April 13, 2023
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Manage Your Growing Production Company

The Wrapbook Team
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For most businesses, consistent growth is always an important goal. For production companies, however, it’s a delicate process. Change is occurring all the time, and growth spurts can happen whether you’re ready or not. That’s why it’s critical that you understand how the unique risks and challenges of the growth process can affect your organization.

We spoke to multiple experts, including Danny Rosenbloom, to show you how your production company can navigate growth and remain efficient. We’ll talk about why you should grow, when you should grow, and how to effectively incorporate growth into your core production company practices.

How to take your production company to the next level

Every successful production company has its own identity. Its own strengths and weaknesses. It faces its own challenges and opportunities. It possesses its own requirements, preferences, and quirks. 

Because each production company is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all roadmap for successful growth. However, there are a few critical concepts that can help you investigate your own opportunities and evolve your production company more efficiently.

Below, we’ll dig into four core ideas that will help you remain efficient while taking your production company to the next level.

1. Define growth

Growth can take many forms. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and more clients doesn’t necessarily mean more success. The first task in navigating the growth process is to define exactly what growth looks like for you and your company. 

Bigger, better, or just different? How does your production company define growth? SOURCE

The easiest way to begin is to ask yourself simple questions. Do you want more work for the company? Or do you want more of a certain kind of work for the company? 

Does “growth” mean making more money? Or does it mean making the same amount of money with less stress? 

Do you want to expand to increase demand? Or do you need to expand to meet pre-existing demand? 

Answer these questions and others like them with as much detail as possible. Clear answers will paint a picture of the growth you want your production company to pursue. You can then use this picture to inform the rest of your decision-making.

If you understand your goals upfront and periodically review them, you’ll be able to focus your business actions with more precision over time. Making this process a habit is the first step to establishing an efficient growth pattern.

2. Identify critical growth factors

While growth opportunities may emerge from external sources, you can also seek out opportunities within your production company. Keeping an eye on internal characteristics can help you monitor and control growth, instead of letting it catch you off guard.

When devising a growth strategy, review the following internal growth factors to help optimize your production company from the inside out. 

Infrastructure

Upgrades to a production company’s infrastructure can come in many forms. From office space to equipment, bringing resources in-house can help you meet and increase demand.

The addition of even a single meaningful item of infrastructure can have a positive impact on your production company’s growth level. Investing in your own equipment, for example, can trim production costs over time and‌ even create a new revenue source. It can give your production company a distinct competitive edge. 

Your Production Company Is Growing (With or Without Your Permission) - Wrapbook - In Studio
In-house editing suites could trim post-production costs over the long run. SOURCE

However, the cost of under- or mis-utilized infrastructure may also be an obstacle. In some situations, removing cumbersome infrastructure might free up valuable resources. In turn, those resources can be reappropriated elsewhere to fuel stronger or faster growth.

In-house personnel

The ideal size and composition of a production company’s in-house team is a matter of debate. Personnel expansion can bring many potential advantages under the right circumstances. 

Depending on your growth strategy, hiring additional staff can significantly increase your business capacity, functional capabilities. It can even improve your ability to attract new clients. 

Of course, quality professionals are expensive. Before hiring any extra team members, carefully weigh the value of the new position against its cost. 

Service diversity

The concept of service diversity refers to the range of service capabilities that your production company offers to clients. While physical production management is typically the primary service offered by production companies, it is certainly not the be-all and end-all. 

With the right strategy, production companies can venture much further afield.

From in-house post-production to creative direction and even data analysis, modern production companies offer an increasingly imaginative and diverse range of products and services. 

The right cocktail of offerings can be used to attract new clients and do more business. 

Be forewarned, however, that expansions to service diversity should not be taken lightly. New services often require significant investment and meaningful expertise. 

The value of a new offering will be driven by your production company’s ability to deliver. If you are not adequately prepared, a product or service expansion can quickly become an expensive mistake.

Marketing

Expanding your marketing efforts can increase your ability to attract new clients. For production companies, the best marketing investment is usually hiring an external or in-house sales representative. 

Sales representatives specialize in connecting the needs of brands and agencies with the services of production companies. They’ll use your reels and other materials to pitch your organization for opportunities that you may not have had access to otherwise. 

3. Assess risks

A major component of efficient growth management is a production company’s ability to examine, understand, and mitigate risks. 

If a company is in the wrong position or exposes itself to an ill-calculated risk, expansion can seriously threaten the company’s financial health. To avoid danger, you have to stay on your toes.

Good risk management provides a critical counter to the obstacles of risk. It helps pinpoint and address risk exposures ahead of time, clearing a path for healthy growth. 

The key to effective risk assessment is balance. You have to understand how the potential hazards of growth stack up next to its potential value. The ultimate goal is to optimize your activities in a way that maximizes opportunity and minimizes danger. 

Risk assessment should be a high priority that receives regular attention. Risks and defenses against them are evolving all the time. Regular review is the best way to protect your production company from the inside out

4. Implement solutions built to grow with your company

As your company grows, you’ll likely find new ways to do old things. In the 21st century, these are often digital tools that empower people to do everyday tasks faster or better. These solutions can help take your company to the next level.

But it’s not just about going digital for the sake of digital. Real solutions grow with you. Efficiency is embedded into their DNA because they’re built for growth. 

Keep in mind that we’re not just talking about solutions that streamline tasks. Digital tools should never be a hindrance because of their learning curve. Rather, they should make your crew better at the job at hand with as little training as possible. 

Wrapbook builds software that makes production management faster, easier, more secure, and completely digital. More importantly, its interface is highly accessible and encourages effective collaboration. 

Wrapbook’s digital tools scale with your production company.

Digital crew lists make hiring and rehiring faster than ever. Your team can manage onboarding and run payroll with just a few clicks. The Wrapbook App enables crew to submit timecards from anywhere at any time. 

It’s harder to make mistakes thanks to automated timecard calculations, and automatic digital document storage helps to ensure long-term compliance.

Your Production Company Is Growing (With or Without Your Permission) - Wrapbook - Timecard
From submission through approval, digital timecards make payroll easier for you and your crew.

Best of all, everything flows through a single, easy-to-use interface. Your production company controls user permissions, granting personnel access to tools and information as they need it.

Collaboration features and clean interfaces make Wrapbook a powerful tool for growing production companies. No one is bogged down by confusing systems or hard to understand instructions. This saves time and money, both of which are critical for efficient growth. 

Signs it’s time to grow

If growth isn’t standardized, how does a production company know when it’s time to grow? 

The answer to this question is, of course, extremely subjective and entirely dependent on each production company’s individual goals and circumstances. However, there are certain cues you can look out for in the day-to-day experience of running your business. 

There are two types of situation to note:

1. You’re already experiencing growth and need to react to it

Growth often happens without our permission. Over time, production companies gradually push their limits. When you realize that your limits are strained, you’ve reached a growth opportunity.

To illustrate, let’s take a look at two quick examples.

Example 1

You have a few contracts in hand that you can’t execute without some kind of investment. This situation presents you with an easy decision. If you want that business, it’s definitely time for your production company to grow.

Example 2

You’re making more money than you ever have in your life, but you’re also exhausted. Your time and energy are being stretched too thin. This is probably time to expand by hiring additional personnel. 

Bringing on a personal assistant or sales rep will mean an investment, but it will also mean more time and energy to focus on your top priorities.

2. You’re anticipating growth and want to prepare for it

In some cases, growth must be pursued. If you sense a clear opportunity, expansion might be the best way to chase it. 

Let’s take a look at two more examples.

Example 1

Many producers struggle with hiring and firing in-house sales representatives. Unlike in the previous example where surplus income allows a company to afford new personnel, many production companies hire sales reps before they can afford them in hopes of bringing in new business to cover the rep’s cost. 

While the production company may not technically be able to afford a sales rep right now, they also know that they can’t not afford a sales rep. The producers know they need someone on their team who will generate the right leads and enable the producers to focus on their own areas of expertise. 

Example 2

Imagine that a new job emerges that is geared towards animation. It makes your production company a ton of money, and you decide it might be worthwhile to pursue similar jobs in the future. 

Before you do, however, you’ll have to invest in new equipment, infrastructure, and personnel. You can only pursue this lucrative opportunity after making an initial investment.

Wrapping Up

For production companies, growth is as much art as it is science. It’s a process of controlled chaos that can spark when you least expect it. The only way to be truly ready is to simply be ready all the time. 

Ultimately, the key to long-term growth management is a combination of preparation and responsible experimentation. You must gently push your production company’s boundaries, examine the results, and adjust accordingly.

Of course, as your production company grows, so will your payroll needs.  Learn about Wrapbook's commercial payroll solutions today - so you'll be prepared for tomorrow.

Disclaimer

At Wrapbook, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding free resources to producers and their crews, but this post is for informational purposes only as of the date above. The content on our website is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for legal, accounting, or tax advice.  You should consult with your own legal, accounting, or tax advisors to determine how this general information may apply to your specific circumstances.

About the author
The Wrapbook Team

The Wrapbook Team consists of individuals who are thrilled about building modern software tools for creators. We’re a team of compassionate and curious people dedicated to solving complex problems with sophisticated solutions. You can find us across the U.S. and Canada.

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