At the beginning of this year, our company went through about a 2 month drought after a client bailed on a project that had already started. We were counting on another $30,000 coming into the company between December and February.
It still hasn’t shown up.
The problem was that when we took that project, we cleared our schedule to accommodate the project. It was going to be tons of travel, 20 different trips for 20 different shoots, and therefore 20 different edits. It would be full time for two of us for about two months.
That’s never a great strategy, you always want to be prospecting for new work so that you have enough to sustain your future income.
I’ve been re-evaluating that the last week or so so that we never have to go through that sort of a dry spell again.
The problem has always been splitting my time between business development, fundraising for a movie (biz def for a different business, essentially), and actual project work like filming, editing, producing on set, etc.
Only one of those actually directly makes money. The bizdev work will hopefully lead to money down the line, but there’s never a guarantee.
So this last week I’ve been looking a little more seriously at other projects that could turn into side income. Even if we got it up to $2,000-3,000 a month, that would cover a big chunk of our fixed expenses so that we don’t have to dip into savings the next time there’s a draught in client work.
Things like automating a sales funnel for my wife’s photography business. She could easily do 2 weddings and 5 other shoots a month, but she is averaging only 1 or 2 of each. Redoing her website and doing some facebook advertising to drive more potential customers her way will take maybe 2 or 3 days and a couple hundred dollars, but could lead to an extra $3,000-4,000 per month on top of what she already does.
I know, why haven’t we done that sooner?
On top of that I’m working on a new book, and a new website idea. The book isn’t really something you can automate, that just takes consistency, but the website is an idea that I can outsource the development of and spend less than an hour a day on getting it up and running. From there it could turn into a nice lifestyle business or side income, bringing in a few hundred extra dollars a day to split between the 3 or 4 people that run it.
On top of that though, what I realized by thinking about this problem over the last little while is that my client acquisition system is broken. We have zero clients calling in. It’s a rare occurence if it happens at all.
That means that every new project has to come directly from our outreach process, which we don’t have. So we have to look into that and start spending 30-50% of my time on that so that we can not just stay afloat, but ultimately grow our business.
Have you gone through similar problems? Do you have a way of getting new clients that’s working for you? Let’s chat, I’d love to discuss it with you.