STARTEGY: forecasting for small businesses
Some clients are a pain to work with,
but thankfully, the awesome crew at STARTEGY was definitely NOT that type of client!
As we embarked on the journey of making our first full-length feature film, we started saying goodbye to our commercial clients as soon as we could. This meant finishing of the projects we already had and putting more effort into turning down more and more new projects. We started doing this for two reasons. One, because we needed to free up our schedule to be able to put the majority of our focus into pre-production for NAVIGATOR. Two, our crew felt like we had learned what we could from working with clients and the many interesting issues and ways to handle/solve those issues that arise through the client process.
So, finishing off all our remaining projects
for the year (and having turned down 3 new projects), my team took off to their families homes and I headed up to Washington state with my wife to go visit her family for Christmas 2015.
On the car ride up I received an unexpected phone call. A genius YouTube advertiser friend of mine had a new client that gave up his current job to create a tech startup. This startup was built around the notion of helping small business learn how to actually make their companies financially successful, and they wanted our help telling their story.
The passion of the individual, I respected; the purpose of the company was close to my heart, and if there is one thing COMV excels at, it’s taking companies who have a hard-to-explain concept and making them understandable.
I talked with the COMVcrew over the next weeks and we all felt like it was a project that would help us continue to move towards our goal of making a feature film (In our minds eye of how to tell STARTEGY’s story, the video would mostly by cinematic b-roll that would visually tell the company’s purpose). But one last thing remained, we needed to meet up with the company owners and see if the people behind this great idea were worth working with. Through many bad experiences, we have learned that no amount of money is worth working for a “bad” client.
After our meeting
with Justin, the CEO of STARTEGY, we knew this would be a great working relationship. Through the typical ups and downs of a new and growing company the video was finished much later than planned, but the process was always pleasant and the end result was perfect for what the company needed to launch forward.
So, what tipped us off to realize that this would be a great working relation? And more than that, how what told us that this relationship would help the video turn out better than expected?
Well we would love to tell you:
The team over at STARTEGY, and the team that reached out to us for creating this video for their client, trusted that the COMVcrew knew how tell stories. They were humble enough to recognize that even though they had ideas how to tell their companies story, that the COMVcrew, through our experiences, skills, and collaboration, knew best.
We as human beings are impatient beings. We are even more impatient when we are passionate about an idea, topic, or opinion. The STARTEGY team was willing and patient enough to listen to the suggestion we give to all our clients (yet it is listened to by only 10% of them); Allow us to Take the time to figure out the exact message you want to tell, the best way to tell it in the voice of your target audience, and wait long enough to allow for us verify this is the right direction for all us to head.
Most clients hate this because they feel like “nothing is getting done.” Yet in reality film-making is 90% preparation. Once its planned as deep as we can go, execution is a piece of cake and a lot more precise.
This is an interesting part as it may seem like portion can contradict the trust portion. As we talk about the vision and what is needed to tell the story properly some clients are quick to say “this is what I want, do it.” This is possible, but sometimes our team alone doesn’t have all the industry insights and connections that the client (who is in the industry) has. So for us to just “do it” in a way that the result is smooth and up to par requires 3 to 4 times as much effort.
STARTEGY was great at seeing where they could assist; “Oh my best friend owns a Tesla” “oh my dad’s company has a great office,” which then allowed us to reciprocate “Oh I know someone who can get me to the roof of this building for the time-lapse” “My wife has a chocolate company that we can film.” With this the combined connections makes for a much higher production value, which allowed the client to get much more than they paid for.
At the end of it all we loved working with the STARTEGY team.
We had some great shots, great experiences, and were reminded once again why it’s so important to not be lead by the money but by the people when it comes to working with clients.
Enjoy this introduction to STARTEGY.