Al Black trained as a sound engineer and has worked for over two decades producing audio-visual translation solutions for both business and entertainment projects.

Al Black – Voquent. During the interview he shared his journey at Voquent and also some advice for budding entrepreneurs.


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What Is One Of The Best Or Most Worthwhile Investments You’ve Ever Made?

I constantly invest my time in focussed learning. I digest books, blog posts, YouTube videos and courses daily but always with a practical application in mind.


What Advice Would You Give To A Smart, Driven College Student About To Enter The “Real World”? What Advice Should They Ignore?

Don’t fixate on ‘doing what you love’. My son is age 20, and I’ve always told him NOT to do what he loves as a job because he’ll stop loving it. Do something you can excel at and can potentially specialise in later.

Becoming a specialist is key because people will seek out and value your expertise higher.


How Has A Failure, Or Apparent Failure, Set You Up For Later Success?

My first solo business venture was started just after PayPal integrated with eBay. I was Drop shipping refurbished TVs to make some extra money to save for my first mortgage deposit. I was making a small margin (like £30-£40 per TV).

It went quite well for about 1 year but then the delivery company refused to deliver the top-selling 40″ Rear Projection LCD TVs because they weighed over 35kg (hey this was before plasma’s!).

This completely killed the business because I didn’t have enough margin to deliver each TV on an individual pallet and I couldn’t increase the price; so I quit. My mistakes here were aplenty, but not having a backup TV supplier, or delivery company was really dumb.


Tell Us About Your Business. What Does It Do And What Value Do You Add? is about accelerating audience engagement. Right now we’re focussed on delivering exceptional voice-over services, enabling brands to speak to a global audience in any language.

Voice-overs are ubiquitous. Every business needs voice-over for their promos, telephone messages or eLearning. We also offer accessibility services such as subtitling, audio description and sign language.


Where Do You See Your Industry In The Next 5 Years?

Exploding. There is huge growth in the use of digital media content, much of which uses voice-overs.


How Has Covid-19 Changed Your Industry?

In recent years, it has been increasingly important for voice actors to have a professional home recording studio, but now it’s vital. Before the pandemic, around 60% of voices on Voquent had home studios, not it’s closer to 90%.


How Has Covid-19 Changed Your Company?

We’ve blossomed and trebled in size. The remotely-produced online voice-over production services we offer are in higher demand than ever.


What Is A ‘Hack’ You Have For Success That Most People Don’t Know About?

Learn what needs to be done, then make a detailed SOP (standard operating procedure) for it and delegate it out.

Most small business owners think they have to do everything themselves. They think working 24/7 is something to be proud of. Wrong. Success is a grind. It’s all about choosing which tasks to do yourself and which to delegate. Delegate as many tasks as you can as early as you can.

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