Running a production company can be a good way to earn a living in the film industry, but it’s not always easy to get things up and running. Great filmmaking skills aren’t all you need. To help you run a profitable business, we take a look at the five things you need to get right. Lights, camera, action!
A solid business plan
One of the most important parts of making any business successful is planning, and a production company is no different. You need to have a well researched and thought out business plan that outlines your goals and strategies. It will provide a roadmap for setting up and growing a profitable business, help you to stay focused on working towards your goals and provide you with targets to measure your progress against.
You need to work out your initial costs such as equipment, a space to work in, any employees or freelancers you might need to hire, setting up a website and marketing, and insurance. And then your ongoing expenses as your business grows you might need a bigger space and a bigger team, and you’ll need to budget for the latest equipment.
With these details, you can figure out how you’re going to finance your business, whether you need to secure funding, and it’ll help you work out how much you need to charge clients so that you make a reasonable profit.
A network of clients
To run a successful production business you need to build up a good network or contacts and clients and maintain that network. You should be attending events, making a name for yourself, and proactively reaching out to people that you want to work with.
Once you’ve got a client, then work on building a good relationship with them. Don’t treat each new project as a one-off. If you do a great job then there’s no reason they won’t come to you with all their future video production ideas. Attracting new clients and winning pitches takes a lot more time and money than working with those you already know — plus you’ll already be familiar with their business and requirements.
Focus on building a loyal network of clients that you keep in touch with on a regular basis so that you always have work lined up and you can maximize your profits.
Accurate finance records
When you’re setting up and running a business it’s easy to let the admin side of things slide. But keeping on top of your finances and ensuring your accounts are kept up to date is essential for running a profitable business. You need to keep a close eye on your outgoings and expenses, ensure that you’re invoicing clients the right amount and that they’re paying you in good time. Profits are important but you also need to make sure your cash flow is in hand so that you can keep things running.
Use accounting software like Xero to manage your finances, payroll, and send out automated invoices to your clients. It will also help you to keep accurate records and streamline the tax return process. And as your business grows, consider working with a professional accountant to ensure everything is in order and you’re not losing money.
Effective business processes
There are lots of tasks and activities that are essential to running a business but don’t provide that much value. To maximize your profits it’s important to find ways to streamline business processive and automate repetitive tasks. Things like project management and marketing are key parts of keeping your business up and running, but they’re often time-consuming and complicated.
Set yourself up with software and tools that automate these activities so that you can focus on doing the work that adds real value to the business, especially if you’re a small team.
Start using task management software like GetBusy to stay on top of your workload, juggle multiple projects at the same time, and ensure you never miss deadlines. You’ll be able to break down each production project into smaller goals and outline all the tasks that need to be completed. You can assign tasks out to your team with deadlines and automated reminders so you don’t have to waste time managing and prioritizing to-do lists.
To build up your brand and stay in touch with your clients, consider setting up an email newsletter that goes out weekly or monthly. You can use an email marketing tool like Mailchimp to create a template and simplify the process of sending out emails to your mailing list.
Running a profitable business requires you to work efficiently. You need to make sure all the essential tasks are taken care of but don’t take up your whole day.
Accurate time tracking
Tracking exactly how you spend your hours is a good way to find out what takes up the most time and how you can work more efficiently. But most importantly, it ensures you’re able to charge clients accurately for each project. Even if you don’t work for an hourly rate, it’s still important to understand how long a project takes so that you don’t undersell your production services.
You can use time tracking software like DeskTime to monitor how long each part of the production process takes, and how long you’re spending on admin and other tasks related to running your business.
It takes time to build up a successful business, but it’s important to focus on maximizing your profits from the very beginning. Set yourself up with a clear business plan, the right tools, and focus on building lasting relationships with your clients and you’ll have everything you need to run a profitable production business.
GetBusy is a new task management software that integrates with multiple project management tools to ensure its users get their tasks done without having the need to follow up manually, allowing you to organise your team with unmissable tasks.