Money making is the primary drive for all businesses, and as the person who has for so many years sat at the output end of the creative process, I have often wondered how my little patch of importance effects those figures at the end of the year.
I’m not sure that this level of understanding is entertained by many production staff. In my experience, very rarely are detailed figures discussed or demonstrated to the studio staff, but I have never understood why.
In the past, I have seen figures presented on a screen, had the boss talk about targets and potential, or even had a percentage figure flashed up before we all go out to celebrate an outstanding quarterly performance, non-the-wiser to the depths of calculations involved…ahh, who cares there’s free beer!
But what about the nitty gritty, and as studio members, should we have more understanding of the financial side and how we are able to influence the monetary performance?
From my experiences, I would say of course we should.
As in any production situation, efficiencies are key to keeping profits healthy, so what is wrong with a studio team understanding it’s inefficiencies and how it can perform better in a financial sense?
Sure you get personal reviews, but if you could relate that to your importance in the financial process, it may also affect attitude and moral for the better.
From a creative perspective, I think this has always been a tricky one.
Creativity takes time and it often involves some attempt at clairvoyance. Creative time is subjective and speculative, and because of that, has always been difficult to place a bonafide cost onto; a piece of art is only worth what you are willing to pay for it.
But how about the other side of the studio?
Well, here I feel, is where the real difference can be made.
Production work, be it print or digital can often be planned and have efficiencies built into it with a little thought and preparation.
Understanding monetary targets and then developing studio production processes to suit can surely only to help cut production time and maximise the the money made.
This is, of course, just part of a larger process. But by building a greater understanding of work and how it is to be applied across whole campaigns, rather than individual pieces, combined with careful monitoring through the stages, far more can be achieved in a shorter amount of time, with less stress when those rounds of amendments come knocking.
Surely this approach would not only be better for your studio and organisation, but for your clients too; being able to tell them that the work will take 80% of the time is sure to make them happy.
Or perhaps you might not want to tell them that at all…