Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What Are You Doing To Take Your Business To The Next Level?

My studio remodel in progress

Enough is enough! I’ve been “making do” with my basement video studio for the last 10 years. I keep pushing the boxes, storage racks, tents, chairs, Christmas decorations and assorted possessions back into the far corners, but like tacks to magnets, this stuff keeps coming back into my precious little production area.

Maybe you “make do” too if you’ve set up an area where you shoot. Or maybe it’s your office that doesn’t seem to be large enough.

As instructional videos and quick video messages become a bigger part of what we do, I want a studio where I can walk in, flip on a couple of lights and be ready to tape a video, and I want to be able to comfortably seat multiple people as necessary, such as last weekend when I had two Catholic priests, a producer, production assistant and myself in my cramped little shooting area. I had three large tripods (camera, teleprompter and monitor) along with lights and microphone stands, reflectors, chairs… you couldn’t move without bumping into something. That was really the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Are you getting to that point too?

Since I recently invested in new cameras and a very cool teleprompter so that Kim and I can be more efficient in our productions, I figured I’m “in for a penny, in for a pound,” so it was time to INVEST in my business and enlarge the space, and that’s what I did this week.

Now I’ll have a clear working area that is about 18 feet wide by 20 feet deep, plenty for most projects. This will be especially efficient because I’m also having a separate storage area made so that none of the previous stuff will be coming back onto my “stage” area. I’m going to add soundproofing and maybe a painted greenscreen backdrop instead of the cloth one I now use, and I’ll be a happy man. None of this would be possible without my wife and partner in the business, Kim, believing in our ability to make it all profitable. She and I feel, as should you, that if you don’t start seeing and treating your business as a business, why would your customers or clients?

Please understand, I’m not suggesting that this set up is necessary for everyone; in fact, far from it. Your needs may be different from mine and you don’t have to build a studio in order to make a successfully selling video.

But there’s something about really committing to something, financially and otherwise, that makes it real. If you are always feeling like you are “making do” and “getting by” and “putting off,” I don’t think you are really investing yourself into your business, both emotionally and professionally. And once you step into the deeper end of the pool, you are much more likely to be motivated to keep moving further toward your goals in that business. We saw that happen in our business this last year.

We’re staunch boot strappers and have steered clear of borrowing huge amounts of money to fund our business ideas that may or may not fly. However, when we look back at every large investment we’ve made in equipment, advertising, marketing, we found we more than made our money back within a month or two and then made more than we could have before we invested. For example, we plunked down $2500 for a DVD duplication system. To date, that investment has made us close to $35,000. We splurged $1200 on a direct mail campaign last November. We made that money back in 2 weeks and doubled our sales – and the size of our email list – in just over 6 weeks.

Last summer we bit the bullet and invested approximately $4000 in training in marketing, business building, advertising practices…and our sales are up 85% over last year. Do I need to remind you that this was during the Great Recession when every night on the news you hear how people aren’t buying? Why did our business increase when so many others struggled to stay afloat? I sincerely believe it was because we not only followed what we were taught and learned how to do things smarter and better (we’re still doing that), we were motivated to take ACTION because we invested so much in our business. (Do you notice how I say “invest” and not “spent money?”)

So why not take some time and think about how committed you really are to your dream business. Will you do anything to make it work? Do you have the means and motivation to stay with it during lean times? What steps do you need to take to move it to the next level? How can we help you make that happen?

The great thing, like we learned, is that you don’t have to do this alone. If producing and selling your own videos (what we do also works really well for selling other products – not just video) is how you want to go, we’ve set up this site specifically for you. In fact, as we hear from more of you and become clearer in how we can help, we’re going to be expanding it into a huge community of like-minded people helping each other live the dream. Right now we are diligently working on producing more programs for you.

Soon we are going to launch (we’ve given ourselves a July deadline) a 5 week course that will take you from not having any website to selling your first product. You will learn all the steps from how to pick your URL to accepting payments. Along the way you’ll learn how to set up a website, what you need to say on your website, how to capture customer’s emails on that site, how to accept payments, and so much more of the nuts and bolts of this type of business. We like to provide motivation, but if you’re like me you also just want to know specifically what steps to take to get up and running.

Our free starter kit is a foundation so if you haven’t signed up for that yet, take a look at it. But there is a lot we aren’t able to go into there and that is what we want to give you next. We offer more information in our DVD, Make Money Selling Your Own Videos to give you a good starting point, as well.

So are you ready to commit to your dream? Once you burn the boats, you can’t go back. Do you need a match?

Comments

4 Responses to “What Are You Doing To Take Your Business To The Next Level?”
  1. Bob Mantell says:

    Great article Rick. How high are the ceilings?

    • Rick Smith says:

      Thanks, Bob. I’m trying to inspire.

      They aren’t very high…about 8 feet. I wish they were higher but it’ll do. How is your shooting? How’s that Les Paul?

      Rick

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