A friend called me a while back to ask about my thoughts on starting a video production company. Although we both graduated from the same college, his career and life took him on a different paths. Although he has been a good father to his three children and wife, he has always wanted to get back into video production.
Having a family dependent on your income was a reminder of how difficult it can be to start a business. The truth is, you must be in a position where you can lose before you can win. Before you can start to make enough money to live, you must first spend money.
Here’s the condensed version I gave to my friend:
1. Do your research. Find the need. Find the need.
Which other video production companies are there in your region? Which clients are they serving? You should seriously consider becoming the first and only local corporate production company if there are ten wedding videographers. You should be more inclined to wedding videography if there are only ten corporate videographers and 0 corporate video production companies. If the ratio is the same for both, you can choose to serve both or just pick the work that interests you.
While I was talking on the phone with my friend, I did some research online. I was shocked to see the website of a competitor. Their website quality was poor, and their demo for weddings was even worse.
With this in mind, I suggested that my friend make sure that his website looked better than the others and that the demo for his wedding was the same. His editing skills are impressive, so creating a better demo will not be a problem.
Another side of the equation is the fact that my friend doesn’t do corporate video work, so my friend could be his only corporate video production company. The corporate clients are able to have all their production work done in a bigger city, about an hour away.
2. You can lose money.
After confirming that there was plenty of opportunity in his local area for another production company, we talked about how he would handle his cash needs to support his new business as well as his personal obligations. It could take up to two years to build a client base large enough to pay him the same salary as he earns in his current job. He must know this upfront and figure out how he will pay his business and personal bills until he can support both.
To supplement his income, he can work part-time or full-time for another person. He then uses the rest of his time to grow his video production company. He can borrow money from a bank or seek out an investor to help finance his business.
3. Grab the Trigger!
Let’s face facts. It’s probably the most difficult thing you will ever do. It’s equally difficult to keep your head above the water. You can’t succeed as a video-business owner unless you take the first step. If you’re certain that you want to do this, then DO IT!
Don’t waste more time. Every day passes, and you have the option to either work towards your own business (or someone else’s) asset (or both). From personal experience, I can tell you that mistakes will be made. You can only learn from these mistakes if you hurry up and fix them.
Although the advice I provided above doesn’t contain all of the information necessary to launch and maintain a successful video production company, it will give you some ideas. The easiest entry point to your market (weddings, corporates, etc.) Figure out how you will pay the bills while building your business (full-time, part-time, or bank loan) and then finally pull the trigger.