Increase Your Bottom Line via Sound Systems Installations

According to one of the industry trade magazines, over the next 5 years, MI sales will be flat ( at best ) , while sound related products will increase at a rate of 15% per year. Why? Commercial building is booming. Churches are expanding, either upgrading their systems with new technologies, hear-back systems, wireless mics, digital mixers, etc., or simply need training for their sound staff.

There is a niche out there that large contractors can’t handle. The small churches can’t afford to call a contractor who charges $300 - $500 to send a truck with 2 guys. But for a $50-$100 service call, they need someone to help with feedback issues, mic placement, training, and advice for a number of issues. Contractors that I have talked with are literally turning away work. There is so much going on. Here is the opportunity.

In today’s world you don’t need a lot of space. Small speakers are very efficient. Mixers have the outboard gear built in. For the mobile guys, everything is lighter. Costs to the consumer are continually dropping.

Starting out is not hard, just a little time consuming. You probably already have the inventory. The main thing is to get the word out. After doing this once myself with a company, I believe mailing is the best. We got mailing lists from Baptist, Methodist, etc for a 60 mile radius and simply mailed post cards telling them we could solve their sound problems. IT WORKS! We got a dozen calls from the first mailing. Some were for service calls, upgrades, and even complete systems. We offered seminars to teach their sound personnel, usually volunteers, simple things they could do to improve their sound. This was very successful, and led to sells. We did at lot of calls taking a real time analyzer and “ringing out the room” to improve the sound, and eliminate feed-back, which also led to a lot of EQ sales. With only about $10,000 of inventory to start, we did $100,000 in PA business the first year.

If you can’t afford to hire someone full-time yet, find a sub to call when you need to hang some speakers or pull wire. Just make sure you have insurance in case of any accident.

There are trade shows, such as NSCA, and InfoComm where you can attend seminars on everything that relates to installing. There are also some good books published by Peavey, and Yamaha, specifically on “Sound Systems for Worship”.

I now have several dealers that have told me they wish they would have done this a long time ago. They have seen their PA business go from 30% to 60% of their overall sales. Two have even eliminated their MI to go full-time. That’s ok, but I think it’s best to add it to your existing business plan.

Bottom line: If you are not selling and installing sound systems, you are missing the best opportunity in the business. Stores that are, say the install department is carrying there store. Stores that don’t are struggling.

Find someone who understands sound, call on every church, school, or event planner (rentals), and increase your “Bottom Line”.

By Ron Hutchens - United Sales Associates, Inc.

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