Joshua Kerr set up GetFilm in 2013 with the help of Start Up loan from Transmit Start-Ups. Fives years in, the media production company has expanded nationally, with a large production team spread right across the UK. We caught up with Joshua to find out about his business journey so far and what’s next on the horizon.
- Sector: Media, video content creation
- Co-owner and MD: Joshua Kerr
- In business since: 2013
- Website: getfilm.co
Joshua, can you sum up your business in the time it takes to make a cuppa?
We are a media production company specialising in event, wedding, corporate and promotional video. We have an established network of talented filmmakers in most cities of the UK who are all trained in our house style. We pride ourselves on quality results and quick turnaround times.
Where are you based and why does it work for your business?
Our in-house team works from our head office at Gateshead International Business Centre and from here we work closely with our national team. I grew up in the North East and love living here but the decision to set up our business here is down to more than just that. There is a fantastic talent base in the region and no shortage of work. The support networks and availability of information to help you set up and scale up is extensive. Also, it never fails to surprise me how happy people are to help when you ask.
We always had ambitions to grow the business nationally and by starting in the North East we succeeded in doing that in just two years. I think we’d still be trying to make a dent in London if we’d started there instead.
What are the biggest hurdles you’ve had to overcome on your way to establishing a successful business in the North East?
Scaling up has been the biggest challenge. It’s all too easy to stay small and safe but unless you want to stagnate you have to measure the risk and take a leap of faith at some point. It’s important not to take on so much work that you implode or break your existing team but instead find ways to manage workloads and bring in new talent when the time is right.
My co-founder is very experienced at running businesses at scale so he has been an immense help. If you don’t have ready access to a fountain of knowledge you need to find a mentor to help challenge you or provide valuable insight as you face such hurdles.
How easy have you found it to access business support and what do you think has had the most impact on your growth so far?
A short stroll down the results of a quick Google search shows the wealth of free events, networking opportunities and support available to all kinds of businesses in the region. If you’re not afraid to pick up the phone you will find plenty of people willing and able to help.
The Growth Hub is an ideal starting place for all kinds of services from like-minded businesses. The help we obtained from Transmit Start-Ups is a good example of this. Without the Start Up loan and the mentoring they provided when we were setting up we would not exist today. The initial loan got us on the right path with our first staff and equipment and within six months we were self-sustaining.
As an entrepreneur, you are always passionate about your idea, but passion alone doesn’t drive business success. Transmit Start-Up’s support and assistance ensured my passion and love of filmmaking has continued to grow along with my business and that it didn’t simply remain an idea.
What advice would you give others in the North East who are looking to start their own business?
Work on your resilience. There’s always something waiting around the corner to make you gulp but don’t doubt yourself and have faith in what you do. You’ll always have challenges thrown your way but if you have a plan and are able to be flexible with it then it all comes down to tenacity.
What’s the next innovation on the horizon?
Video creation is going through a boom time and we are perfectly poised to make the most of that growth. We are looking to establish mass brand awareness to ensure we are front of mind when people think about video creation. We have opportunities to grow the team internationally next and we are expanding into wedding photography shortly.
As well as securing a loan, mentoring has also been crucial to Josh’s development of GetFilm. Check out opportunities to explore mentoring for your business today.