Get The Pulse Racing – Q&A with Mike Beatty

Mike is Owner and Director of Pulse Cinemas, one of the UK’s most established audio-visual distributors and designers of high-end home cinema systems. He has been working in the AV industry for nearly 30 years. His main roles now are business development and mentoring his team to perform at their very best.

“My vision was always to create a business that was built on the foundations of luxury and quality; both with the product offering, the showrooms in which we support our customers and, of course, the service we offer them.”

Mike enjoys family life with his wife Lou, their 5 kids and little dogs, Minnie and Cooper.

You’ve had a varied background before AV sales. Please share some of your most memorable experiences and what led you to the AV industry?

I started my career in the AV industry almost 30 years ago, where I joined a high-end retailer in Bishops Stortford. After 4 years at Audiofile, I then joined KEF as their area sales manager and from there onto Gecko, where I gave much time and effort to growing the M&K brand from a standing start. I travelled throughout the UK demonstrating sub-satellite systems; a concept unheard of before my travels began. My time at KEF and Gecko were important to me and those experiences, even though challenging at times, shaped my future and encouraged me to make the decisions I did whilst growing my own business.

How did you start Pulse Cinemas in 2002? What were the main challenges?

I decided that I wanted to give myself more certainty by running my own company. I’d spent long enough questioning decisions made by previous employers and bosses. I had worked with many great managers and directors, but had always had my own ideas on how to run a business. I carefully mapped out what it would look like once completed. I’d learnt a technique called RPM. What was the precise result I wanted, the purpose of what I was doing… And then how I’d go about building the world’s finest cinema distribution company.

Having a strong purpose drives us forward and mine was relatively simple. I imagined a team of people, all looked after like family, looking after our customers in a way I’d not seen in the industry up until this point.

The main challenge was continuing to believe in myself and in the detailed RPM; as at first it involved constantly supporting dealers before seeing orders.

How has the business grown since starting? Can you share any key messages for other business owners in this field?

The business has gone through slow organic growth over the past 20 years, whilst we’ve needed to overcome a few challenging hurdles. Kapes and I have been incredibly frugal and reinvested in the business, in people and on our facilities, at every opportunity. I love speaking to folk setting out in business. Generally, they want to know the ‘advice I’d give to any business’ – the answer is to surround yourself with great people. Treat your people well and they will treat your customers well. Keep money in the business; you’ll need it to grow and prosper. Do the right thing – always; even if it costs you money.

Pulse Cinemas has established itself in high-end home cinema design. How was this established and can you tell us more about your strategic partnerships?

I’ve been in the home cinema industry since the inception of Dolby amps almost 30 years ago. I saw a gap in the market and one that needed a distributor to offer dealer/installers the support and care they needed to offer their own clients. We had to be a massive support, not only in selling brands, but when an issue showed itself. We would support our dealer / installers at every step. From demonstrating the potential of cinema to supporting to ensure an effortless installation and of course recently; starting a creative marketing company that would offer our brands and companies selling what we offer, the opportunity to produce broadcast quality content.

How has the pandemic affected business and how have you dealt with it as a team?

We’ve been incredibly fortunate as an industry during this past year or so. Covid has caused issues that exceed the thousands of deaths recorded. It has seen businesses around the world struggling and closing in their thousands, individuals losing jobs, increased mental illness, undiagnosed health issues being recorded on an unprecedented level.

Our team at Pulse Cinemas used the opportunity to streamline our services. We added a brand-new barcoding system, CRM and whilst the showroom was closed, we focused our energy on ensuring a much better overall experience for our dealers when purchasing from our company.

We’ve invested almost £200,000 on updates to the showroom in Stansted and also built a media room at Minotti, one of the most beautiful central London furniture showrooms on Margaret Street, just off Oxford Street. We are really excited to invite you all back in to these spaces; to show off what we believe will be the best cinema demonstration spaces in Europe. 


Can you share any new developments and product launches we can look forward to this year? 

We have so many new developments, some still under wraps, some are ready to speak about. Can I answer by encouraging you to make an appointment to visit and learn more about what we’ve been up to? I promise it’ll be worth the trip!

We’d like to know more about your involvement in charity work and also your proactivity for promoting mental well-being. Can you share gems of wisdom for us?

Mental health is absolutely a passion of mine. I take the subject very seriously, as I’ve witnessed the difference it can make to so many. Like many others, I’ve certainly had my own mental challenges over the years. I made it my mission to research this complex arena and understand now how I can best help myself and others.

I’ve set up a Facebook group that focuses on the subject and would encourage anyone suffering, or helping someone who is, to join. Belonging to a group that focuses on the numerous and healthier options to build mental well-being has got to be a good start. 

I’m always up for a charitable challenge for a worthy cause. I’ve been blessed to be able to, with the help of many industry friends, run a marathon, climb mountains, walk for 100km without a break, all for some incredible charities such as MND, Anti-Slavery and many children’s charities.

You also love art and music – would you share some of your favourite pieces and what these mean to you?

I do love music, especially attending live events or listening to recordings through my Paradigm speakers. It may surprise some to know I love music from the 70’s, reggae, and many other genres depending on my mood. I collect artwork, music and movie memorabilia and regularly invest in new pieces for the showroom. 

Finally, could you share your favourite music, TV and film titles?

As a proud owner of a Kaleidescape system, I’m a huge fan of watching a movie how the director intended. You’ll almost never see me watching a film on an iPad or system that doesn’t allow me to enjoy the entire story; that includes awesome sound and a crystal-clear image. I have a wonderful system at home, but for a major blockbuster or big sporting event, I’ll regularly take the 15-minute drive to Pulse HQ and select a room to deliver me and the family the experience in its full glory. In my rare moments of downtime, I have been enjoying some NETFLIX… I’m almost through Breaking Bad. I know what you’re thinking, but better late than never!

Get in touch with us today and speak with us on how we can take your immersive audio experience to the next level.

We would love for you to visit! Contact us to book your private demonstration or for any further questions.

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We would love for you to visit! Contact us to book your private demonstration or for any further questions.