5 Ways to run your band like a business

5 Steps to Treat Your Music Like a Business
February 23, 2020 Dominic Tancredi
In Blog Posts
Music Business Success Strategies - Woodshed Stage Art


Not sure if your constant hustle is paying off?

Whether you’re a full-time musician or your music career is your passion-driven side hustle (for now!), the only way to make big moves this year is to get serious and treat your career like a business. Take some cues from successful startups and focus on what’s most important.

Run your music career like a startup with these 5 key steps:


1. Dream, and then set goals.

What is your 2020 Vision? Take some time to reflect, but write it down. Literally put it on paper (OK, Google Docs are fine.) Ask yourself what kind of artist do you want to be? What 3 artists do you model your own career after? Where do want to see yourself in 10 years? 5 Years? One?

Take some time and really flesh it out. Write those goals down (or best results, use the AMPlify method!) Make them clear and attainable, and hold yourself accountable.

2. Build the right team.

This is a critical step. A great team surrounds every successful individual. If you’ve already got a team, take a closer look at who they are. Are they there out of convenience, out of what they get out of it, or are they truly a good fit for the goals you’ve written? Are they truly supportive? If so, are they just “yes” person who will go along with anything? Do they have a skill set you lack? Do the have the balls/ovaries to tell you when you’re making the wrong move?

What roles do you need to bring on to balance out your strengths? Which tasks can you delegate that will allow you to focus on what you really should be doing (practicing, writing, performing, etc.)?

Who do you know (in your greater network) that could fulfill a specific role on your team? Who’s on your 5-year “dream team”? Aside from specific people, what sorts of tasks need delegated, and what sort of companies can handle those roles on an as-needed basis?

3. Focus on the right investments.

To succeed in business, especially as a startup, you need to be all-in. A music career is no different. Sure, at some point you may need outside money, but if you don’t have skin in the game no one will invest in you. Sure, it’s important to run a lean operation – saving where you can and not spending frivolously should go without saying. But the reason to run lean is so you can focus the cash where it’s best used — for investments, not expenses.

Start with your branding. Follow that through to your stage look (everything from the right clothes to the right gear to the right stage art). Carry that through to your online presence (your website, social media, YouTube, etc.). And on to other marketing like merch. Invest in your team as well. Investing in yourself means dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. People want to invest their time and money into enterprises that are on the way up – people intrinsically want to be part of a successful team. This goes for your team members and your fans.

4. Put in the right work.

Everyone knows you’ve got to put in the reps. Hustle, hustle, hustle.

But you can’t just put in work — you’ve gotta put in the right work. This goes hand in hand with planning and investing. It’s critical to invest your time, but you’ve got to do it wisely. Follow the plan.

The real key is to put in work on the right tasks that will actually move the needle. Don’t confuse movement with progress. Hopefully if you’ve surrounded yourself with the right team, and they’ll make sure you stay on track to reach the 2020 Vision you’ve communicated. Sometimes it means keeping your head down and trusting the process — but in order to trust the process you need to know the process is going to get you where you need to be.

5. Measure, rinse, repeat.

How do you know if your hustle is working? You measure it. If you can measure it, you can see which actions are moving the needle, if the things your doing are getting you closer to your goals. If not, adjust course.

Make time to measure data — whether it’s likes and followers, streaming plays, tickets sold, merch sales, newsletter signups, you name it. If you’re not measuring your max lifts and reps, you’re just lifting heavy stuff in vain.

Then, take time to review that data on a regular basis. Then put aside some time with the team to discuss the game plan vs. the quarterly and annually so you can make sure you’re on the right track. (This is why business have weekly and monthly standing meetings, quarterly earnings reports, and annual shareholder meetings.)

Figure out what’s working, what’s not, and why. With an objective look at data, you might surprise yourself — what you think is working might not be, and vice versa. Sounds basic, but stop doing the stuff that’s not working, and focus on doing more of the stuff that is working. Small successes compounded consistently over time will yield big returns.

What do you think?

Comment below – we’d love to hear your thoughts on all this!

Comments (4)

  1. Al 2 years ago

    Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

  2. Jameswrons 2 years ago

    Thanks a lot! This is fantastic.

  3. turkce 10 months ago

    That said, nobody really has a soft voice or a loud voice. Projection is a trick that anybody can learn, and most of it is just palate and mouth position, along with your vocal apparatus being taught to get into the right position. Edee Bevin Dan

  4. turkce 10 months ago

    Thank you very much, I sincerely appreciated your help! Have a nice day! Ilse Vincenty Kipper

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