Ferlando Parker, ihangTVs.com
Just bought a flat screen television and don’t know how to hang it? If you live in the Metro Birmingham, AL area, I’ll bet the first thought that came to your mind was ihangTVs.com. A short while back, ihangTVs owner, Ferlando Parker, posted on his Facebook page that there was talk of a new show, Fix It and Finish It, on Fox 6 and his name had been dropped to be featured on the show. I decided right then that he was the man I wanted to speak with. I in-boxed him and within seconds he replied. I called up the man himself for a brief chat about the possibility of ihangTVs.com being featured on the upcoming TV show. Plus I got a bit of history on his company.
First I was eager to know if Ferlando had heard anything else about the Fix It and Finish It show and how his name came up. According to Ferlando, a representative from Fox 6 had contacted him about the show and arranged for him to meet with the show’s producers. He said everything went great as far as he was concerned. He made a pitch suggesting that if any of the seven Birmingham Fix It and Finish homes needed any wiring that they allow ihangTvs.com to be featured on the show as the installation contractor. In addition, if there were going to be any television upgrades for the families, iHangTvs.com would do what it has become known to do: hang TVs.
The Start of it All
I told Ferlando that this was a business that literally fell in his lap and I’m sure you’ll agree after reading his story. Prior to ihangTVs.com, Ferlando owned his own business doing account generation for existing Direct TV and Dish Network dealers. After that, he went to work for Direct TV as a technician.
During his time at Direct TV, the digital transition was taking place and people were getting rid of their big back, antenna TVs and replacing them with high definition (HD) TVs. This was great except for one thing: every time Ferlando would finish a job wiring a home for Direct TV, the homeowners didn’t know what to do with their TVs. He says they were literally sitting them on the floor because there was no place to put them. Time and time again, homeowners were asking him if he knew of anyone that hung TVs and time and time again, his answer was no. He offered to check with Direct TV to see if he could refer someone or some company to hang them, but Direct TV was against that.
Also, while he was working at Direct TV, Ferlando had a side business installing telephone wiring, cable jacks and internet jacks in order to bring in extra income. Direct TV found out about that and felt that it was a conflict of interest and suspended him. In the meantime, Ferlando successfully hung a flat screen TV in his own home and eventually he took on a client hanging their TV and that customer told somebody, and then they told somebody and so forth. He started getting more and more calls. Initially, he thought his phone was jumping off the hook with request for phone jack installs. As it turned out, they were calling to have their televisions hung on walls.
At the time, his company was named ExtraJacks.com. He was installing extra phone jacks and cable jacks, but request for TV installs were beginning to dominate, so he changed the name to ihangTVs.com. The original name that he came up with was wehangTVs, but someone already had that name. Before long, he had a logo, added the logo to his vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, which he still has, and he passed out a thousand business cards every month as a means of branding ihangTVs.com. I mention that back in 2008, branding was still a relatively new concept and even then he was on the cusp of cutting edge marketing.
That was in 2008 and for the first year he hung TVs primarily by himself. He didn’t have any employees, but on occasion he would hire a helper. In 2009, advertising reps began approaching him about advertising. He gave it a shot and one instance in particular did not pan out because of ill-placed ads. In addition, he had not yet identified his target customer. The one thing that Ferlando had going for him was that he had a sales background and he knew how to generate business regardless of whether the ads were working.
I asked him about the company called We Hang TVs and wanted to know if they were local competition and he confirmed that they were not. They were actually a company out of Texas. It was a guy just like Ferlando, who had ventured off into a business for which a need was not being met.
Ferlando said after four years in business, the company had a solid foothold in the market and has been going strong ever since. He is a prime example of an opportunist in action. He quickly identified a need in the market, developed the skill to meet the need and with nothing more than his tools, logo, business cards and sales know-how, ihangTVs.com was born and bred.
Business ideas do not always fall in the laps of entrepreneurs the way that it happened for ihangTVs.com. However, every entrepreneur has to be ready at any moment to recognize opportunity when it knocks at the door.
Now back to my original question: Just bought a flat screen television and don’t know how to hang it? Call ihangTVs.com at 205-326-2884. Be sure to “like” ihangTVs on Facebook.