Entrepreneurial musicians — like all business people — often find themselves in quandaries regarding their daily business operations. If only there were a magic book to which one could refer when faced with a particular problem or new opportunity. If only. Unfortunately, no such book exists (believe me, I’ve looked). Even if there were a book that could tell you how to operate your music business, it would take at least half of the fun out of running the business. True entrepreneurs enjoy the ever-changing challenges that come with any venture, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a game plan in place at all times.
Enter the “business plan” — that intimidating sounding document that casts fear in the hearts of start-up business owners everywhere and, sadly, has created more stress for many individuals than the actual day-to-day operation of their businesses. The good news is that, while there are certain issues that all business plans should address, there is no absolute format for a business plan. In fact, a comprehensive and workable business plan could be jotted down on a napkin. However, if you plan to submit your business plan to other parties for securing financing or some other purpose, I suggest that you avoid the napkin method and prepare a more professional document.
Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all business plan. True, there are model business plans available, many of which are quite good. But there are no perfect “off-the-rack” solutions in any business. In my next post, I will provide additional information about business plans, including the type of information they should include.
L. Kevin Levine is the founder of L. Kevin Levine, PLLC (go figure), a boutique entertainment, copyright, trademark, and business law firm in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong musician who grew up in his family's music store, it was inevitable that Kevin would build his legal career in entertainment and business.