By Tiffany Rider - Assistant Editor
August 13, 2013 - When Rusty Deeble first started in the custom audio and visual installations business, there were few other companies venturing into the market. “Home theatre wasn’t that big yet,” he said. “Satellite was rare.”
Starting his own business as a recent college grad in 2001, Deeble has built Digital Installers into a successful Long Beach-based company with a variety of clients.
“Experience and job quality has gotten better and better,” Deeble said. “I’ve been able to keep almost all of my employees. We’ve grown our product knowledge and learned so much that we are able to handle bigger and more elaborate jobs.”
With prices for new television sets on the decline, Digital Installers has been able to grow its partnerships with local and small businesses – including Pacific Sales and Howard’s TV – to offer their customers exclusive installations. One of the company’s notable clients is Legend’s on 2nd Street, which worked with Digital Installers before and after the fire destroyed the restaurant several years ago, Deeble said.
Growing his business wasn’t without struggle. Digital Installers survived the tough years of the economic downturn by keeping overhead at a minimum and eliminating all debt. “We didn’t overindulge in buying certain things,” Deeble said. “We were able to be in a really good position to hang tight. I was able to keep my boys. I would do any size job, small or big. I was able to keep my guys busy and cash flow positive.”
When the time was right, Deeble said he was able to get a Small Business Administration loan to purchase a foreclosed building at 1530 E. Wardlow Rd. in September 2012. The building, Deeble said, is not a store showroom; rather, it is a business and entertainment venue.
“We designed it so people can have an experience with all of our products,” he said. “You can rent it for business meetings, catered events, birthday parties, seminars, karaoke night or to just watch movies. You don’t have to pay for TV or display rentals.” The venue is called DI Studios and boasts the latest technologies that Digital Installers works with.
Today, Digital Installers has 10 employees and seven work vehicles. “I’ve grown the company larger than what I even expected,” Deeble said. “A lot of people won’t do little jobs or service calls. We do anything. The little jobs can turn into really big jobs, where I’ve had a customer for 10 years and they eventually do something really big.”