BUSINESS AND MARKETING: Business and Marketing Forum Business and Marketing Articles

Recession and Video Production

COW Forums : Business & Marketing

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
joel jackson
Recession and Video Production
on Mar 6, 2009 at 7:43:55 pm

Today the news media has announced an 8%+ unemployment rate in the USA. This is the highest unemployment rate in 25 years.

After reading a few posts concerning the recession and video production, I'd love to hear some feedback on how all you freelancers and independents are fairing during the worst recession in 25 years. There is not a lot of research that I can find on the topic and I'm extremely interested.

To be fair I will give you insight on my current situation. I have a small company that specializes in turnkey video production for clients in both the corporate and broadcast worlds. I have 1 contract employee and I use a pool of freelancers around the world to do everything from pre to post. As of today business seems to be holding steady if not increasing a bit. I'm constantly marketing our skills and looking for new clients/jobs and we will work on anything that comes our way as long as there is a fair price that can be agreed upon between the client and myself. We may be doing high end HD GFX for television one day and a safety training video for drilling companies the next (usually both in the same day!)

I'd love to keep this thread open and would love any input my fellow professionals have to offer. Maybe the COW can put together some sort of survey and post the results? I don't know, just an idea.

Peace,
Joel Jackson


Joel Jackson
http://www.creativebloc.com/port.html


Return to posts index

Brendan Coots
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 6, 2009 at 9:35:20 pm

"we will work on anything that comes our way as long as there is a fair price"

We're actually heading the opposite direction, narrowing our focus much more in terms of specific industry and our services. But strategy totally depends on where you're located and a whole host of other factors. Locally, most of our competition is very scatter-shot and will "work on anything that comes their way" meaning they are all competing for the same jobs, and none of them offer any real expertise in a particular industry. For us, it makes sense to narrow in and specialize, for someone in a region with less local competition not so much.

In terms of the economy, I just posted a thread about the closing of a major player here in the Bay Area. Every "insider" I know reports major slowdown at both large agencies and smaller studios. In fact, a lot of people I've spoken with report having no work AT ALL since 2008. Many, many studios are NOT going to survive this, many more will limp out the other side barely alive, and some will thrive. If you look at the factors driving which category a particular studio will fall in, it comes down to the basics like overhead, profit margin, differentiation and sales/marketing strategy.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


Return to posts index

Mike Cohen
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 6, 2009 at 10:58:38 pm

It is certainly a buyer's market for services. My clients are shopping around, and I too am shopping around for my own vendors. For example, I have been getting bids on live webcasting. Rather than my customary 2 quotes, I got 5 and in fact the 5th one was the best deal.
So be prepared as a vendor to be subject to price comparisons. Call attention to your value added services, or what sets you apart from the competition.
Study search engine optimization to make sure your websites are easy to find.
In tough times it does not hurt to diversify also.
It could be a tough year for a lot of folks.

Mike


Return to posts index


Ron Lindeboom
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 12:14:05 am

[Mike Cohen] "It is certainly a buyer's market for services. My clients are shopping around, and I too am shopping around for my own vendors. For example, I have been getting bids on live webcasting. Rather than my customary 2 quotes, I got 5 and in fact the 5th one was the best deal. So be prepared as a vendor to be subject to price comparisons. Call attention to your value added services, or what sets you apart from the competition."

We just bumped into this today, Mike. One of the major camera manufacturers (that we haven't done business with in years) told us that they would buy an ad from us in the next issue of Creative COW Magazine, IF we sold it to them at $1,000 for the full page -- oh, and they wanted to be on the inside front cover.

True story.

They told us that "the other magazines are doing it" and that if we wanted their business, we'd do it too.

We told them, "Er, excuse me but aren't many of those other magazines going out of print? April will find the next one bowing out."

If we followed their example, we'd too be out of business soon. We don't plan to follow, as we plan to be around a long time, thank you.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.


Return to posts index

cow
joel jackson
Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 1:13:49 am

It's been a while since I've had time to be on the COW, BUT, I'll buy the inside cover for $1500.00. Seriously, today!

What I think we will find, and it may take some time, is that there is a reason our clients "stick" with us. They can shop out cheaper alternatives and may get good results once or twice, but do their new hires really understand their brand. Can they show up on a shoot and say, "wait, isn't that the old packaging" to the producer to save his butt on set. That is what a true client relationship is all about. Protecting and making our clients look good. We're in the business of making people, corporations, and broadcasters look good. And more importantly FEEL good. That may sound ridiculous but it's true. Yes, there are a million professionals out there that can shoot and cut a "blow your mind" video (and I hire these people) but without that deeper dedication to the production and brand the client will not return for future business.

Here I am in Paris shooting high fashion for L'Oreal by my own design, for my own company. These are the business principals I believe in and as always, I could be wrong.

But I stray, what economically based issue are you guys dealing with? I really want to know what our industry is facing and I can't find answers. Should I start a forum?

Best,
Joel



Joel Jackson
http://www.creativebloc.com/port.html


Return to posts index

Ron Lindeboom
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 2:25:14 am

[joel jackson] "...without that deeper dedication to the production and brand the client will not return for future business."

I know plenty of companies in this industry that are VERY dedicated and QUITE good and professional. They are hurting anyway and many are dropping like flies. Even companies like The Orphanage are closing -- and only someone with little knowledge would argue that The Orphanage were not dedicated to making whatever they touched look and feel good.

The issues are many and if there were an easy answer to what's happening, I'd fill an entire issue of Creative COW Magazine with it and print an extra 50,000 copies knowing that they'd all be grabbed in short order.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.


Return to posts index


Chris Blair
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 3:27:37 am

Ron Lindeboom :

I know plenty of companies in this industry that are VERY dedicated and QUITE good and professional. They are hurting anyway and many are dropping like flies. Even companies like The Orphanage are closing -- and only someone with little knowledge would argue that The Orphanage were not dedicated to making whatever they touched look and feel good.


I certainly don't know the folks that ran the Orphanage and don't doubt they are wonderful people who did incredible work.

But from a purely business point of view (and at the risk of angering people on here), when a company with their tremendous track record, sample reel and reputation suddenly and inexplicably closes, it's a good bet there were some problems with their business model. Either pricing was out of whack with salaries and expenses, or their debt load was too high, or revenue was too dependent on a couple of large clients....or even a combination of those and other red flag issues simply snowballed.

Just because a company and its people do great work doesn't magically make them good business people or guarantee financial success. They were probably GREAT people on many fronts, but most of us would like to think that a company with their reputation would have a HUGE advantage over us smaller fish in this economy. And in this case it didn't prove to be true.

I want to be clear that I'm not knocking these guys or anyone on here who knows them and might know more about the reasons behind their closing. It could happen to any of us...especially if, as mentioned above, you have 1 or 2 very large clients that drive your sales.

But I've got to think there is a bigger story behing their problems than just the economy. Anybody remember Pittard-Sullivan from the late 1990's? They were an internationally recognized branding giant with a client list that was dizzying. They suddenly closed shop in 2001 claiming they had too much work tied up in the dot-coms that went bust. But if you looked at their client roster you had to ask yourself, "how was that possible?" How could losing a few clients bankrupt the entire operation with a client roster that included what seemed like half of the Fortune 500?

They also did incredible work, so it seems there had to be more going on from the business side than just fallout from the dot-com collapse.

Anyway...Ron makes a great point that the issues affecting some companies are many and for some, they just won't be able to figure them out before it's too late.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


Return to posts index

Brendan Coots
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 3:47:58 am

While I can't speak to all of their business practices, I do know that they were extremely good at cost control and budgeting, they had a fairly stable list of top-notch clients and were tripling in size year over year. A few years ago Stu made it clear that Hollywood was killing its vendors through dramatic cost cutting and every-increasing expectations. We all experience that, but he laid out a pretty clear case that this was different, and bound to end in disaster. I would also guess that they tried to be too many things at once by developing out a commercials division and animation studio.

It goes without saying that when a business fails it is because of a failure in the business plan, but not many people successfully predicted that the economy would shed 50% of its value in less than one year. That's a little tough to plan for.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


Return to posts index

Chris Blair
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 2:44:57 am

We have clients whose business is actually up over last year, especially Health Care companies. We also handle 2 car dealer groups(11 separate dealers) and their business is steady. Now if GM doesn't survive, all bets are off, but at least at the local level, they are selling cars and are still able to secure credit for the majority of their customers.

Overall our sales are steady even though we lost our biggest client (a national company) last fall when they went belly up. We had to lay off one person but so far, that's it.

Some companies are benefiting from people's change in spending. Many fast food and casual dining company's sales are up and their stock is steady or up over a year ago.

McDonalds sales are up and their stock is equal to over a year ago http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/09/news/companies/mcdonalds_sales.reut/

BW3's stock is up nearly 50% over a year ago and sales are up something like 28% http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7014049641

Residential property companies are reporting record occupancy and revenues at their properties mainly due to people moving back into apartments who've lost or sold homes. My wife has worked in that industry for 18 years and has never seen it as busy or seen so many apartment communities at 100% capacity.

So in all the carnage, there ARE opportunities. But in the end, succeeding in OUR business I believe comes down to one simple principal: solving a client's communication problem.

A client calls and his boss wants a video to stream on their website. They're utterly confused by the jargon they read on the websites of streaming video services. They open a trial account and try to upload a video themselves. It doesn't work. They're frustrated and just want their damn video up on their website and they want it play when a visitor clicks on it. We take their video and have it up and working THAT DAY. In my opinion, that's an example of what clients want today. They don't want explanations, they want stuff done. I could give a dozen other examples like that.

Now how do you find the clients that need our services? Well...we've found that it takes time and persistence. Not a good answer in this economy...but there are no quick fixes here. Get your company's name and story in front of as many of your potential customers as often as possible. Make sure they hear from you in some way every single month.

Use every opportunity available to show how you can SOLVE problems and help companies tell their story more clearly and persuasively than their competitors. In my opinion, if you do that, you'll have a better shot at surviving all this.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


Return to posts index


Mick Haensler
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 11:28:16 am

As in many industries, how this economy is affecting things runs the gamut from those closing their doors to those actually increasing business. For me I guess it's somewhere in between. January was OK, February absolutely sucked with March picking up a bit. As of yesterday, it looks like April will pick up the slack for the whole quarter! I can't believe how many jobs I have on the books so far. I believe the increase is due in large part to a marketing push I did in February. Nothing huge, but it got me in the habit of promoting my business everywhere I went. Looks like it's paying off.

One thing I will say that has made this whole thing easier is low overhead, access to credit, and cash reserves. Without those things in place, I would have been stressed to the max which makes me worthless at just about anything. With those things in place, I was able to relax, take things in stride, do some extra marketing, learn some new revenue generating skills, do some pro bono work, and most of all keep a level head.



Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


Return to posts index

walter biscardi
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 11:32:48 am

[Mick Haensler] "One thing I will say that has made this whole thing easier is low overhead, access to credit, and cash reserves. "

All three of those things, with low overhead being the most important in my book, are the three keys to running a successful business no matter what the economic climate is like.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


Return to posts index

Nick Griffin
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 2:06:07 pm

[walter biscardi] "All three of those things, with low overhead being the most important in my book, are the three keys to running a successful business no matter what the economic climate is like."

That and working 18 hour days, 6 or 7 days a week. Remember Walter, I saw the industrial-strength coffeemaker just ten or so steps from your edit suite.

In all seriousness, I see this constantly in companies of all sizes, in good times and bad. The guy who comes in before 7 in the morning, eats lunch at his desk most days, and goes home after 6 at night gets one hell of a lot more done that someone who does 9 to 5, spends half the day on Facebook, only learns new tools when forced, and wonders why the other guy and not him is getting ahead.

As [Mick Haensler] said: "relax, take things in stride, do some extra marketing, learn some new revenue generating skills, do some pro bono work, and most of all keep a level head."

If you have extra time on your hands, put it to good use.

Back to the original intent of the thread. Our business has been slower than we would have liked, but by no means awful. I attribute this to a momentum built up over several years, specialization within a limited number of industries and the many great relationships we've built -- otherwise known as the basics.

I've written in earlier posts that, in many cases, we're seeing evidence of a "delay economy." Few projects get outright killed, just postponed. My irrational fear is that everything comes back to life at once along with the new stuff we've been pitching getting approved, giving us more than we can handle. I know it's an irrational fear because in 30+ years of ups and downs that's never happened.

Business will be back to normal levels soon enough for the healthy among us. The sun will come out tomorrow. Those heavily in debt, with crushing overheads and minimal work ethics, may not make it. But that's usually the way it works out anyway.


Return to posts index


walter biscardi
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 2:32:29 pm

[Nick Griffin] "That and working 18 hour days, 6 or 7 days a week. Remember Walter, I saw the industrial-strength coffeemaker just ten or so steps from your edit suite. "

Not to mention the espresso maker right next to it and of course the coffee grinder. What's the point of coffeemakers if you don't have fresh ground beans right?

Funny you should mention Facebook in your post. Recently we had a thread about Social websites and whether you could use them for marketing. The overwhelming consensus (including mine) was no, you're not going to get anything useful off of them.

Well recently I discovered a Facebook Group made up of alumni from a network I used to work for. Unlike most of the Groups on that site, this one is a closed one and you have to prove you worked there in order to join because it's supposed to allow us alumni to network with each other.

Not even two weeks after joining, I was contacted by a Producer I used to work with and we're working up a contract on a one year project. He had heard from someone else that I was doing "something with post production" in the Atlanta area, but didn't know what. After I joined the group, he went to the website and saw exactly what we have going on up here.

I've also been contacted by other alumni asking to visit the facility since HD Post houses are in demand these days and they're impressed we're set up so well at a very reasonable cost to the end user.

So as unorthodox as it sounds, I found another revenue generating opportunity in the most unlikely of places by just digging around to see what else was there besides reconnecting with my old friends from High School and College. (which has been absolutely wonderful too!)

It goes back to what you say Nick, good relationships. He already knew good things about me and the company through friends of friends and when my name popped up as a new member, it spurred action.


Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


Return to posts index

Steve Kownacki
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 5:10:01 pm

In my opinion, social marketing is a very real and increasingly vital part of an overall marketing plan. It does take an immense amount of time and diligence to keep up with it all. Overall it will add to your google rankings, and put your name in front of more potential customers. Even frequent posts on this site help that. When you are blogging and posting in social arenas, do what we (that's we, all of us here) instruct our clients to do - "make the ask". You have to tell people what they are to do next. Make it easy by having a purposeful signature on emails, a byline of services - "When you're ready to jump into using video on your website, call us first!" The job of the web, emails, mailers, etc. is simply to get the phone to ring. You have to make the sale.


Even when I'm selling on ebay I tell them to look at my other auctions - people just don't do that automatically. I even booked a job from an ebay sale because I made them aware we are a production company.

It's more profitable to provide services to an existing customer than to attract a new one. Do you know your cost to attract a new client? Keep in touch with them. Ask them for referrals too.




Steve



Jump to the FFP Website



View Steve Kownacki's profile on LinkedIn




Return to posts index

Chris Blair
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 7:07:49 pm

Walter Biscardi
Not even two weeks after joining [Facebook], I was contacted by a Producer I used to work with and we're working up a contract on a one year project. He had heard from someone else that I was doing "something with post production" in the Atlanta area, but didn't know what.

We struggle with this issue internally all the time. We have a couple of people on staff that think social networking sites are a waste of time. For that matter they even thick our website is a waste of time! A common refrain is: "Nobody is going to go to our website after an initial visit."

I couldn't disagree more with both opinions. While I dislike Facebook immensely on a personal level. From a pure marketing and communications standpoint, it has amazing potential. I'm sure Facebook purists hate it when people slant their profile towards their professional world, but nowadays you take any edge you can get. I have to admit I only joined about 2 weeks ago and haven't had any time to devote to it, but I've heard dozens of stories like Walter's in the last 6 months; people connecting with old friends and colleagues and business relationships blossoming from it.

The BEST thing about it? It's free...except for the time commitment of course. The same thing can be said of YouTube. Whether you hate it or love it...it's a great place to create a portal for people to view your work.


Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


Return to posts index


Nick Griffin
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 7, 2009 at 7:33:28 pm

Jeez, guys. Didn't mean to start a debate on the merits of Facebook. Just trying to make the point that whether employee or employer how you spend your day can have an obviously enormous influence on success versus failure. AT least when we're spending time on the COW we're learning something... usually.

Ultimately I think the more career-oriented sites like LinkedIn are of greater potential benefit and utility than Facebook, but these days most people are happy with business which comes from any direction.


Return to posts index

Chris Blair
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 12:58:47 am

Nick Griffin:

The guy who comes in before 7 in the morning, eats lunch at his desk most days, and goes home after 6 at night gets one hell of a lot more done that someone who does 9 to 5, spends half the day on Facebook, only learns new tools when forced, and wonders why the other guy and not him is getting ahead.

Nick...we weren't disagreeing with you! I've had employees who spend their "down-time" trolling the internet feeding their interests in hobbies, ordering personal products, reading up about the latest movie gossip, or listening to the latest cuts from P Diddy (or whatever his name is now).

It drives me crazy because they're the ones that wonder why they're not getting the "golden" projects, or getting big raises or getting opportunities to work with the best clients. When I've brought up their misuse of down-time in evaluations, to a man they act incredulous. It's just never occurred to them to use that time in a way that might inprove their knowledge or skills. After 25 years in this business, I've come to the conclusion you either have that desire to always improve...or you don't. Because I've yet to see one of those people ever change and start using their time wisely...even after repeated yearly evaluations that give them typed up suggestions and guides on how to better use their down-time to improve.

But your point, while seemingly a no-brainer, gets lost on many a starry-eyed employee...and probably a few employers as well. I'm sure that's NOT what happened at The Orphanage, but I imagine complacency has certainly sunk a good number of people in our business over the years, and will certainly sink a good number more in the near future.


Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


Return to posts index

joel jackson
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 1:22:40 am

Well, as I sit here after a 12 hour day of shooting and transferring my P2 footage to my hard drives at 2:03am Paris time with a 7am call, I have to agree with Nick and Chris. It basically comes down to whether or not you really want it. Do you have the passion for the craft or are you looking for a paycheck? I can't remember the last time I only worked an 8 hour day. Oh, except snowboarding 3 weeks ago for a few hours (I live in Denver). But something's gotta give. Plus, I took a client and a contractor with me. I must admit, however, that business was not really the subject of our ski lift conversations.

I was actually talking with my client here in Paris tonight over dinner and we discussed this very fact. It's across all industries. She is having the same problem with her employees. She is in a hiring freeze and is terrified of firing anyone yet she is constantly dealing with sub par work and taking more on herself to fill in the gaps. Maybe that's where this post is leading. If you have the passion and desire to work in your given industry and are willing to commit to it maybe it's possible to survive this economic climate. I say, "maybe" because I know there are a bunch of talented, committed (yet not quite institutionalized) people who are losing their jobs right now. But, I think those with drive and the power of innovation will survive.

I sure hope so, 'cause I'm banking on it (not with AIG though).

Best,
Joel

Joel Jackson
http://www.creativebloc.com/port.html


Return to posts index

Chris Blair
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 4:10:46 am

On the issue of "having a passion for the craft." That's the one issue we find most difficult to solve running a business from a city the size of Evansville, Indiana.

It's nearly impossible to find employees that "love" what they do and get excited about it. I don't expect people to work 60 hours a week and we almost never ask employees to work weekends or nights, long shifts or holidays. But in 13 years we've found exactly 1 employee who has the same "passion" as the owners do. Some employees spend more time on their fantasy football league picks or planning workouts during lunch than they do learning new skills or improving existing ones.

And don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with either of those endeavors, but if you're doing them at the expense of the quality of the work you're being paid to do, then it IS a problem.

Most of the people we've hired over the years are what I call "list-checkers." Their goal is to go down their "to do" list and check stuff off. The faster they do it, the better job they think they're doing. They approach editing and design and lighting and shooting as if it were making cole slaw. They want a recipe for what they do because they don't want to think...they just want to "do" and get paid for it. I want people that "think" and ask "why," or better yet, ask "why not?"

If we could find several employees that get stoked like that...we'd blow the competition out of the water. But they are very hard to find and lure to a sleepy midwestern town!

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


Return to posts index

Steve Kownacki
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 1:01:18 pm

Well, you nailed it Chris. Those people that have that much passion are the sole proprietors/owners not because we hate bosses, but we just know how it should be done. The income level is not the driving factor- which is good because if you don't find the "point of abandonment" on a project, you'll never get done. I've always preached 3 things in every meeting - passion, value... and motivated edits! (Don't make a cut just to make a cut, there should be a reason for every edit.)

Then you may consider joining forces with a 'competitor' ('cause they have the passion too) but, you'll most likely hate each other because your both technicians and not business owners and have delineated roles.

Steve



Jump to the FFP Website



View Steve Kownacki's profile on LinkedIn




Return to posts index

Mick Haensler
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 3:37:07 pm

[Chris Blair] "But in 13 years we've found exactly 1 employee who has the same "passion" as the owners do."

Please don't take this the wrong way Chris, but why in the world would ANYONE have the same passion for your business as you do. That's like a parent saying I can't find a nanny that loves my children the way I do. Now having a passion for the work, that's a different story. But there is a fine line between passion and obsession. My wife worked for hospice for many years and not once did someone who was dying declare that they wished they had worked harder and spent less time with family and friends.

This thread has officially been derailed


Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


Return to posts index

Rich Rubasch
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 4:23:06 pm

Not sure it has been derailed. Joel was asking about the recession and how we are coping and what we might be doing different. Employees is a biggie. I was going to say that in our industry a business plan looks a little different than a widget manufacturer. We strive to find talent, people with creative spark, people who do have passion. Not sure why the Orphanage closed doors. Maybe it was just a good time to wind it down. Maybe the end of the really big budgets did have an impact on highly paid talent. It's a real challenge.

We want to pay our top talent the most we can, but we have many numbers to juggle as well as predicting the future...what will changes in equipment and software mean to our business model? What is the competition up to? Are my employees satisfied with their work and environment?

I also live in a small midwestern town and so far so good. I don't think that discussing our employees passion for their work is going to derail this thread about working through a recession. I think we need our employees to have that passion through the tough times....once it's gone so are they.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media



Return to posts index

Mick Haensler
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 4:36:47 pm

Good point Rick. I guess I was being passive aggressive to Nick Griffins' response to my first reply which I thought was in keeping with "the original intent of the thread". Sorry Nick, I should have responded to you directly instead of getting silently indignant. Where are those smiley faced emoticons when you need them. I will now respond to Nick directly....




Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


Return to posts index

Brendan Coots
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 6:56:46 pm

Employees are definitely a worthwhile part of this discussion, many companies deal with recessions by laying people off. Sure, some do it to take advantage of the situation, others do it to preserve the CEO's million dollar bonuses, but many do it to get rid of those dispassionate employees who eat up more management time than the productivity they contribute is worth. In a recession, everyone is under evaluation.

I have this same "employee problem" discussion every week with my business partner. Our industry is attracting a LOT of new blood who think working in film/video would be "cool" but they are wholly unprepared to deal with the real-world expectations and responsibility that come with the territory. Expectations that include keeping up on the latest trends and tech, being passionate about your work etc.. This is NOT A JOE JOB, yet most people, especially this new generation, can't really think beyond the 9-5 punch-in punch-out mentality.

When it comes to how everyone is faring in this economy, employee discussions are not only relevant, they get right to the heart of the matter. When dollars are tight, those dollars will eventually start going exclusively to the people who are passionate and dedicated enough to earn them. Lazy, ineffective and dispassionate people will get cut - end of story. If you have more than 1-2 employees, you're probably looking at everything they do right now wondering if it's worth what you're paying, and wondering how long it will be until you have to start making cuts. Relevant to the current economic crisis? Definitely.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


Return to posts index

Chris Blair
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 5:34:38 pm

Mick Haensler
why in the world would ANYONE have the same passion for your business as you do


Mick,

I meant passion for the work...not the business. Believe me, none of the partners in our company are getting rich. So we don't do this for the "business" or financial aspect of it. We do it because it's fun, it's challenging, and it's gratifying to help companies tell their story in a clear, persuasive way, then see tangible results come from it (in the form of increased traffic, phone calls, media exposure etc.).

And I mentioned employees because I think the quality of a company's employees is going to make a big difference in determining who survives and who doesn't. If you have good people that take ownership of their work and are passionate about the quality of what they're doing, you have a much better chance of weathering bad economic times because you're bound to get more business than your competitors with those people on staff.

But I guess by my reasoning...considering my earlier post...we'll be out of business by next Tuesday! Yikes!

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


Return to posts index

joel jackson
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 8:34:56 pm

Kudos Mick. I agree. I need passionate employees that have a fuel for the industry. They are out there. But they are very hard to find.

I LOVE telling the story of when clients need their story told. It's a daily challenge and with the right peeps it can be a joy to do.

Back to my original thought, how is this really lame economy affecting our biz?

In some respects, I think it is making it better for the independent. When people don't have money to go to the theater, to the bars, to music concerts, out for dinner, and on vacation, what do they do? They watch TV, they go on the internet, they look fore "free" forms of entertainment. That's what we can provide, that's where we will be strong, and that's where our industry will progress. We are the messangers, and without us, the message is lost.

I think it's a good time for our biz, where we can really shine and make a name for ourselves. Who knows, I could be wrong.

Peace,
Joel

Joel Jackson
http://www.creativebloc.com/port.html


Return to posts index

Mick Haensler
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 8, 2009 at 4:46:42 pm

[Nick Griffin] "As [Mick Haensler] said: "relax, take things in stride, do some extra marketing, learn some new revenue generating skills, do some pro bono work, and most of all keep a level head."

If you have extra time on your hands, put it to good use.

Back to the original intent of the thread"


I thought this was in keeping with the original intent of the thread. Joel asked how we are faring and this is how I am faring. I preceded it with a detail of how much actual business I had and have coming up. This part of my response deals with how I am faring on other levels besides the financial aspects of my business. I take a holistic approach, just because my books might be healthy doesn't mean the rest is. No worries though, just caused me to think a bit about my initial response and was it in line with the intent of the thread. I think it is.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


Return to posts index

Patrick Ortman
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 9, 2009 at 7:21:41 pm

Wow guys, this has been an inspiring read for me today.

Our situation: we're on track to match 2008's revenues, but we've been squeezed a few times too, by potential clients who claim "everybody's dropping their pants to get work now, you need to as well!". As Ron said:

"If we followed their example, we'd too be out of business soon. We don't plan to follow, as we plan to be around a long time, thank you."'

And that's exactly our point of view. I mean, our prices are already extremely competitive.

Although I do admit we had one client who is on the edge of going out of business, and asked for a favor. As a friend, we gave them the favor. But to me, that's more about good karma and being a friend than anything else.

And Steve, you hit the nail on the head:

"In my opinion, social marketing is a very real and increasingly vital part of an overall marketing plan. It does take an immense amount of time and diligence to keep up with it all. Overall it will add to your google rankings, and put your name in front of more potential customers. Even frequent posts on this site help that. "

And then the ensuing debate about Facebook... wow.

I look at "social media" more like a way to gather around a virtual water cooler. None of us is an island, and just being part of the conversation increases your chances for success. I've seen the power of being part of the conversation- we got featured in USA Today thanks to LinkedIn, and I've gotten some new work from existing clients who happened to see our Facebook updates or our company Twitter feed. It's all about being available and being part of the scenery, so to speak.

Anyway, thanks guys- this has been a useful read for me today, and it's nice to feel more like part of a group.




---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


Return to posts index


Nick Griffin
Re: Recession and Video Production
on Mar 14, 2009 at 1:38:18 pm

[Patrick Ortman] "gather around a virtual water cooler"

And THAT is exactly what the COW (and its never to be named here predecessor) is all about. It gives most of us the peer to peer interactivity and conversation that, as smaller self-employed people, we otherwise would lack. The COW was social networking before social networking was cool -- or even named. Long live the COW!!


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]