Your production company dream begins with a production company business plan.

You are ready to take the next steps from freelancer, or you’re ready to take your existing production company to the next level.

In either case, the next step is formulating the business plan that will get you where you want to go.

In this post, we’re going to provide you with a free business plan template and help you learn how to use it.

Step by step.

Freebie: Business Plan Template for Video Production

Business Plan Template for Video Production - StudioBinder

Grab your FREE, printable business plan template for your video production below.

What is a production company business plan?

Essentially it's a tool for raising funds, creating a roadmap, or altering course and plotting out the next steps.

You should take a moment and give a quick glance at a film production company business plan sample or two to get a feel for it.

One purpose of any business plan to so convey to investors, or a bank, why they should put money into this business.

Make Your Own Production Company Business Plan - Shark Tank

Ever seen Shark Tank? Think of creating a business plan you could bring to this show’s investors.

What does that mean?

It means you need this business plan for a production company to prove that you will make money. To prove it to you, but also to any investors.

After all, nobody invests to lose money. Or break even.

So with that in mind, let's forge ahead into the actual writing of the business plan.

The Executive Summary

Every business plan starts from the top down, with an executive summary.

What is that, exactly?

An executive summary is a short part of a larger proposal or report that summarizes the main points so the reader can become quickly educated on the whole document without having to read it all.

So it’s a detailed overview.

Of course, "executive summary" has a nice ring to it...

Your job here is to lay out the big picture of your plan. Some questions to ask yourself: Why do you want this business in the first place?

Similarly, what inspired you to start it? What's going to make it work?

Next, start to answer the questions your investors might have. Try getting into their head-space.

"Why would YOU invest in this business?"

You might want to write about the competition. The targeted demographic. Be specific here.

What need does your business fill? Which kinds of customers and clients are you targeting?

Make Your Own Production Company Business Plan - TAM SAM Target Market Diagram

Think about your target market when creating this video production business plan

Furthermore, what else sets you and your business apart?

Especially relevant is using concrete examples and not only ideas. Can you cite previous work you've done?  

This brings us to...

Your production companies competition

What does the rest of the field looks like. Your investor will want to know if they don't already.

What sets this company and this production company business plan apart from others?

Knowing the entire field of competitors you have is a good idea, even if it's a very long list.

Your production company business plan must factor in what else is being offered. That way you can adjust, and target a more specific niche.

Or, you can figure out what you can do better.

For example: what can you identify in your competitor's list of services that you know you can nail?

This is what your video company plan needs to convey.

Finally, remember to think of it from the investor's standpoint. How is this an opportunity for them?

Perform a video company self-assessment

This step is easy to do, but hard to do well.

Can you take a good long look at your video production studio? With the intent to circle problems? Areas that need improvement?

The second part of this step might be easier. Find the areas where your video production studio can really shine.

In contrast, you don't want to elaborate on weaknesses in your video production company business plan. Rather, you want to identify them so you can find ways to address them.

You need to have answers to the questions these flaws might bring to the mind of your investors.

Make Your Own Production Company Business Plan - Mirror

You are not required to sing “Man in the Mirror” in your head during this stage. 

Then go beyond looking in the mirror.

Look back at the field before you.

This is a business plan for a production company. What opportunities exist for that?

Most of all, try and tailor this production house business plan to specific needs.

Here are a few methods of company self-analysis:

PEST 

This is a way to identify changes in your industry, to target potential growth opportunities. The acronym stands for:

Political Factors

Economic Factors

Social Factors

Technological Factors

Look at each factor as it relates to your business plan and your field. Read more about PEST here.
Make Your Own Production Company Business Plan - PEST Analysis Diagram

A good production company business plan would include a PEST analysis at some point

SWOT

We've mentioned elements of SWOT:

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

The one to focus in on here is threats. Don't assume everything will work out for the plan just the why you'd like it to.

Why?

Because it won't. Investors will know that. You should not only know it, you should expect it.

Most important of all: prove that you're prepared for whatever may happen.

Here's a cool way to approach your SWOT analysis. Try applying your strengths to your opportunities and see what kind of leverage you can create.

Then theoretically expose your weaknesses to your threats. Are you in trouble? Do you need to address something to better protect your company?

Think of this as planning for a battle. Therefore, you don't want to ignore cracks in the wall if your enemy is bringing a battering ram.

Read more about SWOT analysis.
Make Your Own Production Company Business Plan - SWOT Analysis Diagram

Any entertainment company business plan can benefit from SWOT anlaysis

7S Model

Strategy, structure, systems, style, shared values, staff, and skills. The 7S model was developed by business consultants Robert H. Waterman Jr. and Tom Peters. It's also known as the McKinsey 7S framework.

The idea here is that your business needs these elements to be aligned and "mutually reinforcing". Let's go over each "S".

Strategy: How does this business plan to gain an advantage.

Structure: How do you divide the various operations of the company.

Systems: Procedure for measurement, reward and resource allocation.

Skills: the companies core and distinctive capabilities.

Staff: Human resources.

Style: Behavior patterns of the key groups like managers.

Shared values are in the middle of them all on the diagram. It's somewhat self-explanatory.

In theory, using these methods of self-analysis will help you a great deal. Due to them you'll know, and decide, all sorts of things about your production company.

Make Your Own Production Company Business Plan - 7S Model Diagram

The 7 S model of analysis

Start putting these ideas onto paper now! If you haven’t already…

Gentlemen, start your engines.

A business plan for a production company must lay out how you will get started. This is also referred to as a "roll out plan".  Here is link to more info on how to approach your first 100 days.

How you engineer your beginning is critical to your cash flow. What do you need to get started?

And can you start at a sustainable level?

Will you open a physical office space right off the bat? Overhead is a major cost. If this is more of a production house business plan then you’ll want to factor that in.

Do you have existing clients?

Equipment or gear already in place?

A video production business plan suggests that your focus will be on video production. Things like equipment will be critical.

In addition to considering this an entertainment production company business plan you may also want to focus on creative development.

How you want to focus effects how you want to phrase things. And it matters almost immediately.

Start fees you can avoid

It's a good idea to propose that you start small.

There are two reasons for this.

The first is that you will scare away investors if you ask for too much up front, almost without fail they can tell if you are asking for more than it seems like you need.

It also throws into question how serious you are about sustaining success.

Which leads to the second reason.

It'll be much harder for you to sustain success if you ask for big upfront funding that you aren't sure you can earn back plus profit.

Let's say because you know of a few jobs you'll have early on, that you ask for less up front.

You'll be able to get rolling right away, earning back the initial investments and then some.

Above all you want to start off with easy wins.

Or as close to easy wins as you can get when launching or re-launching a video production business plan.

Seems like it would somewhat obvious not to ask for more than you can earn back...

Rather, it's a mistake people make all the time.

Speaking of which...

Financing a video production company

Any business needs capital. As a result, you need a section where you lay out the cash flow for the production house business plan.

What kind of money do you expect to have coming in, and how much do you expect to be spending?

Make the budget, while also estimating how you'll be earning.

If you can't demonstrate this, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

Make Your Own Production Company Business Plan - Stacks on Stacks

Just pose like this and you’ll reassure any investor that your plan is sound.

You will want to get involved with an accountant at some point soon.

But remember, this is a business plan for a production company. So you may have a lot of costs coming at you early just to get started.

Try to learn how to be your own bookkeeper. Check out this link to learn more about the basics of bookkeeping and accounting.

Marketing plan

Your video production business plan is almost complete. Another section worth including would be one on marketing.

Here is a good additional resource on small business accounting.

You want to prove that business will be coming in, and not assume it will on faith alone.

Building a strong portfolio is a must. Consider again what niche you may be able to serve best. Find a solid "bread and butter" to start with.

Remember, good businesses expand when they need to. They don't bite off more than they can chew right out of the gate.

Invest in a good website

Do some research on how you’ll be building the best website for your product.

Get your production company a few social media accounts, and start trying to create a presence there. You'll need to find many ways to attract clients, and show your work.

Do some additional research on how to market a production company here.

All this needs to find its way into the marketing section of your production company business plan.

Day to day operations

The day to day operations are a critical part of the plan. Have you visualized what the daily workflow will be?

Now is the time to do that. Who is going to be on your team, and how will it grow and change over time?

Determine what tasks will take priority each day, and how to best utilize your resources and finances.

This will be a key step in determining if your production company business plan is sustainable.

Ask yourself a few of the following questions:

How much time per day will you spend building your client base? What elements of each job will you tackle in-house? Which tasks might you outsource?

What equipment and gear do you own? When will it need to be replaced and/or upgraded?

Make Your Own Production Company Business Plan - Camera Gear

Getting gear could be the fun part of making the business plan for a production company

Are you going to hire anyone to start? Will they be full-time employees?

Will you hire independent contractors per project? How many, roughly?

As mentioned in the finance section, you need to know how you'll plan your reporting for taxes and your bookkeeping process.

These questions will help you start to determine what each "day at the office" will look like.

The clearer a picture you can paint here, the better.

Wrapping up

Get as specific as possible in each section of your entertainment company business plan. The more you know... right?

If you haven't already, see if you can seek out some other production company business plans and see how yours stacks up. Is there something important you missed?

Maybe something you never considered?

Check out this film production company business plan sample for more ideas.

Working with a consultant, or anyone with business experience even if it's NOT in your field, can always help. Consider it a second set of expert eyes.

With all that in mind, you're ready to get started!

Freebie: Business Plan Template for Video Production

Grab your FREE, printable business plan template for your video production below.

SHARE THE NEWS!

twitter-bird-bue-gray

"What do you need to go to get your production company off the ground?" #filmmaking #indiefilm

Click to Tweet
StudioBinder Bubble Logo White

Manage your shoots like a pro.

All-in-one photo & video project management has arrived.

Solution Icon - Call Sheets

CALL SHEETS

Solution Icon - Shot List and Storyboard

SHOT LISTS

Solution Contacts and Lists

CONTACTS

Solution Icon - Screenplay and Script Breakdown Sheets

BREAKDOWNS

Solution Icon - Shooting Schedule

SCHEDULING

Solution Icon - Collaboration and Production Calendar

COLLABORATION