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How Do I Take My Business Up a Notch?

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Brian MillsHow Do I Take My Business Up a Notch?
by on Sep 19, 2008 at 6:20:49 am

Hey Guys:

There are many respected individuals who moderate and peruse this forum who own successful video production businesses, so I throw it out to all you guys: how do I take my video business up a notch?

Right now I am a one-man operation. I shoot/edit on MiniDV/BetaSP (or could rent anything else) out of my house and I do okay by word of mouth and through the Nevada Film commission ads I have (along with A LOT of other dudes out there).

I am a LLC with a business license and I will have a great-looking website up next week (finally).

But I feel I have hit a plateau in growth and want to take THE NEXT STEP. But what is the next step?

How do I get more clients who come back more often? Almost all of the work I do is for clients I never see again, mostly because they come from out of town to shoot in Vegas and leave after their shoot is over.

So I ask:

Should I hire a sales guy to cold call local companies?
Do I join the Chamber of Commerce?
Do I invest in more/bigger gear?
Where do you find your advertising money best spent, the web? (I tried the Yellow Pages for a year and pretty much broke even)

I tried to get a mentor through SCORE (an offshoot of the SBA), but I feel I need mentoring from someone in my own industry: corporate video. So any help would be appreciated...

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Gary ChvatalRe: How Do I Take My Business Up a Notch?
by on Sep 19, 2008 at 11:42:39 am

I don't have an answer but I will offer a few comments.

I belong to the local doesn't help by itself...but it can help provide visibility and contacts...if you are active in the chamber. Not just membership but involvement...which means touching people and networking.

Buying equipment doesn't bring business...but it might help you complete the jobs if you get them.

You certainly can try SCORE...I did and didn't find people who understood what I was trying to accomplish...but its worth a try. If you work by yourself sometimes its good to have somebody else to listen to your plans and see if they make sense to an outsider.

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Mark SuszkoRe: How Do I Take My Business Up a Notch?
by on Sep 19, 2008 at 1:45:27 pm

I truly believe for the small operator, the key is to find and exploit a very tiny niche market no one else in the area serves, or serves well, one where new product would get snapped up by the people in the niche. Then produce your own product for that market. Typically one way to find such a niche is thru your favorite hobbies, where you already are very familiar with a field and the players in it and what's come before. But that's not the only path, just an obvious one.

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Bruce BennettRe: How Do I Take My Business Up a Notch?
by on Sep 19, 2008 at 5:26:06 pm

Hi Brian,

I’m not proclaiming that I do “top notch” production, but one thing that I try to do to make my end products better is hire people who are better than I am. For example, if the budget allows it, I may hire a better script writer versus writing the script myself. Or I may take on the role of Producer and hire a Director who has more experience working with different types of lenses, cranes, Stedicam, $200K projects, etc. I get paid to learn, absorb what I take away, and apply it all to my future projects. The end result is a better portfolio which has led to higher paying clients.

Good luck,

P.S. On another note… I see you’ve been a member of the COW since 2005. You may want to take some time and fill out your profile. You’ll get better, more accurate, feedback/advice when people respond to your posts.

Bruce Bennett
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC

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