark, told me that wasn’t why he did it. He said he had gotten so much from the networking opportunities and help from other providers in the Rebuild, that he “owed” it to the community to help out someone else in need.
We can all help out another service provider (note I’m not using integrator or CI—see my blog from last week). This is a highly fragmented business with no dominant national or regional players. There is enough good business out there for all of us. We don’t need to cut others down, bad mouth them, or resort to underbidding to win a job. We can help each other out, act as a community, be respectful of each other’s businesses and, in turn, we will see the industry grow, jobs become more plentiful, and profits increase as a result.
I know that when I need someone to partner with, whether it be for advice, product or installation questions, or any other kind of assistance, I have peers to whom I can turn. And, they know that they can turn to me as well.
When I first began getting my feet wet in the Crestron world, industry veteran Richard Fregosa and Ken Vanemon took me under their wings, each offering guidance. Since then, I have been able to successfully and confidently close certain sales that I might not have been able to do without them.
Doing the right thing for another service provider doesn’t mean doing the wrong thing for you business. Just help someone out and see how quickly they will pay it forward. There just might come a time when you are the one in need of a partner in the industry and it will be reassuring to know that you to have others to lean on and back you up.
+Todd Anthony Pumais president of The Source Home Theater Installation in New York City.