Video Production Business Tips – Nickels and Dimes Add Up to Thousands of Dollars

I have to admit that I was extremely happy to achieve a point in my career as a video production business owner where I no longer had to chase low dollar jobs just to make ends meet. In fact, when you are able to spend all your time focusing on attracting and winning big-budget video projects, it is easy to make a lot more money which results in having a lot more fun running your business.

However, as the saying goes, “What goes up must come down.” I can tell you from experience that if you are making a ton of money today and have been doing so for a while, the downturn is coming and you must prepare for it. This article isn’t meant to be a buzz kill. It is just to serve as a reminder that every video production business will experience its ups and downs and to offer a few ideas on how to weather the storm until things get good again.

The way I’ve been able to get through the tough times is to remember that “nickels and dimes equal dollars.” What I mean by this is that a handful of jobs worth a few hundred dollars apiece can equal one larger job. Our goal as successful video production business owners should always be to search for and win more of the larger jobs but we are also forced to find ways to survive when the large jobs simply aren’t out there.

I have found that video production opportunities under $500 are the lowest hanging fruit. These are the easiest to propose, sell and finish in the shortest period of time.

Here are some ideas on how you can increase the nickel and dime projects when business is slow:

1. Call clients to ask if they need more copies of their video. Offer a discount if necessary to get them to act now.

2. Call clients to ask if they’d like you to convert their videos to a streaming video file that can go on their website. I provide this service for $150 per video clip and offer volume discounts for multiple files.

3. Call other video production companies in your area to ask if they have the need for a second or third camera operator, sound technician or production assistant. Tell them that you’d appreciate any opportunity to help them regardless of what they need you to do. These jobs will range from $150 per day to $500 per day depending on what you do and what their budget is.

4. Call AV rental companies in your area to ask if they ever have the need for camera operators, production assistants or general grunt work. It’s not always that glamorous but should result in $150 to $400 per day depending on what you do for them.

5. Call in-house production departments at the larger corporations in your area and offer to help any way you can. They’ll usually throw a boring, low-budget work at you. However, money is money when business is slow so don’t be picky.

6. Offer to shoot footage and to edit a short highlight video for local grand-openings, open houses, etc. for less than $500. When business is slow, it’s okay to offer discounted rates. When business is good again, all you’ll have to do is tell people that you can’t offer that price for the same service at this time.

The key is to remember that any money is better than no money when times are tight. Check your ego at the door and remember that the reason some artists are referred to as “starving artists” is because they often refuse to do work that people are willing to pay for.

Have an open mind for any potential revenue generating opportunity no matter how small the budgets are. You’ll find it much easier for your video production business to survive until the market swings back to your direction.