Proven Path to Grow a Successful Audio Visual Company – Ask Clay Anything

Show Notes

Clay Clark teaches 3 simple proven moves that a thriver can use to grow his audio visual business.

Preamble – How do I grow my audio / video business?

  1. Been in the business 12 years and got started in the world of business selling insurance and hated it.
  2. Then worked for 3 audio / video companies before starting his own company 6 years ago.
  3. Revenue goal = $350K (2017 = $250K)
  4. Revenue per deal or $1,500


  1. How to find quality employees on a non-quality world
  1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Hiring the right people takes time, the right questions and a healthy dose of curiosity. What do you think is the most important factor when building your team? For us, it’s personality.”—Richard Branson (English business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies. Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age)
  2. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture.” – Howard Schultz (American businessman. He is executive chairman of Starbucks and a former owner of the Seattle SuperSonics. He was a member of the Board of Directors at Square, Inc)
  3. ACTION ITEM – Create an Organizational Chart
  4. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “It is crucial to develop your own talent. To do that, you have to offer more to your employees than great compensation. You have to make it clear to them that as the company grows, they can grow along with it. People who start as interns need to believe that they’ll one day have the opportunity to run entire divisions. It’s a great way to organically grow your internal leadership and it’s also very satisfying.You shouldn’t only produce great products. Produce great people.”  – Seth Goldman (The founder of Honest Tea)
  5. ACTION ITEM – Write Quality Job Post
  6. ACTION ITEM – Create a World-Class Website
  7. ACTION ITEM – Schedule Weekly Job Posts
  8. ACTION ITEM – Schedule Weekly Group Interviews
  9. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “One of the challenges of running a startup is solving critical, short term problems without neglecting long-term ones. Recruiting is a long-term problem; it’s almost never the answer to the problem of the month. Clearly, you need to have the right talent on board, but it’s not likely to solve the key problems your business is facing right now. Yet the longer you wait to do the long-term things, the more likely it is that you’re going to die from something that requires a longer time frame to be solved.” – Reid Hoffman (The founder of Linkedin, one of the original founders of PayPal and the venture capitalist partner with Greylock Partners)
  10. ACTION ITEM – Schedule Weekly Shadow Days
  11. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “If you’re going to build up one process, make it the interview and on-boarding process. If other processes aren’t in place at the beginning, you can build them later and easily recover from whatever issues arise. If you fill your company with less than great people, though that’s going to hard to recover from.” – Ben Horowitz (The man who build Opsware before selling it to Hewlett Packard for $1.6 billion in cash. He is the also the co-founder of the Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm.)
  12. ACTION ITEM – Write an Employee Handbook
  13. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Make sure early hires are willing to take on any role. Every company needs people with different skill sets and passions. But early on, everybody should be willing to wear ten different hats. They can’t have the attitude that something isn’t “their job” or “their responsibility.” They have to have the MacGyver mentality and do whatever it takes to get the job done.” – Tony Hsieh (The founder of Link Exchange and the CEO of Zappos)
  14. ACTION ITEM – Fire the Idiots


  1. How to find the time to train employees.
    1. Block out time for regular team training because you will never have time
    2. ACTION ITEM – Must agree key performance indicators for your new team members:
      1. Define amount of daily activity that you will require.
      2. Agree on a set time, and place for ongoing training.
      3. Insist that recorded calls or recorded video of presentations is brought to the weekly meetings so that candid feedback and coaching can be given.
      4. Implement the same agenda in each team training:
        1. Review of the weekly activity – 2 minutes (approximately)
        2. Review of the number of closed deals – 2 minutes (approximately)
        3. Review of the weekly pipeline – 2 minutes (approximately)
        4. Review of the biggest limiting factors, questions and objections – 5 minutes (approximately)
        5. Training / Teach – 10 minutes(approximately)
        6. Role-playing – 30 minutes(approximately)
        7. Action Items – 10 minutes
          1. Assign action items
          2. When is the action item do?
          3. Who is doing the action item?
          4. What are the details needed to complete the action item?
          5. Keep the assigned action items on the weekly agenda for accountability during the next meeting.


  1. How to find the money to invest in the marketing and the expansion of the business.
    1. You must work with your coach to help you cut your expenses by 3%.
    2. You must work with your coach to raise revenue / prices by 3%.
    3. You must be pig-headed about gathering objective online reviews from your previous customers
Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

And now, back to the tri time, she’ll on top radio 1170 all right, the question is:how do I grow my video and audio business audio video business variables that we know about today here because that’s why they’re known variables is that one we’ve been in business for 12 years just has been in business for 12 years. They work for three other audio video companies and their revenue goal is to get to $350,000 per year $3,000 per year and $50,000 of revenue. And so the question is:how do I take my business to the next level? Your coach is going to walk you through the love of specific steps. There’s a lot of detail here, but I want I want to cover on this particular a podcast direct to you are the big three things that are going to help. You unlock the growth that you’re you’re seeking I want you’re going to have to find really quality employees, peeling a small organization or company. We only have maybe five or six business coach employees and I’m not sure. When employees you have let you stay at 5 or 6. You can’t afford to have any idiots on the team you just can’t afford to have one fifth of your team run around they’re, not doing what they’re doing offering poor service you want to have the best you never can marine squad. You want to have you and I create like a group of men and women that are absolutely galvanized, with a myopic focus and a tenacity that you just can’t find most other places because you’re a small business going to have a small team of army answer me. You guys are going to pull more than your weight, so I would recommend that you would create an organizational chart with your coach to do this, because on the organizational chart new recruits can see that if they are crazy enough to buy into your vision that they have a hope and a future proverbs discusses how where there is no vision, the people perish and I would just tell you if you don’t have an organizational chart and her small company people are going to find it hard to be motivated.

They won’t know what they’re striving for, and so you want to get that organizational chart created, know once you get that organizational chart created, you still haven’t created any good employees. You just cried the organizational chart where the good employees will fit into this. The big idea, because why do people think just by creating the organizational chart they have now done the big the big step needed when hiring people I know you don’t think that, but some people think that, and so now we have to get in the reaction. The big massive action through the next action item. I encourage you to write down. You got to write a quality job post with your coach. This has to happen. You have to be a quality job post, no spelling errors on nothing. It doesn’t make any sense. You have to have a quality and inspiring job post, because if you have a quality and inspiring job post, people are going to seek you out, they’re going to want to come and work with. Your organization applies for a business coach job. They might not know if your company’s big or small, but they are going to judge you based upon your website, know I have happened to have gone to your website and I could say on a scale of 1, to 10 your website to probably a happy 7 right now, but you want to make sure that your website looks world class because, if it, if you don’t, the new recruits are going to be comparing you against the bigger companies which seemed like a safer bet. You want to credit world class website. That really really does look strong. Then the next item you need to do I got number 3. If you want to schedule weekly job posts, weekly jobless, it is absolutely important and imperative your success, the you post for the jobs weekly, not just when you need somebody now i, read hoffman, who is the famous venture capitalist?

This is a guy who was the guy behind linkedin were the founding partners of paypal. He says one of the challenges of running a starter installed in critical short-term problems without neglecting long-term ones. Recruiting is a long-term problem. It’s almost never the answer to the problem of the month. Clearly you need to have the right talent on board, but it’s not likely to solve the key problems. Your business is facing right now, get the longer you wait to do the long-term things, the more likely it is that you’re going to die die from something that requires a longer-term a longer time frame to be solved next move. Is you got a schedule, weekly interviews, not even post the weekly job post? We got actually have to do the whip, the weekly interviews! That’s why I recommend you interview all the candidates at one time in your coach can show you how to do this, but you post for the jobs every week when the resumes come in, don’t read the resumes I sent you the resumes I built multimillion-dollar company, don’t read the resumes. I know people that build a business coach multi-billion-dollar companies, don’t build resume, just schedule the interviews and schedule them all at one time. What time schedule of all at one time, one time where we going to do it one time cuz, you don’t know what you’re a small-business are. You don’t have a vast amount of free time. I’m, assuming maybe you do I mean maybe spend the majority rule. Day, writing, poetry, but you’ve got to schedule all of your interviews at one time. Never you do that. You can just interview all the candidates simultaneously, which I know it sounds weird when you first hear about your coach can walk you through this, a ben horowitz who could not be here but he’s the man who built ops where the software company they sold to hewlett-packard for 1.6 billion dollars. That’s, a big number billion billion. Well, if you’re going to be says, that’s if you’re going to build up one process, make it the interview and onboarding process. If other processes aren’t in place of the beginning, you can build them later and easily recover from whatever issues arise. If you feel your company with less than great people, though, that’s going to be hard to recover from all right, that’s going to be hard to recover from thank you, mr. Ben horowitz. So hopefully we’re getting this idea. You’ve got to find good people. You’ve got to find good people, the better of us starbucks as we actually start starbucks and starbucks was it existed as a company. It was a small business in seattle that made coffee grinders. If you can believe it, they made coffee, grinder, coffee, grinders, howard, schultz came along and grew the company to what you know today. He says:hiring people is an art, not a science and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture, which is why you need to have a group interview. Don’t read the resume? Look at it. Eyeballs talk to him, see if you like, you might be saying what what do I talk about it.

My group interview we’re going to have probably 20 minutes to respond and 12 will actually bill to show up on time. Under, your top 12, then what you want to do in the group interviews you want to cover the big three. Okay cover your expectations of what you’re expecting the what they can expect in the job, but you’re expecting to make sure you eat this big, make sure you cover your compensation, what you’re going to pay them when they can expect it to expect to be paid right, and the third is is spell out the communication. This is how we communicate within the organization that the org chart. This is how your boss is going to be that kind of thing:richard branson. This is the english, a business guru. This is the the investors. I got behind the virgin brands. He said hiring the right. People takes time, the right questions and a healthy dose of curiosity. What do you think is the most important factor when building your team for us it’s personality and I agree, but you can’t figure out how you can determine the personality unless they come to it. Actually, a business coach group interview and I want you to find the people you like next action items. You want to schedule a weekly shadow, so if you like somebody have them shadow you to work right around with you to work tomorrow in the truck show up at the installation site spent 4 hours with you cuz after 4 hours with you, I guarantee you that you’re going to do you’re going to be able to ascertain as to whether you want this person on your team or not. If they do find this person, you’re traveling with you in the truck making such comments, gf i, just think we should totally redo this company i, don’t like the way through audio video. What if we got into the lobby of me, if we could raise llamas and we could raise go, you know cuz, we got trucks and you could all you needed to raise llamas it’s trucks and go. Tell me you needed. Will you need a bigger truck, but you could do that and we just about how much going on this week. In this thing, poking I mean, if you find yourself on the in the vehicle with someone who is chronically distracted, they’re, not paying attention the entire time they’re on their on their cell phone texting people unable to pay attention.

That’s probably not the right fit for you except you got to write. An employee handbook call fresno right, a handbook handbook. Why I’m a small business handbook, because it clarifies your expectations, your compensation in the communication within the organization and instill confidence in the minds of potential candidates who are good. The bad candidates that are currently under a bridge somewhere waving a cardboard signed with a really detailed artwork they’re putting on there with the marker saying, will work for food i, don’t know if you want to build your company based upon those people all right. So that’s how you do it. That’s fine, the good tea! What’s kind of that step, number one that we need to focus on your going to grow, that business is just very, very critical for you. The next step is going to have to find time to train employees. You have to find the time to train the employees and I know when I started. My first business, dj connection.Com out of my dorm room before ultimately grew it to aruba to 4000 events of year were sold it to a we’re doing: 80, 80 trucks, 80, guys, 80, weddings, garrett, sometimes not garrett, usually just myself and then garrett half the time but I’m there right it. Just it’s myself in a few, a few people garrett myself. So how do I find the time to train people? I never did find the time he’s had to create the time, because business is a choice, so I blocked out pretty pretty encouragement for the mentorship from several very, very successful entrepreneurs. Mr. Clifton taulbert is one of them. It’s t a! U l, b e r t dr. Zoellner my partner today, I made a calendar and on my business coach calendar, I blocked out time for regular team training. So it would happen every single time every single time. Every week, I did training every week. Training these djs, because the summer is coming this summer, is coming because when the summer, that’s when the weddings begin, and at that point you cannot be trying to train up people, you had to have trained up your people previous to having hr emergencies and small business I see us all the time people neglecting to schedule time for what matters, as relates to staffing your team.

So then you have a team of underfunded. Undertrained people going out there and hacking away in the marketplace. That’s not a good thing! They’re going to generate negative results, and it’s not a good thing. So you got to schedule time for weekly train now what you have scheduled at weekly time into your schedule for training, you make sure your training is meaningful. It’s not just you pontificating about how the universe works to do is you’re going to want to create some key for formance indicators or some business coach objectives. Some goals, some skills that the people you’re training, need to be able to demonstrate. Mastery of, and then you spend your training every single week, training on how to do that over and over and over. You practice to practice your practice until you get a perfect you practice until you can’t get it wrong. You don’t practice until perfect. You practice until you can’t get it wrong and then you’re going to want it be clear in that meeting you you wanted to find the daily activities are going to require you to agree on a set time and a place for the ongoing training. You would insist on recording inbound sales call. So that way, you know if your team is doing what they’re supposed to do or not. You want to insist on setting up video, recording and presentation spaces, so you know what the team is doing versus what they say. They’re doing, and then you want to just every single week hold the team accountable to those items, and so now the final step that you need to take that I wanted to cover at least before coach begins. The ongoing mentorship with you is going to have to find the money to invest in marketing and expansion of your business. Now I was your coach. This is what I would do. Any of your coach will do this with you as well, but you would want to make a list of all the expenses that you can cut and you want to be pig headed to cut your expenses by 3%. You want to cut your expenses by 3% 3% free, my wife and I are worked at applebee’s, target and directv. While she works office depot both of us made just slightly above minimum wage. For the time we started our first, a business that alter the led to the clay, clark empire, but what I had to do is I had to make some real, tough changes.

I would take the sacrifices that I did to cut my expenses right. Maybe these are things you could do or couldn’t do what we got rid of a car. So we just had one car we just had one carbon have two cars or three cars at one car right, so I drop her off to work or she dropped me off to work at bam. We have one car was a difficult shirt. Can we do it? Yes, we made it. Next month we turned off our air conditioning. Are you kidding me, I live in texas and oklahoma. The temperatures of peaked in a hundred I would advise that for you, but we did turn off our heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, so we can afford to buy if you can believe it or not a yellow page. What’s a yellow page, if yellow pages are before your time, I apologize, but there was back in the day they were dinosaurs. There were the people in the business coach bible and there were yellow pages and yellow pages word effective way to market to people cuz. It was the universal directory that people use to find the products and services they were looking for and now today the yellow pages have been replaced largely entirely by the google by google, so google today is now taking the place of the other pages how to get to the top of google. Your coach will help you do that. It’s it’s! It’s not impossible process. It’s not mystical! It’s not complicated, it’s not weird, but it does require diligence before we can do that. We got to find a way to cut expenses. I, don’t remove my wife and I did as we only ate ramen noodles or the frozen. It was the budget gourmet section you can find within your local walmart. It was heavily loaded up with sodium all the food I ate chicken panini was $0.96 per item I’m sure today it would be like $2 per item or 215 item, but the point is we found a way to find the money and the I know. You can’t also find a way to find the money, but maybe you have to sell something maybe have to move into an apartment. Maybe you have to. These are all things that I did I moved into an apartment, I got rid of a car I shared one phone I ate from the budget. Gourmet section I turned off the air conditioning in the heat. I was willing to do whatever it took and I know you are choose, so you will be. Your coach will help you find a way to reduce expenses. The second is, you must work with your coach to raise your prices by 3% I thought you would come out of money. You going to tell me to raise my prices by 3%. Don’t you understand that the whole universe will collapse in the side of itself if I raise my prices by 3%. I’m, not saying that you would say that I’m just saying there are some people that whenever you advocate raising prices at all many people, you know say I would never want to raise my prices at all, because I haven’t raised him in 5 years will check it out that we gotta craze are prices by 3%, the average customer new customer won’t know.

The difference exist in customer, won’t won’t freak out the prices on them. Yet and the final thing you must do to find the money to invest, marketing and expansion of your business is. You must be pigheaded about gathering, objective online reviews from your previous customers. You must be pigheaded about gathering objective online reviews from your previous customers according to forbes, according according to forbes, according to forbes 88% of people read reviews before buying a product or service 88% of people read reviews before buying a product or service to pick number 87, it’s it’s less than 89, but that is the number my name is clay. Clark I am passionate about your business coach success. I heard you with this capstone thought:proverbs 10:4 says that god blesses the diligent proverbs 10:4. What’s that verse proverbs 10:4, give you time to look it up:proverbs 10:4, it’s lazy, hands make for poverty, but diligent hands, bring wealth, and so we’re going to have to do what you got to find a way I’m. It’s a busy schedule to find the time needed to be consistent support. You give you a gift to all your weekly coaching meetings and then execute all of your action items each week with your coach. If you do this, the proven path always works. It works you just have to implement in. If you don’t work, nothing but I know you I know you will work. I know that you want to be pushed and I know that you want to be coached in the right direction and I have no doubt that you’re going to be successful. So mr. Hector have a blessed day and a greetings from the thrive time show world headquarters apply what you learned increase, what you are and in due time you got money to increase what you burn it in due time you got money to pay


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