Q: Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Ans: BEYOND is a full service audio, video, and lighting production company. As our name states we strive to go above and BEYOND, clients expectations by delivering the most current, trend setting, and unique production and event designs. We are based out of Dallas, Tx but travel nationally

Q: Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Ans: I was born and raised in Denison, Tx. I went to school for Computer Information System and found once I was actually doing that, it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I started producing wedding and corporate videos in 2001, and slowly crossed over into offering audio and eventually lighting when I merged my company with my business partner’s in 2006, this became Lite Dallas which eventually lead to our current name of BEYOND after I took over the company in 2009.

Q: What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

Ans: I was already highly involved with the event industry with video production and audio services. When we started the production company we saw a need for high level Audio, Video, and Lighting design and production that was needed in the market and moved on that.

Q: What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Ans: Employees are the best asset for any successful company, especially those that care as much about the company as you do

Always reinvest in your company and yourself, knowledge is a huge asset but can be costly at times and keeping up with the current technology and trends also adds up. However if you’re not willing to invest in those things you’ll never be moving forward

Letting go of things (control) is one of the hardest things to do, I still struggle with this day to day. Work and strive to do this, otherwise you’ll never get your head above water and your team will never grow or take lead when needed.

Q: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans: Wow, this is a hard one… I think it could be different depending on the industry and what your personality is, but I have found these things to help me

Patience – whether it’s dealing with a high maintenance client, teaching an employee a particular trait or process for the 5th time, or dealing with day to day operations patience can get you a long way (I may have learned this from having 3 children ;))

Leadership – this one is tricky, you have to have the right leadership for the team you are creating but leadership is important

Listen and Learn – someone will always know more or have more experience than you, learn from these people, pay attention to the things they know and have experience understand and recognize the things TO DO, but also realize the things NOT TO DO, bad experience and knowledge is just as valuable when growing a company

Q: How many hours do you work a day on average?

Ans: This varies greatly for me, some days I’m at the office for 8 to 10 hours, some days maybe 4 hours but usually I’ll make up for this by working from the house later that evening, and sometimes I’m out in the field before the sun rises and after it goes down, I’ve literally gone in a building before for events and never knew if it was even sunny outside

Q: To what do you most attribute your success?

Ans: I really thing the success of the company is directly related to the team, without them I’m not sure what I would do, I love hearing feedback from clients and customers, the fact that they know crew by name is huge, you can tell everyone loves working with every aspect of the company from beginning to end

Q: How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Ans: We are constantly working to stay on top of the latest social media outlets and trends, we’ve pulled away from a lot of our paper/print as it doesn’t drive the business as it used to, but we still have a few ads out there. The most successful marketing for us though by far is word or mouth and our client/customer relationships we have more referrals from them then any other outlet by far.

Q: Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Ans: Yikes this one is a little scary for most, when I was starting the company I literally was using credit card after credit card. When the company was started the economy wasn’t that great so getting a loan was little to impossible, so I just kept getting credit cards and rotating them around, at times I even used a home equity loan to get some capital, I had faith in the company so it wasn’t too concerning, but there’s always a chance things could go sour, now days with the growth of the company I’ve established some LOCs and loans to keep the business financials separated from my personal financials, I’ve also always tried to keep some extra savings as well for a rainy day

Q: What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Ans: Be prepared for the unexpected, whether it’s a key employee that is moving on, or an event that may be outside your norm, be prepared. Having ideas and plans in place for the unexpected always helps navigate speed bumps easier and these are the things that typically will slow a company down, the unexpected speed bump

Q: Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Ans: I’m not sure on this one, I would say there are handful of different options that I would be open to, but right now if I’m doing this same thing, I wouldn’t be upset, there are much worse things to be doing that are not near as fun – I know at times I get a little burned out with running a company and being pulled in every direction, but once I get a little break from things I enjoy coming back to it

Q: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Ans: I’m not sure on this one, I know companies and businesses I look and don’t admire, not because they aren’t successful but more because I see the things they do whether it’s to clients, employees, or even competitors. I look at the things I see or hear and think, wow that’s disappointing, I would expect more of a company of that size, but maybe sometimes that it, size isn’t always everything, size sometimes make you lose the focus or the purpose you were doing this for to begin with

Q: How important have good employees been to your success?

Ans: I’m not sure on this one, I know companies and businesses I look and don’t admire, not because they aren’t successful but more because I see the things they do whether it’s to clients, employees, or even competitors. I look at the things I see or hear and think, wow that’s disappointing, I would expect more of a company of that size, but maybe sometimes that it, size isn’t always everything, size sometimes make you lose the focus or the purpose you were doing this for to begin with

Q: How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Ans: Wow, that’s interesting, I have ideas that have been going on for years, I always have great ideas but sometimes getting them implemented is the hardest part, there are things I’ve let go because after a while I’ve seen that there was no advantage to them, but I still have others going strong for multiple years now

Q: How do you generate new ideas?

Ans: Personally I have found attending trade shows and other events help my brain storm new concepts, not like “oh I could copy that” but more like, “that’s cool, but what would be really cool would be to…” – also at the trade shows seeing new equipment helps me come up with ideas how I can do things I couldn’t before, or create new concepts with new tech

Q: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Ans: Seeing what the company has done for others, like previous employees. I’ve always told my team I will do everything I can for you, until I can’t. So when they achieve a level of opportunity I can’t offer them I never have ill will or become upset with them, I’m excited for them, and I’m proud that what they were doing here took them to the next level