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Early Years: 1984-1993 (self employment) AVT was launched by current owner Phil Joseph in February of 1984 as “The Consultants” The idea based upon recommendations by clients Phil maintained while employed by “Pacific Stereo” (a Bay Area Audio Video retailer). In the early 80’s Home Entertainment was transforming from simply a TV hooked to a rooftop antenna and possibly a “Hi-Fi” with intragal speakers to multi interconnected audio and video “components.” Due to the new complexity brought by the technological advances many of Phil’s customers at Pacific needed help setting up their newly purchased systems and instruction on their use.
Having a latent entrepreneurial spirit that these comments called forth, Phil began an Audio Video consulting service that would provide products from various retailers, set up the components and provide training on their operation.
By 1987 flush mounted speakers were becoming common and clients were asking for things more in terms of running wires to other rooms and outside for TV’s, speakers, and telephones. The business was no longer just sales and set-up but rather installation and cabling as well. Phil obtained a California state low voltage license and the required insurance and bonding that accompanied it. AVT, as it was now called continued to grow fueled by a contract with The Good Guys (another Bay Area retailer) for installation services. Although Phil would employ occasional helpers he was really no more than a self employed person limited by what he could physically “do”.
Chapter 2: 1994-2005 (the business) By 1993 Phil realized his little enterprise would have to grow or die. At just 30 years old, the physical work was taking it’s toll on his body and by wearing so many hats he was limited in capacity. Armed with a fair amount of cash from a lucrative retail contract, Phil moved the business from his garage to a commercial building and hired over the next three years a field manager, sales manager and office manager. Now AVT , wasn’t just self employed Phil, but rather a real business with employees, vehicles and a commercial address.
By the late 1990’s fueled by frustration in the lack of quality electrical contractors, and our excitement in the lighting design and controls category , AVT evolved once again adding whole house electrical and lighting. Driven by builder requests for a “one stop shop,” AVT also added security and central vacuum to it’s product mix which now also included data cabling and satellite TV. Although AVT had grown tremendously in volume and was now a “business” with seven employees it was still entirely “Phil dependant” and limited by what he could physically “oversee.”
Chapter 3: 2006 and beyond (the company). By 2005 it was becoming apparent that the old adage of business growth being not a ramp but rather a series of stair steps was proving true. We had gone absolutely as far as we could with our current model and had been bumping our heads (hard) against the face of the next step for a couple of years. We now realized that it was time to change from a small business that was “Phil driven” to a company that was “systems driven.” These systems will allow AVT to expand not only within it’s own geographical market but into other markets as well.
Starting in the middle of 2009 AVT started to realize this "Green" movement wasn't going away and that the products coming out were extremely viable and realistic in using less energy and even creating your own. We jumped aboard and have been making more and more connections in the industry and finding more and more ways to get our clients "Green" and keep them saving the environment and their hard earned money.
With the custom installation market showing double digit growth with no sign of slowing down, the future looks very bright indeed.