If you have a love for music and want to make money showcasing your talent, enjoy exploring your creativity through music and want to become an entrepreneur and work from home, then you have a foundation for starting your own music production company. It may prove a fulfilling way to turn your talent into revenue and create the lifestyle you've always dreamed of. If you aren't familiar with how to use the technology that is needed for music production, you should seek training from local music schools, an established producer or online training sources.
Items you will need
- Business plan
- Spacious room in the house
- Marketing strategy
- Production equipment (loudspeakers, amplifiers, microphones, mixers, recorders, etc.)
- Office equipment (phone, computer, fax machine, copier, printer, etc.)
- Tax ID number
Draft your business plan. Your plan should detail exactly what you envision your business to be. Include your legal structure, types of employees and positions, type of music to be produced, your mission for starting the company, location, how much the start-up costs are and your plan to get the money, etc.
Choose a spacious room in your house, away from the main part of the house. It should be convenient, accessible and private. Adding on a separate room or building one in the backyard is also an option. It should have its own entrance to avoid excessive traffic throughout your home. Soundproofing the room is also important. This keeps outside noise out and inside noise in so that recording—and the rest of the household—is not disturbed. Also, consider the setup and decor of your studio. You want to make your artists feel comfortable and have the feeling that they are in a professional environment. Include a closed-off section as your office.
Choose your legal structure. If you decide to be a sole proprietor of your company, all debts are your responsibility. If you get sued, your personal and business assets will be liquidated. As a corporation, your personal and business assets will remain separate.
Get a music production business license. You must have a license in order to use music legally. Search the Internet for sites that legally process and supply authentic licenses. Fill out and submit the application online. Pay the fee that is stated in the text. Fees depend on the type of business you have and its location.
Choose a business name and register it. Make sure the name is easy to remember and is relevant to what the company is and provides. Do a business name search to ensure the name you "created" isn't already in use. You can register at the Internal Revenue Service website.
Decide how to finance your company. Visit local banks and loan companies. Apply for a small-business loan. Ask reliable friends and family members if they want to contribute funds to build your business. If possible, save the money yourself or apply for a business credit card. There are also special grants for small businesses. Research every avenue and decide what is best for you. A combination of several options may also work.
Buy business insurance. Among the necessary coverage: studio liability insurance, tour liability insurance, travel accident insurance, health insurance, life insurance, long-term-care insurance, composer's liability insurance, homeowner's insurance, renter's insurance, automobile insurance and small-business insurance. Find an insurance company that can combine some or all of these policies into one monthly payment.
Purchase and set up your production equipment. Buy office equipment and supplies, too. To keep costs down, consider buying some of the equipment used. Go to websites like eBay and Amazon to find deals on equipment. Check various websites for discounted equipment. See if existing studios have any equipment to sell. Go to thrift stores for used office furniture and fix it up yourself.
Hire employees. Depending on the size and nature of your studio, you may need to hire several people, or people who are knowledgeable in more than one area. If you are a jack-of-all-trades, then you may need only a few employees. Check references, ask for samples of their work, do background checks, talk to their music school instructors, etc. Do a thorough investigation to ensure you are hiring qualified, licensed individuals.
Advertise your company. Create a web page and tell everyone you know to visit it and pass the word. Word-of-mouth is the best form of advertisement. Post fliers wherever you can and hand them out to talent agencies, music schools or random people you see in passing. Contact your local newspapers and place an ad. Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are ways to reach the younger generation and to advertise your business. Network with people in the music industry. Attend a variety of music events, shows and conferences.
Keep your overhead low. Start small and build up over time.
- spooky music image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com