3 Keys To Efficient Operations Through The Lens of Content Production.

Deniese Davis

Everyone loves show business, but very few actually understand the business part. Launching a production company in Hollywood means that you intend to run a content business that will control its own product, which essentially becomes the film or television show others watch.

If the words show business, production company, or Hollywood made you stop and think that the following advice may not apply to you or your business – keep reading.

Every project in Hollywood is a business. Literally, every television show or feature film is usually produced under an LLC.

As a small business owner in the beginning stages of my next chapter with the launch of my own production company, I have to think about my overhead (salaries/employees), product (projects), and operations (divisions).

Operations is an element of business shared by all entrepreneurs, and one of the most important. If you don’t have smooth operations, the product quality suffers and ultimately, so does your bottom line.

With this in mind, I’ve broken down how any small business owner can go about executing smooth operations by using principles for a business roadmap, division of responsibility, and expansion that I have myself seen success with. Let’s dive in to share six of the tactics I found to be most helpful in building a profitable business.

Develop the Business Roadmap

A business roadmap helps to streamline a company’s workflow and creates a big-picture reference that clearly outlines the business’s current operations and its future and growth. It’s also a method of business strategy planning that is a great way to help define your company’s goals.

When creating a roadmap for my new production company, I looked at how I will facilitate development and production of my content, how I scale my business appropriately and expand my team as necessary, and what are my capabilities both in the short term and long term.

There are a few important things to consider when putting together your own strategy:

  • Map out all areas of your business as it currently functions, whether big or small. Include all personnel involved.
  • Define the goals and outcomes of your business. This should be both tangible (e.g., selling produce) and intangible (e.g., 1,000 customer sign-ups in one year).
  • Work backwards from the outcome and identify the pipeline or process it must go through in order to achieve this.
  • Review all areas of your operations for gaps or areas of breakage that result in a failure of the desired outcome.

Once a roadmap has been put together, the hope is that you better understand all of the various components that are needed to make your business function and more importantly, you know your company’s objectives. Starting with strategy and vision and then implementing your operations in a structured manner will ultimately leave you with an execution plan that you can continue to build from.

Dividing Roles & Responsibilities

Within this roadmap, a small business may have several divisions or just one in order to deliver a product or service. One could look at a production company as an example of this, because typically it has separate divisions for film, television, and digital that service distinct processes from idea inception to product release.

This approach is applicable to various types of small businesses. Is it important to have multiple divisions? Not always, but depending on the size of your company, you may want to think about separating your operations into different groups for better efficiency.

Some of the most common areas of divisions can also include:

  • Sales
  • Legal
  • Admin
  • Finance
  • Marketing

To better understand how best to divide the roles and responsibilities in your company, track your product and the pipeline it moves through for completion, but take special note on who does what function to help get it there. Are there any overlap in responsibilities between two departments or roles? Is there a more streamlined way to achieve the end result?

By dividing and delegating your operations into sections, you are providing a structure for how your company can best function while also paving the way for future expansion and growth.

Expansion

After a few successful projects, a Producer may decide to expand their production company into other mediums of storytelling such as podcasts or digital content. This can both increase the company’s profit margin while also spreading its financial risk across various sectors.

For any small business owner, as your business grows this undoubtedly means that your operations will also evolve and grow. Expansion should only be considered once your company has turned a profit and/or there is an additional value added to the core business or your product. For example:

Let’s say your clothing business has been moderately successful through online sales only, and now you’re considering a physical store or kiosk for increased brand visibility and sales. The company’s operations plan may now include new staffing roles, responsibilities, divisions, and additional processes, but if you’ve built the right foundation using your business roadmap, then your business should easily adapt to account for this growth.

Roadmapping, diversifying roles/responsibilities, and expansion are key actions when it comes to having your business run in an efficient and organized manner.

  • A roadmap helps make your business strategy actionable.
  • Delegating roles, divisions, and responsibilities allows you to maximize your company’s bandwidth and future growth.
  • Expansion should be considered after hitting your target goals and when you’re looking to increase your profits or bottom line. 

Every small business consists of a group of hard-working individuals who believe in the company. It is a labor-intensive and collaborative experience requiring a group of talented, creative humans in their respective crafts, all working together toward a common goal – and oftentimes with a shared financial risk.

The same is very true for any television or film project I produce. Hollywood is a very delicate business because every project could bring in landfall profits or be a complete wash of millions of dollars. Every start-up or small business owner who jumps headfirst into creating their own company faces the same challenges.

However, if any entrepreneur takes the time to have a concrete operations plan, the rewards can be bountiful no matter how big the risks may be.

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