Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Kickfurther Merchant of the Week: ProjectorTeam, Inc.

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Ed Goldman "chief cook and bottle washer" of ProjectorTeam, Inc., my Kickfurther vendor of the week.  ProjectorTeam Inc. specializes in assisting the end user in determining the correct projector and accessories for their situation. Whether it is for the classroom, corporate setting or conference center, ProjectorTeam will develop a program that not only promises optimal quality and price for the specific situation but also guarantees that the projectors will meet the customer's needs. Kickfurther, if you are new to this blog, is a company with which I invest.  It finances inventory for businesses  by purchasing it from them and then returning it to the business for the business to sell on consignment.  As the inventory is sold to customers, businesses repay Kickfurther investors.  

Q:  So, how did you get started in the projection/A.V business? Are you a computer guy or did you come up in the age of filmstrips and reel-to-reel movies (yes, I'm dating myself)?

Ed:  Fourteen years ago I was hired by a company to run the sales department as the National Sales Manager. They were a projector company and when I was hired I had no idea what a projector was. I was 45 at the time. I am a sales guy with expertise in telesales and telemarketing and I was fairly computer literate at the time. My focus was to build a powerful inside sales team, and of course, that meant I had to learn the projector business--the products that were available, the needs they filled and how to put the right projector in the right customer's hands.  
The company remained strong for five years but then the owner made some horrible mistakes and went bankrupt. I was hired by another company as a salesman, and though I was the top producer in the company for five years, no one else could sell and that company went bankrupt as well.  At at 54 years old, my dilemma was whether to continue on that path or take the risk of going into business for myself.  Five years later here I am running a million dollar company being the chief cook and bottle washer.

Q:  Looking at your website, it looks like you are a consultant as much as a salesman. What is the difference between buying a projector from you and buying one from my local big-box retailer?

Ed:  You are absolutely correct. Consulting is a huge part of what I do.   The majority of people to whom I speak are neophytes and really don’t understand projectors. The big box stores like Frye’s Electronics or Best Buy cater to the consumer market, particularly home theater which is a cut-throat business. I focus on the business community, churches, government and education, where CONSULTING is what wins orders.  My customers get my expertise to find them the best product at the best price. A box store has maybe 8 sku’s (unique products);  I carry over 1000 sku’s in projectors alone and can put together a whole package for a customer within a budget. Sales people at the box stores really don’t even know the terminology to discuss the items. 80% of the projector equipment sold in big box stores is not right product for the customer who buys it.

Q:  Do you work nationwide, or just in certain geographic areas?

Ed:  ProjectorTeam, Inc. sells nationwide and overseas as well. We are based in Huntington Beach, California. 

Q:  Anything else you'd like to tell us about your business?

Ed:  My business has grown on average of 20% per year with only me selling. 2016 will be our breakout year.

Q: Why is that?

Ed: With additional marketing efforts and the implementation of Search Engine Optimization we will have more eyeballs coming to the site and I am more competitive. I anticipate selling well over 500 additional projectors in 2016.

Q: How did you first hear about Kickfurther? 

A: I was actually contacted by a sales representative for the company and thought the opportunity was interesting and started looking into it.

Q:  You are now on your second Kickfuther offer. How does Kickfurther compare to other financing methods you have used?

Ed:  Kickfurther is a different platform. Getting unsecured financing today is almost impossible and takes a long time. I have credit lines but I like being able to use this capital to engage manufacturers to commit to better pricing for me .

Q:  So despite the fact that backers like me earned a 6% return on our money in less than three months with your first offer, and will hopefully earn  9% in six and a half months on your second offer, you still came out ahead? 

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Ed:  Yes, absolutely--if the first offer hadn't been helpful to me, I would not have come back for a second!

Q:  Would you recommend Kickfurther to other business owners?

Ed:  Absolutely it is a great way for new businesses to drive capital and for an established business to fund opportunities in a relatively short amount of time.

Q: Obviously you are using Kickfurther as a business owner; have you tried it as an investor? If so,what is your impression so far? If not, can you see yourself doing so in the near future, or would you recommend it to friends?

Ed:   I have not invested in others. I use every dollar to thrust the growth of my company. I would however recommend it to friends who are looking to invest smaller amounts.

Q:  Sounds like a businessman to me!  I once read that the only way to really make money in this world is to invest in businesses--either your own or someone else's.  So far, Kickfurther has been an interesting way for me to invest in other people's businesses, and if all offers paid like  yours, it would be a profitable one too.  Anything else you'd like to tell us?

Ed:  I am constantly looking for salespeople and possibly someone in the Kickfurther family or you as a blogger could assist me in finding good people.

Well, Ed, if any of my readers think they would be a good fit for your company, they can go to your website and get your contact information.  If they are looking for projectors they can learn what some of your customers have said about you.  Your projectors are available in my Kickfurther Store and if readers buy them there, I get a 5% commission.    And of course, since I'm one of your Kickfurther backers, I have a vested interest in seeing you sell those projectors I helped finance.

If you have a business and think that Kickfurther can help you finance your inventory, use this link and I get a finder's fee.  If you are an investor and believe that Kickfurther is a good place for you to invest, use this link and I get referral credit.  

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