Video Production Business Tips – Starting a Video Production Business

A good friend of mine called some time ago to pick my brain about starting a video production business. He and I graduated from the same college with the same degree but his life and career took him down a much different path than mine. He has done well for his wife and 3 kids but has always had the itch for getting back into video production.

During our phone conversation, I was reminded of how hard it is to start a new business, especially a new video production business when you have a family that depends on your income. The truth of the matter is that you have to be in a position to lose for a while before you will start to win. You have to spend money for a while before you will start to earn enough money to make a living.

Here’s the condensed version of the advice I gave my friend:

1. Research your market. Find the need. Fill the need.

What are the other video production companies in your area? What type of clients do they serve? If there are 10 wedding videographers and 0 corporate video production companies, then you should seriously consider being the first and only corporate production company in your area. If there are 10 corporate video companies and only a few wedding videographers, you should lean more towards wedding videography. If it’s about the same in both categories, consider serving both markets or simply choose the type of work you prefer to do.

I researched online while I was on the phone with my friend. After looking at the competitor’s website, I learned that this company wasn’t producing good work. The quality of their website was poor and their wedding demo was even worse.

With that in mind, I suggested to my friend that all he’d have to do to get out of the gate in a hurry is make sure his site looked better than theirs and that his wedding demo did the same. He is a talented shooter/editor so creating a better demo won’t be a problem.

The other side of the equation is that this competitor doesn’t do any corporate video work so my friend could be the one and only corporate video production company in his town. At this time, the corporate clients get all their production projects done out of a larger city about an hour from there.

2. Plan to Lose Money.

After the research proved that there is plenty of opportunity for another production company in his area, we discussed how he’d handle the cash needs for both his new business and personal obligations. The reality is that it could take as long as two years to generate a large enough client base to reach the salary he makes in his current line of work. Knowing this up front, he has to figure out how he’s going to pay all the business and personal bills until his company can support both.

He can work full-time or part-time for someone else in order to support his income and spend the remaining time to build his video production business. He can also loan from a bank or find an investor to finance his business.

3. Pull The Trigger!

Let’s face it. Starting a video business is probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Keeping your head above water is equally as challenging. However, you can’t be successful as a video business owner until you take the first step. If you have decided that this is something you definitely want to do, THEN DO IT!

Don’t waste any more time. Every day that passes is a day that you can either be working towards building your own asset (your business) or working to build someone else’s asset (someone else’s business). I’ll tell you from experience that you will make mistakes – a lot of mistakes. But the only way you can learn from those mistakes is to hurry up and make them.

The advice I gave above isn’t anywhere near the information you need to start and run a successful video production business but it should give you a few things to think about. Find the easiest entry point in your market (wedding, corporate, etc.), figure out how you are going to pay the bills while you are building the business in the first year (full-time job, part-time job, bank loans, investor) and finally, pull the trigger!