Don’t be afraid to go for the most challenging opportunies. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. Self-confidence breeds confidence in others who then will want to give you opportunities.”
As co-owner of South Florida-based Audio One, Yosowitz is one of the few women at the top of smart home automation and control industry, a market expected to reach $12.81 billion by 2020.
As both COO and CFO of Audio One, winner of 8 Cedia Awards, (www.audio-one.com) Jennifer Yosowitz is a contributing force in elevating the company which has become a leader in the design, engineering and installation of cutting edge smart home automation systems and commercial automation systems. She is an expert in distributed audio, video, lighting control, motorized shades, home theater, sound studios, touch panels and much more. Yosowitz has helped guide the company expansion from an apartment garage to one of the largest and most prestigious residential technology businesses with annual realized revenues of $10 million, elevating the company from a recording and pro-audio emphasis to the luxury residential and commercial control segment that now dominates the market.
Yosowitz has always been driven by her passion for music. In 2000, she went from pre-med in college to opening an office for designing and building professional recording studios in Nashville on Music Row. She says, “Along with my business partner and company founder, David Frangioni, renowned for mixing the very first surround sound record, we expanded Audio One to South Florida and quickly became the premier recording studio installation company. We built studios for Steven Tyler, Ricky Martin, Olivia Newton John, the Bee Gees, Ringo Starr, Keith Urban and hundreds of other celebrities.
The jump from recording studios to home technology was an easy one, says Yosowitz. “Because we were already embedded in the technology, it was a natural progression for Audio One to transition into home automation. It’s not a big leap to understand the schematics of wiring and integrating a house,” she adds.
Beyond running the day to day operations at Audio One, Yosowitz created the forward-thinking “What Realtors Need to Know About Home Automation” educational seminar, and is featured as a keynote speaker on the subject all over the country.
As a woman pioneer in the home automation industry, Yosowitz notes that women are the ones managing the home. She says. Men like the luxury aspect of big TVs, surround sound and comprehensive security, but it’s the women who deal with the day-to-day use of smart technology, particularly when it comes to surveillance of children and their caregivers, live action feed of teenagers, notification of an open door (or window or pool gate), finder of a wandering pet, music and entertainment, motorized shades, lighting and more.” Yosowitz has found that her customers appreciate the added benefit of being able to control electronics in the home from anywhere in the world.
Where did the idea for Audio One come from?
Audio One was founded in the music industry. Originally conceived as a company to provide world-class recording studios to producers, productions facilities and recording artists. The company expanded from sound into video, and then into additional technologies for home and commercial applications.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day really is enveloped by every aspect of the business, even though we have amazing teams of people who have expertise in areas of design, electrical engineering, technical installation, and many others. I am still involved in making sure all departments operate in unison, and that jobs get delivered from inception to completion to meet the needs of our most discriminating clients. A typical day is filled with calls, questions, meetings, interaction with teams, planning, and quality control.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Each division of our teams brings a unique talent to the design and installation of a custom smart home. Typically, clients have a basic idea of what they want. We then present options to the client, often bringing to the table many additional choices that they didn’t even know were possible. Then we apply all the engineering needed to bring these ideas to fruition. From inception, engineering, then goes to pre-wire, installation and programming. It is our job to customize each job to meet the clients vision and give them solutions to make their life more enjoyable, safer and more exciting for them and their families.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The future is voice automation. Having systems that learn your voice, the nuances of your habits, to be able to speak to your system the way you speak to another person. We are now only seeing the beginning of voice automation now.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am willing to work very hard, often 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. I also have ongoing vision of where we need to go for the future, how to focus on improvements, how to focus on larger and more exciting opportunities and this often means sitting at the computer at 1 am to get started on new ideas.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to go for the most challenging opportunies. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. Self-confidence breeds confidence in others who then will want to give you opportunities.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Sitting with my dogs on my lap having conversations with them seems to inspire some of my best ideas.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Face confrontation head on – There will always be challenges with projects, clients, employees. A great entrepreneur knows how to navigate challenges and turn them into wins, which further instills confidence in others. Get into the trenches with your team and clients.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I learned as much as I could about multiple areas of business that I didn’t understand or know much about. Early on, I bought accounting books, management books, build your own web site books, marketing concepts, took sales classes, personal growth and communication courses. I had to immerse myself to learn because I needed to be the ultimate to know if things were running right.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I had several key employees who left my company in middle of a critical projects. What they left behind was in complete chaos with true challenges in those projects. I had to draw on relationships of other professionals as well as competitors, to gather the talent to help get through the situation. Again, showing how important positive relations are with related trades, even with your competitors because these are people who will help get you through difficult times. People help those who they like.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The equivalent of uber – delivering professional hair, makeup and nail providers on demand, at home.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Massage therapist. Keeping your body healthy and stress- free is important for clear thinking.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
QuickBooks Enterprise. It allows me to know what’s going with my business in real time, so there are no surprises. Use all aspects from proposals, invoicing, purchasing, taxes, banking and more.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“YOU’RE A BAD ASS”. Self-explanatory!
What is your favorite quote?
“NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. THE WORD ITSELF SAYS I’M POSSIBLE” Audrey Hepburn
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.