Mike Reisacher Productions + Wave: Inspiration Meets Integration
Toronto, Canada • Opened 2007 • poke1024productions.com
Not every entrepreneur sets out to be one. Sometimes it’s just part of doing what you love. In this inspiring video, freelance film editor Mike Reisacher walks us through what it was like building a network, mastering a craft, and growing a small business, all at once.
The accidental entrepreneur
The media industry is a gig economy. This is what led Mike Reisacher, an award-winning professional picture editor—who takes raw footage and turns it into compelling, polished stories—to branch out on his own and start Mike Reisacher Productions. He’s worked for networks like HGTV and the Family Channel, on shows like Say Yes To The Dress, feature films, shorts, and web series.
There’s a lot of ebb and flow to the industry, and when it flows, it’s really flowing. Mikes’s clients—production companies, broadcasters, and independent producers—all have different schedules, and it can be difficult to try to keep track of so many jobs. The one constant is Mike himself, and the fact that to make sure he’s doing his jobs right, he needs to be able to keep things in order.
“I might be there for like two months or three months or two days,” Mike says about the unpredictability of his projects. “It really depends. But I love the variety of it and the variety of people and just the variety of the stories I get to tell.”
That unpredictability can be a blessing but also a curse. It was one of the biggest challenges when Mike was getting started. When it rains, it pours, sure. But the droughts can be just as extreme. Things were hard to schedule and he never knew when clients might be coming in.
All of that uncertainty meant it was critical for Mike to be able to stay on top of his cash flow, and to be able to predict and plan for periods where he would have less money coming in. And in order to do that, he needed a reliable accounting system that would provide the records and reports he needed at a moment’s notice.
“I found that I was moving my computer from one particular job to another and my computer was living at that job, so when I came home and it was tax season, I actually didn’t have access to any of my files. So that was really cumbersome. After that it was kind of like, ok, I need to find something that I can access anywhere.”
So Mike took to Google to find the best accounting software he could, and landed on Wave. Now it saves him at least a couple hours a week, and with so many features already integrated, he has a one-stop shop for sending invoices, completing transactions, and monitoring his cash flow. He even recommended it to his partner, Mike Gibben, the owner of a tutoring business called I.M. Success Tutoring, who has become a full convert to Wave.
Getting efficient with integrations
Another aspect of Wave that Mike loves is how integrated everything is in the system. He loves that he can connect his bank account to Wave to easily categorize his transactions, and that he can receive online payments from his clients and have them automatically flow into his accounting records.
Mike says. “I can just run off a couple of reports, send them to my accountant… It really becomes a three button process at the end of the year.”
Working with Wave not only saves Mike time every week, but will hopefully help streamline his business enough to make his dream of expanding into higher tier work, eventually into the United States or other international markets, more easily attainable. He wants to work on bigger and bigger films and tell the kind of stories that get seen and heard all over the world.
More confidence = more work
The fact that he’s become so efficient as a business owner has also made him more confident in his day-to-day operations, and he’s much more likely now to put himself out there—a key part of getting more and better gigs.
Making sure the little things are automated provides the kind of peace of mind that really helps while you’re freelancing—the kind that comes from being able to adapt to different work conditions without having to modify your processes.
“I think from a personal growth standpoint, I definitely am just more confident in myself and my abilities,” Mike says. “That’s definitely something I can track over the course of being self-employed, learning the ropes, and finding the best ways to keep this machine well-oiled.”