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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 3rd, 2015, 04:35 PM   #1
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Still worth having a store-front?

So I have an opportunity to get involved with a photographer and his store front in my area. The rent is pretty affordable but that money could also get used to upgrade to a higher end listing on the knot website.

Does anyone out there have a store front with their video business? I'm trying to make the best informed decision I can, without a crystal ball. Hah
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Old March 3rd, 2015, 04:56 PM   #2
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

I'd like to hear about this as well. I've got the opportunity to get an office in a shared complex for $250/mo.... it's a 12 x 18 office room. Pretty nice space and all newly renovated.
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Old March 3rd, 2015, 04:56 PM   #3
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

I work from home. My clients are never fussed. It doesn't feel professional, but I know that, if the cheapest shared space I can get is $150 a week, then I'm saving $8,000 a year.

I guess having a storefront is worth it if it makes you more than it costs you in rent, which might be the case if:

-- You start doing corporate work, and those clients prefer to meet you at your office.
-- You think the advertising from having a storefront in a busy location is worth it.
-- You start doing photography work, and need access to a studio for family photos, headshots, etc.
-- You regularly need access to a space that can be set up for green screen.
-- You start doing other sorts of video-related work that are best done from a shop (renting out equipment, DVD replication, VHS to DVD transfer).
-- Separating home from work makes you more productive, or otherwise makes your life better.

You've made me wonder -- if you got a shop in a shopping centre, maybe there is enough of a market for random shoppers to drop by and record/edit something on the spot that it could make up for the ridiculously high rent. (Although if you got a shop in a shopping centre, one problem might be meeting times with wedding couples -- I find they generally want to meet in the evenings after work, and shopping centres sometimes close early.)

Anyway, continuing on the random shoppers idea... Maybe they want someone to edit together their home video footage, or random clips they've shot on their phone. Maybe they want to create a DVD slideshow of photos. Maybe they want to record a professionally produced 30-second clip. Could be a birthday message, could be an "About me" video they want to put at their website, could be testimonials for the effectiveness of some product. I don't know! Or maybe they just want someone to record their daughter's birthday party or their son's soccer game, and don't know anyone with a video camera. I know that when I'm looking for a particular type of shop I seldom go to (like a shoe repair shop), I'd rather go down to the local store I walk past every day than bother Googling.
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Old March 3rd, 2015, 05:36 PM   #4
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

A known weddingvideographer also works from his home but never invites clients there, he instead rents a studiospace with screen and hd projector in a executive office building with a receptionist which according to him costs 20 dollar an hour, it's just a facade to dazzle his clients who think he is the real deal having an office like that and having a personal receptionist to greet his guests and call him to pick them up. In that space they first meet and in that same space he delivers the finished film and collects his money, so for each client it's maybe 3 to 4 hours office space rent to pay.
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Old March 3rd, 2015, 07:11 PM   #5
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

Most houses in Australia (well Perth anyway) will have more than one living area. Typical houses have a formal lounge, a living room and a family/games room. More often than not the family room has it's own entrance to the outside so that's ideal for an office. Our office at home can be shut off from the rest of the home and has a sliding door out into the carport so it's perfect for clients if they want to visit and looks professional too. The other, way cheaper, option would be to add a classy prefab office on your property and fit it out as an office.

The problem with having "an office/shopfront" in "town" is that you need to travel to it...I would still have my edit gear at home otherwise you have to travel to edit or even silly little things...At home I can slide over into the office and do things at night without any effort that I would never do if I had to go into the office..... Why not just have a display in the photogs shopfront and pay him for that tiny space??
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Old March 3rd, 2015, 07:11 PM   #6
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

A business I know started as one-man-show "video production", but transitioned into "multimedia solutions", targeting large businesses and government agencies. Setup seemed to be: one full time graphic designer, one full time web and general IT person, part time admin person, a few casual editors and VFX people, the main guy's wife doing accounts, client liaison and drumming up business, and the main guy doing I've no idea what, but video did seem to take a huge backseat.

Anyway, in that sort of context, where a few people might be collaborating on a job, shared office did make sense, even if it could all have been done remotely.
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Old March 4th, 2015, 12:34 AM   #7
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

Worth having a store front ? A ground floor store front can severely eat into your profits and for the number of more clients that can potentially be gained may just be not enough to outweigh the expenses. For many years I was operating with a store front photo studio that paid $5500 per month rent, yes 5 thousand 5 hundred a month. Guess what ? 90% of the clients didn't even come from that town , it was just a show of prestige to be located in a rich neighborhood. I didn't pay any rent, just helped him put together albums and framing pictures.The studio closed in 2004 just around the same time that digital took over from film. The owner got out just in time as everyone was lowering prices and the newcomers infested the scene that were all operating from the comfort of their homes. I operate now from home but would only have considered an office rental if my home was not properly suited to receive clients. Also to consider is gas and travel time as well as having to be at the rental spot even when clients call to cancel appointments. There are other expenses like insurance, utilities, furniture, etc. All eat into that bottom line. I would rather stay home and wait for my clients in front of my nice cozy fireplace, even if they cancel or are late for their appointments. Saves a lot of gas and time, not to mention rental fees.
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Old March 4th, 2015, 02:49 AM   #8
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

A storefront is great for prestige, so long as you have the clients with the dough to support it. It is nice to have a place to go to get people away from where the real works gets done. But that is expensive both in bucks and your time to be at the storefront. Nothing says "not in business" as much as a locked front door, but you can't be out in the field doing what you love and sitting the storefront at the same time. How many people do you trust to do your marketing for you? An office person or floor person does not have the same investment you do in the success or failure of a sale. Lots to think about on this one!
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Old March 4th, 2015, 09:40 PM   #9
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

Many times location isn't everything . Passing trade just does not lend itself well for a video studio/office as opposed to the traditional photo studios that once were. Photo studios also had other income sources from passing trade like passport/ID photos, framing, sale of photofinishing etc.Customers are definitely out there alright, but where ? It is like a spiderweb, the fly doesn't always land at the precise center where the fangs are, and the wider the web, the more to gather. Sure, we all love to have a luxurious office to impress but in reality we are all here to make a buck and the big question is will a commercial location be beneficial to the bottom line when all things be considered ? If there are associates involved, then perhaps it would be a good thing as there is a time sharing that can result to keep that office mostly occupied, and look busy and professional as well. Near where I am is a large office on the 2nd floor where a DJ, a photographer and a videographer share the space. It always seems busy as there is also a hair salon below. The place works because there are 3 services involved and seems like a one stop shopping. Would just a videographer working alone give the same impression/results ? I don't think so.
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Old March 5th, 2015, 11:04 PM   #10
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

Yes it would be nice to have a studio space to shoot, leave lighting setup and meet clients, but there is a large difference between one room for rent and a "studio". I think it would be tough to justify the numbers.

Seems more beneficial to rent the studio space when you need it and meet clients at a location. Budgets are just cut to the bone these days.
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Old March 5th, 2015, 11:11 PM   #11
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

Round here, I often see photographers looking for "flatmates", so to speak, for shared studio space -- usually between three or four people. The numbers can work! Just depends how often you're doing that sort of shoot...
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Old March 6th, 2015, 11:46 AM   #12
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Round here, I often see photographers looking for "flatmates", so to speak, for shared studio space -- usually between three or four people. The numbers can work! Just depends how often you're doing that sort of shoot...
Thats exactly what I'm looking at. The photographer is well known in the area. For 250 a month, it seems like a pretty great deal for a place to meet clients for the prestige of it all. BUT of course, 250 a month is still 250 a month.

I checked it out yesterday, its definitely in a good spot and has a great reputation. Oh decisions.

James
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Old March 10th, 2015, 04:37 AM   #13
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Re: Still worth having a store-front?

An office is only feasible if you offer more than one service, video, graphic/printing, photography etc. Otherwise operating from home is the cheapest option for the solo camera man. I've converted my garage in to a proper office last year and spent a lot of money insulating / painting / colour scheming and refurbing it with office lights, extra electrical sockets etc for all my gear and computer equipment so clients when they meet know I mean business as I have a proper designated room in the house. I also work in here. It doubles up as my man cave / cinema room as I have a decent set up for films.
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