It’s almost impossible to open your phone or computer these days without receiving an update notification or pop-up ad trying to sell you the latest and greatest. Whether it’s the new iOS software or Snapchat: Bug fixes and improvements or version 53.0.2785.143 of Chrome, half of my day is spent staring at a progress bar. Alright, that might be an exaggeration, but in a world of updates and exponential tech advancement, how does a small business stay relevant without having to invest in the latest CRM software, in this week’s “must-do” marketing tactic, OR, in our case, in the oh so sweet, 4k capable DJI Mavic pocket drone?
Easy. Just stay down to earth.
PCS’ first major camera purchase when we opened up shop was the SONY BVW-400a betacam. With its lightweight 15 lb frame and a blazing tape rewind speed of under 5 minutes, this would be the only camera we would ever want or need… until the BVW-D600 came out and then the Panasonic DVCPRO and then Sony’s PDW series (now XDCAM) released in the early 00’s, all of which would have a difficult time competing with the iPhone 7+ camera today. On the post-production side, Avid Symphony was released in 1998 and was the premier non-linear editing software on the market. In order to store and edit on the system, we had to use Avid’s own state-of-the-art 18 and 36 gig hard drives (seen below) that cost a couple thousand dollars each. And yes those are handles, because you never knew how many of those briefcases you would have to carry at one time. In the video production industry alone, technology advancement and updates have radically changed our daily strategy and lowered the cost of entry into the business, increasing competition.
As a small business, we do not have the luxury of purchasing new equipment or software on the fly. If we bought every new device and gadget released, we’d be out of business before our next president is sworn in (which might not be the worst thing)! Major thought goes into each investment we make at PCS. Will this camera make us more competitive in the marketplace or do we want it because it’s new and shiny? Will this CRM system help us serve our customers better or is the one we already have just as efficient? Will this campaign reach an audience that actually needs our video production services or are we just checking off another marketing channel? Investing in new gear and technology is vital in growing a business (Exhibit A: our video cassette memorial wall seen above), but with a down to earth, realistic approach you can wisely differentiate between your company’s wants and needs.
Every month there is a new camera released that aims to make the ones in our hands obsolete, but at the end of the day, it’s the knowledge and vision of the one operating the machine that will make or break a production. Don’t get caught up in this week’s launch event, but instead invest time and money into further educating your employees. Provide them with the resources needed to succeed, but understand that the creativity and experience of your employees can never be automated and will never go out of style.
So before you go buying that new VariCam to replace your current setup, ask yourself these simple questions:
Am I making this investment based on emotion/want, or is this crucial to the future success of my business?
Have I considered every alternative?
If I do decide to make this investment, how will I know if it was the right decision down the road?
Thanks for reading our first blog entry and let me know what you think in the comments below!