Jeff Pelletier has grown a video production freelance career into a viable and growing business.
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Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
Basetwo Media provides Video Production services to businesses across Canada. We specialize in Promotional Videos for the Web and DVD, Educational and Training Videos, and Event Videography. We also offer wide range of Post-Production services, including DVD Authoring and Duplication.
When did you start the business?
I co-founded the business with Tom Marchand and Jonathan Galbraith in April of 2004, although things really began to take shape in early 2006.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
Prior to this, my partners and I were all doing camera, editing and production work on a freelance basis. It seemed like a much better idea to pool our resources and expertise in order to build something a little more stable.
Where did you get the startup money?
The business was completely self-funded at first. As freelancers, we each owned a certain amount of equipment, and it only took a small cash injection to get us up and running. Unlike a typical start-up, we scaled things up very slowly over the first couple of years in order to really get a feel for the market before making any major commitments.
In mid-2006 we decided it was the right time to accelerate our growth, seeking financing to purchase new equipment and to lease a much larger office.
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
Video Production covers a fairly wide range of services and markets. Although competition can be fierce, there is plenty of business to go around. We've found it best to work with some of our competitors, sharing resources and information where mutually beneficial, and often collaboration on larger projects.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
Our business is constantly evolving, presenting both new challenges and new opportunities on a daily basis. We've responded by creating a business model based on flexibility, allowing us to adapt to changes in technology, and to continually develop new products and services based on feedback from the market.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
We've made some good decisions over the years. The mistakes we've made have served as a functional education, and some things cannot be learned any other way.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
As experts in the field, each with our own specialty, our business has grown organically based on client referrals and simply doing good work. As we've begun to take our marketing and business development efforts more seriously, our experience 'in the trenches' has proven indispensable.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Find a niche, specialize, and remain flexible.
Thanks, Jeff! It sounds like you and your partners are off to a great start. Keep us posted!