I know many among you are involved in different facets of pro-audio; whether it be running sound for local and regional events, system installations, service and repair, and gear rental and sales; or perhaps, all of the above.
For quite some time now, I've been questioning my own involvment in pro-audio, and I'm trying to assess and determine a path to future involvment. Either I remain an amateur enthusiast, or, I commit to some sort of self-sustaining commercial enterprise. The passion and interest is there, but the path forward is not so clear. At the moment, I'd like to consider the possibilities of becoming a dealer, and possibly, starting a gear rental service.
Obviously, many will see this situation from differing perspectives, especially those who are younger, or those who live near large metropolitain areas. I'll be 65 in a few months, and the population here is 10,000 people. There simply are no dealers nearby, because the market is simply too small. The closest "larger" town (70k pop), is 40 kilometers away, and as far as I know, there is only one very small gear rental place in that town. (music store). I have more gear stacked in my livingroom, than that guy has in his entire stock-room. Our local bands and DJ's, have to drive into Montreal (1 hour each way), to get to a decent gear-rental outfit. I see a bit of an opportunity there, and the possibility of assosciating myself with local hotels, reception halls, and small municipally sponsored events. One example, is our annual blues festival, where small duo/trio set-ups are scattered at various locations downtown, playing on the street. That festival lasts a week. and there might be 50-60 "shows" in that 1 week period. The larger shows are held at the local bars, and fair-grounds. Those fair-ground shows are large productions however, handled by large sound-co's from Montreal.
As I mentioned earlier, I'd be interested in developing a "self-sustaing" small enterprise,,,, I'm not looking to "get rich" here; just a one-man operation that can comfortably cater to the needs of the local and regional market, and providing gear for everything from back-yard get-togethers, to corporate parties/events, to more ambitious outdoor events of 500-1000 or so people.
Essentially, what I have to determine is, how much business volume must I do, in order to be accepted by a gear manufacturer, as a "dealer". I realize that many have a minimum initial opening purchase, plus, a yearly sales quota.
Any thoughts? Have any among you considered similar endeavors?