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Featured Studio Owner

Home Video Studio MO
Home Video Studio - Lee's Summit

Date: 07/24/2012

Chad Godfrey has found his stride. In his ninth year of business, Chad is a consistent high income producer and from day one hit the ground running - first as a part-time studio, then to full time, and then opening up a retail studio store. He has also won numerous Hanley awards for video excellence, including multiple Best in Show awards, as well as special achievement awards for Rookie of the Year, Studio Store of the Year and the coveted Studio Owner of the Year. Chad also takes delight in teaching and freely sharing his knowledge and experience with other studio owners, distinguishing himself as an owner to which many aspire – in fact some might even say Chad Godfrey is a "dean" of studio owners. We are pleased to present Chad Godfrey, Lee's Summit MO as August Studio Owner of the Month.

We caught up with Chad on the heels of another great showing at the 12th Annual Getaway in Las Vegas to gain some insight on his modus operandi in business and in life:

Q. You went from part-time to full time to studio store. You've demonstrated a steady track of accomplishment since you started. What's your motivation?

A. I jumped into this business full-time after five months. Earlier that year, Suzie (my wife) and I decided that she should go part-time at her job in order to be at home more.

I had a very primordial feeling at the moment of going full-time that "we had to eat." Suzie was only making half of the salary we were once used to, so my deep-rooted sense has always been "I can't fail at this. I've got nowhere else to go." It has always been that message in the back of my mind that has kept me motivated.

Q. What's a typical day like for you?

A. A typical day involves about seven hours in the studio doing the daily operations (transfers, editing, shooting, customer interaction, etc.) On most days, I'm out of the office for an hour or two doing a mix of things from business networking, lunch or a separate meeting with a client, corporate recon, morning coffee, and simple errands that need to be made during the day such as banking, the post office, or UPS. I have two employees that work for me, so I plan my out-of-the office time around when they can cover in my absence.

Q. Do you think your business has "seasoned" in eight years?

A. If anything, I think its "seasoned" due to my ability to be really comfortable in all aspects of the business. When I started, I knew how to do video, but knew very little about running a business.

Q. What is the greatest lesson you've learned thus far?

A. Two things: Number one, listen for critical cues from your customer. Try to discern what they really want. Listen for and respond well to their concerns. Keep their objectives on the top of your mind and serve them well. Number two, stay on top of your finances at all times. Reconcile your accounts monthly and always know, at any moment, where you are at. I have over fifty creative awards in my studio, but awards mean nothing in your business if you can't show that your business is profitable and moving forward.

Q. Has your sales/marketing approach changed since when you first started?

A. Not a whole lot. I've always tried to stay focused on both the business-to-business and the business to consumer aspects of the business. It's easy to find yourself marketing for one portion of our business and not the other. However, it's really important to market both. That being said, it's even more important to know how to SELL all the profit centers.

Q. Has your typical client changed? Your client mix? Are your jobs more profitable?

A. We still have about the same mix of about 65% consumer business (tapes, photos, film transfers, etc.) to 35% corporate jobs (production, editing, duplication, etc.). With our store-front, we get lots of walk-ins for consumer-related business. The corporate work has stayed fairly steady from when I had the business in my home. Over the last several years though, the business has ramped up and the jobs have become more profitable, partially due to my comfort and confidence in selling the work.

Q. What are your next goals?

A. My first goal is to break the $250,000/year ceiling. I've got some work to do to get there, but I think it's attainable. As with any goal, it will take focus and discipline to get there. It's the challenge of getting there that's exciting for me.

I'd like to one day open another studio, perhaps a "feeder store" in a mall, like a kiosk-type place. I haven't put too much thought into that, but I think that's the key to an additional source of income.

I'm also training for a marathon. My days usually consist of running for an hour or more. Running is great because I try to maintain focused on both business and personal development at the same time. I'm typically listening to a business book or podcast while I run to keep learning and to stay inspired. I'm a strong believer that exercise is a great thing for your business.

Lastly, I'd like to look into ways of getting more involved in the community. Perhaps be a member of a non-profit board of directors. Some way that I can give back to help those in need. It is in this work that life is fulfilling most of all.

Q. Any last thoughts?

I have a great passion for this business. I love working with audio and video. I love shooting and editing video. I love teaching others and I share what I do with anyone and everyone. I think my attitude is pretty infectious and influential to others. I attribute much of this to my success as well.

Chad Godfrey
Home Video Studio - Lee's Summit
Lee's Summit, MO
chad@homevideostudio.com
(816) 246-8888

Home Video Studio MO
Lee's Summit MO

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