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How to start and operate your own video taping service
HOW TO START AND OPERATE YOUR OWN VIDEO TAPING SERVICE
This is a fabulously profitable business that's still in it's
infancy. And for sure, if you want a business that takes no special
training, expensive office set-up or large investment - yet is
capable of showing almost immediate profits - this is it!
Now is the ideal time to get started with your own Video Taping
Service. Purchasing and learning how to operate, as well as
maintain the necessary equipment is easy. The technological
improvements built into the equipment, and the operating procedures
have been so simplified that almost anyone with the ability to read,
can study a video instruction manual for a couple of hours and
immediately produce professional quality, highly marketable video
tapes. Without a doubt, video tape technology has replaced Super 8
home movies as the most-desired memory-saving system.
One- and two-person video taping services around the country are
reporting gross earnings of $50,000 to $100,000 per year. One
operation we looked into, reported an income figure of $800,000
during the preceding 12-month period. They were accepting taping
jobs from all quarters and keeping 4-hired teams busy.
Marketing imagination, organization, and attention to detail are the
keys to success in operating this business. Ideas and requests for
new things or events to tape and preserve for later
playback/viewing, are coming in faster than one can list. Then,
there are so many things to remember and minor details to take care
of, that the only way to operate successfully is with a series of
checklists... for the person selling the service as well as the man
or woman on the recording camera.
But don't let mentioning of details to remember, scare you off. On
the contrary, you'll find video equipment easy and inexpensive to
practice on, especially when compared to attaining a comparable
degree of expertise with film. You can use the same tape over and
over again, and this is definitely a business where the phrase,
"practice leads to perfection", applies without qualifications or
To start a video taping service, you'll need a video "porta-pack"
recorder, and at least a half dozen tapes. Check around in your
area. Start by "reading up" on all the available equipment used for
video taping. A trip to your public library and a few hours
browsing through the periodicals on video equipment should give you
added interest and a basic indoctrination. Next, check out the
suppliers listed in the yellow pages of your telephone directory. A
few phone calls to those places listed, plus a few in-person visits,
should supply you with enough catalogs and "idea material" to keep
you plenty busy for a week or more. These elementary learning steps
are necessary as the foundation of your business.
You should be able to buy a good quality video porta-pack recorder
for about $850, with blank tapes for $20 or less. When you buy,
always dicker with the dealer - explaining to him that you're in the
process of establishing a video taping service, and if he will
include a supply of tapes with the recorder, or at least give you an
especially good price on them, you'll probably buy all your tapes
from him. It may not be your regular way of buying things, but when
you're starting a business, every dollar counts, so always shop
around for the best prices.
Once you have your video recorder, take it home and start practicing
with it. Think of yourself as being on a job for a homeowner or an
insurance company, taking a photographic inventory of the house
and/or the occupant's possessions. Practice by making a tape record
of your own household furnishings. Make a tape, then play it back
and critique your work. Then do it again, and again, until you have
a tape you can use in sales presentations to homeowners and
insurance companies. Video tape recordings of this kind are
becoming extremely popular with homeowners and insurance companies
Then, look through your weekend newspaper and make a note of the
girls announcing wedding dates. Open your telephone directory and
call these girls on the phone. Ask them if they'd mind if you came
to their wedding and made a video tape of it, without any obligation
to them of course.
So you go to the wedding, introduce yourself and practice making a
video tape of the wedding ceremony. Take the tape home and critique
it. Keep this up until you have a tape you're reasonably proud of,
and then call the bride. Ask to come over and let her see the tape.
Explain to her that you're just getting started in the business, and
you simply want her comments and suggestions. Chances are, when she
sees the tape, she'll want to buy it.
While you're in this learning phase of your new business, visit an
apartment building and arrange with the manager to make a video tape
of her showing the apartment to you as a potential renter. Contact
a couple of property management and real estate firms, and do the
same thing with condominiums and houses for sale.
You might want to listen in on the police radio frequency, and make
tapes of auto accidents, particularly those involving injuries.
Another idea might be the taping of golfers practicing at the local
driving ranges. Other ideas include any kind of sports practice
session, birthday parties, special anniversaries, baptisms, bar
mitzvah's, publicity stories, sales presentations, and "fireside
chats" by company presidents or general managers.
These are just a few idea suggestions you might want to pursue. You
may find a certain kind of video taping assignment especially
enjoyable and want to specialize in that area. Or you may want to
leave the door open for any kind of assignment and handle each as
the opportunity presents itself.
Whatever you decide, there are a few "sure success" points to keep
in mind as you begin to sell your services. Remember, the idea of
having a video cassette system in one's home, is gaining in
popularity every day. There are already some two-million video
cassette recorders in American Homes, with an estimated 100,000
being sold to new customers every month. Further estimates indicate
that by 1995, at least one half of all U.S. households will own
either a videocassette recorder or a videodisc player. All of this
means your market is growing and is expected to continue growing
through the end of this decade.
Virtually everyone would like to see himself as a star in a home
movie. Thus, when you show him a video tape of himself in the
starring role, he'll either buy the tape on the spot or want you to
make a similar tape for him. Regardless of false modesty, everyone
likes to show pictures of himself, and explain to his friends the
different highlights of his or her life. With this understanding
about your prospect in mind when you make a sales presentation, your
closing rate should be quite close to 100 percent.
The best way to sell your services is to run a regular ad in your
area newspapers. Such an ad might be similar to this one:
VIDEO TAPING SERVICES...
Whatever your idea or assignment, we can handle it for
you! No job too large or too small! We're experts at
taping weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties and
other special occasions. Commercial assignments also
welcomed. Your satisfaction is guaranteed, so give us a
call - 123-4567, right now!
When you receive calls in response to this ad, your objective will
be two-fold: Find out what kind of taping job they have in mind,
and set up an appointment to show them an example of the kinds of
tapes you can produce for them. Show them an example of your work.
Once you've met with them, and shown them a demonstration tape, you
should have the sale in your pocket.
Never meet with a prospect in a selling situation without some sort
of demonstration tape to show him. Try to match the tape you show
them, as closely to their wants and needs as possible. Wedding tapes
you have made for prospective wedding clients, and shots of golf
practice or instruction to golfing prospects.
Besides an ad in the newspaper, and the yellow pages of your
telephone directory, make copies of the ad and get it up on the
bulletin boards in your market area. Send news and publicity
releases to all the media in your area, definitely whenever you've
got an unusual or special kind of assignment.
Have some impressive business cards printed, and hand them out to
whomever, and as often as you can. The slogan on your business card
might read: Have Video Tape Recorder - Available for ANY kind of
assignment - You name it and I'll tape it...
Radio and/or television advertising will probably be more expensive
than the resulting job assignments will sustain, so be very cautious
when considering this type of advertising. However, it will very
definitely be advantageous for you to pursue guest interviews on
just about any kind of broadcast talk show. Talk show appearances
and free write-ups about your business in your local newspapers are
promotional angles to reach for at every opportunity. Always be on
the lookout for promotional ideas and gimmicks that will result in
area-wide publicity for your services.
The bottom line is simply this: Don't be adverse to creating a
story or set of circumstances if it results in a talk show
appearance or newspaper write-up for you.
How much should you charge for your services? Basically, the going
rate in most large metropolitan areas is about $50 per hour you
spend on the assignment. Thus, you're going to have to learn to
estimate pretty accurately just how long each job is going to take
you to produce a quality recording. It's always a good idea to
check out what other video taping services in your area, or in a
comparably sized city in your neighboring states are charging.
Newsletters and trade publications serving businesses of this type
are available, however, we don't know of any that have attained
national prominence as of the date of this report. Check with your
equipment supplier on any that he might know of...
Success with a business of this kind does not require an office
set-up or any special education or training. You can start it on a
part-time basis from your home, and parlay it into a full time, very
high profit profession. The prestige this business will afford you
is similar to that of a doctor.
Starting with a young couple's wedding, if you follow up on each
sale properly, you'll probably end up making tapes for the birthdays
of each of their children, school graduations, anniversaries, more
birthdays, family histories, last wills & testaments, and into a
whole new cycle with each generation.
You will need imagination, an affinity for people and selling moxie.
Imagination is important because in many instances, you'll have to
suggest an idea for your taping services. Although just about
everybody would like to have a taped record of some event or part of
their life to pass along to future generations of their family, most
will not be able to decide what to tape until you suggest something
to them. You'll also find that almost no one is aware of even half
your capabilities until you make suggestions.
Taking pictures of people requires an ability to get along well with
people - get them to relax, and immediately feel comfortable in your
presence. You've got to be persuasive while exercising a great deal
of tact and diplomacy. Make friends easily and quickly. Be aware
of, and understanding of wants, desires and ambitions.
Actually, selling and getting along with people, are almost
synonymous. Life is an on-going program of selling yourself to
achieve your own wants and ambitions. Read a few good books on the
art of selling, such as: HOW TO SELL YOURSELF by Steve Girard; and
HOW TO SELL ANYTHING TO ANYBODY by Tom Hopkins. Remember, selling
is really just a matter or recognizing someone's needs and then
satisfying those needs with a product or service.
Your customers will automatically accept it as fact, that you have
the professional knowledge and equipment to fulfill their needs.
All you have to do is reassure them, listen to their reasons for
these needs, and in closing the sale, become a good friend to them.
And that's it - the plan that can enable you to get started with
your own Video Taping Service. By following our suggestions, and
with a bit of energy as well as persistence, you should be able to
begin with very little start-up investment and quickly begin to
realize the fruits of your own profitable business.
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