Case Study: Triage Creative

Tommy, the founder of Triage Creative, approached me to help him grow his business that provides videography and photography services to brands like Red Bull and National Geographic. Tommy’s goal was to double revenue in 2018, but he was unsure how to do so because there simply weren’t enough hours in the day.

The Stated Problem: Not enough hours in the day

Thus, at the surface, his problem was a lack of time; however, after investigating further, it became apparent that Tommy himself was the actual problem. By performing all the business actions himself, he was actually doing TOO MUCH. You heard me. As a business owner it is not uncommon to try to do everything yourself, the issue is you impose a ceiling on your company’s ability to grow because you’re no longer operating in your highest and best use. Does Tommy like doing back of house business operations? No, he’s a photographer who spends most of his time in the field. Where is his time best spent? This isn’t a trick question—in the field shooting, which is the activity that actually brings money in the door.

The real problem: Tommy was trying to do everything himself

As we delved deeper into how his time was being spent, several things became clear:

  • Tommy was also performing parts of the video editing process that were not his forte—these steps like media intake and sound design could easily be outsourced to an independent contractor.
  • Triage Creative had no processes in place for how actions like media intake should occur. Like any other business owner, Tommy wants things done his specific way, but none of it was documented.
  • One of Tommy’s hesitations with outsourcing certain editing steps to independent contractors was the ability to safeguard the raw media files, which are stored on drives and physically mailed to the independent contractor.
  • Because Tommy was doing his books himself (in an effort to save money), he was spending way more time than it would take a bookkeeper—and the work was not done properly. The result? He had to hire a bookkeeper anyway to clean up the mess he made. This is where it’s important to recognize that while his intent was pure, the only way your business can grow is if you delegate tasks that can be better performed by others to elevate yourself to operate in your strongest capacity.

These issues were easily solved by (1) establishing business-wide standard operating procedures, (2) drafting strong independent contractor agreements, (3) engaging the correct bookkeeper, production assistant and sound engineer. After rearranging Triage’s workflow and organizational structure, Tommy instantly became more confident in his ability to delegate all tasks except for generating business and shooting in the field—the things he loves to do! 

The Result

Triage Creative is now on track to grow revenue 100% this year. Tommy was able to take on double the amount of projects without worrying about what was going on behind the scenes of his business.

The outcome was profound

I felt in control, happy and less stressed. My company instantly became more profitable and more focused despite bringing on additional independent contractors to help with things like bookkeeping, production, and sound design. I learned first hand what successful organizations do to run frustration free business and I gained renewed energy, focus, and excitement for my company.
— Tommy Joyce