How to Time Tracking Could Help in Video Production Business and Increase Profits!
Sometimes, video producers face difficulties with the price estimating of some of their projects. Usually, we know how we'd price is based on the speed of our production team. But we have absolutely no idea how to price when it’s based on the speed and efficiency.
At least what had happened with our company until we discovered a big difference in the production cost after paying attention to time management in our video production.
And the best advice I can give is to track every minute of every project so that you can start to see trends for how long different kinds of projects take to complete.
Early in video production business ownership career, it’s okay to make a few pricing mistakes as long as you are tracking your time so that you only make the same mistakes a few times. You can write this exercise off as “peace of mind” and also as a most valuable “I’ll know how to price similar projects based on my abilities next time.”
When tracking your video production time, make sure you divide your activities up into logical functions. Our team tracks their time based on planning/consultation, shoot, capture/digitizing, transcribing/logging, scripting, editing, internal/client approvals, mastering/archiving, streaming video encoding/upload and artwork design.
We create estimates for our projects by filling in numbers for each category above that I estimate it will take to complete the project. Then, throughout the course of the project, our video production team keeps time logs that track what project they are working on, when they worked on it (in/out times) and the function of the performance. There are lots of Time Management Apps you can use nowadays. We prefer to use Trello because it's simple and easy to use.
At the end of each day, they turn these time logs into our studio manager. He then puts the numbers from each time log into a master-tracking database that our team leader is able to look at periodically to judge how well we are doing as compared to the budget for the project.
When the project is complete, it is very easy to see how many hours for the project were estimated versus how many hours it actually took. If we are over budget, we will adjust our estimate for similar projects in the future. If we are under budget, we get a great profit margin and perhaps can consider charging less for similar projects in the future.
If we are right on budget, that means I came up with an accurate estimate and that I can take the same approach when quoting similar projects down the road.
Having a tracking system in place whether you are a video production company or other business, gives you a daily measuring tool that will help you be more profitable in your projects. You can watch your numbers on a daily basis to see how good or bad you are doing at meeting or beating the budget.
If you see that you are falling behind, you can take a step back and figure out a creative strategy that will help you get back on track. If you are ahead of schedule, you may want to add that extra special “wow!” factor so that your client will be extra impressed with the finished product.
We are a small video production company and even for us, time management is a big deal if speaking of financial plan strategy. That means we can work more efficiently and have more clients when adjusting our project budget in the right way.