WICHITA — You might call Brock Jabara the leader of a band, but it’s not one you’ll hear around Wichita.
Jabara, who has been in the audio and music industry for three decades, has a new company called House Band.
“It’s a large endeavor,” he says.
And an involved one.
Jabara manufactures musical equipment and will sell it through www.housebandgear.com.
“It’s still clunky,” he says of the site, which is still in the works.
Customers can order equipment directly from the site, but ideally Jabara wants them to use it to connect with dealers in their areas.
He’s hiring independent representatives nationally to add new territories and dealers on the site.
For instance, in Wichita, Jabara has a deal with Phil Uhlik Music. A Web site customer from this area can enter his zip code, see that Uhlik sells House Band’s products and order through the store.
“I would prefer to sell through the local dealer rather than the Web site because (the customer is) going to get much better service,” Jabara says.
He wants them to be able to see, touch and even use products before buying them and be able to have service later.
“A lot of younger people prefer to buy online, which is beyond me,” Jabara says.
The dealers, which his sales people are getting ready to contact nationally, will receive commission on every sale.
“We are basically in concert with them,” Jabara says.
The industry has changed for dealers, he says. A lot of large suppliers strike deals with large retailers that hurt smaller ones.
“The small dealer has lost his . . . tie in with a lot of suppliers,” Jabara says. “They’re going out of business left and right, and yet they have a service to provide.”
Jabara says his son, Yule, had the idea for the site.
“Even the bank bought it,” Jabara says. “In a time when people are not borrowing money, we’ve been funded on it.”
Even though establishing the site and starting the search for sales representatives and dealers has been a “real chore,” Jabara says there’s an indication it will be successful.
“It’s ramping up quite fast,” he says.
“That’s one of my biggest scares. I’ve got to have the inventory to supply to these guys.”