If you really want to make a career out of music, you have to understand that it is a business. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a performing artist or an audio engineer, every element is part of music. Hence, your starting point should be to complete a music business degree, as this will enhance your understanding of the fundamentals of the industry as a whole. Once you have done that, you will also know what a good music business plan should look like. Again, it doesn’t matter what part of the industry you want to be involved in, a business plan is needed because it clearly sets out what your goals and plans are. You can use this to apply for jobs, request funding, or just to give yourself more direction.
What Should Be in a Music Business Plan?
A music business plan is quite complex, but the points below highlight some of the key elements that should be included. Remember, as well, that all plans should be fluid: as you reach some goals, you need to change them again.
- A summary, where you write down what your business idea is, and what you really want to do. Some of the key things to include in your summary is what gaps you aim to fill with your business, and how you aim to market that.
- Your goals, which should be achievable, but also challenging. This part of your business plan needs to be revised frequently, enabling you to add new goals.
- Your targets, which you need to determine whether or not your meeting your goals. This should include deadlines as well. Like Antoine de St Exupery said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
- Your market, which indicates who you want to target with your business. In the case of a performing artist, this could be a certain demographic, for instance.
- Your marketing plan, which should be written down as a step by step approach.
- Your release dates, if you are a performing artist or a producer. This is a form of goal setting, and it should also be included in point 2. By having release dates, you set yourself a deadline and give everything a focus.
- Your process maps, which you need to see as a list of habits that you have to adapt in order to be able to reach your goals. If your goal is to become an audio engineer, for example, your process map could include writing 10 job applications to different sound studios every week.
Some Final Things
If you follow the steps above, you will have created a business plan that you can actually work with. Doing so will give you a huge heads up on others in the industry, because very few write a plan and hope to get by through luck alone. If you did complete a music business degree, you will have learned about this mistake.