As you probably noticed in our free music business book, it could be said that your music project is built upon five fundamental stones, or chords as I like to call them: Soul, Brand, Reach, Production and Management.
Well, this is post is meant to give you a practical method to assess all of those areas and help you with your music business management. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
Step 1: Open your Project Blueprint.
You should open your Project Blueprint document, If you don’t know what that is download The Music Entrepreneur. All the results of this assessment will go in there. For this particular case, I would recommend an attached document as well, I use a spreadsheet for 2nomads, but you can use whatever works best for you. The idea is to be able to track progress as you improve each area.
Step 2: The Scoring System
You’ll assign each chord a number between -3 and +3. So for example, if you judge your Reach chord is giving you mediocre results, you would attach a 0 to it, and if you decide your Production is harming your project a little bit, you’ll assign a -1 to it. You need to be honest about yourself and your project here, and ultimately you’ll be the one defining the meaning of success for your music business management.
Step 3: Soul Assessment
Start by analyzing the Soul chord. The following questions can work as a guide, but I suggest that as time goes by and you keep reviewing your music project’s health, you find your own questions.
- Are your personal reasons aligned with the current state of your project? 2. Are you earning what you deserve for the amount of money you invest into it?
- Do you feel passionate about your project’s mission and vision?
- Do your vision and mission align with the current state of your project?
- Have you been able to define a profitable market segment to whom you can offer real value and expertise?
Step 4: Brand Assessment
Continue with your Brand chord. As you might remember from the book, your brand is the body of your project’s soul. So the main thing to do here is to analyze how well is your brand is representing your project core values, vision, mission, and services. These questions could be helpful:
- Do you feel your brand expresses the identity of your project in the right way?
- Is your copywriting aligned with your project’s style and that of your market segment?
- Is your website creating the right experience for your visitors and communicating your brand in the right way?
- Are your sales processes, invoices, documents, emails and other customer-based activities aligned with your brand?
- Is your brand capable of attracting your niche?
Step 5: Reach Assessment
Time to analyze your Reach chord. As you remember from The Music Entrepreneur, I included both music marketing and sales into a single chord. The reason why is that I believe both activities should be better aligned and often isn’t the case with most businesses. Also, both are ultimately about influencing and improving the lives of your target audience, that’s achieved by marketing and then selling your products or services. So with that in mind ask yourself the following questions. As usual, develop your own questions and metrics as time goes by.
- Do you have a proper and proven marketing strategy?
- Do you have a deep understanding of your clients’ demographics and psychographics?
- Have you implemented adequate systems to attract your target audience?
- Do you have an offer ladder?
- Does your website convert visitors into leads on a regular basis?
- Do you have a proper lead nurturing processes to turn those leads into customers?
- Are you quantifying every element of your sales and marketing?
- Do you have a CRM and useful automation in place?
- Are your marketing and sales costs too high?
- Do you have a compelling sales pitch for every one of your services or products?
- Are you sure you can’t increase your rates? Do you have a proper strategy to raise them?
Step 6: Production Assessment
Time for you to assess your Production chord. Basically, we’ll be looking at the way you produce your services and deliver them to your clients or customers. This might sound a bit too business-like to a performing musician, but in reality, it’s not. In your case just think about the way you perform or record your music, about the way you present your shows, about the way you produce your music, etc.
- Are you sure your production process is optimized and polished to 100%? In other words, can you use less time and money to achieve the same quality or even better?
- Do you have systems in place for handling the delivery of your services to your clients?
- Have you automated all you can automate? Stuff like automatic billing, client onboarding and more are usually start points.
- If you offer services, have you productized your services?
Step 7: Management Assessment
And finally, the Management chord. Self-assessment is the type of activities a manager does. Remember when I say a music entrepreneur needs to know his project’s numbers? Well, the numbers you’re getting from this assessment could be called macro-metrics. They’re a reflection of your project’s general health. They will help you to make a decision on the areas you need to improve the most to balance your music business management. Here’s another set of example questions
- Are you looking at the big picture for your project?
- Are you continually analyzing the numbers behind your music project and acting to improve them?
- Are you 100% you’re handling your taxes and other formalities of your music business administration the right way?
- Could optimize on taxes?
- Do you have at least a basic understanding of accounting in order to analyze your project’s financial health?
- Do you have a financial plan?
- If you have employees (band members could be considered employees), do you feel like the morale is low and could be improved?
I recommend you do this at least quarterly, along with a reviewal of your Project Blueprint. These are living documents, always improving, always growing, the same as your music project.
If you have any questions about this process, don’t hesitate to post them in the comment section below.