Entrepreneur Juston Prisuda managed to turn his teenage hobby into a successful business, bringing his family along for the ride.
Having worked with names like Google and Emirates, his company AV 24/7 is now one of Sydney’s leading audiovisual companies and recently celebrated ten years in business.
We spoke to Prisuda about his decade with AV 24/7:
What led you to create AV 24/7?
A desire not to conform to the standard. I wanted to create an environment that was creative, innovative, personable and out of the box. I didn’t see myself working for someone else and I knew I had found something that I loved and was great at, so wanted to develop that in my own way with my own company.
Were you ever daunted by the task of starting your own business, given you hadn’t studied business?
To be honest, I wasn’t really daunted by it at all, but I probably should have been. I don’t think I knew what to expect at first, I just knew what I wanted and was determined to succeed.
How has your role evolved over the years?
I started out managing all elements of the business – sales, invoicing, installing jobs. I now mainly focus on the creative technical side and client management and have employed a great team to work on all the other elements.
How have you found working with both your father and your wife at AV 24/7? What challenges and benefits have come with working with family?
Luckily I didn’t have to work with both at the same time as I’m sure that probably wouldn’t have worked! However the positives would certainly be honesty. Working with family you get the truth, whether you want to hear it or not. My father taught me a lot about technology growing up and a lot about business. I was lucky to have him as a mentor.
Working with Libbie has also been a great experience. I think that us both coming from families of entrepreneurs and business owners and working in family businesses growing up, we are both passionate about business, so when we take work home with us it’s not a problem. We are often brainstorming ideas over dinner or coming up with new business ideas on weekends, it’s not a chore in that respect we enjoy running the business together. On the negative side, it took a while to work out our roles and to respect each other’s strengths and support the weaknesses.
AV 24/7 has worked with huge names like Samsung, Emirates, Google etc – how did this kind of growth come along, and had you envisioned it when you first opened the business?
This business didn’t come straight away. Working with large companies is a long road and requires consistence and a build up of trust. Having a great track record and a positive attitude toward business shows that you are trust worthy and have your clients’ best interests at heart. A lot can go wrong on the technical side of an event, so it’s important to know that no matter what happens your supplier will make it happen and take the pressure off. There’s no room for error.
What is your favourite aspect of the business and of your part in it?
Being creative and innovative. I set aside time to spend with technology, come up with new and creative ways to do things and learn about the newest available technologies. My time spent in the warehouse going back to the core of the business’ innovative side is certainly my favourite. And of course delivering the events and spending time with our clients is a big part of what keeps me driven.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about business over the years?
The biggest lesson I learned in the early years was to not judge your financial success by the money coming in. I think as a small business you focus on your clients, delivery and making sure you have the money coming in, that is certainly the most important thing you do. However, it is so important to know where you stand from a NET perspective. If you always know where you stand it changes the way you do business and influences your decisions in a positive way. We now balance our accounts monthly instead of yearly like I did in the first years of opening the business.