BCG Concepts: Not Your Average CE Pro
Bryan Gorog isn’t yet 30 and he’s already been in the industry for a decade. His youth has served him well, as he not only sells high-tech, but he incorporates it into his daily business operations at BCG Concepts.
At 28, Bryan Gorog of BCG Concepts in Los Angeles is already a 10-year veteran of the electronics industry. The combination of having so much experience under his belt while still a young man is serving him well not only in creating, selling and installing integrated A/V and control packages that are attractive and affordable for GenY clients, but also in running his business efficiently.
Gorog’s playbook is not unlike many small veteran integrators: He runs a lean-and-mean operation in which he does all the sales and system design himself. He also recognizes the importance of strong customer service and upselling audio via a quality demo technique in his home showroom.
But where he departs from the norm is how he brings his solutions to market for the next generation of custom electronics clients. The Internet, packaged solutions for condo owners and a successful collaborative relationship with skateboard legend and MTV star Rob Dyrdek are all means BCG uses to grow. Internally, he also embraces technology and software for purchasing, communications, billing and more.
Serving The Gen-Y Condo Niche
In high school, Gorog worked in the pro audio department at Guitar Center before starting in the A/V business as a salesperson for Soundwave, a small retail company in Sun Valley, Idaho. After moving to Los Angeles a few years later, he hooked on in the warehouse, then doing installation, sales and system design at Ambrosia Audio & Video, a high-end integration company in West L.A. that eventually sold to CE Pro 100 firm DSI Entertainment Systems.
After the buyout, Gorog started BCG Concepts at the age of 22. Was he intimidated? No - he comes from a family of tech entrepreneurs, including his father, Chris, who at one time was CEO of Roxio and Napster.
Quick Stats About BCG Concepts
Location: Los Angeles
Principals: Bryan Gorog, president
Revenues (for 2011): $750,000
Years in Business: 6
Number of Employees: 4
Specialty: Home Automation and Audio/Video
Top 5 Brands: Crestron, Control4, Samsung, Definitive Technology, SnapAV
FYI: “This business is supposed to be fun.”
BCG immediately identified a niche of providing affordable packaged systems to young retrofit buyers who love audio but don’t have the money to spend on lavish systems … yet. The majority of the company’s jobs are $5,000 to $20,000, with $8,000 as the average.
“Our company is well suited for these jobs, which usually include house audio, some basic automation and one multimedia or theater room. These jobs are quick and pay quickly,” says Gorog, who admits that he has done a few large $250,000 jobs that seem to take forever to complete because of construction delays and financing. For security, BCG partners with the ADT Gold Team. So while BCG sells camera systems (and lots of them, routinely installing eight cameras per job plus a Wirepath DVR), the company leaves the burg and fire to ADT.
Another part of BCG’s focus is condos, working with builders/developers. In one instance, Gorog worked with the condo sales staff to outfit model units in an historic condo building in downtown L.A., not far from the revitalized area around the Staples Center, home of the L.A. Lakers, Clippers and Kings. A decade ago the area was downtrodden and crime ridden. Now, condo conversions are popular.
“We worked with the condo sales staff and lending team to incorporate our systems into the builder’s options packages. This would include five to10 different pre-approved packages that a buyer could check off a list, just like a fridge or washer and dryer. We had to specifically tailor the systems to be approved by lenders by having the majority of the system built into the walls of the home - so this ended up including in-ceiling audio speakers, and control of lighting, shade and thermostat.”
The financing part was tricky in these $350,000 units that targeted young working professionals who did not have lots of expendable cash. The five packages BCG put together had to be approved by the lending and underwriting departments at Countrywide and Wells Fargo. They include Crestron Prodigy and lighting control, wall-mounted flat panels, Anthony Gallo speakers and URC remotes.
“It was very tough to get things approved that they would consider as builder options, because the amenities had to be appraised into the price of the condo, so we could not include any expensive receivers or TVs on stands. Everything is built in.
“We got 20 units in the building out of 66. The majority of people who picked their packages chose really basic A/V. We only did five units that had automation. We got the jobs with the carrot of $5,000 packages, but six months down the road we got calls from condo owners wanting to add to their systems,” notes Gorog. “If we did not include the A/V in the price of the condo itself, none of the buyers would have spent the extra $5,000 to $6,000 on A/V after they moved in. This was an easy way for them to get a lot of fun A/V stuff by just adding $20 to their monthly mortgage.”
The toughest part about focusing on this part of the market is price competition. “We’ve found that it is not hard to establish ourselves as professionals. Clients know we’re the right company for the job, but it still comes down to price,” admits Gorog. “We do a lot of research into pricing structures of other companies, especially Magnolia, and tend to use that as a benchmark in terms of pricing. We sell products from SnapAV and Definitive Technology that offer good price protection so we can still offer attractive discounts while making some money.”
Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org
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