I just completed narrating an audio book on business in Asia. I teach guitar full time and gig several times a month, but I also enjoy doing voiceovers and often learn valuable information I can apply to my own gigging business.
I starting playing with bands in 1972 but since I didn’t major in business, I didn’t know what a business plan was.
Until my current One Man Band, duo and trio, I never wrote a business plan for a group.
However, I have enjoyed success with all three of my current musical organizations and less stress, because I knew going in what I was trying to accomplish. I could then determine immediately what was working and what was not.
So this is what I would like to invite you to do now: write a business plan for your solo act.
I realize that, just like me, many of you never took a business class in school, either… but, that doesn’t matter. I can help you write it and I will even provide you a list of important questions to get you started.
1. What is the focus of your act, musically speaking? Are you strictly instrumental, vocal or both? If both, what percentage of each will you do? Do you have a desire to change the percentage over time?
2. What kind of time commitment are you willing to make to ramp up to perform? Do you have a full time job/wife/children/volunteer work/etc. that may push things back further? Do you have the support of your significant other/spouse/children to undertake this career move?
3. Where do you plan to perform? How will you get work? Whom will you ask to help in this regard: Booking agent/manager/club owner/online booking agent/party planner/ etc.? How much time are you willing to devote to seeking work? Do you know anyone already doing what you’re considering who could serve as a mentor?
4. What will your musical focus be: covers or original material, or both? What kind of material do you already know you can perform solo? How many tunes can you perform right now? Can you re arrange material to work in a solo setting? Will you simply play your instrument or sing, or will you use tracks? If you use tracks, where will you obtain them? Can you create your own?
5. Do you have adequate communications tools/skills? Do you have a computer or tablet, internet access, e mail you can check daily, cell phone, answering machine and/or voice mail? Can you communicate with other people effectively over the phone as well as in person? Do you have or could you create your own website? Do you know someone who could help you accomplish this?
6. Do you have adequate gear to work this weekend? Is it time to consider either buying new gear and/or selling off unused gear in order to be prepared to gig solo?
7. What can you bring to the table as a solo performer? Go and see people perform solo and ask yourself, “What can I do that will help me to stand out?”
8. How about transportation? Do you have a reliable way to get to performances in a timely manner? If not, when can you accomplish this?
While I could give you another dozen or so questions, the above eight questions should help you begin to narrow and define the scope of your new solo act.
Those of you more skilled in marketing and business can probably ask even more questions. Be sure you actually write these answers down so once you have it complete to your satisfaction, you can print it for reading its contents regularly. This is a valuable part of the goal setting process and will help you achieve real results quickly. This may take you several hours and I suggest reading and re-reading it so you can modify things as needed.
Next time, I’ll share my list with you and why I recommend you do this. See you then!
– Riley Wilson
Originally posted 2013-06-02 20:28:32.