The growing amount of media on the Internet is making media production a fast growing business. If you have a passion for media production, you may want to consider starting a media production company. Since the barrier to entry is lower for Internet-based media production than for some other production operations, focus on this area of the market for your start-up. Online media is used by businesses, organisations, musicians and individuals for a wide range of purposes. Although many people are producing their own media, there is a need for professional media production. Focus on serving this need.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Business plan
- Legal/tax documents
- Office/production space
- Production skills
- Production equipment
- Interactive website
Research the market for media production carefully to fully understand the current needs that are being met and to find needs that could be served better. Focus on the needs that could be served better, since this is an area where you could compete. Research the necessary equipment and skills to better serve this area of the market. Develop a strategy to market yourself and compete within the media production market as a niche company.
Write a well-thought out business plan based on your research of the market. Define your goals for your business in a mission statement. Describe your business in detail. Include a description of the equipment you will need, what types of media you will produce, your target market, a marketing strategy and the day-to-day activities of your company. Provide a detailed analysis of the market, your competition and financial projections for the first year of your business. Attach any documents at the end of your business plan that will be necessary to form your business. The business plan should lay out your first year in business. After a year, revisit the plan and make adjustments to reflect your current business outlook.
Fill out and file a business and tax registration form as well as any other forms that may be necessary at the local, state, and federal level. As a media production company, you may be required to file for permits and licenses each time you film at a location or need to set up for a photography shoot in a public space. Check with the authorities in the area that you will be performing these activities prior to each production to ensure that you are in compliance.
Set up an office and production space. At the start, this can be from your home. You will need a computer with audio, video and photo editing software. Also, set up a desk, filing cabinets, telephone, fax machine and high-speed Internet access. Video cameras, cameras, sound and lighting equipment should be stored in your production space in a manner that you can access it when needed. Shelving or racks should be placed within your production space for this purpose.
If you are not already skilled in media production tasks such as video, photography, sound, lighting and editing, you should take courses, attend seminars and workshops, and read as much as possible to become familiar and proficient with media production techniques. Being able to produce a high quality product is essential to the success of your media production company.
Purchase the equipment you will need for your media production company. Start off with some basic, but high quality equipment, such as a digital video camera, sound recording equipment such as microphones, lighting equipment, and a digital SLR camera with a few basic lenses. Equip your computer with graphics, photo, audio and video editing software.
Work with a local Web designer to set up an interactive website. Use the website as a portfolio to showcase your media production projects. Set up a forum and a blog to engage visitors to your site. Encourage interactivity on the forum and use it as a way to generate feedback. Post blog articles that give tips on using media and media production techniques. Keep your website content current to promote return visits and increase your search engine rankings. Integrate social networking links throughout your website so that users can share the content with contacts in their social networks.
Advertise your media production services in trade magazines that cater to your target market. Join trade organisations and attend trade shows. Offer to give presentations on media production to local colleges and schools. Write a guest column for online publications dealing with marketing and media production.
Tips and warnings
- Begin your company with just yourself to keep costs down and control the quality of your brand. As the business grows, you will want to consider increasing staff.
- Clearly define a project prior to starting it to avoid having a client demand things that are outside of the project parameters.
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