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Band business plan question


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Yes and no to all of that.

 

A band isn't a typical business for a million reasons and therefore can't be run strictly as such unless you're putting together a Spazmatics franchise or something similar.

 

I start with this:

 

Where is your band now? What sort of music do you play, what sort of gigs are you doing, etc. Any business plan is going to have to always have this as it's core. there's no point in putting together a business plan that would fit a big-deal corporate show band if you're doing reggae originals.

 

Where do you want to be? What sort of gigs would you like to be doing and where do you see yourself in 1, 2, 5 years? And is there a market for these sorts of gigs where you live?

 

One you come up with a "master plan" that is practical---the gigs DO exists, the money you want to make IS attainable, we're the type of band and musicians who can pull it off---then the rest becomes more about just painting in the numbers.

 

Without knowing more about your specific band and goals, it's hard to give much more specific suggestions. And in any case, I'd stay away from any sort of business plan that is as rigid as the term "Business Plan" implies. Because the nature of a band and music being what it is, you have to be very flexible along the way.

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The whole topic of band organization and management is something I have a little passion around - so I'll put my two cents in....

 

 

Has anyone out there put together a band business plan? I know there are some very successful bands on our forum and I

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I think it's very silly for bands to not acknowledge the business acumen needed for success, both in a "making money" way and a "project management" way. Some of us view it as art, but even art needs tools. For example, I sent this to my new funk band last week:

 

Gents, so to recap on last practice, I want to take a step back from the band and look at our singer search in a

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I like FitchFY's "project plan" approach. All of the projects that I work virtually always have a plan (expressed in a similar fashion) that guides our efforts for the medium term towards whatever rung we've chosen as our next objective.

 

Such a project plan - held in conjunction with a understanding recognized and accepted by all band members - that details how a band will a) make decisions and b) handle money and expenses - is enough of a business plan for me.

 

Formal "mission statements" detailing why the band exists, what type of music it's will play, and true long term goals just don't seem all that useful to me in practical terms. The type of music a band plays typical can, will and should change based on the opportunities that arise. Longer term goals need to morph over time as opportunities (or the lack thereof!) help shape a band's direction. "Formal" business plans and mission statements are what you write when you've got to interact with other business entities (i.e., banks, investors, etc.) or when you're a large organization trying to build a homogenous understanding of who you are and what you do across a large base of employees.

 

When a small group of 4-5 guys starts pulling out "formal" mission statements - it's usually because they can't reach a consensus (and/or compromise) on day to day matters and starting to play "legal eagle" to create support for a direction. If you can't sell your bandmates on a direction on it's merit and without the "formal" planning documents - you'll never be able to sell 'em with the "formal" planning documents.

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I think it's very silly for bands to not acknowledge the business acumen needed for success, both in a "making money" way and a "project management" way. Some of us view it as art, but even art needs tools. For example, I sent this to my new funk band last week:

 

Gents, so to recap on last practice, I want to take a step back from the band and look at our singer search in a

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I used to send emails like that but just kinda got tired of the "Sounds good, bro!" email responses, with no further input.

 

 

Both of my band mates in this project are software developers -- I'm VERY lucky!!!

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I like that approach a lot FitchFY. I only have one question: Who is going to DO all of those things? I see no division of labor for the most part (I'll do X and you do Y, etc..) and that to me is the next thing to address. In my own band, I decided to take the reigns, because I witnessed too many itemized lists with nobody doing anything.

 

When we first got together (almost 3 years ago now), I told them my goals:

 

1) House payment per month (I don't play for free ya know...)

2) Boobies (yes I'm shallow get over it)

3) Originals (had to scratch this off, but it was in the plan)

 

Every member agreed and those have been our goals. Since inception we have added another member (5-piece now) and updated the PA. The first year we did not make goal #1 a reality, but we have more or less nailed it since then.

 

I got a lot of flack on this forum some years ago for basically saying that it was my way or the highway; that I was not interested in my band mate's input. My way has been working out very well and none of the guys in the band have any complaints whatsoever. I own the majority of the equipment. I pick and call the songs. I handle 95 percent of everything to do with the band, and the other guys could not be happier. All they have to do is show up and play (and help move equipment, the only sticking point which has been resolved) and leave with money. My "business plan" has been and continues to be a success. It is more work on me, but I take more of the profit.

 

Have you ever been in a band where every member performed all duties equally? Me neither.

 

So my advice is simple; take charge and do it...don't wait around for another member to do #8 on the list. Just do it. Most bands need solid leadership. Lead by Example!

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The Valley Road plan:

 

Step 1: Find Guitarist. Check.

 

Step 2: Establish regular practice. Check.

 

Step 3: Establish song list, introducing new songs each week, and reinforcing previous songs. Check.

 

Step 4: Give band to end of August to learn as much as possible and nail it down. Goal: 30 songs. song list is currently 42 in length. In progress.

 

Step 5: Hold private concert for friends and family as a shake-down of the list and methods.

 

Step 6: Get discovered by Nashville, become millionaire.

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Step 6 is still in flux, and will more than likely get revised to:

 

Step 6: Record demo of 5 songs that best represent the group.

 

Step 7: Find gigs. There are only a bajillion elderly care homes, and similar care facilities for us to contact.

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