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12-6-2017 -- It takes everything to be an entrepreneur. Those who give all they have are likely to be more successful than those who hold back. What's even more true is what entrepreneurs have to know in order to be successful. With new technology coming out every day in every field, the average entrepreneur not only needs to know their own business, but how to manage finances, develop business relationships, learn new software and adapt to emerging technology. David Gold has done that while creating his own methods for doing business, as is required of his mobile 12-volt operation, rolling tones.

Currently based out of Southern New England, Gold has been installing electronics in vehicles since the 1985, having found a knack for it as the son of an architect and fashion designer, while also grandson of a mechanic with an uncle as an engineer. "Engineering is in my blood," Gold said. "When I was 13 I was responsible for maintaining the family car. I've always enjoyed working on car."

After high school, Gold joined the Marine Corps and worked on heavy jets and engines. The experience taught Gold a number of techniques he uses to this day, including discipline, the importance of personal appearance and using his technical expertise to find the best products possible to sell to customers.

"As the sole person in my business, I do everything. I do a lot of professional reading and I attend any training that comes along," Gold said. "Part of my responsibilities are to test new products before I will approve them for installation in my customers vehicles."

In 1985, Gold left the Marine Corps and began working in car audio, working three different shops in three years. During that time, Gold came across Alan Cathe of Beaconwood Acoustics in Watertown, Mass., a man who would become his mentor, teaching him a great deal about the car audio business and proper installation techniques.

"After getting out of the United States Marine Corps 1985, I knew that in order to have a  successful mobile installation business I would need to learn from professionals who had already been doing it for many years. So I set out to work for at least two years each at three different installation shops," Gold said. "Al was determined to do things in such a neat clean picky manner and that had a huge impact on me. I used to watch Japanese painters in the hanger in the Marines. They had a saying: 'God is in the details.' Attention to detail had a huge impact on me. The wires should flow like a river. So I folded that into the batter of my installation technique."

Thanks to his background as an FAA licensed aircraft mechanic, Gold claims to be very picky with his techniques, which helps set him apart from other shops. Working on expensive planes also taught him how to stay cool under pressure, which has contributed to his ability to execute work under tight deadlines. "I learned in a high pressure retail environment that you've got to troubleshoot and solve the problem that day," he added.

Despite being offered jobs by different shops, Gold eventually chose to go off on his own and began operating his own mobile operation, rolling tones, in 1990. Due to the limitations of not having a brick-and-mortar shop, Gold specializes on doing high-end work, installing about 18 categories, including blind spot assist, stereo installation, Bluetooth, GPS, radar and rear view cameras.

"I also do basic floor speakers and a little bit of flooring. The little jobs pay for the big jobs. I'll take that money and order a K40 system," Gold said. "I don't do super high-end sound systems where I keep the car for a week. My bread and butter are K40 remote starters and heated seats."

A Personal Touch

"I read an article that said the majority of wealthy people in America are underserved. My brother taught me years ago, raise your prices 10 percent per year and let the bottom customers fall out the bottom. I've focused on the high-end customer more and more," Gold said. Gold's focus on high-end customers allows him to do two things at once: charge more per installation and fill a need that his niche service fills—concierge service. 

"There are not enough skilled trades people to provide all of the services that these wealthy families demand. I get very little pushback on my pricing structure. The usual response I get is 'When can you do it?'" The focused client base helps Gold choose to let go of less-desired work by handing it off to trusted local shops he has relationships with. "I get a call for a Toyota Camry, I may do it or refer to another shop. The good thing about the erosion of the installer base is there is less competition, more demand. You can charge more and put a stop to the race to the bottom."

Read the rest of the story HERE. Contact David Gold Toll-Free at: 855-323-3330 and via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. View his website, HERE.

June Issue Feature, June 1, 2016 -- Machines work in different ways. Most are designed to maximize productivity while working toward a higher efficiency. Goals are met either through computer-assisted adjustments or outside calibrations. The internal combustion engine is one such machine. Its early designs relied solely on moving parts that needed periodic replacement. Now, the engines include computers that monitor its status and notify the driver when maintenance is required.

The same could be said of a 12-volt retail business. If all is running smoothly, employees are generating revenue through a combination of sales and installation work. Occasionally, the store needs calibration due to the loss of an employee, a new employee, new product or other event that temporarily disrupts workflow. But the question is, how do you maintain a balance between the automated parts and the organic ones at a shop, since every employee is, after all, an individual? One retailer may have found the answer.

Carlos Ramirez, owner of NVS Audio in Linden, N.J. has created a shop culture that encapsulates the best of both worlds by creating strong processes for his staff to follow, no matter who's available to work them. Of his three employees, Ramirez admits that each has their specialty, but that doesn't mean they are limited to just that one thing.

"Some guys are better than others at things. Alain is the wiring and remote start guy. He's not good at wrapping upholstery. He struggles when trimming and wrapping. When we're not busy, I will have Damian on wiring and Alain will be wrapping upholstery the whole day," Ramirez said. "I like my guys cross-trained and efficient. Damian and Jairo are amazing at wrapping vinyl and upholstery. But with wiring, they get stuck on things Alain and I don't. I need to be able to sell three custom jobs and know that all three are being worked on whether my guys are sick or on vacation. I make sure they are all cross-trained."

The training concept begins in-house but extends to encourage all staff to be MECP-certified, which they are. Ramirez pays for any MECP test an employee wants to take, including paying them to take the day off for the test and providing a $50 cash bonus if they pass.

Employee training doesn't stop there, however. Two to three times a year Ramirez takes his staff to industry trainings with Sonus, Mobile Solutions and Del Ellis International. Employees are also trained on new products with the company's vendors conducting trainings on occasion. Ramirez attends KnowledgeFest alone in Dallas to enhance his own knowledge base as well.

Acknowledging that his staff are people and not just machines in a factory, Ramirez emphasizes the importance of treating his team like family to encourage better work and loyalty. This includes giving out bonuses for large jobs. "It's a percentage of what the total build was. As long as it was done on time, I give out a percentage based on how long they've worked for me," Ramirez added.

All employees are salaried with Ramirez doing the bulk of sales himself. In another effort to give back to his staff, he regularly treats them to meals, requesting they bring family members when available.  

"If we had a rough work week, we go out. I make sure they take family. If your wife and kids hate what you do, you're not going to be working here very long," Ramirez said. "We go out to dinner all the time. The last employee who quit only quit because they moved. Because of the kinds of work the other shops in the area do, if an employee left for more pay, they'd be doing more work and more boring jobs."

New employees are given a three-month internship period where they are not allowed to touch any machinery. The goal is to acclimate the new hire to the shop's practices to ensure everything is standardized. The same goes for tools.

"If an employee doesn't have good credit it doesn't matter. All my guys have immediate credit with Snap-on Tools. I have a list of tools you have to buy to work here. Some tools I provide. I buy the same socket set, one for each employee. Little things like that make us more efficient."

The longest tenured employee, Alain Sainvil, has been with NVS for 10 years, followed by Damian Kaminski with five years and Jairo Zuniga with just over one year employed. Each employee was discovered in different ways, with a grass-roots, natural method used for each.

"Alain has 16 years of experience and used to work at a big box store, 6th Avenue Electronics. He was hired part-time originally and used to wire big builds for me. Then he quit 6th Ave and came to work for me full-time. They didn't do a lot of custom work. That's what he's passionate about," Ramirez said. "Damian walked in with a customer and asked if we were hiring. He asked on a perfect day when we were busy. He had zero experience but just graduated electronics school and was certified. I hired Jairo fresh out of school. I don't like hiring experienced installers because I feel I have to erase everything they think they know and start fresh. Damian never worked at a shop before and I've built him into one of the best fabricators I've ever known in my career. We do things a certain way. Every single part gets wired the same way. Every speaker adapter gets done the same way. We developed a system."

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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