The Value Creators Podcast Episode #22 Cynthia Kay on Small Business, Big Success

We live in a video age, which opens up a vast array of entrepreneurial pathways. Video is a field for open-ended free creative expression, as well as for tightly managed business tools built for ROI. It’s the ideal field for creative entrepreneurial small business innovators. Cynthia Kay of CK and CO is both a business founder and CEO of a video production business, and a consultant and advisor to small businesses. She shared some of her insights and a preview of her 2024 book Small Business Big Success. 


CK’s business resources site:

Books you can buy now:

Cynthia Kay’s upcoming 2024 Book – Small Business, Big Success:

Knowledge Capsule:

Value Proposition:

  • Like any other entrepreneurial business, a video production business needs a compelling value proposition.
  • A value proposition is always about meeting customer needs – what need are they filling by paying for video production?
  • No matter how creative, video production must offer a customer value that exceeds perceived costs. It must make customers feel proud and fulfilled, and give them a sense of standing out from the crowd.
  • This often includes educating them on how to use a supplier’s services, e.g. the many different benefits and values available from one video shoot.

Operational Excellence:

  • High creativity does not in any way reduce the need for a video production business – or any small businesses –  to prioritise operational excellence.
  • Customer expectations of excellence are high, no matter the size of the supplier they choose.
  • CK advocates the use of top notch systems, procedures, and automation to enhance overall efficiency. Build the back room to be as strong and dependable as possible. Every business can deploy the best systems.
  • Owners must be in the operational trenches.

Return on Investment (ROI) Challenges:

  • Calculating  ROI in creative fields is a challenge – but must be done as part of the customer value proposition.
  • There’s such a thing as subjective calculation – e.g. recognizing the role of anecdotal evidence in demonstrating the value of creative services.
  • Focus ROI on the things that matter for customers.

Being the Best in Business:

  • Whatever business you are in, set out to be the best.
  • Making – and living up to – such a claim can be based on multifaceted performance.
  • Consider factors such as understanding client needs, building strong relationships, and optimising the utilisation of budgetary resources.
  • One of CK’s propositions is to be the best at getting the most of a client’s budget, whatever size it is. That’s an excellent “best” claim.

Small Business Success Strategies:

  • Pick your customers carefully – pick those who will love you and those you can grow with.
  • Commit to building relationships over time.
  • Build great teams that are right for the client, and turn them loose.

Supporting Small Businesses:

  • Cynthia Kay not only runs a small business,she plays a big role in helping others and in supporting small businesses in general.
  • She’s actively involved in associations and support groups, and urges other small businesses to do the same.
  • She gives her time to the facilitation of roundtable discussions, and offering advice on common challenges faced by small businesses, including scaling and team development. These kinds of discussions can yield enormous value for participants just by sharing experiences.
  • It’s good for small businesses to support other small businesses and build the business backbone of the neighbourhood, the town, the city, the state and the nation.
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