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This week’s Work-At-Home Success story comes from Walker Peek of Residential Acoustics. He works in a number of different departments for an agile and growing engineering firm. His primary roles include Quality Engineering, Financial/Business Analyst, and Business Development. He led their Quality Team in compliance efforts, while also overseeing the financial projections and variances on two dozen contracts valued at over $20 million per year. With their executive team, He travels to various conferences throughout the year to help their young company in its continued growth.
This wide variety of experience has allowed him to enjoy seeing how all of the different pieces of the machine fit together, from design to manufacturing, and customer management to financial processes. He continue to learn each day, and wants to apply his financial and engineering skills in the technology sector.
1) How did you get started working from home?
Working from home was a gradual process which began when I had the need for a soundproofing curtain for my home. I couldn’t find one in the marketplace, and decided to prototype my own design. After my ‘proof of concept’ soundproof curtain took off, I received reviews from my customers and used the recommendations to make changes to the overall product design and website. I spent the next year working my regular 9 – 5 job and building this business on the side until I decided to take the leap to entrepreneurship full-time.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I created the role for myself by filling a specific niche in the marketplace and developing a product, patenting it and starting a US manufacturing facility slowly, over time. This allowed me the freedom to make my own schedule and work constantly on projects and tasks directly related to my company.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
Starting to work from home, I still ‘clocked in’ at a specific time everyday and worked as if I was at a traditional office. Removing the commuting travel time from my day greatly freed me up and gave me 2+ hours more to accomplish tasks.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
After we created the first sound blocking AcousticCurtain™, it sold online in a matter of days. I credit the first sale to the amount of research and development that went into the product which allowed it to be effective; blocking up to 90% of noise, 100% of light and being thermal insulating. Also, our SEO, my personal blogs on the website and willingness to reach out to individuals who may be searching for a noise solution for their home added to our initial sales.
5) How do you market your business?
Today, my team and I are still laser-focused on continuous education and innovation. We study the acoustical phenomena, the soundproofing products available to our customers and how to assist them with all areas of noise reduction. We use our website as an outlet for helpful tools and tips, and by focusing on outreach, social media engagement and customer relationships we position ourselves as the market leader.
6) What does your usual day look like?
I outline my activities and goals weekly which is a huge help to my personal production. By understanding what the general job description is of every member of my team, including myself, I am able to structure the immediate and future tasks which I need to accomplish. Every task gets a date for completion and I regularly hold brainstorming meetings with my team to discuss unique ways we can make progress.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
No matter how small, every step you accomplish takes a vast amount of research and planning to execute.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Hold yourself accountable from the very beginning and create an outline for yourself of what you need to get done either daily, weekly or bi-weekly. Use free online tools like CRM software or social media management tools to simplify your processes so that you can spend time on the things that move the business forward.
Website URL: Residential Acoustics
Twitter Handle: @ResAcoustics
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/residentialacoustics