Improving and Managing Your Cash Flow

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money_4© 2009 Vinny Ribas

 Being an indie artist often means that you have both slow and busy seasons. Your online CD sales may come in bursts. If you have songwriting royalties, the timing and the amounts may vary dramatically. As a result, managing your money properly is vital to keep your bills paid while having enough money to reinvest into your career. Here are a few pointers that may help you with your cash flow:[private_member]

  •  Before you go into the studio and spend your hard earned money, try pre-selling CDs to your fans. With a big enough fan base, you may not need to take a penny out of your pocket to pay for your next recording.
  • Find a studio that is very slow and ask them to delay their pay until you sell CDs. This works well if you know you have gigs lined up at which you will sell a substantial number of CDs. Pay them an extra 10% for waiting a few weeks for the money.
  • Order short runs of CDs to acquire the funds to purchase a larger amount For example, order 50 CDs at $2.50 each, which totals $75.00.  If you sell all 50 for only $10 each, you bring in $500, leaving you a profit of $425. With that $425, order 300 CDs at $1.50 each (you’ll need to add $25.00). Repeat, getting larger quantities each time.
  • Utilize services like that will produce very small amounts of both common and unique merchandise with your name and/or logo on it.
  • Automatically put 10% of your profit from merchandise aside for future purchases.
  • Automatically put 10% of your profit from CD sales aside for future recording.
  • Barter your talents (even non-musical ones) for studio time, rehearsal space, legal assistance, marketing etc. For example, offer to perform for a publication’s Christmas party or summer picnic in exchange for a large ad. Also offer to perform at an event for a publication’s favorite charity in exchange for advertising space.
  • Book fan-generated gigs on your off days and especially in your slower seasons. For example, encourage some of your fans to hold a house concert for you. In short, they invite a group of their friends (10+) to their home and charge them each $10 (suggested amount) to see you perform a private contract.
  • Offer to perform at well-attended charity fundraisers for free with the agreement that you can sell your CDs and merchandise. Donate a portion of your proceeds back to the charity to stimulate sales.
  • Put yourself on ‘salary’. Have a business account in which all of your income is deposited. Then pay yourself a flat amount each week or month that is enough for you to live on. Leave any extra money in the account to cover you when the income flow is light.

 By managing your cash flow and allocating your money wisely, you will insure that you can continue to move your career forward by reinvesting in yourself, while living at a personal level that is adequate for you and your family to feel comfortable and secure year round.[/private_member]

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.