Multimedia companies provide many services, including text authoring, photography, graphic design, and video and audio services. These services are critical for nearly every business--and especially those that rely heavily on the Internet. Starting a multimedia company involves selecting an industry to serve, researching the market and competition, establishing offerings, writing a budget and creating a financial plan.
Choose the industry you want to serve. Multimedia companies serve the music, film, freelance, travel and education industries, among many others. Nearly every business needs text, photography, graphics, video and audio materials to effectively promote brands and launch promotional campaigns. Choose an industry that you know a lot about or have a passion for.
Research the market for the industry you hope to serve by segmenting it and identifying needs. For example, segments of the music industry that spend money on multimedia are album distributors, musicians, independent producers, band managers and venues. Relevant segments of the film industry include independent producers and directors, film production companies, talent managers, actors and comedians. Relevant segments for the travel industry include travel agencies, museums, festivals, tour guides, tourism bureaus, travel magazines, airlines and cruise companies. Relevant segments of the freelance industry include photographers, videographers, journalists, computer programmers, event planners and various professional consultants. Make lists of the multimedia services that each segment of your industry requires, uses and benefits from. Identifying the needs of individual segments will target your service offerings and promotions and establish a reference for future growth of your company.
Research the competition by evaluating services and prices, clients and promotional methods. Find out how multimedia companies are meeting the needs of each target segment. Multiple competitors serving any one segment might indicate a volatile market; few competitors may indicate a monopolized market. Volatile markets may present opportunities to pool together competitors; monopolized markets may present opportunities to target businesses with higher or lower prices. Identify and evaluate competitors' service offerings, pricing and success as thoroughly as possible and include that information in your marketing plan.
Establish specific service offerings based on your ability to fill niches, beat competitors' pricing and reach target consumers. Label your services to match the needs in your target market. Text authoring, for example, may include transcription, pay-per-click landing pages, blog and social media content or news releases. Photography and graphic design may include brochures, web design, product design, mobile device applications, fliers and posters. Video may include live coverage of events, cinematic narrative production, editing, web content production, tutorials and educational videos. Audio services may include sound editing for music producers, composing scores for film, recording music for independent artists, automated dialog replacement or audio consultation.
Create a budget and finance plan by adding up the total start-up and operational expenses to sustain your company for one to five years. Expenses include legal and accounting fees, business licensing and registration, technical equipment, market research, advertising and promotion, production space, employees, travel, continuing education, equipment upgrades and utility bills. Get funding for your business that is equal to one year of expenses plus allowances for unforeseen expenses. Sources of funding include self-financing, family, friends, bank loans, credit cards and private financing.
Unforeseen expenses may include overrun start-up costs, lower-than-anticipated profit, slow sales, new operational costs suggested by employees, faulty promotional plans, increasing inventory demands and increasing customer receivables, competitor activities, and fluctuations in micro and macro economies.