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Small Business Startup Guides


Producing How-To Videos

Minimum Start-Up: $1,500

Average Start-Up: $5,000

Revenue: $25,000

Profits: $18,000

A Florida video-grapher produced a "How-To Wedding Planner" tape and sod over $250,000 worth of videos in just 12 months.

Think about it:  If you sell your video for $25, all you need to do is sell around 80 videos a week or 325 videos a month to gross $100,000 a year.

A typical "small" production can sell as much as 1,500 videos a month, or 18,000 units a year, at $25 each.



If there is one single factor that makes or breads a How-To video it's the choice of topic.

Another factor to consider is the length of the material.  To remain interesting, the average How-To Video must be fast-paced and relatively short, not exceeding 45 minutes.  More successful videos are no more than 30 minutes long, as this is about the tolerable length by which a video can effectively cover a topic and remain interesting.




The length of your video also affects your publication cost. Following is a rate structure for publication charges based on set quantities for a factory-load VHS tape.

LENGTH   1000     2500


10-min   $1.50          $1.15

20-min   $2.10          $1.80

30-min   $2.50          $2.00



Who's going to do the shooting?  If you decide to do it yourself, where will you get the camera? What format are you going to shoot it in?

The average cost of renting a -inch U-Matic camera, with wireless mics, and standard lighting equipment is around $495 a day. A camera person with an assistant will cost an extra $250.




Once you've shot all the footage you need, you edit the work, assembling the footage in an orderly and coherent fashion that will effectively deliver the thought.

Depending on how you shot your footage, editing can take 20 to 50 times the estimated finished length of your video. This means a 10 minute video may take 4 to 5 hours to edit, and so on.

Studio time ranges from $40 to as much as $100 an hour, depending on the special effects you want to have available for your editing project.




Full-color printed sleeves start at around 40 cents a piece if you order 1,000 or more.  You also need face labels on your tapes, as well as shrink wrapping for protection.


DIRECTORY OF PHOTO/VIDEO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES. Write to these companies for more information on the business opportunities they have available.




AM Marketing, 694 Center St., Chicopee, MA 01013

Color Fast Marketing Systems, 9522 Topanga Canyon Blvd.,

Chatsworth, CA 91311

Fotokad Inc., 7033 Canoga Ave #12, Canoga Park, CA 91303

Image Makers Unlimited, 1018 W. El Norte Pkwy #200, Escondido, CA


Kustom Cards Int'l Inc., 219 Walnut Ave., Vinton, VA 24179

Photo Card Specialists Inc., 1726 Westgate Rd, Eau Claire, WI


Photo Express, 3572 Hancock St., San Diego, CA 92110

Tomorrow Advertising Products, 4060 Peachtree Rd., Ste. D-328,

Atlanta, GA 30319




CASI, 156 Fifth Ave. #323, New York, NY  10010

Charco Enterprise, 7820 SW 188th Ave., Dunnellon, FL 32630

Colors By Simpson, 228 Midland, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

Creative Photo Concepts Inc., 1233-164th St. SW, Ste. G-386,

Lynnwood, WA 98037

Foto Fantasy Inc., 302 Winchester St., Newton, MA  02161

Glazer-Pro, 66 Marion St., Boston, MA  02128

Image-Wear Int'l Inc, 4312 N. Federal Hwy., Ft Lauderdale, FL


Millford Heirloom Inc., 108 W. Main St., Milford, CT 06460

New Venture Video Imaging Systems, PO Box 834, Laurinburg, NC


RMI, 14832 Venture Dr., Dallas, TX 75234

RPL Supplies Inc., 280 Midland Ave., Saddle Brook, NJ  07662

Tech Systems Inc., 66 Marion St., Boston, MA 02128

The Mug Factory, 4310 S. Semoran Blvd #590, Orlando, FL  32822

Universal Artek Inc., 4312 N. Federal Hwy, Ft Lauderdale, FL






Active Audio Video Comm. Svcs., 3 Chenango St #200, Buffalo, NY


Group M Productions, 321 Ouachita Ave., Hot Springs, AR  71901

Hi-Shots Aerial Photography Ltd., 210-A W Main St., Salem, IL


Keyscenes, 4379 Walden Cir., Lantana, FL 33463

Neil Enterprises Inc., 940 Forest Edge Dr., Vernon Hills, IL


Photo Advertising Industries Inc., 262 S. Coconut Ln., Miami

Beach, FL  33139

Photo Sculpture Marketing Inc., 4013 Hwy. 620 N., Austin, TX


Photo Sculptures Inc., 32 Heritage Ct., Lockport, NY 14094

Photography Studio Consultants Inc., 311 Sumneytown Pike Ste. 3A,

North Wales,

PA 19454

Surf Foto Co., 1030 Vale View Dr., Vista, CA 92083

Underwater Video Training Centers, 650 Redwood Ave., Sacramento,

CA 95815