The Video Production Business – A Formula For Operational Success

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the responsibilities we have as video production business entrepreneurs. In order to have projects to work on, you have to spend time selling your services.

To have prospects to sell to, you have to spend time marketing your video business. To have the money to make sure you, your employees and all your business bills get paid, you have to spend time in collections making sure that your clients are paying on time.

To have profit to share with yourself and business partners, you have to make sure that everything above is working together in a harmonious fashion and if they aren’t, you must adjust accordingly.

Here’s my business list of priorities:

1. SALES – In order to keep the doors open, I must generate sales. This is why sales is the first part of the business that gets my attention in the morning and is the last thing I think about at the end of the day.

Without sales, we have no projects to work on, which mean we have no money. So, on the days or in the weeks where I have a lot of sales activity, nothing else gets a lot of attention. If I have a project that is due the same week as heavy sales activity, I know it’s going to be a week of extremely long days without a lot of sleep because I’ll have to handle project responsibilities after hours.

The down side is that I’m exhausted at the end of several weeks/months of pulling double shifts. The upside is that if I’m extremely busy in sales and equally busy in production, it means that my business is making a lot of money.

2. PRODUCTION – After the sales activities are taken care of, I focus 100% of my energy on the next priority – Production. My focus is only on clearing the shelf as fast as I can so that there’s room for the next round of sales activity. I have found that an empty shelf will replenish itself faster and with higher paying work than a shelf that is always half full.

Plus, a video production project that has had 100% of your attention for a week will ALWAYS be higher quality than a video project that you have given 25% of your attention for 4 weeks. (Better quality = Happier clients = More sales!)

3. MARKETING – If there aren’t any sales opportunities and zero projects to work on, it’s time to allocate time and energy to marketing. This is my least favorite activity because it usually means that business is slow and I have to spend time rubbing elbows with people I have nothing in common with at meetings I don’t want to attend.

Marketing is absolutely necessary to have a growing, successful video production business. The best marketing you can do is to give each client the best product and experience you can so put all your energy and effort into the production process and the client relationship when it’s “go” time.

Think of your sales as an ocean’s tide. It comes and it goes except that your business doesn’t have the universal forces of gravity and the moon to push and pull your tide (sales)

4. ACCOUNTING – This is the easiest category for me because I don’t do it. My wife Christy (who is also our CFO) handles all of this for us and does a fantastic job. My specialty is to make the money (sales, production, marketing). Her specialty is to keep the money (accounting, financial projections, cash flow management, etc.)

Christy provides me with accurate financial data for all areas of our business once per week and we discuss them over a glass of wine in our kitchen at home. By the time the wine bottle is put back in the fridge, this very important aspect of running our business is taken care of.

5. EVERYTHING ELSE – In my opinion, the “everything else” category gets smaller and smaller the longer you run a video production business. This is mainly because you eventually figure out the formula of success that works for your business and you stick to it.

This category includes taking time to think about expansion into new markets or researching the latest camera configuration for the hood of your car that you might use in a video production 2 years from now.

Simply put, the “everything else” category of tasks, for me, has turned into the “what I’m going to hire someone else to do” category. I’m happier because I eliminate time wasting tasks that don’t directly impact the revenue generating activities for the business and I get to spend more time with my wife and children.