Learning how to start a music management company is something that experienced industry veterans will admit is one of the toughest things to do. In fact, you might find yourself starting a few different music management companies over the course of your career, depending on the artists you manage and the partnerships you develop. Some of the most famous managers in the world have started new music management companies every time they shifted between the management business and other aspects of entertainment, like record labels or television networks.
The right attitude is important to understanding how to start a music management company. If you expect your new company to start funneling cash to your bank account instantly, you’re in for a rude awakening. Just like it takes patience and perseverance to launch a music career, it takes drive, ambition, and stamina to start a music management company.
The best way to start a music management company is to begin by representing a client with whom you already have a strong relationship. Most artists benefit more from having a trusted friend or family member oversee their career in the early years than from working with an experienced music management company. The music management skills can be learned faster than the trust can be earned, especially in a business where hundreds of artists compete for the attention of each working music manager.
Avoid relying on gimmicks or tricks when you start a music management company. Shake loose that desire to discover talent – experienced music managers can assure you that the right talent finds its way to you. Focus on the people you already know instead of trying to collect clients at music conferences or after shows. Too many scam artists have made it impossible for real client development to happen at most public events.
Before you start a music management company, get clear about the amount of time and money you can devote to your venture. Like any small business, a music management company requires startup capital to pay for phones, letterhead, legal fees, and accountants. Since you will get paid on commission, it may take six to twelve months for you to see enough income from your clients to start paying your own bills. Most importantly, remember that the client is responsible for paying their own expenses – it’s not up to you to cover the costs of recording an album, paying for CD pressings, or renting tour buses.
You can learn how to start a music management company when you read my book, Music Management for the Rest of Us. I’ve even got some sample chapters you can check out for free.
Joe Taylor Jr.