ep 02. starting your music management business
This episode will cover
· starting and setting up your music management company
· business structures
· professional support
· and engaging artists
In order to identify the areas in which you are strong and the areas you need to work on you can start with the key characteristics of a good manager
characteristics of a good manager
Leadership: managers need to be project leaders, team builders and co-ordinators
Good at building relationships: managers need the ability to vary the approach depending on the audience
Creativity: this is necessary to develop creative strategies to raise an artists profile and promote music
Industry knowledge: important to know terminology and the better you understand how things work the better you can identify the opportunities for artist development too
Entrepreneurial spirit: as an independent managers need to be self motivated, organised and business minded
e.g. lack of industry knowledge. Action to take = enrol in a course
creative V business - what type of manager are you?
Different types of managers have different types of strengths.
creative managerstypically can contribute to technical input, identify collaborators, they could be musicians themselves, musically trained and/or in music production
business managerare organised, tend to focus on the operational side of work, have strong project management and admin skills and will have a strong focus on exploiting income streams
It's a spectrum so you may not be one or the other but may lean more heavily on one side. By identifying your strengths and the type of manager you are you can determine how you will position yourself as an independent music manager and be very clear about what you can bring to a working relationship.
questions to help you determine which business structure is best for you
How much money are you earning?
How prepared are you to undertake administrative tasks?
Are you taking on financially risky projects?
Viable formal UK business structures for music management companies include
One director owns the company
No company set-up costs
No formation fee
Low price accountancy fee (from £200 a year)
Low level of admin – only tax return
Personal liability for debts
Business name not protected
Good if revenue is low and for bootstrapping
Good if you do not need credibility
Private limited company
Possibility for multiple ownership
Entity on its own
More vigorous monitoring
No personal liability for business debts
Facilitates credit and bank account applications
Lower tax rate (corporation tax)
Good if revenue is £20,000 plus and expenses are low
Secures company name
Accountant fees more expensive than sole trader from about £550 a year
Good if working on financially risky projects because of the separation between the owner and the business
Other set up options include going through a formation company which is a third party agent that registers your business with companies house for you. They also provide additional services that support businesses at this early stage too.
Speak to a broker, they act as a middle person between you and the insurance companies but can prove very useful for niche cover such as the type new music management companies would need.
Points to consider in your cover:
Public liability: cover against claims made by the public
Professional indemnity: covers legal costs and expenses in defending a claim as well as compensation
Employer public liability: legal requirement if you have staff and cover legal claims made by employees
Travel insurance: covers claims associated with travel
Cover for cancellation: cover your lost of income or costs from gigs or tours
Getting support for your business
Places to get support for your music management business
Music college and university courses
Short courses – Music Managers Forum (MMF) https://themmf.net
Thirty Plus Onehttps://themmf.net
Finding and engaging artists
Places to find artists
Social media platforms
Unsigned stages at festivals
Assess where your artist is in their development - questions to ask
Where are you now?
Where do you want to be?
Whose career do you admire?
Use some filters to measure compatibility and to see whether there is enough work for you.
Artist development plan topics
These plans set out your strategy and actions linked to your goals
Achievements and milestones
Management agreement contract
Usually prepared by artist manager
Both manager and artist should have legal advice
Things to include in the contract: fees/financial compensation, work responsibilities, duration of the contract, post contact arrangements, scope of work, territories
Good template from the MMF and MU (available for members)
Fess – 20% is the standard but need to agree of which income streams (CD sales/streaming, publishing, synchronization and licensing, touring and performance, merchandise and sponsorship
The Music Managers Bible is a good resource