This month Broken Physics Productions is just over 2 years and I’ve been taking some time to think about everything I’ve learned from founding and running the business. My partner and I started the business ourselves, completely from scratch and I’ve picked up a lot of stuff and learned many lessons along the way. In fact, there are far too many to pack into one blog, so this is just going to be a selection of the tips that I think could help newcomers to the video production business the most.
Treat people as you wish to be treated.
The most important thing I’ve learned, and something that you should probably be practicing in your day-to-day anyway, is to treat people with respect. When you get past all the gear, techniques and artistry, video production is really about people and from my experience people don’t like to be treated poorly. No matter who you’re dealing with, make sure that you are polite, that you listen to them and that you avoid insulting or upsetting them. This rule doesn’t just apply to potential clients either, treat everybody this way and you’ll start to build a great reputation which is invaluable.
Teddy Roosevelt said “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” That couldn’t be more true. In my opinion, spending time on relationships is never wasted time!
Be prepared to do things yourself.
When you’re just starting out it’s unlikely that you’re going to have a massive team around you. It may be the case that you’re on your own and while that’s not ideal, you can make it work. Don’t bankrupt yourself right at the beginning, try to learn the extra skills that you need in order to make things work. Learn to handle your finances, how to manage your website, how to deal with customers and anything else you need in order to run your business properly. You don’t have to do this forever, but at the beginning you might have no choice.
Be prepared to weather the bad times.
If you’ve just come from uni, or you’ve just left a job, then this is really important to remember. Don’t think that everything is going to be easy and that work will be a constant for you. There will be times when you have little or no work, there will be times when you’re dealing with a difficult project that is affecting other work and there are a whole host of other problems that you’re going to encounter in your career. If you don’t prepare for them then you won’t get very far. I’ve never had a ten step plan for each potential problem but I do have ideas for what can be done when I do hit rough waters and I would recommend that you do too.
Have a healthy relationship with gear.
True, you can’t do your job without having the right equipment but that doesn’t mean that your gear has to be at the centre of your business. If you get too obsessed with gear then you run the risk of neglecting the business side of video production or the craft that goes into it. It’s good to keep up with technology, but consider other areas where you can improve before you run yourself into the ground buying new equipment. I’ve seen great things done with very little equipment and I encourage everyone to try and work within their means for the sake of their business.
These lessons aren’t objective, they might not apply to everyone, but I’ve personally found these to be important in the development of my business. If you’ve got any other pieces of advice or lessons that you’ve learned I’d love to hear them so please do get in touch! If you’ve found these helpful then don’t forget to sign up to the mailing list and get helpful tips sent directly to your inbox.