Title: Executive Producer and CEO
Est: 1985 | www.audio-videonetworks.com
“It’s my job to find out what makes a business unique and to turn it into a campaign; to think outside of the box.” – Ron Edwards
When he was just five years old, Ron Edwards, executive producer and CEO of Phoenix-based Audio-Video Networks, knew he would someday work in the music industry. He grew up playing the piano, majored in music in college, started writing jingles at 18, and never stopped.
He started Audio-Video Networks, of which he is the sole employee, in 1985 as a way of creating effective advertising in electronic media.
“I heard a lot of things that were mediocre,” Edwards says. “I wanted to pull the best of a business forward and let people know about them.”
Edwards started writing radio jingles for his clients. As clients started asking about TV commercials and Web sites, he expanded his company to other include other forms of electronic media. Today, Edwards offers a full spectrum of advertising, including radio commercials, TV commercials and Web site development.
Each time he acquires a client or a new medium, Edwards adds to his pool of freelancers, which he regularly uses to help him with projects. He currently has about 15-20 regular sub-contractors who specialize in everything from writing to producing to editing. Edwards says this system works well for everybody because he retains his independence and the workers don’t feel trapped in a company.
The biggest challenge for Edwards when getting Audio-Video Networks off the ground was getting people to believe in a product without knowing if it would work for them. He overcame this by producing jingles for free and gained many paying clients this way.
“I put together a jingle for Sanderson Ford and now I’ve done four or five since then,” he says.
Edwards believes that his location in Arizona is advantageous because it is not as competitive as a bigger markets such as New York or Los Angeles.
“Bigger markets are so fast paced that you lose focus on the customer,” he says. “There’s a good pace here that allows us to focus instead of just throwing together a commercial.”
Like many other businesses, Audio-Video Networks was not immune to the effects of the recession. Edwards estimates that the poor economy caused a 5 percent decrease in business, at most. When companies don’t advertise, they don’t make money, so his clients recognize the value of his services. Most of the impact has come from the fact that several of his clients are auto dealers who have been severely affected by the economy.
Edwards attributes much of his success to his quick response time and advises other small business entrepreneurs to always be on alert.
“You lose business if you’re not always available to answer the phone or e-mails,” he says. “Always be available so that everyone is a priority.
Edwards’ biggest goal for the company’s future is to keep expanding and adding clients, stay available and continue providing the effective electronic advertising he always has.
“I want to get more people on board and give them great advertising campaigns,” he says. “Something unique. Something that will grab people’s ears.”