Funding a business at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 23rd, 2008, 05:10 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Moore, Oklahoma
Posts: 408
Funding a business

My apologies if this is in the wrong section, but I was curious as to how some of you guys started up your businesses. Did you save up over 5 years to start out? Did you take out a loan? What kind? Did you apply for government grant money? How so? I've been looking online at some government grant stuff, but I don't understand if it's legit or not. I doubt everything. I didn't even believe FAFSA was real until my second semester at college.

What did you do? Did you find out a better way later? Sorry I have so many questions (this and other threads), but I just don't want to make rash decisions from no experience thinking it MIGHT be the best way. Thank you to all who are currently helping!
__________________
What if hand guns were really hand guns?
Alex Sprinkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2008, 08:04 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Madison
Posts: 330
Save like the dickens and buy USED! Once the $ starts coming in, upgrade as needed.
Blake Cavett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2008, 11:23 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
I bought a camera to try making some instructional videos and some fun stuff with friends.

Having a camera almost automatically gets you "in the door", even if it's a crappy camera. It's all downhill fronm there! Just being a member here and spending some time perusing the forums makes you better prepared than 90%+...

Buy gear used, better yet buy and sell used gear for a profit if you have the inclination. That way you get to try all the toys without the massive depreciation that way. Keep the outboard gear you like (tripods, mics, etc.), be fickle with cameras as the tech can change a lot in a short time, but be sure you learn to operate whatever camera you've got in your hands.

The best businesses will take off on their own given some time (and a decent economy... that may be the rub right now).
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2008, 11:34 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
I don't know that I would recommend this for everyone, but what I did was open a few credit card accounts using those "no interest for one year" offers you get in the mail every day. I spent around $15k to start up. When those cards started approaching the interest period I opened new accounts with different credit cards using more of those "no interest for a year" offers and simply transferred the balances from the old cards. I tried to make extra payments often to help reduce my debt as well. Just as I was running out of new credit card options I got an offer for a Discover card .. with no interest for life as long as I made 2 purchases on it per month. I checked the fine print and there was no mention of how large the 2 purchases had to be. I got the card, transferred as much as I could of my remaining debt onto it, and paid what was left off. Now, once a month, I hit the gas station and make 2 purchases of gas for around 5 cents each. I've been doing this for 2 years now. It's a bit of a trial, but I have yet to pay any interest on my "business startup loan".

This past summer I just spent another $10k to upgrade to HD. So I've got a bit over $1k on my original startup cost to pay off, and then my $10k to now pay off. I just did a loan for the $10k, since I don't want to do the revolving credit thing again for the sake of my credit score (mine is actually good, but I don't want to drop it down by opening a bunch of new accounts and closing others - closing accounts is bad believe it or not).
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 24th, 2008, 01:02 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 40
I got lucky, I had a good year of working tons and tons of overtime, (like 60 hr weeks for several months) and given my current living situation, I had a ton of money saved up.
I got some really good deals, and a long story short, I picked up 2 sony Z1Us 1 Sony FX1, An Apple G5, Final cut, Sennheiser G2s Sennheiser ME 80 some other mics, some voice recorders, three tripods, stedicam, and other odds and ends for well under $10,000.

Buy used!
William Dortignac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 24th, 2008, 06:28 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 311
My first purchase was a camera that I bought using a "no interest for X months" Sony Store card. Then I simply bought pieces of equipment here and there when I could afford it, which was fine because I had a day job and wasn't trying to work for myself at that point.

I think one of the biggest myths is that you need a lot of equipment to start out. You can always rent gear - I think it's more beneficial to put the money into marketing. It's easy to look at $10,000 of equipment and think that the hard part is done, but it's not going to do you any good unless people pay you to use it.

As for starting up, I'm the farthest thing from a financial expert, but I would recommend going to the banks before you start opening credit card accounts. Even though Travis seems to have found a creative way to do things :)
Matthew Craggs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 24th, 2008, 08:33 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 789
For years I work for a company in the Philippines that shoots weddings, avp, etc. When I moved to Canada 7 years ago, I decided to go into business my self shooting weddings. With no camera, no PC, I decided to register my business, placed an AD in a Filipino newspaper & got 2 bookings, the money I got from the DP, I invested in a camera. I got MDG to build me a computer & was able to get financing & the rest is history.
Noel Lising is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 24th, 2008, 11:29 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Craggs View Post
As for starting up, I'm the farthest thing from a financial expert, but I would recommend going to the banks before you start opening credit card accounts. Even though Travis seems to have found a creative way to do things :)
Yeah, that's why I wouldn't recommend what I did for everyone. You have to be ready to make all the payments, or else you can really mess up your credit. It takes a lot of commitment and discipline. I still had a full-time job for my first 3 years in business, so every single penny I made from my videography went towards paying off my equipment or buying new equipment (more the former).
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 24th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Virginia Beach, Va
Posts: 91
I got my capital by refinancing my house. Had allot of equity. Took some of it to pay off balances, convert the garage to a studio and buy equipment. Although not related to capital I wish I read this book before shopping for my equipment. ISBN: 9780240809359 "The Shut-Up and Shoot Documentary Guide. I am actually in the middle of it :-) Always something to learn...

Good Luck.
__________________
.........................
MotionOne Studios
http://www.MotionOne.tv
Vince Lucena is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 24th, 2008, 02:38 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 1,997
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Sprinkle View Post
My apologies if this is in the wrong section, but I was curious as to how some of you guys started up your businesses. Did you save up over 5 years to start out? Did you take out a loan? What kind? Did you apply for government grant money? How so? I've been looking online at some government grant stuff, but I don't understand if it's legit or not. I doubt everything. I didn't even believe FAFSA was real until my second semester at college.

What did you do? Did you find out a better way later? Sorry I have so many questions (this and other threads), but I just don't want to make rash decisions from no experience thinking it MIGHT be the best way. Thank you to all who are currently helping!
I had no seed money, so I rented gear from an ad agency at horrid prices (XL1 cams for $250 / day / weekend). I did jobs at very low rates and tried something new with every other wedding. All the while, I was working full time else where to put food on the table.

Then 1 year ago I started buying used lower end SD gear (GL2s), audio, tripods, multirig pro, glidecams, etc etc etc. Essentially 150% of income went into gear. Now I can safely say I can cover almost any event with the equipment i have.

I think it might be unrealistic to expect profitability before having 2 years under your belt. If you do reach that level, then great job! If you have the seed money / loan to put the $15K into all the cameras, computers, software, marketing (don't forget marketing!), then you may turn profitable sooner. It just depends on your market, its saturation, and the kind of clients you can book.
Jason Robinson 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 > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:59 AM.


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