By Paul Konikowski, CTS-D
About five years ago, I decided to become an independent consultant, doing business as PK Audiovisual. Now I am starting a new chapter in my career, working full-time as a Multimedia Solutions Architect with Strategic Products and Services (SPS). As much as I enjoy running my own business, I believe this new position will provide me more job security and opportunity for growth moving forward. I will be working side by side with sales, meeting with clients, and generating accurate Unified Communications proposals.
I feel like I am at a major crossroads in my life, and before I hit the road, I would like to take a few moments to look back at the variety of projects I worked on dba (doing business as) PK Audiovisual:
- Designing the audio, video, and control systems for a new high school auditorium in Humboldt County
- Retrofitting an older distance learning classroom
- Blogging and working at trade shows with WiSA
- Helping Revolabs build their social media networks
- Specifying new conference rooms for StichFix.com
- Helping non-profit groups like Sustainable Fairfax
- Ghostwriting blog posts, whitepapers, and articles
As you can see from the above, I have not been a typical AV consultant who “just” designs audio and video systems. One reason I started PK Audiovisual was that I saw the need for better social media marketing in the AV industry. Trade shows have always been interesting to me, and working them was an awesome experience, but what I have really enjoyed the most while running my own business was the ghostwriting of blogs, magazine articles, and whitepapers.
Ghostwriting is when you do the bulk of the writing for another person or company, who then edits and publishes it as their own. I like to tell people, you don’t get credit, but you get cash. I have met other ghostwriters, and we have agreed that its often better to be in the shadows, than in the byline, because it gives the writer more liberty.
My new position with SPS will allow me to use my writing skills in crafting proposals, and I will continue to write posts on the weekends. PKaudiovisual.com will always be my personal blog, and I hope to find other opportunities for thought leadership in the audiovisual and unified communications spaces. I want to thank everyone who supported PK Audiovisual over the last five years, especially the readers, guest bloggers, and former clients. It has been a pleasure.
What Personality Type Makes For A Good Audiovisual Design Company?
Any good company has to have a good mix of people in order to balance the work load. By matching the personality type of with the job opening, employers can benefit from certain traits that may be inherent in some individuals, and not others. Combining the different strengths (and often weakness) of individuals into a working recipe for success may take some trial and error as a company grows into maturity.
Below is a hypothesis I have been working on regarding consulting firms and integrators in the AV industry, specifically smaller firms. My theory is that any good AV integrator or consultant should have one person who fits the following descriptions. Oftentimes, a person fits more than one, but the theory is that you need all four personalities to be ultimately successful, not matter how many team members you have:
AV Personality Type A
This is the Architect of the team; the Artist. Someone who is an AV Type A is most concerned with the quality of the Audio, the Angles of the loudspeakers, what Amp to use, and the Aesthetics of the video system. There is another word that starts with the letter A that may describe them…
AV Personality Type B
(or just AVB…? lol) The AV Type B is all about Business. They handle the Brochures and proposals and generate the workflow. To the clients, they are a Buddy. They often love Bourbon, Buffets, and hand out of a lot Business Cards. Type B may also handle the day to day business of invoicing, while keeping an eye on the project Budget.
AV Personality Type C
Type C excels in Communication with Client and the other people in the Company. Type C may be a “jack of all trades, master of none” which makes them ideal Consultants and/or good at Coordination meetings. Type C likes to talk about Control Systems, Cables, Connectors and Conduits. Custom is this person’s middle name.
AV Personality Type D
In the end, its all about the Deliverables, and the AV Type D is the one who gets it Done. Computer-aided Drafting? Done. Documentation needed before a Deadline? Done. Double mocha latte with whipped cream? Buy them one, they probably Deserve it.
The Answer Is: All Of The Above
By mixing and matching each of the above AV personalities, you will find a certain synergy will develop in your firm. Slow days will be less common as more business develops and projects get done more efficiently. You can get by without one or two of the above personalities, but not for long, as you need the right balance of folks when things get busy, and when business is slow.
We’re sorry. Your call is very important to us. Please remain on the line, and the next available customer service representative will be with you shortly.
Sound familiar? Well, it should, as many telephone systems have similar recordings that usually repeat every 30 seconds while you wait on hold for 3 minutes… or 30 minutes… it really depends on who you are, and reason you are “on hold”.
If I am ordering a pizza, for instance, and I get put on hold for more than 5 minutes, I know they are busy, and I will often just hang up and dial another establishment. But if I am trying to reach my credit card company or cable provider, I usually have a reason that I need to call them in particular, not someone else. Oftentimes, it does not matter when I call, I will be put on hold.
In the old days, you would be put on hold and hear nothing. Silence. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But I guess some people did not know if they were still on hold after hearing silence for a few minutes, so someone invented “music on hold”. The music source could be a service like Muzak but usually, it was just a short loop recording of classical music that would repeat.
Then one day, someone (let’s call him or her The Devil) got the bright idea to add the “We’re sorry. Your call is very important to us…” and made it REPEAT OVER AND OVER. Does this really help anyone? Seriously, I swear, it was The Devil, Bobby Boucher, The Devil!
The last time I was put on hold, it was even worse: in between the verbal lashings of digitally remastered sarcasm mentioned above, they had inter-weaved advertisements for their services! It was at that moment that I realized we need a revolution. If We, The People, have to be put on hold, we demand respect; I personally think we should be educated and/or entertained while on hold. Here is what I think should happen:
You have been put on hold and you are listening to an automated telephone system. I will try to make it as painless as possible by speaking to you in a polite, personal tone.
First, push 1 to mute me at anytime; push 1 to un-mute me.
You will be on hold for approximately 10 minutes. That is a estimate, and I will try to keep you updated if that amount of time changes significantly. You can press 2 at any time to find out the estimated time you will still be on hold.
Now for some entertainment, if you are in the mood for it…
Press 3 for local news, sports, traffic, and weather forecasts
Press 4 to listen to light classical music
Press 5 for jazz, funk, and r&b music
Press 6 for rock or indie music
Press 7 for rap and hip hop music
Press 8 for country music
Press 9 to hear these options again
Otherwise, I will leave you to wait in silence, ok? Just speak up if you need something. Sorry about putting you on hold. I know its really rude, but we do it to keep our internal expenses to a minimum, which in the end, should mean cheaper prices for you. Thanks for waiting.