Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cleaning House

Are  you basking in the glow of  your holiday buzz?  You know the buzz  from the endless stream of baked goodies that has filled your tummy?
In this glow cast your thoughts forward to the New Year and ponder what 2011 will bring your way.

 Are you ready to move into a growth phase in your artistic business?
Did you have a hard economic year in 2010? And not care to repeat that this year?   
Then this is the perfect time to take advantage of some year-end down time  & get your "business house in order".
This will give you a head start on your competition, and make it easier for you to start, or expand your business plan for 2011.

Memberships / Conferences / Subscriptions-   Get your computer, checkbook and a notepad.  Make a list of all the sites  & services you pay a submission fee or monthly membership fee to:
 Your NACA, Folk Alliance, Grammy memberships, monthly newsletter service, Sonic Bids, Taxi, or any other organizations you might have paid a membership, re-occurring, or submission fee to.  If you don't already track your monthly expenses and income check out   Google documents they have some really great free templates to get you started keeping track of your monthly expenses and income and have this information easily accessible. Then next year when you do this you have everything in one document at your fingertips.

I had a client this year go through this exercise this summer and nearly died when they found they had spent  over $7,500 in re-occurring charges going out to Sonic Bids“ artist song submission & performance opportunities” 

1)    Return on your investment?  Ask yourself what did you get out of those expenditures?  Did you get any gigs from your $2,500 worth of Sonic bid submissions? Probably not. 
How about the $1,500 for festival/conference submissions?  Perhaps you got 1 festival booking, but that was the festival that you  forgot the bag that had  all your merchandise you had planned to sell, which would have paid for the trip. Or a expensive booking conference that resulted in NO new bookings?
     Or how about  those $99 submissions to get your song on 500 internet radio stations?- next time find your favorite charity to donate $99 to you will then at least get the tax write off for your charitable contribution.  

You will quickly see where your business might be hemorrhaging, AND as important where you are getting the most “bang for your buck”.
 If you have a membership to a local organization that provides you access and information which will help you grow your business; then, you will  want to keep them as a valuable tool for your business.
Or, if  you are just dumping endless submission or monthly fees into a black hole and getting nothing in return, time to cut your loses and move on.

2)    Grow-Learn-Look at ALL the tools you are using. Are you maximizing their effectiveness?  If not take advantage of  Google and watch a 5 minute quick tips video- read blogs, talk to colleagues, volunteer to help out at a upcoming industry related events, these are  excellent ways to  educate yourself & give back.
What professional networks do you belong to?
Are you meeting new people every month? and actually following up w/ the meetings?
Are you developing collaborative relationships?
Or are these area's that you need to work more on? 

3) Share: What are you doing to give back? Are you aligned with individuals, organizations and professional networks that support your core values? If not, time to start seeking them out, and volunteer at a upcoming event, no better way to learn and grow that to be involved right?

If you feel you can be doing more, you probably can be.   For tips check out,, Many folks do not realize our Performing Rights Organization or P.R.O.'s  have many  valuable resources available  for you to check  out!

Remember, face to face interaction has NEVER stopped being important.  Take a break from your online “friending” and schedule time to schedule regular meetings for lunch or a drink after work, or go to that workshop or panel discussion on a topic you need to learn more about.  Meet individuals  to see where you might have some common interests, and a opportunity to create something successful TOGETHER.

I would love to read your comments on any of your surprises from your  “house cleaning” exercise.  If you want to get started on organizing your year then Lets talk!


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