setting up a company...

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by izzyorion, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. izzyorion macrumors newbie


    Jan 18, 2009
    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    hi all,

    long time reader, first time poster!

    I am currently in the process of setting up a small video production company (starting off producing weddings, training videos, commercial videos, showreels etc) as I am just about to graduate film school. (I have completed two 'commercial' projects so far.)

    But the reason I am posting this is I have noticed that there are no equipment hire companies within 50 miles of my location! So what I'd like to do is set up an arm of the business focusing on equipment hire.

    So if I were to do this, what would you expect to be able to hire from me?

    Also any info on the pitfalls a newbie company like mine can encounter will also be appreciated!!!

  2. ShakeWellProd macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008

    Have you looked into Insurance and what it would cost to cover your equipment?

    I rent stuff a lot and I've noticed that some people like Adolf Gassers in San Francisco doesn't require a HUGE deposit, but a place in Sacramento wanted you to give them a $2500 deposit for a old Canon XL1s. I thought that was a bit overboard and a hassle when your doing projects on no budget, with friends. Nobody wants to take the responsibility. So Insurance on your equipment would be a big decision.

    my two cents brotha.

    Here is my latest contest entry if you have time:

    I started a small video production company two years ago! Tough.
  3. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    You've got your location as Cardiff. Unless that's the nearest town and you actually live in the sticks, I would expect there to be hire companies nearby. If that's the case, is there really a market for rental from your location?

    If you really see the potential, however, I'd reckon on it taking up a lot of your time. If you get a lot of customers, the administrative side alone will take up a lot of your time. Then there's the kit maintenance and testing every time it comes back in and goes back out. If you don't get as much business as you'd like you'll spend all your time trying to find a way to drum it up. You may find it never becomes a side business.

    As for what to hire, that depends entirely on your budget and what your research tells you your potential customers will want to rent.

    To narrow this down to something even close to workable, I'm going to make some assumptions. Most of those who work in commercial videos will have their own core equipment, so unless you plan on having the specialist things they may only occasionally need and thus won't own, I'm guessing your anticipated core market will be amateur filmmakers. If so, the Sony EX1/EX3 is brilliant in terms of what it will cost you to buy and what kind of performance it will offer customers. You'd need to be able to offer a wide range of accessories (for want of a better word) to stop people going somewhere else that can provide a full package. That means tripods and wireless lav and shotgun mics. Lighting (basic Redhead, Dedo and Kino sets) would be a bonus, but not essential if your budget is already stretched. The same could be said for things like dollies, jibs, basic Steadicam-type devices, sandbags, Magic Arms, Lastolites... Consumables like tapes (both DV and Gaffer) and gels (if you offer lighting) are where you can make a killing.

    This list could get really long if I keep going before you narrow it down. It all depends on how much money you have to put down on equipment and what potential customers where you are based want.

    Irrespective of that, customers will always want competitive rates and faultless service.

    If you have no business experience, make sure you get some. Go on a course or get a load of books or read the all the business .gov websites front to back/top to bottom. And make sure you do plenty of research. Start by finding out if there is any competition near you. Find out who is actually going to hire from you. Find out if you're going to be able to access the necessary funds to lay down on the equipment you need to get you started. Find out how much your operating costs are going to be and how much any local competition charges and if you can afford to compete with that. (And bear in mind there are numerous internet rental sites these days.)

    There may be other people here who can advise you on the intricacies of the business side (then again, maybe there won't) — but you're really going to have to furnish us with more specific information if you want more specific advice.
  4. izzyorion thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 18, 2009
    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    thanks for that guys!

    i do live near Cardiff, bout 10 miles away.

    I'm setting up the company with two other guys who are graduating with me - one of whom is versed in business as he ran a successful diving shop before deciding he wanted to make films and went to uni. The other is super creative, while i strive on the technical front.

    there are no rental places near my location - the nearest I have found is in bristol which is not only 50 miles away but also in a different country!

    As for setting up costs - there are a few government grant initiatives focused at service giving start ups and the rest we would go cap in hand to mr Bank!

    does that narrow it down?

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