By Andrea Keating
Founder and CEO
I am proud to report that 2013 is the 25th anniversary of Crews Control, the international video-staffing firm that I founded in 1988.
It’s hard to believe that a quarter century has passed since I first incorporated. But looking back at the work we’ve done in these two and a half decades makes me realize what it takes to build a business.
I’d like to share five of my lessons learned with you:
1. Follow your passion.
Starting a business is the most amazing, fun, exhilarating ride—but know before you jump in that it will become the major part of your life. Make sure this is something you love and believe in.
2. Don’t go it alone.
Find a mentor or entrepreneur business group. If your start-up doesn’t include a partner, it can get lonely being a party of one. A mentor or entrepreneur business group will work as your second opinion, devil’s advocate, or your cheerleading squad. Having a mentor group is good if you have a partner or partners as it is a good way to have a source for an impartial view of any issues you might be facing.
3. Celebrate the wins.
It’s so easy to win a contract or deal and then move right into the action mode. Develop a tradition to honor the big wins … whether it’s toasting your success with the team, going out for a celebratory lunch (even if it’s with a significant other or friend), or buying a new pair of shoes. No matter what your tradition is … honor it. The wins deserve a celebration.
4. Learn from the losses and move on.
A loss is tough, but don’t let it stop your momentum. Do a postmortem on what you might have done differently and use that knowledge to win the next one.
5. Balance your work and life.
Experts say that stepping away helps you get a new perspective and new energy. Listen to the experts … they are right. Make sure to take time with family and friends, and for your own reflection. Step back from your business so that when you do re-engage, you are fresh and eager to give 110 percent.
And here’s one to grow on:
Take time to get opinions and recommendations from your clients, your staff, and your vendors. All of these people have a vested interest in seeing you succeed. So make sure you take the time to ask them what they would like to see, what they see others are doing better than you, and what they would change/add/delete if it were their company.
Andrea Keating founded the nation’s first film-and-video-crew staffing agency, Crews Control, in 1988. Since then, the company has become a multimillion-dollar international firm that provides video production crews and related services to the corporate media market.
With 250 of the global Fortune 500 companies as clients, and more than 2,000 video crews on Crews Control’s roster, Keating’s focus today is the same as when she launched the business nearly 25 years ago: To match each client with the best local crew for each specific shoot.
A serial entrepreneur with a passion for helping new companies grow and develop, she has helped launch several businesses including the media staffing and production management firm, TeamPeople, and Scenios, where she is on the board of directors.
She also sits on the board of advisors for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship in the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, which is her alma mater.