"Like a true nature's child We were born, born to be wild We can climb so high I never want to die "
- Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf
Featured Studio Owner
Home Video Studio - Fairfax
Ken Sander of Fairfax, Virginia spent three decades with the Federal Aviation Administration focusing on the safety of our nation's airline industry. One day he traded it in to make money focusing his video camera. "Even as a manager in a government agency I always had an entrepreneurial side," says Sander. "I worked with video, graphics and animation as a serious hobby for over twenty-five years." So, when the opportunity for optional retirement came, Ken knew it was high time to start his own business in the field he loves. Now in his eighth year of business Ken is a Seven Star Studio, a former Studio Owner of the Year, and a multiple Hanley Award winner. Ken also finds himself in the weekly top earner's list more often than not. Meet Ken Sander - Home Video Studio's September Studio Owner of the Month.
We caught up with Ken recently and, since September means "back to school" we asked him to give us the top ten lessons he's been "schooled on" since he became a Home Video Studio owner. Here's what he came up with:
Be Friendly: "As I meet people in the studio, networking, or generally anywhere, I am positive and friendly. We live in a somewhat cynical world. Being friendly to customers, associates and people everywhere helps me to be more positive about the world and the world more positive about me."
Be Ready – Always: "I have found that customers come in all 'styles.' I really work to be ready and prepared mentally, emotionally and even physically to “meet them where they are." When I’m with someone they are my absolute focus. I expect objections so I am ready to listen, provide feedback and respond specifically to what they are feeling.
Be a Marketing Machine: "We provide video services to everyone - but – what is our business as owners? We are in the Marketing Business. I do everything possible to market our services, every day, in as many ways as I possibly can."
Be Consistent: "I try to work on a pattern or schedule. I work the most important things every day at the same time and then schedule everything else. I make lists and keep my focus on the list. I work the list - check off, add new items and keep doing it."
Be Teachable: "I am always ready to learn. I seek experienced people to help me. If I get stuck I ask other owners. I have attended every training opportunity Home Video Studio has offered. I take on-line courses. I read or listen to books on marketing and sales and how to run a business."
Be Responsible: "This is my business. I am responsible for its success. It falls on no one else but me. I own it."
Be Tenacious: “Never Give Up – Never Surrender” (“Captain” from Galaxy Quest). I repeat – I do whatever it takes to make it happen."
Be Adaptive: "Try, try and try again, but, adapt to what works. That means I do what I’ve been taught first. Then I may adapt it to work for me. Insanity is doing the same thing I’ve always done (or not done), over and over, but expecting the outcome to be something better."
Be Working ON THE BUSINESS: "There was a short time when I really got frustrated about the business. I realize, thanks to Robert and some other Studio owners, that I was no longer in charge – I blamed everyone and everything else for my situation. Take charge and know what is happening and what to do next. Plan, track, evaluate and adapt. If I get stuck, I find help. I now have a mentor and a coach to help me."
Be Humble: "I feel I was very successful in my FAA career. I was very blessed. I feel the same way about Home Video Studio. I have been blessed and get to do what I really enjoy doing. I am so thankful for that."
We are grateful to have someone like Ken at Home Video Studio. These are good lessons! He is a great teacher because he is a great learner. Congrats Ken Sander, our September Studio Owner of the Month!