Video Production and the Economy

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    • #43306

      Hello my fellow video business brothers and sisters. Hope all is well with all of your video endeavors. I wanted to post this just to get feedback from some of you.

      Video Production has been a joy to learn and I have enjoyed every bit of the journey. I wanted to get some input from you guys regarding how things are going with your business in this current economy? I think there is always money to be made in just about every video market (weddings, corporate, outdoor, etc). The Web is allowing us to get even more creative! However this economy has been tough and I’m sure it has affected us all. In the past I have done slideshows, weddings, sports highlight videos etc. In the near future I’m planning on diving in a totally different market for businesses.

      Here is my question to you guys: Have you been affected by this current economy? To dive a little deeper into this question have you noticed you are getting less calls, have you had to scale back, cut expenses or even restructure your business? Or has your business thrived in this current economy? You don’t have to give full details but you can just state how the economy has affected you.

      Also Please See: Please see the poll above this postand feel free to select “yes” for you have been affected or “no” for you have not.

      Thanks guys I would love to hear some of your feedback!

    • #181622

      weddings are down, magazine and corporate gigs are up.

      Individuals are spending less, and companies are spending, but are looking for less expensive advertising options and are spending more on web ads.

    • #181623

      The state of the economy ALWAYS affects ANYBODY doing business – to a greater or lesser degree with products over service, independent businesspeople VS corporate level and any of the variables between.

      That being said, IMHO business for the Independent Professional Video Services Provider who focuses exclusively on one product (wedding video production, for example) and said chosen service focus being heavily saturated (primarily the wedding video production market, with a few close runners up) is facing more overall difficulty in balancing income levels with the current state of the economy. More so than with independents and even small INC or LLC operations with additional overhead and employees to support who offer a diversity of services and product.

      For the longer-established video business people who have had sufficient time to develop a larger client base and experience great return business, renewable business and customer loyalty due to quality services and products, the need for review of their current business plans and operations may not be as strong. But all of us in business, especially in a weaker economy, depending on our field of operations, face the need for flexibility, establishing higher marketing and advertising budgets (when we have the least funds for doing so) and finding ways to not only reduce our costs of doing business, cutting corners where we can, with the exception of quality of services and products, reducing staff, even (gasp) letting go of that business office or storefront lease and bringing the operation back to the small office, home office environment and either expanding or reducing the scope of our reach and operations and services and products.

      We have to constantly be aware of the shifts from consumer product focus to consumer focus on services and back again to product; what the market will bear; what is in demand; what is not; as in Kenny Rogers “The Gambler” know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.

      While a significant portion of my annual video production income is derived from funeral and memorial services (a HUGELY under-served and under-saturated video market community) SEE “They Shoot Funerals, Don’t They?” I’ve had to flex the plans and levels of services offered in order to keep growth or even sustain my bottom line. Of course I do more, being a diversified video services and production operation, but my primary business income producer has required vigilance (not from the competition, but simply from economic needs and standpoint) to keep up with what those in the funeral services industry are willing to pay, charge or accept as a base line product.

      I’ve had to offer lower-priced products and services with the thought that while many will continue to go with the ultimate production package, others who actually want, need and desire video services and products of some kind in regards to their funeral program plans, will go with a more palatably priced option. I’ve had to adjust what I will do for how much, and how much less I will do for how much less I’ll make.

      In the above AS WELL AS other areas of video production services and products I’ve had to make ongoing adjustments, and not only depend on people discovering these new, revised, more affordable options, but adjust my marketing and advertising strategy to make sure “economics minded” persons are aware that they have new, affordable and equally valuable options to consider.

      I STILL have to make people who have computers with basic editing and photo working software, and all matter of handycams, videocams, camcorders, cameras, digital still camera and DSLRs or whatever, that I as a professional can do a better job quicker and more affordable than they can as hobbyists – usually and especially when they have to factor in time, frustration and other costs involved with the process of which they have no concept. I STILL have to make the consumer aware of, and acceptable to, the fact that in the long run I can save them money AND deliver a better product usually in half the time and none of the headaches.

      These are a few, but there’s more, and those of us who survive economic downturns or even blaze ahead profitably during them, nearly always have to keep our fingers on the pulse, the very heartbeat of our business, the business community we serve and know what to do almost, it seems, before the world-at-large knows they need to consider.

      Such is the nature of business – good times or bad. I try to help and address many marketing, production and other skills for ALL videographers, beginning, amateur, hobbyist or professional, in my video marketing and production blog, since 2004, E.C. Come, E.C. Go

    • #181624

      Thanks for the response guys! Really appreciate it. Earl you went above and beyond. I like the fact that you have your “eggs’ in many baskets (blogs, and books). I think that is the versatility that is needed with any business. Glad you shared that. Others will be able to appreciate that too.

      Thanks again everyone!

    • #181625

      As usual, EarlC has done a very complete job of explainingaspects of the video business. I as well as others are very appreciative of his time and effort. I highly recommend the ‘Roadmap for Beginners’ segment of his blog. I find the knowlege and wisdom in the series useful and not just for beginners. As far as the subject of this forum, in my own business situation my main source of income is not video. In the non-videopart of my business activities,I have noticed in the last few years that my customers are still interested in using my services, I have kept contact with them and have promoted all the services that I can provide. They are purchasingfewer goods(materials)but still using my maintenance service (labor). The additional services that I provide have balanced out the lower level of materials that I provide. I get most of my business from referals and my existing customers have provided me with many additional propects in the past few years helping to maintain my income.

    • #181626
      Grinner Hester

      I bill about aquarter of what I was billing 3 or 4 years ago. I set up shop catering to Anheuser-Busch and it was more than full time to a point I never had time to network beyond them. Wehn the economy began diving, A-B sold to InBev and while A-B use to keep 10 edit suites emplyed every day, now they stick to 4 in house Avids, that I helped design for them, ironically. Sounds like canibolism but there are only a few trickling freelancers they even mess with and I’m one because of our past and what I contunue to do for them today. While I use to bill 195 an hour with them 40 hours a week, I now freelance in the brewery maybe a few times a month on average at 75 an hour. Ouch.

      On the upside, I’ve been forced to do what it was I was wanting to do all along… create and pitch original programming. Bad things are simply a perspective. This bad thing will end up being why I became successful doing exactly what I want to be doing. Beer videos were never really the dream.

    • #181627

      “Beer videos were never really the dream.”

      maybe so from the editing side…. But I got talent enough to be on the acting side and to be honest, some beers, and busty babes in a hot tub with a sports team mascot might get me killed by my wife.. but I wouldn’t say no to that job…..


    • #181628
      Grinner Hester

      It takes it’s toll after a decade. My wife has never been at ease with me all over the country with celebs and Bud girls with no way to call her until the next day. after a while the faithful old dog in me just wants some fat guy to drop off some elements and tell me where to send the master.

      Glamore was glamorous 20 years ago. Now it just prolongsmy day.

    • #181629

      Here’s my take on the current state of the video production industry.

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