How To Start a Video Production Business in the US
Published July 28, 2020
Nowadays, people consume media on a scale never before seen. With the meteoric rise of technology and access to the internet, people are always glued to their screens. If you’re anything like an entrepreneur, you’ve probably seen the opportunities surrounding video production.
Video production involves everything from start to finish in making videos. This includes planning, scriptwriting, storyboarding, videotaping, and editing. But how exactly do you begin? Will you need tens of thousands of dollars to get it off the ground?
Not to worry, here’s a quick guide in starting a small video production business.
Prepare a business plan.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. I’ve seen it too many times. People dive headfirst into a venture, then realize they’re in way over their heads. Relax, don’t be in a rush. Take a long sit down to think about how you want to run your business.
Think about core competencies. What are you really good at? What gap is there in the market that you think you can bridge? You’ll want to sort out what kind of videos you’ll be doing. Will you be doing wedding videos? Or will you be doing videos for advertisements? These are just some of the questions you’ll want to get answers to before getting started. Take a look here at the different kinds of video production services.
Marketing, marketing, marketing. With literally thousands of different companies around, how will you differentiate yours from theirs? Who will be your target market? You’ll need to develop a solid marketing plan to make sure your business grows in the way you want it to.
Round up the team. Video production is pretty different from freelancing video jobs. You’ll need a group of skilled individuals with whom you can work comfortably. The following are the roles you may need to fill in a video production project:
- Production Designer
- Art Director
- Costume Designer
You can read more about their roles here.
Get the right equipment.
“A king can only work with his best tools.”
– T. H. White
Take that quote with a grain of salt. You don’t need to purchase the best equipment on the market by any stretch, but you do need high-quality materials. The following are some of the stuff you’ll need for this business:
- Computers/Laptops and Storage (and lots of it)
- Memory cards
Fill up that portfolio.
One of the main bases for clients selecting companies to work with is the company’s portfolio. Your portfolio will show possible clients what you’re capable of and what to expect from your company. You can prepare your portfolio on Vimeo, the platform most people use in video production.
If you’re not comfortable using Vimeo, start a free Youtube channel, or a Facebook page. There are many low-cost, even free options on the internet.
But what if I’m a complete beginner, and I’ve never done any video work to date?
Build up your portfolio. In some cases, you might even have to do gigs for free. This is all a part of the process. A portfolio is the body of work you’ve put in, so you need to work hard to show your worth. You cannot get clients to pay more for your services if they cannot be assured of the results.
Get the right permits.
Business laws differ from state to state. The most basic business types are sole proprietorships and limited liability corporations (LLC). Since you’ll likely have business partners for this venture, I’d recommend the latter. Registering your business as an LLC protects your assets if someone files a lawsuit against it.
Get to work.
As soon as you’ve set up the basics, get to work. Get your name out there in as many possible ways there are. Promote your business on social media, email potential clients, bug your friends a little bit, even. At the start, any exposure is good exposure.
One tip I can give is to come up with contracts you’ll have your clients sign before working with them. This serves as protection for your company in case they renege or abruptly have a change of plans.
You’ll also want to set up payment accounts and channels for when you get a job done.
About The Author
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.