Leaving Your Job to Start a Video Production Company

Incorpa-what? I thought I was just making videos!

Run a business from anywhere!

In Part 1 of this series we discussed the decision to leave a full time position to start your own video production company. Congratulations! This is a huge decision and there’s some comfort in knowing that the plan to run your own business has gotten a green light.

So how do you do it?

Well, there are probably a hundred ways. Call your rich uncle, ask for seed money, hire a staff and put a sales team out on the road.

There we go. That was easy.

Of course, not all us have a rich uncle interested in investing in a new business venture, so a plan B needs to exist. As we’re talking about leaving a day job, let’s work on the transition and finding a few clients this week. Next week we can cover growing and sustaining your new business.

Like the rest of this series, there are going to be a handful of ways to make a successful transition, but there’s one sure fire way that worked for this writer, so I’ll speak from experience.

The first step in starting a business is becoming very proficient at your trade. We make videos, and in doing so, we require a handful of skills. We need to know how to shoot video, manage footage, edit, fix audio, color correct and grade, add motion graphics, create titles, understand rendering, and know a handful of ways to successfully deliver a draft or finished product to a client.

In addition to those skills, there are a bunch of new things we need to add to the “to-do” list. We need to know when to buy equipment and when to rent. We need to understand business procedures such as quoting, invoicing, and collecting payments. It’s also a good idea to research local bookkeeping and accounting providers.

This series will dig in with all of those parts of each project. Each one deserves a lot of attention, and putting more effort in to the front end of the project can mean a happier client - and more money - on the back end.

If that sounds like a piece of cake, the next step will be to chat with other video providers and potentially a lawyer to discuss the pros and cons of incorporating your new business. Incorporation has a cost associated with it, but it has benefits as well. Depending on which country you live in, incorporation can isolate liability to the business. That said, in the case of a single person incorporation it may not make any difference if your company gets sued. This will have to be discussed with a lawyer.

Another consideration when it comes to incorporation is accepting the added cost of using an accountant for all tax preparation. Sole proprietors, in most cases, can use a bookkeeper to prepare and submit their business tax returns.

There are other considerations when starting a business, but depending on your plan and timeline you’ll have lots of time to look into things like insurance, business phones, pro accounts at websites for managing clients and finances, review and approval tools and video web hosting.

While all of these things are important, the most important thing a business needs to do is make money. Everything else mentioned in this article costs time and/or money.

So, in our next installment, let’s get down to bringing cash in.

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