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Old 08-26-2010, 11:12 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Herefordshire, UK.
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Default Re: Getting funded by a record label

Dear Drummingman,

having brushed through this thread thus far, I'm getting the same enthusiasm/denial scenario that I see all the time in business. Make no mistake about this, the music business is exactly that, a business, and probably ranks amongst the most unforgiving and fickle ones out there.

If you're really interested in ascetaining your best route to succeed, I have something to offer. Not only have I existed at the subsistence level in the music business for some years (although many years ago), I'm what you might class as a reasonably successful business man. Apart from being the managing director of a multi national company for 15 years, my current remit is establishing European operations for American corporations. I'm engaged in that roll by significant clients because I've got a track record of building successful businesses from the ground up. I'm telling you this, by way of qualifying my advice.

I'm frequently asked to review business models, from the tiny to the simply massive. I don't subscribe to the cookie cutter pattern, in fact, I'm often looking for USP in every aspect of the business. I'm all for the guy who want's to do things against the tide. There's potential benefit in stepping off the train, so long as your alternative mode of transport is viable. All this said, no matter how maverick your approach, there are certain elements that must be in/fall into place to offer you any chance of progression. Ignoring basic principals is more about taking an Icarus approach to flight than the path taken by the Wright brothers. Taking the least trodden path might, just might pay off. Who knows, you might just get a good band together, who somehow find a way of producing a market viable recording. It might just be sufficiently unique to go viral, and then just might get the multi outlet exposure to capitalize on the opportunity. You might be lucky and have someone within your band who has both the contacts and the businuss acumen to jump on the opportunity before it fades away. So yes, all things are possible, but as each milestone is reached, the odds lengthen immeasurably.

Irrespective of the path you take, there are a few elements that must fall into place.

1/ your product (yes, sorry, it's a product) must have at least 1 USP. To be enduring, preferably more.

2/ you need a prescribed mechanism in place to both ensure & maintain critical mass.

3/ your business must have clear cashflow plus P&L platform to survive even the early stages. Even though any projection is subject to wild changes, you need a format that can sustain such variations.

4/ you need a plan B!

5/ you need an exit strategy that mitigates personal finance ruin.

There's a ton more to add to that, but there's enough to chew over for now. Going forward, you need to decide whether you have the means, the time, the contacts & the knowledge to pull all of that together. The business element is not something you experiment with, because as you progress, the cost of getting it wrong isn't sustainable.

So, are you equipped & ready to go? If so, great, & good luck to you. Alternatively, you might consider concentrating on your playing and the creative side of the equation, & leave the shitty stuff to someone else.

I suggest you start by developing a product that's ready to go. By your description, you're a way off that yet. Get that in the bag, complete with some critical aclaim, then worry about how you're going to take it forward.

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