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Key Idea: Go Outside For Insight

Host Hattie Bryant tells us that a turning point for David Milly came  when he invited a consultant to study the company and offer suggestions for improvement.

Key Question:

A: 

Get the opinion of an expert.

David felt the company had hit a wall and so he hired a consultant who spent about three weeks at Theatrical Lighting. That person looked at processes and people and discovered that too many people were reporting directly to David. With some simple changes, the processes were smoothed and the company was positioned to handle more growth. The experience was also empowering for employees as the consultant interviewed them and made changes that gave them more authority.

Think about it

Who could give you excellent insight? Your banker, CPA, attorney, a group of peers? 

Clip from: Theatrical Lighting

Huntsville, Alabama: Meet David Milly.  When he was a student at University of Alabama at Huntsville, he earned money booking entertainment and dances for his school. From his first booking, Earl Scruggs Review, a country-bluegrass band (of Deliverance fame), he knew this was what he wanted to do.

To book the lighting package for the show, he engaged Luna Tech, a sole proprietor, and they struck up a friendship. By the time he graduated in 1975 they had a partnership and then they formed a corporation to protect themselves from the liability involved with manufacturing and creating pyrotechnic special effects. David was initially a 25% stockholder in the business, yet by 1981 he negotiated a buyout of just the lighting division to be on his own.  That's a story, but this one just gets better.

At that time there was no trade association for the lighting industry. In 1987 a few of the fellows started one, Theatrical Dealers Association, and David was quick to join and serve on the board. He initiated a Small Business Development Committee. Today this national association is known as ESTA or the Entertainment Services and Technology Association. 

David has also been an active member of the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau for three decades. In this episode of the show you will meet all kinds of people who love Huntsville, who love Janet and David Milly, and love the stuff of making their community a great place to live.

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Theatrical Lighting Systems

David Milly, CEP / founder

1221 Jordon Lane
P.O. Box 2646
Huntsville, AL 35804
256-533-7025

Visit our web site: http://www.tlsinc.com

Office: 256-533-7025

Business Classification:
Lighting Supplies

Year Founded: 1981

Go Outside For Insight

HATTIE: Sometimes a person from the outside can offer insight. David has never isolated himself because, through the years, he's been active in his trade association and in local business organizations. However, when it comes to the day-to-day operations of Theatrical Lighting, he has always made most of the decisions alone. Feeling frustrated with growth, he hired a consultant to analyze the business practices that had evolved without much critical thinking. The consultant found some inefficiencies, like too many people reporting to David, and made a number of restructuring suggestions. Luckily, for everyone at Theatrical Lighting, David listened and implemented the ideas. And now the company is growing steadily, free from cumbersome processes. If you're stuck or feel frustrated with growth, perhaps it's time to call in someone from the outside to offer some insight.

(Voiceover) You can learn more at SmallBusinessSchool.org. There's streaming video, transcripts and interactive study guides.

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