Understanding what it takes to create a media business

  • Specialism – Your speciality is what may separate yourself from similar people in the market. Your area of expertise is something you should have a passion for as a self employed business. You need to know what you can bring to the table that other competitors cannot. What makes your business special and why you should be the one to go to.
  • Contacts – Having various contacts can go a long way in developing your business. Before you can start to gain contacts through your business it is a good idea to have a few who may be able to help you to get the business going. Building up contacts is known as expanding your network. You may be able to make the most of the people that you know by getting work with/alongside them or getting free/cheap equipment/software from them.
  • Interpersonal skills – Interpersonal skills are crucial to a business, whether it is a self employed business with one individual or a business with several/many employee’s, interpersonal skills are crucial because you will need to work alongside your clients and alongside other people like yourself who may have been hired as part of a larger project. If you don’t have good communication skills, then everything is just going to collapse.
  • Organisation – Organisation is key to running a well structured business. Organisation exists in many different forms. It can be in a more practical form, such as keeping an organised workspace to operate in. As part of this it may be good to invest in professional equipment so you have a professional workspace. Organisation can also exist in a psychological way, such as organisation your schedules using calendars, do to lists, and deadlines. Deadlines are extremely important because that you time won’t get the better of you. You may start working on something and get most of the work done, then suddenly think ‘I can leave the rest till later’. what if something came up in the last minute and you needed to work on two things at once. If you have a deadline then something like that might not be a problem.
  • Financial skills – The whole business comes to to finance. You need to set goals/estimates for annual income and outgoing. You need to assess this monthly. You need to work out a budget to make sure that you do not spend over your price range. Monthly financial assessments are really important for this because you can see if you have extra money to invest or if you need to make more careful spending. You can get someone to work out your taxes for you, because it will probably be worth the cost. If you keep receipts on expenses for things such as business related purchases then you can save money on taxes and have a smaller amount to pay at the end of the year. You can also mark estimated income next to events that you have scheduled in your calendar, so you may know to spare money for that time or to expect income.
  • Equipment – If you are a professional business then you will be wanting professional equipment. You can rent out equipment, which may be very useful if if it something you need at that point in time but cannot afford it. But it is probably best to invest from the start. Buying good value for money equipment and purchasing more and more equipment as your business grows. With the right contacts, you may be able to obtain certain equipment at a cheaper cost or at no cost at all. You will need professional equipment to attract clients to the business, employees and be able to rival competitors.
  • Advertising and Marketing – Advertising isn’t just something that can be done on your website. It can also be done several other ways. You can go to events and promote yourself or try to expand your network and advertise yourself to new people. You can also advertise in person using small cards with contact details on them. In the current day and age, social media is one of the most important ways of advertising. Their are many different sites that can be used. Their are more social sites like Facebook and Twitter, and then their are more professional sites that you can advertise yourself on such as LinkedIn. You can also advertise yourself on professional sites such as Vimeo, Soundcloud and more. The high end professional businesses advertise themselves on TV as well. Newspapers, radio and billboards are additional ways to advertise your business.
  • Computers + software – In the modern day and age, computers and software and pretty much a necessity in your any business. If you are a technician or work with film or music, then something like that is obvious, but even if your work might be something like building or textiles, you will still need computers and software in order to promote your business. Computers and software can get you back a lot of money, but once purchased it isn’t permanent because new software releases fairly regularly. So it may be a struggle to keep up with your competitors as they may have the most up to date software.
  • Human resources – Human resources are responsible for an array of things, for instance if you receive complaints then it can go through human resources as opposed to going straight through to yourself. Human resources also deals with recruiting and training new job applicants.
  • Budget – A budget is crucial in a business. With a budget you have to factor in insurance, website costs, employee wages, estimated incomes and outgoings and perhaps s small sum of money at the end for miscellaneous things. You don’t want to overspend and realise that half way through the year, you no longer have money to afford certain things. You should always way up pricing along with it’s value for money, so that you can get the best for affordable prices.
  • Portfolio – Portfolio’s are really important. They are a very good way to showcase your work. You can talk about your work yes, but if you can show it even better. If you are considering applicants for certain positions then portfolio’s are a great way to help you decide. They can show off your filmmaking aesthetic, and give a real insight into who you are.  
  • Website – As a business, a website is all but required in order to promote the business. The website can display lots of different information such as general information, i.e what the business offers, additional information such as who they have worked with in the past, i.e clients, also pricing and hiring and further information such as contact information and opening times. However it will probably cost a sum of money to run a website along with emails for a specific amount of year (most likely a year).
  • Premises – If you are working with others as part of a company then you will need a premises to work at. This means that if any damage happens to to business’ premises then depending on the cost of the damages and what insurance was purchased, the damaged can be covered. Buildings insurance can still be purchased even if you own the property, however buildings insurance is the landlords responsibility if you rent the premises.
  • Insurance – If you cover something under insurance then in the event of damages and other similar occurrences or injuries, you will be compensated by a company for the damages. You can get many different types of insurances, such as public liability insurance, employers liability insurance, property insurance, professional indemnity.
  • PLI – PLI stands for public liability insurance. Public liability insurance is an insurance that can protect businesses from financial payments. Such payment may otherwise be required if a member of the public injured themselves from something that is ‘the businesses fault’
  • Rights – Every human being has rights. These rights can be used to protect them against the law in certain cases. As sole trader, your rights will be covered in your contract. When you buy something as a consumer, you possess statutory rights. These rights can be claimed if a purchase does not match the description that id details.
  • Tax – Tax is a fee that is payed by everyone in order to fund various public services. Their are many different regulations that may alter your taxpaying that could reduce or increase the amount of tax needed to pay. Tax is payed annually. The amount that you pay on tax can be reduced if you place receipts onto the document that you create that shows how much you have spent over the year on your business, which then determines how much you will need to pay at the end of the year.
  • VAT – VAT stands for value added tax. This tax is payed upon the purchase of good and services. This basically means that whatever you are purchasing will cost slightly more thanks to value added tax.
  • National Insurance – National insurance is a fee that someone pays often monthly, which is to cover the cost of state assistance. State assistance can be provided in several circumstances; it may be provided if you become ill, if you are unemployed, or if you are retired. You pay national insurance if you are self employed and are earning over £5965 a year, if you are over 16 or if you are an employee earning over £155 a week.
  • CRB – CRB stands for criminal background check. These are often conducted in the line of working with children or in healthcare. They may also be conducted in applying for jobs. One mistake that you may have made in the past may cause you trouble for the foreseeable future. So don’t cause any mischief.
  • Permissions and Consent – Using something without someone’s consent could land you in a lot of trouble. Their are many different things which you might unintentionally ‘steal’ or not gain consent for using. One of the more common mistakes made by people that will involve permission and consent is using music that you have not gained permission to use. If you are creating a professional video then you need to make sure that you have the rights to use such track(s) or you look for royalty free tracks. As well as this, you should always credit the musicians, even if they allowed you to use their song, you still have to credit them.
  • Risk Assessments – A risk assessment is basically what the name implies; an assessment of the risks posed by specific equipment, locations and more. These detail what the risks could be if something bad happened to someone involving whatever it is that is posing the risk and how damage and injuries could be caused. If you are to employ people then risk assessments are necessary to your business. Failing to do so could cost yourself and your business a lot of money. Because if someone injures themselves on something then they will want to claim money from it. So it is a better idea to make sure that they are not going to injure themselves in the first place.
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