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Studio Business Hit List

So maybe you want to start a small studio. Consider this. You are starting a business. First and foremost that is what you are really doing. Here is an outline to consider before you start spending money on gear.

Have a business plan (don’t go forward without one)

  1. Web, books, other businesses,

  2. Flexibility

  3. Reasonable outcomes (worse/best case scenarios)

  4. Set goals (income, equipment, loan payoffs, personal)

Remember – No one wants to think about the business not working. If not working – change it!

Brochures, website, swag

  1. Consistent with logos, style, & look

  2. The better the look……

Take credit cards (easily set up a Paypal account)

Deposit, nothing leaves the building without full payment

The masters are the only thing you own until work is complete

Pre-production

  1. Make sure you have all costs (time, engineer, rentals, media, back-up, overtime, who’s in charge to sign)

  2. Have a studio contracts with rules, state what you’re going to do

Electronic presence

  1. Facebook, MySpace, and website.

  2. Pick good domain name

  3. Electronic brochures

  4. Audio examples

  5. Equipment list

  6. Pro photography

  7. Always carry you business cards

Business nature

  1. Sole proprieter

  2. LLC

  3. S-Corp

laws of the land

Zoning for you space

Insurance

  1. Theft

  2. Liability

  3. Renter/owner

  4. Protect your investment

  5. Protect your personal

Taxes

  1. Find a CPA (will save you hundreds if not thousands)

  2. Lawyer (set up articles of Inc., advice on liabilities)

  3. Expenses, (Save all receipts), set up a system

    1. Travel

    2. Entertainment, meals, etc

    3. Equipment

    4. Supplies

    5. Dues, subscriptions

  4. Income (must eventually show income)

    1. Hours worked

    2. Media (taxable)

    3. Rentals

    4. Report ALL INCOME (you never know who is reporting YOU on their taxes)

  5. IRS Audit

    1. Not so scary if you have documentation

    2. Make sure you are a consultant and not an employee

    3. Carry proof of work (CD, artwork, programs, brochures)

Resources:

Music Business Handbook and Career Guide: David Baskerville

Confessions of a Record Producer: Moses Avalon

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