Profit isn’t a dirty word, but poverty is.
It’s January, and that means budget consideration. The cold months will soon be over, and after the heating bill has been caught up, we’ll be able to see what we have to deal with in the old bank account. And none too soon, as most businesses will also be peeking their heads out of a recession style gopher hole and assessing whether to spend and grow, or stick their head back down the hole for six more weeks of winter. Our budget is important, because even though the usual half-down of a clients payment helps to produce the desired product, more often than not we’re forced to spend out pocket to achieve the full effect of what we see in our heads – or, more accurately, what the client tells us to see in our heads. This can mean anything from a load of 2×4’s for set building to a hotel room for location scouting. On the pricier end, it means new computers and editing software; the lower being printer ink cartridges and application upgrades like Zip-It and Flip4Mac. Regardless, production takes cash, and when you’re out of it, you’re out of a lot more than you think.
Having little to no overhead is important. Utilizing free help, like an intern, is beneficial, but not having debt collectors calling and pink envelopes in the mailbox takes a load off of the mind. We learned early on as a small business to make do with what we have, and to make what we have do it’s most. We learned to not be proud when it came to using old equipment if it sufficed, to look for bargains, and to clip coupons. We also learned that the job is not more important than the people doing it, be it editors, grips or interns. Health and happiness are the of the utmost, and paychecks help with that, so if it means forsaking a new buy to keep food on the table, there should never be a debate.
The new year is off to a good start, and we have plans to buy specific things as the budget allows, but for now we’re tightening the belt a bit: turning off lights and equipment when we’re not around; buying bulk for supplies; working from home if the schedule calls for it to save gas. The rewards will come in time, as long as we don’t give up.