Is it lunchtime yet?
During the past couple of months, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the finest people this industry can offer, some inspirational, happy and focused people, and without wishing to carry on with the platitudes of engorging their egos any further……its been a busy and fun two months here at the Slaughterhouse.
Now, many creative businesses traditionally slow down during the summer months when earlier projects are now completed and clients head off on holiday. This is a worry to a few people I have spoken to and yes, it too is of concern to me. Having a young and fragile company to establish requires constant foot fall, regular and consistent increase in cash flow and a growing number of dates throughout August being blocked out with confirmed studio hire days….This got me thinking. Instead of feeling down, why not take full advantage of the free time to do five activities that will set my business up for growth for the rest of the year.
Clear the Clutter.
It’s a fact of life that workspaces are magnets for clutter. Summer gives you a chance to clean off those piles of paper that have grown over the year. Once you’re finished with your desk, archive finished projects and purge anything that you know you no longer need. Organise commonly used files and resources so you can find them later. Next, go through that long list of emails and put them in relevant folders or delete them altogether. Doing these things now helps you be more productive when work gets busy again.
Touch Base With Your Contacts.
It’s easy to lose contact with key clients you haven’t worked with in awhile. And when you’re busy, it’s even easier to forget about those prospects who have expressed interest in your services. Take some time to reconnect with both of these groups over lunch, coffee or phone calls. Or invite them to an event you are going to or better still, arranging (film night again on Saturday 30th July – http://on.fb.me/q5Srkz), a gig or a drink in your favourite pub . Summer quiet time is the perfect time to build relationships for the coming year. Just make sure you do it before the “everyone goes on holiday” month of August.
Refresh Your Marketing Material.
Summer is the perfect time to update your marketing materials and decide if your brand is being shared across all methods of communications. Start with your website. Refresh the message you are wanting to pit out there and update your portfolio. Don’t forget to update sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn where images, messages and examples of work may have become stale.
Next, check your printed materials. Is anything out of date? Are you still happy with your business cards or anything else you hand out (brochures, A5 Cards, etc.)? Maybe it’s time to design something new. Put a plan into motion and make it happen.
Check Out Your Competition.
Having a clear idea of what your competition is up to is one of the most important factors for success, if only to compare the quality of creative work, marketing and who their clients are. Think of it as another business strategy – you’re identifying other company’s successes/failures and learning from them. Look at their websites, successful proposals and work. In a business where imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, take the best ideas and leave the rest.
Let Go and Relax.
Time off rejuvenates and reenergises the soul. After a break, you come back with new ideas and a renewed passion for what you do. Take that long delayed holiday or three-day weekend away from everything. Resist the urge to be productive or to check in on the office and give your creative mind a break. We all need to disengage from work and connect with our personal lives for a while each year. Give yourself a chance this summer to get back in touch with you as a person, not the creative.
So with this in mind, I am off…slinging my hook….spending some time with my family and severing any contact with work, Manchester and maybe even remind myself that there is more to life. So, as activities go, ours is pretty harmless. No cars to worry about, utter tranquility and a whole week of messing about in boats, eating three times my body weight in clotted cream and doing everything at the pace the tides will allow. Welcome to The Old Sawmills, Fowey. A hybrid of a holiday destination I will grant you, this destination has enjoyed more of a history in aiding the greatest musicians this country can offer in producing some classic and well loved tunes. The history of this place reads like a who’s who – a legendary name in the music industry of where the likes of Led Zepplin, MUSE, Oasis, Stone Roses, The Beta Band, Catatonia and every one’s household new romantics, Duran Duran (to name but a few).
The very idea of spending a week here, a house that is governed by the tides – accessed only by footpath or boat – seems wonderfully ridiculous at the moment, but to my delight and consternation (as I am only there for a week), my travelling partners are all just as excited about immersing ourselves in this tiny corner of Cornish history. I may even manage a 10 minute drum solo at 4am.
So on my return you may have to – for a short while – pander to my new found rock star status, but I am sure by the end of my first day back at the studio, it will all be a fond and distant memory.
See you all in August, get booking those studio dates, camera hire and follow the studio on Twitter for up dates on events and last minute deals….
If only we had a summer…
To one and all.
I am proud to announce that Slaughterhouse Studios is, from Monday 1st August, offering a new Canon 5D Mk2, with power grip for hire….wow, you exclaim! And you may gasp at the fact that this camera kit comes with not one, but two lenses – 70-200mm L IS f2.8 and a 16-35 L f2.8. But it does not stop there, with options I also offer this kit out to hire with the studio 3 (obviously this is an option, not a condition of hire). Prices are more competitive than any where else in Manchester.
So do not delay as dates are already being booked up.
Canon 5D Mk2 Camera with Power Grip & battery charger
70-200mm L IS f2.8 lens
16 – 35mm L f2,8 lens
Studio 3 Hire @ £100.00/day or £500.00/week
All prices are +VAT
Studio 3 rates only accounts for customers hiring the camera and light kit
All hire will commence 1st August 2011.
Call or email for further information.