Work from home or do you rent office space? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > SPC - Single Person Crew

SPC - Single Person Crew
Who said "One is the Loneliest Number?" You'll never walk alone here.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 18th, 2017, 11:13 AM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: England
Posts: 16
Work from home or do you rent office space?

Hi,

I am just curious as to whether all you SPCs work from home or rent space (studio/ office)? I know this will depend on what type of work you do.

Have you found any pros or cons to either? If you rent, are the overhead costs worth it? If you run the business from home, do do you find new clients are less likely to perceive you as a professional?
Many thanks
Rob
__________________
nicecatmedia.com
Rob Lloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2017, 11:47 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,049
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

I do weddings and my work office at home is 4x4 so large enough to fit my desk, a sofa for my clients and a big tv screen which I use for editing as well but also for my clients to view films, they also don't have to go through the house because the office is directly accessible through the front door and then right up the stairs. I know Ray Roman rents office space that comes with a secretary but I guess when you charge that much money you need to make your client believe you made it so they know where their money is going. :)

I never visit my clients and let them come to me, that saves me a lot of time plus when they make the effort to travel to my home I know that they will book me.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2017, 07:24 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,211
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

Hi Rob

Nowdays a home office is considered as professional as a rented office and obviously the home office has the advantage that you are already there plus you can take calls after hours too. I don't think I have ever had anyone turn me down because I work from a home office. Obviously try and use a room that has it's own entrance ...if it's your own home, maybe consider installing a sliding door so you have an office entrance. It's silly to throw away rent money just to have commercial premises if you have space at home. Our office is the old family room so it's about 6m x 3m and then we use a spare bedroom as a "camera room/studio" Unless you are planning high end clients and huge contracts, you don't need a plush office in a high rise building
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 21st, 2017, 04:46 AM   #4
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: England
Posts: 16
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

Thanks Chris and Noa, I agree with both of you. My location is near Manchester in the UK and so many small production companies (corporate type video) seem to have business premises that I wonder how much strain they are putting their finances under?
Rob
__________________
nicecatmedia.com
Rob Lloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 21st, 2017, 05:11 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,049
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

I think especially companies that do corporate video have to keep up appearances, they work for businesses and it doesn't look professional if you invite your corporate clients to your livingroom in your house with screaming kids and a barking dog in the background. The same applies to the type of camera's you use, you can't show up on a corporate shoot with little dslr's.

Last edited by Noa Put; June 21st, 2017 at 11:32 AM.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 21st, 2017, 08:16 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,211
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

Yeah Noa is correct! Some businesses often put appearance in front of the product but if you need that to get the job and you are doing mainly corporate shoots then you have to bite the bullet, get premises with lush pile carpets and mood lighting and push up your prices to compensate.

I do quite a few live broadcast beach weddings and I'm reluctant to take my Lumix cameras on the beach so I take my cheap but big Panasonic AC-8 shoulder mount camera with an XLR adapter and streaming encoder mounted on top so it looks like it costs a fortune and people are suitably impressed ... However it doesn't shoot 4K and has inferior sensors to my Lumix cams ... but it works well for those idiots who insist on BIG cameras and it cheap to replace when the salt air corrodes it!!!!

Maybe you could subsidise your overheads by using the premises for another business when you are not there??
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2017, 11:25 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,776
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

Work from home (apartment) but I have space to do one person talking head shoots. The room has 8'x10' backdrops, green screen, lights.
I've had no problem with clients meeting me there.
In fact most of the space is devoted to my business.
The building was a former factory so I have no problem getting my equipment into the elevator and there's a big front drive in gate which the building manager will open on request during business hours.
Craig Seeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2017, 12:25 PM   #8
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: England
Posts: 16
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

That sounds like a nice setup Craig!
__________________
nicecatmedia.com
Rob Lloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2017, 11:47 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NYC Metro area
Posts: 579
Home-based, no rental here

About 15 yrs ago, when I was still in the corporate world and video was an on-again-off-again hobby, we added-on to our house. Part of that was what was intended to be a large family/tv/game room, about 20'x26'. (At the time I was thinking "unobstructed billiard table").
Since then, my corporate career ended, we've become empty-nesters, video became my 2nd career, and that room has become what I call my home studio. It's my home office, large enough to set-up some backgrounds, and both my workstations and daily-use computer are in it. (If I was really ambitious, I could probably create a small set and do a weekly web series).
At this point, my spouse and I are more retired than not, and my work is limited to legal (mostly Day-in-the-Life and a rare deposition), some promotional, an occasional consumer customer, some construction-progress work, and an occasional foray into playfulness with footage from my dashcam.
Our home is called a "raised ranch". As you enter, there is a foyer, which leads to the "old" family room/den, and beyond that is my home studio, all on the lower floor. There is no basement nor a separate entrance, though our primary living quarters are upstairs, so customers never have to go there. Our "old" family room has a TV, couches, and coffee table, as well as an adjacent powder room that customers can use when entering the studio is not necessary, though that room is not dedicated to the business. A pair of pocket doors separate my studio from the rest of the house
I've had consumer customers come to my home business, but most of my legal work is shot on-location, and most of my at-home work for those is editing. When I have a cut ready to show a customer, I upload it from home to an online service, and most of the rest of the work can be done by phone or e-mail.
In many cases, a shooter subcontracts me only for editing. They deliver the footage to me, and I may never even see them or meet the attorney in person.

The room equals about 15% of our home's square footage, and because the room is dedicated to my video work and equipment, my accountant deducts a percentage of household bills, internet, and cell phone as business expenses.

If a customer really needs/demands it, I have a pretty powerful custom-built laptop and extra monitor that I sometimes take to a customer's office and can edit on-the-spot if necessary.

I've been doing this for 11 yrs, and have never rented space, but I also don't do a lot of marketing or advertising. Consequently, I'm not constantly busy, but being more-retired-than-not, I have almost as much work as I want to take-on.
__________________
Denis
------------
Our actions are based on our own experience and knowledge. Thus, no one is ever totally right, nor totally wrong. We simply act from what we "know" to be true, based on that experience and knowledge. Beyond that, we pose questions to others.
Denis Danatzko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2017, 12:56 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,062
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

I've done and had both over the years. Back in the early 2000s when corporate was booming, we had an office with three edit bays, sound bay, VO booth, graphics room, kitchen, and we had between 3-10 employees. Actually for the era, our rent was cheap, $1,100.00 per month. It was nice having an office back then and clients would come over for work sessions and edit reviews.

We bailed on all of that during the corporate downturn in the early 2000s. Since then, we have worked out of our home office. I have rarely had clients here, it's so much easier to work remotely and use Vimeo Pro for screening material, window dubs if clients want to view raw footage and we also post work in progress cuts.

We are pitching broadcast and feature docs now and a good friend and client of mine has offices in Hollywood that I can use, they have a conference room, nice lobby, valet parking, etc. Even if we sell one or more of these documentary projects, we would just lease a small production office for a few months in her building since we would use her company for post for our films, I see no reason to spend money buying or leasing our own edit bay gear for on-line and color correction when I have her as a friend, I would rather just hire her company to handle all of that. She is in business with the studios so needs to have an office in Hollywood.

My advice is to stay as small as you can in regards to overhead, unless you have a roster of regular clients who you can count on for an income stream that covers the rental or lease of office space. And even then, I have a friend who has had that but even his clients are consolidating and downsizing so he had several large clients he has worked with for decades recently dump his company. Corporate media goes through repeated cycles of hiring everything out, then a new executive will come in and fire all of the vendors and bring everything in-house. Then the next exec will fire all of the in-house people and farm everything back out, it's very cyclical.

One of his largest, one of the big four Telcos, just did this cycle and laid him off from shooting and producing for them, it has all been brought in-house. He has a home office luckily.
Dan Brockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2017, 06:10 PM   #11
Supports LPFM Radio
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northern California USA
Posts: 122
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

Had an office in the mid 2000s...Was nice while I was getting established after striking out on on my own. But luckily my reputation followed. My --positive-- reputation, wise guys :-), and as I became more established on my own, I decided to move into a home office.

I don't really do meetings here. Usually at a client's office, skype/phone/etc, or we meet at a coffeeshop or something. Depends on what we're trying to get done. And I can rent office/meeting space by the day if I need to host a big brainstorming meeting or something.

And new (and existing) clients get the whole work-from-home thing. It ain't no big deal. At least, not for my work (40-percent in the field, 60-percent in the office/suite).

Last edited by Jim Feeley; July 11th, 2017 at 11:18 AM.
Jim Feeley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2017, 02:45 AM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: England
Posts: 16
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

Thanks Dan, Denis and Jim

Really interesting reading about your experiences.
__________________
nicecatmedia.com
Rob Lloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2017, 08:52 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Sussex, UK
Posts: 40
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

In the UK renting depends a lot on what you want / can afford.

Personally I think the "Professional" appearance of an office is all in peoples heads. No one cares these days, its more down to what suits your circumstances.

We have rented offices for many years, in a variety of locations, we have a young family and working at home is not really an option.

I prefer leaving the house and going to work, it fits my mind set better. Ref costs, rent is just one of the costs, but in the UK business rates can really bite you. My last office the rates were more than the rent.

Now we have downsized, and rent on a farm estate, business rates are zero, so its just rent and utilities.

So it really depends on your needs, space vs cost. Would I be better putting the office costs into the mortgage, probably.. but I don't have anywhere suitable to build an office at home.
Daniel James is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2017, 02:57 AM   #14
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: England
Posts: 16
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

Business rates are an issue. Around my area we have lots of offers which reduce the rates for the first year but still it's an extra cost. I will continue being home based for the next 12 months then reassess.

Thanks for all the input
Rob
__________________
nicecatmedia.com
Rob Lloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2017, 11:56 AM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Peterborough, UK
Posts: 49
Re: Work from home or do you rent office space?

I work from a posh shed at the bottom of my garden. It keeps all my kit out of the house and creates a nice 'man cave' with HD projector slung from the ceiling.

Every few weeks I see an ad for office space shared with other creative businesses and I often wonder how many new commissions I might pick up working alongside writers, photographers and web developers.

Working alone I miss the human interaction and bouncing around creative ideas.
__________________
beafilmmaker.co.uk
Martyn Moore is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > SPC - Single Person Crew

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:16 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network