Saturday, 1 January 2011

How things are progressing.

A number of things have been pre-occupying my mind of recent times and combined, they have prevented me from "getting it together" and I apologise for not posting anything up here for a while. Therefore, my New Years resolution is to be more active on the Blog scene.

We're now just a little over six months from the official start  date of the new business.  It's been a little slow getting off the ground and much time has been spent researching my market and "networking". This has invariably meant spending quite a bit of time in the local pubs, that's where much of my clientèle tend to appear reliably!  I've also done a fair bit of leaflet dropping, especially around the local churches.

But we're gaining momentum and things are improving.  I'm now getting recommendations and regular customers.  Here's a bit about what I've been up to:

The Pub Scene
Pubs tend to need sound systems these days and if they already have one, it tends to need servicing from time to time.  Whatever the situation, it's good to meet the landlords and talk about what I do. The punters also like to gripe over their latest electronic failures or enthuse about their latest desires.  A little eavesdropping and a comment at the appropriate moment can generate a little extra income!  The pub is also the place where local musicians tend to appear, especially if they have a gig there!  Guitar amps and PA gear need repairs and service, I'm doing a lot of this, so it pays to "bump" into these guys as often as possible.  I like the music scene too, not to mention the beer, so it has a positive enjoyment factor as well!

Installation and Maintenance of Equipment on Site
I have now been involved with a number of on-site maintenance issues.  These include:
  • PA systems that are not working properly
  • Induction Loops (for the hard of hearing) that are not working properly
  • Radio mics that have ceased to function
  • Radio mics that function improperly (mainly due to inexperienced installers fitting the wrong products)
  • CD players that have ceased to recognise discs and won't play
I've also installed several Loop systems, Background Music systems, done a major Church installation and sorted out one or two domestic audio systems.

This month I have a 3-zone pub audio system to install and I shortly start work on a new build village community hall. Here I shall be putting in:
  • A background music system for the bar with:
          • Speakers zoned to the toilets
          • Speakers zoned to the foyer
          • Speakers zoned to the patio
  • A comprehensive hall audio system capable of being configured for practically any event.
  • Induction loop for the hard of hearing
  • A video projection system with DVD/CDG player
  • A stage/theatre lighting system with LED colour wash units for back drop or other wash effects.
PAT Safety Testing
Every electrical/electronic product that comes my way for repair or service gets safety tested.  It is recorded on the repair sheet and a label is attached with the details.  I keep a backed-up electronic copy of all repair sheets along with my business accounts.

On a number of occasions, I have also performed PAT safety testing for commercial clients in their premises.  A detailed report is provided for their records, a copy of which I also keep electronically. This will bring up a reminder on an annual basis such that I can keep the customer informed.

I now have a tremendous array of products available to me owing to my requirements for the installation activities.  It therefore follows that, on occasion, I have been able to fulfil sales enquiries.  I also have a number of contacts in the industry and have a "knack" for finding used product.  Someday, I might even get a webshop up and running?

Guitar Amp Repairs
This seems to be my most active duty at the moment.  This is possibly because it's something I'm good at and the musical community is spreading the word.

A selection of guitar amps that I've recently had in for service:

 Fender FM15G

 Marshall Valvestate 80V

 Ashdown ABM300 head

 Ashdown MAG300

 Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

 Marshall AVT275

 Marshall JCM800 2204

 Session Sessionette 75

Fender Vibroverb 6G16

Vox AC30 Coppertop

Marshall Superbass

Hi-Fi Repairs
I've also had a good few items of Hi-Fi in for repair as well, this is something I need more of.  There must be hundreds of CD players out there that no longer read or play discs properly.  Unlike the musicians, a lot of Hi-Fi customers are finding me via internet search, I'm starting to crop up all over the place!

A selection of Hi-Fi products that I've recently had in for service:

 Denon DCD485

 Linn Sondek LP12

Onkyo CR515DAB 
 Marantz CD6002

 Thorens TD165

 Ariston RD80

 Aiwa ADF810 cassette deck 

Consonance Cyber 800 valve mono blocks

Cable Building Service
I've Had a number of clients that have required the custom building of special cables:

 TRS jack to XLRM


 DMX terminator

 Twisted pair pro speaker cable

 Guitar amp speaker cable

 2 x RCA to XLRM

 Mini multicore

2 x RCA to 5pin DIN

2 x RCA to 2 x RCA

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