Find out more about Stephen Gibson from Acoustic Pixel.
Director and co-founder of Middlesbrough-based Acoustic Pixel Stephen Gibson started his career with a baptism of fire, a far cry from his current role, running a smart-technology and AV installation business.
After graduating from Teesside University in Business Management, his first job was selling energy packages, door to door in Hartlepool. He said: “I remember one particular evening, it was pouring down with rain and I was getting knocked back by every person. The company I worked for had instilled into the sales team the determination to succeed, their mantra was ‘every no brings you nearer to a yes’. I stuck at it and learnt so much from that job.
“It taught me about the importance of resilience and how to keep going. I also found it was true, persistence really does pay off. If you have the right attitude people are receptive to you. This lesson has shaped my whole approach to my career and the desire to always keep going, no matter what.”
Stephen Gibson’s career path, after this sales role, included a number of marketing positions such as working for a subsidiary of DFDS Seaways. He worked for 10 years giving small businesses marketing advice and development consultancy before studying for an MBA at Durham University. This degree gave him a great insight into the business world from a different perspective as there were students there from over 13 countries around the world.He said: ‘I learnt as much from my fellow students as the course itself and my dissertation was really a distillation of everything I knew about business development.
“It set out a range of views but if I had one essential piece of advice for any budding entrepreneur it would be to focus on building relationships. For small businesses in particular, the best routes to market can often be through using organisations like North East England Chamber of Commerce to build a network if you don’t have one.
“People who nurture their networks definitely get the most out of them. We use our networks to very good effect especially those around influencers for our business such as architects and interior designers.”
Stephen Gibson runs Acoustic Pixel with his co-director Simon Le Monnier, who has a background in high-end AV engineering and is accredited by THX in Home Cinema Design and studied AV related disciplines to Masters level.
Set up two years ago, the company has recently invested in a showroom in Harrogate which includes a state-of-the-art cinema with 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos sound system and 4K projection to demonstrate the team’s skills.
The business works for both the business and domestic sector, providing expert advice right from the project design to execution.Contracts they have delivered range from a commercial client’s boardroom to a new-build house with automated heating, lighting, audio and cinema room.
One of the largest contracts was for the prestigious Charlton Hall venue in Northumberland which is also a North East England Chamber member. Acoustic Pixel was commissioned by the Hall’s owner, Richard Shell, to provide a large projection area, lighting control system where a bride and groom can choose their own colour scheme and audio sound system.
Stephen Gibson said: “Our plans for the future include getting a larger footprint in the North East. We are also looking to develop more partnerships with IT companies where people need our support as part of an office move. As well as this the domestic market is ripe with potential, not necessarily for a full cinema room as not everyone can afford that, but AV systems for example, to improve the sound from large screen TVs.
“In terms of geography, there is definitely a massive amount we can offer to the wider north area such as the North West, Cheshire and the Wirral. The future looks great for us with plenty of opportunities for growth.”
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