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5 Tips for Starting a Music Management Company

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Music is a major industry, but the biggest players in this industry aren’t the artists themselves but the music management companies—making well over 50% of music publishing revenues globally.

Music managers are part of the music scene and are responsible for what happens behind the scenes. Music management is an exciting business involving touring setup, negotiating with record labels, and guiding artists’ careers.

If you want to start a music management company make sure you have done proper research. Building your company as you go is a great idea, but you must follow the ethics of starting your own music label or management company.

Music management comes with a lot of risk, especially if you want to emerge from the competition, but you can emerge from the pack if you follow a few practical tips.

In essence, a manager takes care of the business side of an artist’s life.

But how does one first break into management? Here are some tips:

1.   Write a Business Plan

A quality business plan guarantees faster growth. You have a 30% greater chance of success with a good business plan. To manage your music business, come up with a clear business plan forecasting income for the first year, the next five years, and so on.

Proper planning will make your business look and feel different from the rest—a business that breaks out from the status quo. If writing a business plan is hard, hire a business plan writer. An expert writer may be expensive but is worth hiring.

The first stage of starting any business is brainstorming and coming up with a proper structure. Your music management company should have some factors that provide you a competitive edge.

Plan the basics first such as the type of services you will provide, the things you will need, and the staff you’ll need to have on board. Before you jump in to directly starting a business, figure out the legalities.

You’ll need resources and investment to run the business in the initial months when it’s not generating enough revenue. Working out the finances should be a major part of your business plan.

2.   Master the Music Industry

How can you manage what you don’t understand? Learn all you can about musicians and the music industry in general. For example, learn why the demand for music has created a multi-billion dollar industry and learn about production, distribution, publishing, and other music-related activities.

Mastering the music industry and knowing what your clients are facing will make you a more effective manager. Music management isn’t just about acquiring the “manager” title. Choose a music genre that resonates with you and have your company stick to that kind of music. You can use music streaming apps to do your research and figure out what’s best.

After setting up your music management company’s core, you can begin by searching for artists you would like to work with and trying to set up meetings with them. You can start with promoting local talent and small artists as they can help you build your portfolio. You can aim for bigger releases once your company comes into running.

3.   Look for Office Space

So you’ve mastered the industry, but where will you hold meetings with clients? Find convenient office space, a place where you can meet clients and other music professionals in the industry. Don’t go for a fancy office space just yet. A comfortable space — for everyone in your team to work in and hold occasional meetings — will do (for now).

If you live in an expensive place like New York or California, you may have to get a small loan to pay for business expenses before you start making money.  You can apply for a short-term loan to ease your burden. Use search terms such as “best title loans” or “title loans online” to find affordable loans. Title loans have quick approvals and don’t require a credit score rating.

Before you invest in an office or rent out a space, figuring out your finances is important. You can take a loan to start, but you must have a vision for how you are going to cover the loans. Don’t start your company entirely on your own; you will need a few helping hands.

Before you step into the business, make sure you have saved enough money to cover six months of your expenses, including the salary of your staff. You will be able to work with focus in a dedicated office space.

4.   Find Clients

Identify the types of musicians you can best manage. Be selective, if possible. You want clients you’ll enjoy working with, so be choosy. Narrow down your choices to see what works well for you. The best way to find clients is simply to be a part of the scene and keep an eye on who’s doing well and fits into your own tastes.

Potential clients will want to know about your past work before they put trust in you. So before you pitch clients, make sure you have a portfolio with your best work, even if it’s not in management. You can also offer to work for free for a period of time to build trust.

5.   Create Connections and figure out promotion

To meet movers and shakers in the music industry you’ll need to actively seek out connections and get your name out there. So attend as many concerts and industry functions as possible. Meeting people and getting seen is the only way to give your clients their big break. If your client isn’t ready to face the world, at least make sure you upload and sell their music online.

As a manager you will be responsible for the promotion of your client’s work, so you’ll need to figure out whether to outsource PR and marketing work or do it yourself. You can target social media, print media, radio and print ads for promotion.

Keep building connections and don’t forget to ask for referrals and recommendations after finishing up a project!

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