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June Issue Feature: Real World Retail - Absolute Electronix

6-7-2017, Mobile Electronics Magazine -- Everyone lives by their own philosophy. Some believe that their own moral compass or religious beliefs should guide every decision. Others feel all that matters is ambition and getting ahead. Still others find a mixture between those two opposites to create their own belief system.

In the field of Philosophy, there are many concepts used to shape people's personal truths. One is the concept of Absolute Truth, which requires fixed, invariable, unalterable facts in order to be true. An example of this is that there are no square circles or round squares. It's either one or the other. Of course, some people might argue the opposite simply because for them, it might be true. Therefore, in a way, any given truth is left to the determination of the individual.

One thing that you can take to the bank as a certainty, however, is that Ata Ehdaivand, owner of Absolute Electronix in Rockville, Md. is unrelenting in how he does business—which is the main reason his store is so profitable. While there's no denying that the sound strategy of having a visible location just 200 feet from the town's main road is part of the shop's winning streak, Ehdaivand believes that individuality and an intolerance for foolishness from his staff may be a larger piece of the puzzle.

"I'm very direct. I just do things the way I want to. There's no rhyme or reason. My employees don't always understand it. I don't always think the way the status quo operates. That's just me in a nutshell," Ehdaivand said. "Everybody is part of the team. The only time I really need to get involved is when things get super bad. They know the marching orders."

With over 20 years of experience under his belt, Ehdaivand has had plenty of time to perfect his method of management, especially given how it took most of those years for him to scratch his itch and open his own store. Like many in the industry, the itch began for Ehdaivand as a teenager. 

"My parents bought me an old Camry with an AM/FM radio, but no tape player. The guy behind the counter didn't understand what a deck was. He was really rude. They put the radio in my car, did a bad job, I fixed the radio," he said. Finding he had a niche, Ehdaivand began working in the industry, working his way up to manager at medium-sized chain, Meyr-Emco. "When I do something I jump in head first. I'm kind of over the edge. If I'm gonna do something, I'm addicted to it," he said.

Despite making six figures in different positions throughout his career, Ehdaivand realized he needed something more to believe in and started Absolute Electronix out of his garage in 2011. The initial work focused solely on custom builds and installation work. But the work tumbled in enough for him to hire help and eventually find the need to open his own store.

"It just got to the point where on a Saturday, I would work from nine a.m. to eight p.m. and make more in one day than I made all week. It started the wheels in my head and made me go to the next step," he said. "A friend of mine worked at a tire place. Next to it, there was a bay that no one used. He said I had to take it."

After four years in that location, the building was sold, which forced the company to move to a location with twice the size. "That's when it started to go crazy. We did 40K a month at the old location. Then 60K a month in revenue at the new location. Eventually we just ran out of space," Ehdaivand said. "A management company approached me about a new facility that was right around the corner. We moved there and went from 60 to 80K a month when we hired Del Ellis. That was really when things started to go crazy. Where we were, there were mechanic shops. There were cars everywhere."

The new location had a dedicated wood working room already in place. The store was built at the break-neck pace of one week, thanks largely to the help of the shop's staff, according to Ehdaivand. Today, the store is more profitable than ever, set to hit its highest monthly revenue ever at around 90K. Ehdaivand attributes the profitability to his staff's work ethic, customer service and the discipline to effort for continuous improvement. 

"Our shop is traditional retail with a boutique edge. It's one of those deals where we have a lot of displays. We have speakers for $100 and $5,000 on display. We have something for everyone," he said. "The goal here is to make friends. The more friends you make, the more you'll be successful. It sounds cliché, but you really just want to take care of people. They pay the bills for my daughter's gym class. Whoever it is, they work hard for their money, we just have to be there for them." 

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 June 2017 18:31
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