Little Guys Take the Biggest Hit From Writers’ Strike

While writers are on strike and studios are shutting down production, who will most be affected? Small business. Like most industries, entertainment relies heavily on small businesses for many of the elements required to produce films and television shows.

According to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. (LACEDC), on a “mid-budget” film ($17 million), 304 direct and indirect jobs are created and $1.2 million state sales and income taxes are generated. For a “large budget” film ($70 million), 928 direct and indirect jobs are created, while $10.6 million in state taxes are generated.

The bulk of these jobs are independent contractors and employees of small businesses. There are a myriad of companies that cater “on-set,” rent out lighting and camera equipment, provide locations for shoots, and perform virtually every function a production needs. Some will survive the strike but others will not.

Whether you are in entertainment or any other industry here’s how you can practice attraction in order to thrive in a difficult market:

Connect with Super-users – Think non-traditional sales and marketing. Most broad advertising doesn’t work and traditional selling pushes more people away than it attracts. Identify a highly targeted audience and use the Internet, content malleability, affiliate and alliance relationships to dominate it.
Destroy and Rebuild -Use this targeted audience to help define the re-engineering of your products and services. Introduce innovation in everything you do. This is a good time to experiment with new approaches. Focus on getting the best people and creating the best product.
Create Standards and Systems – Developing systems allows you to maintain tight control of every area of your business while you are re-engineering. For example, establish a system for tracking and forecasting cash. This metric is more important than your profit and loss statement. Many companies can operate at a loss for years if they’re able to manage their cash position. Know your projected flow at least 3 months from now. If you have a solid grasp on your income and expenses, you have a much higher chance of survival!

Supply Chain Management: We better HOP to it!

We may be paying 30 to 50 cents more per six pack and several microbrewers will not survive the year due to the recent shortage of hops. Bad weather and poor planning left growers short on supply ratcheting-up the price of the little flowers that make beer taste good. All this goes to show that even small business players need to be concerned about supply chain management. Are you in touch with your suppliers issues? What contingencies do you have in place to ensure that you have the raw materials you need to ensure your market success? If not, you better hop to it!

Bernanke IS a Drag!

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke warned this week that the slump in the US housing market will prove to be a “significant drag” on economic growth. If that news isn’t bad enough for you he followed-up with his brilliant observation that that economic confidence is still fragile. Of course it is Ben and we’re all counting on YOU to give us some confidence. Cutting interest rates is a symptomatic cure. It’s hard enough for small business operators to succeed in a highly competitive arena. Confidence is our most valuable asset. Isn’t it about time that our economic leaders gave us some tools for growth rather than predictions of gloom and doom. Quit being such a DRAG Ben.

Virtual Workforce

Mere virtual assistance is passé. Small business operators must commit to a future virtual workforce. Better get on-board now!
Why engage in a virtual workforce?
1. Avoid intrinsic employee costs such as workers comp, insurance and benefits.
2. Reduce compliance and entitlement issues
3. Eliminate time wasters associated with the traditional office social structure
4. Enjoy more freedom, independence and a “blended (work/personal) lifestyle”
SBA Network does over $1 million in sales with only ONE employee, NO office space and 6 virtual members.