Treating Your Band As a Small Business

treating one’s band as a small business, complete with a business plan. A “band business plan???” you ask? Doesn’t that take all the fun out of being in the band? Well, some of it, yes. But he makes some good points:

Technology changes have opened the door to another business model, that being the ‘small business band.’ The disadvantages of this model are that all aspects of the marketing, manufacturing, distribution, promotion, advertising and the sources of capital are now the obligation of the small business band. The advantages of the small business band model are the band keeps all income and has a long-term business life. … If a band has determined that their business model is the small business band model, the band must prepare a business plan.
Bernard breaks down the pieces of such a plan, and advises bands to think carefully before giving away music freely. “Remember, as a small business band, these individuals are not your fans, they are your customers. Your goal is to receive their name and address for further marketing and sales.” Interesting read, scary concept. Hey, speaking of business stuff, if you’ve ever wished for an MBA without going through business school, try ]]>






6 responses to “Treating Your Band As a Small Business”

  1. Taylor Avatar

    Ever read about the band Dispatch? (since broken-up, unfortunately) If I remember the story correctly, they spurned major label offers to manage the band independently, and ran the band as an explicit business.

    His best point, and the one you point out, is about using freebie music as an advertising method. They key, really, is to giveaway the music but to receive something else of value- and not just names, but pay Coldplay for that relationship (by buying CDs, etc.), but I’m less likely to pay a “startup” band for that relationship.

    People have been giving away music for free since the beginning- the digital age just changes the medium, albeit drastically reducing the cost of reaching a far, far larger amount of people.

  2. MikeB Avatar

    Yeah, it’s a good point. There’s always a conflict between usability and ease-of-exposure (i.e. minimizing the obstacle to getting your music heard) and creating some kind of value for your band in the first place.

    I have heard of Dispatch, but was not aware of the band’s history — thanks for the tip! I’ll have to check them out…

  3. bassdaddy Avatar

    Dream Spin song sucks… sounds like ten thousand other songs.

  4. SexichicUK Avatar

    Are you kidding? I luv that Dream Spin song! It does have that rock sound which is similar, but the singing is amazing and that chorus part is not like other songs. But hey, that’s just me.

  5. Sam Avatar

    I have to agree…. dream spin isn’t very good. The music is too cliche and the lyrics feel like the artist tried way to hard to make them not cliche… which instead made them ridiculous.

  6. casey beans Avatar
    casey beans

    yeah… that music sounds like shit. try Cartright, Prayer for Animals, Tony Wain and The Payne… i'd die for lo-fi… all unsigned bands in austin

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