Taking Care Of Band Business

[private_freebie]© 2009 Vinny Ribas

Performing live, writing songs and recording in the studio are all very exciting, creative endeavors that most musicians, including myself, love. They all get the juices flowing. They all create their own adrenalin rushes! Many of us love it when we wake up in the middle of the night (or the day) with a great new song idea. After all, who needs sleep when you’re on a creative roll!

However, there is much more to having a band than just the musical side. There’s booking the band, booking the hotels, tracking receipts, keeping the band’s bank account, taxes, managing the day-to-day business affairs, marketing, setting up, tearing down, setting up radio interviews, sending press releases and so much more. Music is a business. And if no one is taking care of business, no matter how good the band looks and sounds, it won’t be going anywhere,

There comes a time in the evolution of a band when they are in enough demand and making enough money that they can hire a manager, a business manager, a road manager, a publicist, a marketing expert, a bookkeeper etc. to handle many of these tasks. Until then, the band and maybe a few friends have to carry the weight of taking care of the band’s business.

How can a band do all of these things and still have time to be creative? Here are some suggestions:

  • Compile a list of all of the business tasks that need to be done almost daily, such as marketing. Break each task down into their smallest increments (keep up with social media, write the band newsletter, manage the mailing list etc.)
  • Compile a list of all of the business tasks that need to be done weekly or monthly, such as bookkeeping. Break these down into smaller tasks as well.
  • Divide them all into 3 areas – requires expertise, needs minimal expertise, needs no expertise.
  • Poll the band and friends that are helping you and are reliable to determine their strengths and weakness, likes and dislikes regarding all of the things on both lists.
  • Assign the tasks based on each member’s abilities and preferences.
  • Any tasks that no one wants to do will either need to be subcontracted out or assigned to someone based on the skill required, regardless of the person’s desire to do it.
  • Give each member a complete list of his or her responsibilities, along with timelines for completion.
  • Hold each other accountable.

A band is a team, and as such is only as strong as its weakest link. When everyone is confident that everything that needs to be done is being done on the business end, the weight of these tasks won’t stifle anyone’s creativity.



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.