Whilst you may have several years experience in production, starting a production company is hard work. It requires lots of research, planning and a thick skin to create a professional organisation that can grow into profit. Here are some tips things to know when starting out:
1. Identify your strengths
Be certain what production company you are starting, whether films, commercial, industrial, etc. Identify your strengths and see how you can build your company around them.
2. Research and plan
Research areas of the industry that fit your talents. Business and industry start-up support organisations, periodicals, books and websites can provide specific things to know regarding business and industry trends related to your company will give you many tips. Extensively research the services offered and fees charged by your competitors so you can consider how to compete.
3. Understand production company legalities and tax structure
Choose a name. Be creative and make sure your production company stands out. Check the name hasn’t already been taken or trademarked.
Learn the legal side of running your company. Time with an attorney to talk through your plans will be money well spent as the tips you receive will likely cover the fee. Deciding on a business tax structure that will determine financial and legal protections your company will have in the event of litigation is another of the vital things to know.
Hire an accountant who will help you complete your tax return, and give tips to create a realistic strategy for your business.
Ensure you have the capital you need to launch or the skills to raise money. Consider how you will manage the rapid technology changes in equipment, software and techniques.
Keep your overheads low. You don’t need a company car or office. You can work out of your spare room or garage. Just do what’s necessary to cover operating costs.
Consider how you will raise money. Will money come from another production company, government funding, venture capitalist, partnership with an overseas producer, via product placement or crowd-funding campaigns?
Create a website with the url of your name and register your production company on social media profiles such as Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram etc. Create your own YouTube channel and start getting subscribers
6. Deliver on promises
Be ready to take on projects where you know you can deliver what the clients need. Be certain you have the knowledge, experience and technical expertise to say yes to a project. As most companies grow on referrals, your company’s reputation must be excellent, with the job well done, on time and in budget.
When working as a production company you must have collaborations with partners who have skills you do not. It is rare that you can do everything alone. Once your production work is done, you will require public relations work. If you can’t afford it, collaborate with someone starting out until you can afford to pay a publicist.