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Managing a Small Business: How to Grow Your Music Studio

Managing a Small Business: How to Grow Your Music Studio


If you’re running a recording studio, it’s safe to assume you’re passionate about music, or performing in general. While your business can yield a nice profit, there are several things you need to get right for that to happen. One of the best things about it is that you can equip the whole studio without really having to spend tons of cash, yet still be able to get great sound. However, you really need to know what products to buy and how to set the whole system up. To help you with that, we’ve prepared the following list of tips for all of you who want to make the most of their recording studio.

Make your clients respect your time

You only make money when your studio is occupied, which is why it’s extremely important to make enough money per day/week/month to pay all the expenses and earn enough for yourself. This can only be done if your clients understand the importance of being on time and ready to work. Musicians are notorious for being late, but that shouldn’t be your problem. You start the clock at the time when you agreed you’d start and you charge accordingly. After all, business is business.

Show them you respect their time

If you want others to respect your time, you need to lead by example, i.e. show them you respect their time. That means that everything needs to be configured and ready before the session starts. You mustn’t let your clients wait for you to get things set up. You’ll look disorganised and nobody would want to do business with you. You might be tempted to offer an extra 20 minutes for those 10 minutes it took you to troubleshoot a problem as a compensation. That seems fair, but don’t forget that your clients booked a specific block of time and they might have elsewhere to be after the session.

Make your terms clear

Your clients need to know and understand your terms before they pay for your studio. Your terms should be posted on your website and/printed out, so that you can simply give them to prospective clients to study. Make sure the terms state the rate, rules, liabilities and expectations in order to avoid potential arguments. Those terms should be put in writing and the contract should be signed before booking time. 

Get the right equipment 

It may sound too obvious, but you really need to find the best possible equipment you can afford. It has to be much better than anything artists, bands and other musically inclined people who come to you have at their homes. They want to get the best possible sound, which is why you need to get the right microphones and studio monitor speakers, among other important things. It’s also important to know how to get the best out of your equipment, so make sure you experiment with it as much as possible before you let your clients use the equipment.

Your studio should be clean and comfortable

While your clients will be most interested in your equipment, it doesn’t mean they don’t form an opinion on other aspects of your studio as well, such as its cleanliness and professional look. That’s why you really need to keep the place tidy and clean, as well as tastefully decorated. The looks can be deceiving, but people simply form an opinion based on every single detail.

Never delete anything you record

It used to be a big problem, even for big studios, to keep everything they record. Luckily, that’s not the case anymore. With the modern technology you really have no reason to ever throw away recordings, even if there are mistakes, bloopers or false starts. After all, there might be samples that don’t meet the required standards because there was a problem with your setup and you can use such samples of mistakes to learn and improve.

No intruders in the studio

Make sure that only people whose presence is necessary are in the studio. Some musicians like to invite friends and family members to recording sessions, but such guests can really get in the way of the recording process. Especially if we talk about kids, who like to run around, mess with the equipment and do all sorts of things that might not only disturb the musicians, but also damage your precious equipment. Generally speaking, treat your studio as a place of business (because it is exactly that), which means no uninvited guests should be tolerated.

These are just some of the most basic tips, which rely on common sense, but get overlooked sometimes. However, your studio is not just a place where you can do what you feel passionate about, but a place of business before all that. If you treat it like that, you’ll be on the right track when it comes to developing your business and being rewarded for progress.

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