In order to highlight the amazing local businesses in Florida’s 47th District, the Anna For Florida campaign has launched “47 Means Business,” an ongoing blog series to spotlight local business owners in Lake Eola, Downtown Orlando, Winter Park, and throughout the district.
Our blog digs deeper into local businesses by collaborating with business owners to showcase their success and to identify what the legislature can do to support them. Together, these profiles come together to create a larger picture of the amazing diversity and ingenuity of local business owners that Anna hopes to serve and represent in the Florida House.
This week, it’s lights, camera, action with Jon Busdeker of Sunny Oranges Productions. Jon is an experienced videographer and storyteller with a knack for digital media and local impact both on and off-screen. As a new business owner in the district, his fresh perspective shines a meaningful light on the experiences faced by entrepreneurs, marked characteristically by resilience, dedication, and some fine Florida citrus.
Jon Busdeker: I had been a news reporter for a long time. In 2016, I was let go after my contract expired at a local TV station. For nearly a year, I took on jobs from outside companies that needed someone to write and shoot video. Meanwhile, I was taking odd jobs here and there from friends who needed video services for their businesses and nonprofits.
At the beginning of this year, I decided it was time to formally launch my own business, which turned into Sunny Oranges Productions. The idea behind the company is to help businesses and nonprofits tell their story. Because I have a background in journalism, I can recognize the elements and subjects that are needed to tell a good story. Also, I believe in urgency, and so I can quickly turn around content for social media when time is a factor. Because I worked as a one-man-band reporter for so long, I know how to do all the parts of video production (shooting, editing, lighting, sound, etc.), which keeps my costs down for my clients.
JB: Although I’m still quite new at owning a small business, the best part so far is the freedom to work on projects that I believe in. Working for someone else comes with the understanding that certain projects won’t align with your values or your interests. As the owner of a company, I can choose jobs that I’m passionate about, and the end results will show that in the content.
I enjoy working toward the goal of building my business and a trusted brand. I’ve always strived to be a trustworthy person, and so I want people to equate my business as an entity they can trust, too. I want people to feel like I’m working for them, and if they aren’t satisfied with a product, I’m not satisfied as the business owner. In the end, I want us both to be happy with the final product.
JB: The most satisfying part of my job is hearing the feedback from my customers, who are amazed by the final videos. During the shooting process, there are always questions of “Is this video going to turn out exactly how the customer wants?” Once all of the clips are in my hands, I’m sure there is a bit of apprehension from the client: “How will the story turn out? Will he use that last quote? How will this all come together?”
The editing process can take days or weeks, depending on the scope of the job. But after those weeks of tweaking and crafting a story, when I finally export a video and send it off to the client, I never know what I’m going to hear back from them. So when I get that phone call or email that says, “Oh my gosh, this turned out great,” or “I don’t know how you made that video with what I gave you,” it is very gratifying. And beyond that, I love seeing how clients use their videos on the web or on social media.
JB: For me, just starting a business was a bit of an obstacle. That’s necessarily because the state of Florida makes it difficult, but because I didn’t know exactly where to start. Should I file for a business license first? What about the IRS? Is there a local group that helps new business owners? What bank should I go with? There may be state-funded programs that help new businesses owners, but I wasn’t sure where to look for them.
Also, I believe others would agree with me, but health insurance costs can impede innovative people from making that jump to starting a business. I am married with no children, so my healthcare costs aren’t too high, but I could see how someone with a regular 9-to-5 job with benefits wouldn’t want to venture into the world of entrepreneurship because of the risk involved. That’s something that should be fixed locally, statewide, and nationally. I believe there is a generation of people who could transform our country if the risk of simply starting a business were lower.
JB: If the state legislature could somehow lower the costs of health insurance, it would be a big help for me. Every dollar I spend on healthcare is one less dollar I’m not spending on building my business. I would love to invest in new equipment and possibly hire employees for video shoots, but that is impossible with the cost of healthcare being so high.