Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in media production but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gabe Roy, Founder of Zest Media Productions, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is in delivering high-quality, strategic video production services to clients in Vancouver and across Canada. My customers range from household brand names to small-to-medium-sized businesses. It doesn't matter what industry the business is in; our clients benefit from the powerful medium of video to deliver their brands' messages to their audience.
Tell us about yourself
I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit - marrying that with my desire to be creative made working in the video production industry a perfect fit for me. As a kid, I spent a lot of time experimenting with my camera - writing and filming skits with friends or spending an afternoon shooting a painstaking stop-motion movie with Lego characters. Fifteen years later, that childlike love for making things with my camera is still there. Knowing that I can do what I love and simultaneously bring value to a business is very rewarding for me. I've built several businesses in my career and have learned a lot from each venture, but with Zest Media Productions, I feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
This is constantly changing. I think every complex project I take on that turns out successfully feels like my biggest accomplishment. In this industry, there are so many variables and unexpected problems to navigate - from technical issues even down to the weather. Especially on bigger projects, with large crews and big overhead, there's a laundry list of things that could throw a wrench in your plans, regardless of how much you plan for. When the video is delivered, and the client is satisfied, for that moment, that's my biggest accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is managing my work-life balance. I've been a full-time entrepreneur for the last six years, and it's been a constant learning process to make sure I manage my personal life, health, and business equally.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do something you love: There are always going to be trying times and unexpected hurdles to overcome in your business. If the industry you're in is something you are truly passionate about, it makes the tough times a bit easier.
- Establish yourself as an expert: People do business with people they trust and recognize. Be present in your ideal customers' lives and share your knowledge online about the industry you work in. My goal is to be first in mind when someone looks to invest in video production for their business. To do that, I need to be active online and demonstrate that I know what I'm talking about. Unironically, video is the best way to reach these ideal customers.
- Provide value: Avoid shiny objects and provide measurable value for your clients. Don't chase the hottest trends. Get good at what you do and understand exactly how it can be beneficial for your potential customer.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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