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COMMENT The dirty little secret to getting stuff done: Outsourcing For Maximum Efficiency by Den Lennie W e filmmakers are very adept at wearing many hats. Producer, director, editor, cameraman, sound... it’s the nature of boutique production. It can mean that you can make more money by doing more of the jobs yourself, but equally it can thin your resources out a little finely. There are certain jobs you will choose to do because you enjoy them, and that is perfectly fi ne. But I’m certain that you are still doing tasks that could easily be done by someone else if you paid them. This is all about focusing on your high value tasks. Do you do your own bookkeeping? Because you shouldn’t be. I pay my bookkeeper £15 per hour and it costs me between £200 to 300 per month. That’s 14 to 20 hrs per month that a full time trained bookkeeper takes to manage our monthly accounts, manage all of our VAT and keep a line by line track of every item of income and expenditure. This makes the end of year accounting much more effi cient, plus we can track our monthly profi t and loss and therefore estimate our tax liability as we go through the year, allowing us to factor in putting aside enough money for tax when it becomes liable. It really doesn’t make sense for you to do your own bookkeeping. It makes far more sense that you spend that time creating new marketing, communicating with existing customers, sending new prospects and existing customers any number of marketing messages to help remind them that you should be their number one trusted advisor and supplier of high quality video. Perhaps you are a skilled producer and shooter. Working in these roles is more lucrative than, say offl ine editing. If you fi nd a great editor you can spend more time producing and shooting and have someone else edit for you. The additional benefi t of working with other creatives is the added creativity that will fi nd its way into your work. Rodney Charters ASC said to me once: “Filmmaking is not a solo pursuit it’s about working with a team of talented individuals who collectively pool their knowledge, experience and resources to create something that is greater than the sum of all the parts.” I even outsource camerawork these days. I do what I love, which is to produce and to light. I still wear the DP hat because I still take responsibility for the overall look and the lighting decisions on set. But somebody else sets the lights and somebody else operates the camera. That way we become more effi cient. I am also comfortable enough with my own ability and experience to let others into the mix and to add their angle on things. It makes the work better. I don’t have to do everything myself. Delegation and outsourcing are key, if you want to grow. While we’re on outsourcing, you can also hire external companies to answer your phone, take messages and act as a receptionist or PA (or a full secretarial service depending on the size and scale of your operation). This just emphasises the fact that you do not need an actual offi ce and loads of staff to have all the benefi ts of a team. Don’t do it alone You don’t have to do all of this alone. The best and most effective way to succeed is to model yourself on 44 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 100 APRIL 2015 another successful person. That’s why athletes have coaches, they need someone looking from the outside in to spot where small adjustments need to be made in order to maximise results. Great singers still work with vocal coaches to maintain their voice and optimise their performance. Great actors work with acting coaches to refi ne their performance. Having a coach is not new and if you want to achieve results that exceed your own expectations, then you should work with a coach. Now whether that’s me or someone else - your choice - but it will become increasingly important as your business grows. I have been hiring coaches for the last three years. I invest in them because they don’t cost me a thing (any fees I’ve invested have come back to me multi times over in increased profi ts). See, if you take the advice of a coach and apply the advice and implement the suggestions they make, your business will grow faster and greater than it would do, on its own. If you liked this, then download a free chapter at www.businesforfi lmmakers.com