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Featured Studio Owner

Craig Peterson
Home Video Studio - Arlington

Date: 02/11/2016

Craig Peterson worked for Home Video Studio for eleven years wearing just about every hat there is to wear on the support side, from daily attending to studio owners’ needs as Director of Studio Development to the installation & launching of brand new studios to helping with the planning and execution of the Annual Getaway to occasionally emceeing the annual Hanley Awards Gala. Now he’s relishing a new role – Studio Owner. “I love it,” says Peterson, “because my advice, before I was an owner, was theory and textbook. Now it’s real! It’s my business and my responsibility.” Meet Craig Peterson, studio owner in Mansfield, Texas and studio owner of the month.

Starting way back in January of 2005 Craig learned the ropes of the HVS way by managing Robert Hanley’s flagship studio in Indianapolis. Being a musician his whole life he was familiar with audio production and editing but knew nothing about video. “One day I was working with Al Stone, an audio guy and longtime HVS friend and, by the way, the ‘voice’ of most HVS promotional items, and he told me about the opening to run Robert’s video studio.” Over a decade later Al and Craig are still friends, and Peterson is grateful for a life-changing introduction.

“I was hungry to learn everything about the video services business!” says Peterson. “I would stay late and come in Saturdays just to learn. In fact, I remember one Friday Robert telling me, kindly of course, to not come in tomorrow,” laughs Craig. “He wanted some time with just his family.” Soon Peterson was put in charge of the support staff for HVS. Then he managed the Film Transfer Department. Then came Director of Studio Development.

But the one thing Craig was eying was owning his own Home Video Studio. “I felt like Sergeant Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman,” he muses, “because I’d train and install new owners, wish them well, send them out into the business world, and get ready to install the next one.” Then the opportunity came, situationally and financially, and Peterson became a studio owner almost overnight. “I’d been preaching the HVS directive: ‘Enact programs quickly’ for years and I took it to heart. I was ready to hit the ground running!”

On January 5, 2016 Craig opened his doors and, from a standing start, grossed over $7,000 for the month. Now he’s learning with his own business how to juggle a very busy production schedule with daily diligence to marketing his brand new business to a market that’s never heard of him before. Although the HVS standard questionnaire is usually reserved for seasoned veterans with sage advice Craig has learned a lot over the years, and has particularly learned a lot over the past month:

Do any significant days and/or projects stick out so far?

Yes, opening day was only five weeks ago so that was a biggie so far. I had a pretty big first week…people from Mansfield and Arlington were so happy to see me – almost like a grand opening with no fanfare. It’s like they’d been waiting.

Who are some of your influences?

It seem that my influences have always been hard and dedicated workers, no matter the field. First was my father – just a guy who loved his family and sacrificed to care of them. Then came sports heroes… Bart Starr posters adorned my bedroom as a kid because I loved his story of being a nobody and becoming the QB of one of the most storied and celebrated teams in NFL history. Then came my musical heroes like John Coltrane. You know what’s great about Coltrane? He was not a prodigy. If you hear him even in his early twenties, when most world-changing musicians are coming to the fore, he’s not a very good sax player. And he became a watershed legend. But he stunk and grew to that point. That’s inspiring!

What, so far, do you deem vital to success at this business?

Dedicate. Sell out. Don’t dabble. Do it or don’t. Was it Alexander who would land all his soldiers and set their boats on fire? That makes choices easy, doesn’t it?

What are some goals?

First: Consistently make $10,000 a month or more, month after month by June.

What part of the business comes easy for you? What part of the business is difficult?

I can make people feel good and feel comfortable with entrusting their projects to me. I’m decent enough with technology. I was raised to be nice (good Upper Midwest stock) and I want to please everybody by overpromising and maybe underpricing. I’ve already learned that it makes for disappointing your customers and yourself.

Any sayings, quotes, or aphorisms that you adhere to that apply to your business?

My favorite aphorism applies to the above answer: “Rocks are hard and water is wet.” Sometimes you can wish rocks weren’t hard, or dream that water wasn’t wet…yet it doesn’t change the fact. So get on with life accepting that rocks are hard and water is wet.

What are some prominent lessons you've learned so far?

Market daily. Tell people what you do. You must advertise consistently. A lapse in your visibility is like an air bubble in your brake line. Congratulations to Craig Peterson of Home Video Studio Mansfield, our Studio Owner of the Month!

Craig Peterson
Arlington TX

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