An old proverb goes, ‘Necessity is the mother of all invention’. It holds true for SafeTVision. When young Graham Richards, threw a cup at their new 32” LCD television, It cracked the screen! The Richards neighbor, Jim Zdancewicz then fashioned a crude clear protective device for his Plasma TV fearing the same might happen from one of his 3 little boys. After seeing the potential to save families from this heartache the Zdancewicz’s and Richard’s (co-owners), decided to launch aTV Screen Protector that will ensure that televisions are protected from such accidents. Hence, they came up with safeTVision screens, to protect television sets from Wii remotes, toys, balls, or any other random objects that could break the screen.

jim

Jim Zdancewicz and Drew Richards are Co-CEO’s for the company and along with Co-owners Dana Zdancewicz and Andrea Sweeney-Richards. Each bring a unique blend of business expertise and real-world parenting chops to the day-to-day operations of safeTVision
To know more about their unique business, the team decided to catch up with Jim Zdancewicz.

Please tell our readers something about your business.
SafeTVision is a 100% clear TV screen protector, designed to protect flat screen TVs from impact damage, finger prints and dust. SafeTVision is made from optical grade acrylic and uses a patent pending clamp system to attach to any LCD or Plasma TV. SafeTVision is low profile, low cost and easy to install. We wanted our TV screen protector to provide mind insurance against damage that manufacturers’ warranties and home owners’ insurance policies don’t cover.

How has your entrepreneurial journey been?
SafeTVIsion was invented by the Zdancewicz & Richards families, of Pennsylvania. It all started when the Drew Richard’s son, Graham, threw a sippy cup at the TV during a popular kids TV show and cracked their 32” LCD TV. My wife Dana & I fearing the same might happen to our TV fashioned a crude TV screen protector out of store- bought Plexiglas and regular “L” clamps. The Idea was born then!
We worked for two years to design and manufacture a product that offered good protector for a low price. Today’s safeTVision is the result of all the exhaustive work and research that we had put in. SafeTVision is being sold across the US and Canada and is quickly becoming the gold standard in TV screen protection.

How important have good employees been to your success?
It has been very important to have good people with the same goals. We have also researched and found the right partners to help our design become a reality. Good Relationships are key to success!

What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?

  • Just do it.
  • Never say “it will never work.” We’ve had our share of difficulty in finding the right partners for design and manufacturing, but we kept moving forward until we had something we were proud of.
  • You must believe in what you are doing/making, for it to be a success.

If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing really.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Creativity, Positive Attitude and Good Partners.

How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
I never give up an idea. Period!

How many hours do you work a day on average?
10-12 hours on an average.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Sometimes it is tough to balance the demands of the many ventures in which we are involved, but then you realize the potential benefit of having a successful business for your children and it makes it all worth it.

What motivates you?
Providing a better life for our children motivates me.

How do you generate new ideas?
They just come when you least expect it. You have to be open to the just letting it happen.

What is your greatest fear?
I Fear of the state of the Global economies. Just not sure what going to happen.

How do you define success?
To me success is making something no one thought of before. Or making something better than is was before.

What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Steady work toward goals gives long-term success.

Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it?
We provided the funding from our personal finances.

How did you obtain investors for your venture?
We don’t have investors yet, but are open to talking to the right people.

How do you build a successful customer base?
Through SEO marketing and great customer service.

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
None. Except trying to do something that no one has done before.

If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Henry Ford – because he was a game changer.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My wife and children.

What book has inspired you the most?
“Freakonomics.”

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
No two days are the same.

What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?

  • Having a vision for your product from the beginning.
  • Being flexible as you design your business to adapt to the changing world.
  • Don’t worry if someone has a similar idea, Just do it better.
  • Don’t spend more than you have to for services.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Selling our first screen to someone we didn’t know. It meant that there was a business for our product after all.

What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
I don’t think there are major differences except having the time and determination to actually start the business. Often there are entrepreneurs that don’t get the chance to make their ideas come to realization.

How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Traditional means like working contacts and trying to get press. SEM and SEO from EBrandz are the most successful form of marketing.
What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Very small, don’t have a culture as of yet. It’s just us and we are Fun People!

In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
“Full-Filled”

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Taking too long to simply dig in and find good partner resources. Not doing more test shipping. We had some broken screens early on.

What do you do in your non-work time?
Family and Music.

What makes you happy?
Family.

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
I get less time with my young family and for my hobbies.

Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Apple, BMW, Google, Gore-Tex.

Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
Retired hopefully.

If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Nothing, they are good questions!

How important have good employees been to your success?
It has been very important to have good people with the same goals. We have also researched and found the right partners to help our design become a reality. Good Relationships are key to success!

What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?

  • Just do it.
  • Never say “it will never work.” We’ve had our share of difficulty in finding the right partners for design and manufacturing, but we kept moving forward until we had something we were proud of.
  • You must believe in what you are doing/making, for it to be a success.

If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing really.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Creativity, Positive Attitude and Good Partners.

How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
I never give up an idea. Period!

How many hours do you work a day on average?
10-12 hours on an average.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Sometimes it is tough to balance the demands of the many ventures in which we are involved, but then you realize the potential benefit of having a successful business for your children and it makes it all worth it.

What motivates you?
Providing a better life for our children motivates me.

How do you generate new ideas?
They just come when you least expect it. You have to be open to the just letting it happen.

What is your greatest fear?
I Fear of the state of the Global economies. Just not sure what going to happen.

How do you define success?
To me success is making something no one thought of before. Or making something better than is was before.

What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Steady work toward goals gives long-term success.

Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it?
We provided the funding from our personal finances.

How did you obtain investors for your venture?
We don’t have investors yet, but are open to talking to the right people.

How do you build a successful customer base?
Through SEO marketing and great customer service.

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
None. Except trying to do something that no one has done before.

If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Henry Ford – because he was a game changer.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My wife and children.

What book has inspired you the most?
“Freakonomics.”

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
No two days are the same.

What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?

  • Having a vision for your product from the beginning.
  • Being flexible as you design your business to adapt to the changing world.
  • Don’t worry if someone has a similar idea, Just do it better.
  • Don’t spend more than you have to for services.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Selling our first screen to someone we didn’t know. It meant that there was a business for our product after all.

What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
I don’t think there are major differences except having the time and determination to actually start the business. Often there are entrepreneurs that don’t get the chance to make their ideas come to realization.

How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Traditional means like working contacts and trying to get press. SEM and SEO from EBrandz are the most successful form of marketing.

What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Very small, don’t have a culture as of yet. It’s just us and we are Fun People!

In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
“Full-Filled”

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Taking too long to simply dig in and find good partner resources. Not doing more test shipping. We had some broken screens early on.

What do you do in your non-work time?
Family and Music.

What makes you happy?
Family.

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
I get less time with my young family and for my hobbies.

Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Apple, BMW, Google, Gore-Tex.

Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
Retired hopefully.

If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Nothing, they are good questions!