What does your perfect business look like?


Den Lennie TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Den Lennie
Issue 96 - December 2014

It's always a good idea to try and visualise what your ideal business looks like. Given you are about to (or are already) be spending a large proportion of your waking hours for the next 5-10 years working on or thinking about your business then you may as well make sure you know where you are going with it.

Now everyone is different but I find that writing down goals and aspirations helps me to rmaintain focus on the final destination.


Step 1- Pick a niche

One of the most common mistakes I see filmmakers make is they try too hard to be a 'jack of all trades' they'll advertise themselves as corporate video production, event filmmakers, PR films, commercials, weddings in some cases and a whole host of other services. (web design, video duplication and so on).

Stop!

Generalisation is a big mistake, actually, make that a huge mistake.

When you dilute your product or service offering, you commoditise yourself and are opening yourself up to price based buyers. (more on pricing in a later chapter) You do not want to compete on price. (it's a dirty race to the bottom)

It's far better to specialise and become the number one choice for your customers in that field. This can be very counterintuitive and will feel uncomfortable for some of you. But remember if this was easy, then everyone would be doing it.

You want to be working towards becoming a specialist. When you are a specialist and more importantly the very best in your field, pricing becomes elastic. If you had a busted leg, you'd want a specialist orthopaedic surgeon working on you right? not a GP. Think about that for a moment.

Now I'm not saying you need to be the very best in your country, just perceived as the best to your chosen customer niche or in your local area or say within a 100 mile radius of where you live and work.

When clients are looking for a video production company, its highly likely that they are not looking for anything other than someone to come and deliver a result. They certainly don't care what camera you are using and most likely haven't got a clue about sliders, colour grading or any of the other paraphernalia that surrounds video technology. It's all about them feeling comfortable that you are going to be trustworthy enough and skilled enough to deliver the result they want. They are not looking for you to win your next award off the back of their video production.

For the most part the majority of corporate clients are conservative and want a safe good looking video that looks as if it could be shown on TV and no one would know the difference.

Step 2 - How to choose your niche

Start by thinking about what you love to shoot, what are your favourite types of client projects? What is it you would do every day if you could? Once you have figured that out you need to ignore everything else and just focus on building a business around that specialism.

In my corporate production work I specialise in making launch films for the film and TV manufacturing industry. I love making them, we are very very good at it, nobody can make them as fast as we can and as a result of having no competition we can charge a premium rate for the work. We make good margin on every project which means we don't have to take very many. That in turn means my clients get very personal attention from us and they keep coming back for more. It's a win-win situation. They are happy to pay our prices because we over deliver and they get the results they desire and much more. The bottom line, is they get a great deal of value from what we offer to them.

My motto in our production business is 'Telling stories That Sell'.

We give our clients so much more than a video, they get a consultative relationship that extends way beyond just delivering a film.

We make ourselves invaluable to our clients and we make their life easier and so they keep coming back, because it's easy.

By the end of this book, you will have a deep understanding of how attract clients that come back again and again because you make it easy for them to do business with you.
So think about what your ideal business looks like.

Once you identify that you can begin working on the mechanics that surround it.


Tags: iss096 | den lennie | business | filmmakers | advice | Den Lennie
Contributing Author Den Lennie

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Den Lennie considers what kit and cameras to buy for 2015

    Den Lennie considers what kit and cameras to buy for 2015

  • Pilat Media on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pilat Media on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Movidiam at BVE 2015

    Movidiam at BVE 2015


Related Shows
  • Larry Jordan and Den Lennie talk editing at BVE

    Larry Jordan and Den Lennie talk editing at BVE


Articles
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
The brave new world of software based production
Boromy Ung In today’s rapidly evolving broadcast industry, the only constant media organizations can truly count on is change — and the need to adapt as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible. One of the biggest agents of change is the IP revolution, driving broadcasters to migrate their operations to all-software solutions running on commodity, IT-based technologies.
Tags: iss134 | chyronhego | graphics | sports | ott | Boromy Ung
Contributing Author Boromy Ung Click to read or download PDF
Sony HDC-4800 Review
Andy McKenzie First announced at NAB 2016, the Sony HDC-4800 is a studio camera system capable of shooting 4K/UHD at up to 8x or full HD at up to 16x. With a price point upwards of £250,000 it is a very high-end product with a wide feature set. In Sony's own words, "This is the future of live production, designed to satisfy the storytelling aspect of modern sports production.” Deliveries began in mid 2017 and, after careful preliminary evaluation, we invested in several systems for our hire fleet ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Tags: iss134 | review | hdc-4800 | sony | finepoint | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF