Sales graph increase sales

It is possible to get video production, video editing and 3D animation services with little out of pocket or up front expense to a business.  The solution is collaborating on trade so if you have a business that provides products or services that I find valuable we can leverage each other’s value propositions and exchange them.  So if you need video work done, I may need a new roof (which unfortunately we will need soon) — you get the point. 

One of my goals for this website is to find more freelance video production, video editing and 3D animation projects.  In the past I have enjoyed providing video services for smaller companies and nonprofits and have even provided these services on trade.  Bartering in this way has proven to be a creative win-win relationship!

Startups have limited resources at first

Perhaps you are a startup looking for quality and high value and want to keep your costs down.  Maybe your organization was looking to get videos made but due to the prohibitive cost and high quotes you were getting you decided to delay such investments to divert your limited resources to grow your business elsewhere.  Trading what you provide as value with other businesses that can help you is a creative win-win. 

Maybe you tried making videos yourself and you’re just not happy with the results. I have a lot of experience taking existing video projects and re-editing and repurposing them so organizations can get more value out of them.  You can save money and I have always found it challenging and fun to revitalize a business’s branding and messaging in this way.

How bartering for video production works

In exchange for your services and products I can provide video and general media services.  Perhaps you have a lobby video running on a loop you would like to freshen up or you do not have one at all but want one? Perhaps you are looking for a new series of television commercials or web explainer videos?  Maybe you want to put new testimonials on your website from some of your happiest customers, clients or patients?

We can both benefit from this type of collaboration.  In this sense it is not a matter of “you get what you pay for”.  This arrangement allows us to trade on the premium value we each assess for each other.  Depending on the scope of the projects, sometimes the trade doesn’t have to go dollar for dollar, we can even arrange for a percentage of trade at least to keep the project or hourly costs down.

We are currently open to trading our video production and editing services with a few of these businesses:

  • Restaurants & Cafes
  • Roofers
  • Computer/Workstations
  • Cloud hosting
  • Pest Control Company
  • Auto Sales & Repair
  • RV Sales and Rentals
  • Home Insulation
  • A/C Repairs
  • A/C Vent Cleaning
  • Home Construction and Subcontractors
  • New Driveway
  • Landscaping Companies
  • Plant Nurseries

This list is subject to change, so if you are a company looking to find creative ways to get Video Production Services without breaking the bank, reach out to me!

Bartering isn’t for everyone

In summary, in the past I have found it very rewarding to work with smaller companies on trade.  Startups without the capital at first to afford the level of video production they could afford at the beginning have limited options. Some companies may find that this is too low brow and are too proud to barter so they will work around not using videos. Rest assured if these companies wait too long their competitors inevitably will not.

I’ve developed some great relationships with some very successful business owners and I’m proud to have seen many of these companies really take off.  Here are some examples of some of the partial trades I have provided video production services in exchange for:  A restaurant with a tab, a week with an RV, a credit for plants at a nursery, pallets of mulch and paver bricks, new computers and monitors, etc.

Please contact me by filling out the contact form or giving me a call. We can talk about your business goals and how videos can help you achieve your goals in advertising, providing information and helping you communicate effectively to your target market.

When it comes to choosing system, data and marketing tools for your business, start with “the framework approach” but don’t be surprised if you decide a custom system is a better fit for you!  We’re talking CRM (Customer Relationship Management), MA (Marketing Automation), CMS (Content Management System), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), or BIT (Business Intelligence Tools).

Some of the best web development practices you may read about might be a great fit for your company or they might not.  It’s always a good idea to take “the framework approach” towards your business first.  After all, your company isn’t that unique, right?  So, if your company has needs for tools that can help it function more effectively and automate your processes, it’s pretty likely there are solutions out there you can then adapt and tailor to your company.

But not so fast.  Looking at the price tag of some of these systems that cost well over $100k to license and even more in costs of time and labor to implement, you have to weigh this and compare what you get in return.  How are you going to migrate your legacy data to this new system?  Who is going to maintain all of its moving parts once your high-priced consultant leaves?

You may have the best web developers but that’s not guaranteeing your company will transition smoothly to a new system and platform.  Your web developers are only human, I mean, even the most senior web developers are senior in only certain areas, but they’re always still junior in others.  I’m senior level in PHP, MySQL, WordPress, Symfony and Javascript/JQuery, but I’m not so senior in Magento and Drupal.  Besides my own personal projects and exercises to keep learning and stay fresh, I have been out of the heavy ecommerce side for almost 4 years now.

You may find out that your perfectly capable web development team likely never had experience integrating Salesforce, Marketo or other heavy data-driven platforms into a business, so that will be another challenge, especially if you’re a small company that can’t afford to stretch its resources to have part of your web development team working exclusively on this type of project when you still need execution for the daily grind development activities that will continue to keep your lights on!

Legacy Attitudes

We haven’t even addressed the most important question:  How are you going to migrate your people to this new system?  Your company may have some of the best web developers on staff but they might not be the most talented and skilled with your people.  So, how are you going to deal with this change?  You may find it’s too much change for people, you may also discover opportunities to automate processes that were performed manually before that would enable you to let’s say deprecate certain positions?

If you are optimizing your business and you are making your workforce more efficient, that is quite a business achievement.  Imagine if you could shift two full-time salaried positions out of, say accounting and invest more in good web talent or other people with newer skills and experience more tailored towards the technology-driven horizon you are taking your company.

Custom Systems

A lot of the heavy lifting of some of these enterprise tools aren’t that sophisticated, complex, or magical.  Having built out a few custom ERPs for retailers and factories, I can say that compared to the packages they were considering with price tags over $500,000, that’s a lot of technology talent they could buy for a few years with super custom, tailor made, yet still scalable solutions built right in with technical support.

The first reason they decide to go customized is the price tag, the uncertainty of success, and the potential future costs of ridiculously expensive upgrades and support contracts to off-shore call centers later.  The reason many smaller companies go the custom route is they trust their web team more than these slick “enterprise solutions” salespeople coming in with their big price tags not understanding the company’s intricacies, culture and existing systems that work fine.  They want to come in and burn the house down and start completely from their foundation of understanding, what a waste.  They want to redo everything their way and it’s difficult to pick and choose with cafeteria-style options to only buy what a small business needs because there’s a disconnect between the small business’s understanding of what these tools are capable of and these business tool sales and support people not understanding what the business actually needs.  You may get to this point in weighing your options and finally just say the hell with it.

So discussions go away, management just deals with the confines of an inadequate, dysfunctional system, and HR pays three extra people to enter information from one print-out into a screen so the same data goes into another.  All in the name of “keeping the peace” and not upsetting the apple cart.

Well, in my experience of helping companies, large and small – national retail chains and small manufacturers, I’ve seen the sense of helplessness in looking for “the right tools”.  Usually, the solution is pretty close at hand.  Often, the POS and other data systems are already collecting data into an accessible database.  If your company collects data and you can see reports somewhere, you may be 90% at a solution to help you automate perhaps up to 80% of your systems and processes that are achievable without buying expensive ERP and other “enterprise” solutions.  All you need is a knowledgeable and creative-minded web developer or programmer to outline your biggest priorities and system gaps and identify solutions that could be built all with NO EXTRA COSTS except what you pay the developer AND YOU WILL OWN THE CODE AND THE SOLUTION for eternity.

Yes, that all sounds good, but how do you solve your business systems dilemma?  Trusted people with this experience can guide you through the process.  We can create a plan to help you prioritize your company’s own tailored ERP based on open source that runs right on your company’s secure intranet as a one-stop shop for all your company data and reporting, organized by department and restricted access by user roles and privileges.

All code, programming, logic and database design and setup are scalable and future-proof.  You may choose to go with a custom solution but you can still make sure your web team adapts a common development foundation, at least choose an MVC pattern and structure or go an actual PHP framework like the Symfony framework along with other options that will enable your current web development team to quickly integrate, familiarize and be productive contributors to your future proof, scalable custom ERP solution.

If you are a business looking for guidance for choosing the proper direction for a CRM, MA (Marketing Automation), ERP, CMS or you’re just swimming in this stew of acronyms and are getting confused, contact me to arrange a Business Tools Assessment by clicking here.  We know what questions to ask you to help present to you the pros, cons, strengths and weaknesses of going in the myriad of directions.  We’re your SME (Subject Matter Expert) for all things business management tools — I couldn’t resist to throw in one more acronym in there.

If you’re looking to go alone on a shoestring budget and even free solutions, I suggest looking into Odoo, the community edition is packed full of many features and Mautic, a robust open-source marketing automation tool.

As a leader in your organization, don’t you have a fiscal responsibility to save your stakeholders money?  One easy way to save money is to reduce the monthly Microsoft fees you are paying, it’s quick and easy to to transition away from the shackles of Microsoft Office.  If you tired of paying Microsoft license fees for office products and emails, I urge you to look into open source solutions!

Disclaimer: I own Microsoft stock, I love Microsoft, but I’m just not a big fan of their Office products, so when I hear a business owner complain about Microsoft and the licenses they “have to pay” for, including their email with Outlook/Exchange and other Office products, I don’t have much sympathy for them.

Microsoft is not the only choice for these type of office solutions. Granted, their products work well, but there are reliable and many free software alternatives out there.  The best alternative to pricey Microsoft Office licenses is Open Office.  This is an open source software project [] for Windows PC users, Mac users, and Linux that offers feature-rich capabilities similar to Microsoft Word (Open Office Write), Microsoft Excel (Open Office Calc), and PowerPoint (Open Office Draw).

The database and forms for simple data storage and manipulation is set up easily in Open Office Base, which offers many of the same features in Microsoft Access.  The other bonus is that you can usually open up MS Office files and edit them as standard .doc. .docx or .xls and .xlsx file formats, so you don’t miss a beat as you transition your team of 3…. Or 53 for that matter.

To replace your entire Microsoft Office suite and save potentially thousands of dollars of license fees, I suggest for those business owners who wince every time they pay their monthly Microsoft bill to look at these alternatives and give them a try:

Except for replacing Outlook, 90% of all offices I know could easily transition to Open Office and completely eliminate those pesky license fees of $4 per email address and $89 per year per user for Office, etc.  Not being able to replace Outlook is no reason to remain harnessed to Microsoft Office because there are feature rich, free alternatives to that as well!

For the free replacement of Microsoft Outlook, I recommend Mozilla Thunderbird. It also has calendar integration and other excellent features.
As an honorable mention, for desktop layout programs like Adobe InDesign, I recommend looking into Scribus! Even though their homepage is a little clunky and they have super large images loading as thumbnails, don’t be fooled! They may not know what they’re doing with their homepage content, but they make a great desktop publishing program!