At this point I am straight up getting my butt kicked in learning everything to set up for the Shop Class.
Originally, I had some numbers put together from a couple of businesses that could set things up for me, but it was well out of my budget as it was in the range of buying a really nice used car. As a contractor, I understand the cost of paying someone else to perform the work that we think we can do ourselves, but I also understand everyone has a budget. That is why I don't get a lot of jobs myself.
One of the long-term benefits of me boot strapping this, is that I learn how to do everything for myself and I will understand the system. While I may end up with a small team in the future to delegate some of the work, I can only afford to do it myself at first. (No doubt I have a business plan.)
It hasn't been just learning the school platform, it is pretty much the fact I have been learning everything that we take for granted when we consume information. There are a lot of different skills and platforms that come into play to effectively share information. So, I am not just starting a new business, I am learning a whole new set of skills.
I am not striving for perfection, but I am striving for a higher standard. If I am going to ask somebody to exchange money for information, the information has to be good and so does the delivery system.
One of the biggest hurdles simply has been my own reliability in running all of the equipment. If you look at my latest YouTube videos you will see the level of quality has vastly improved over my older videos. That is because I upgraded from 2 camcorders to recording on 2 DSLR's. They give me greater control to produce a better image, but that also means there is less automation and more manual settings I have to deal with.
Producing the YouTube videos has been extremely important for me to become familiar with the equipment and the video production workflow so that I may function reliably once I kick things off. I know that mistakes may happen along the way, but I need a baseline of reliability. I AM the weakest link...
I also found that with upgrading to the DSLR's, my 5 year old iMac runs a lot more slowly. The great image that comes from the DSLR's also comes with file sizes that are 2.5x larger than the HD camcorders that I was previously using. The computer is stable, it just takes a really long time to process as I edit. So I have a new iMac in the budget as well as external hard drive storage to handle the large volume of data that video files create.
It is difficult to pin a date on launch since I really am in uncharted waters. I had dates in mind, I have blown those, but I shall just keep pushing forward with only the rough estimation of "coming soon."
I appreciate your patience and support and hope to see you soon in the American Craftsman Shop Class.
Your friend in the shop - Todd