Thinking Of Starting Your Own Business In Music? Here's What These Experts Say You Should Do

25 November 2017 | 9:50 am | Jessica Dale

Learn from some of the best in the biz.

Starting your business is big, challenging and rewarding thing to do. Starting your business in the music industry can be those things times ten.

Face The Music's Start Me Up: Home Truths On Starting A New Business In Music With Bonafide Entrepreneurs brought together some of the industry's best to share their years of business expertise, including moderator and AAM's Leanne de Souza, Parlour co-founder Matt Walters, Collective Artists' founder Rebecca Young, The Zoo and Feed Music's Pixie Weyand and The Hills Are Alive co-founder Aidan McLaren.

Here are their top tips for a succeeding in business… 

Find a business partner that balances you

The panel were all in agreeance that though you don't necessarily need a business partner if you do choose to work with one that the person needs to balance with you and have matching values. McLaren shared that he and his brother had been working together from a very young age (their first business included selling chestnuts from their family farm on the side of the road) and so when it came time to create The Hills Are Alive, there couldn't have been a more obvious pairing. McLaren cites that while he still is a creative, his brother has a much more analytical mind than himself meaning they can bring different skills to the business.

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If you're doing it for the money, we've got some bad news for you…

"Financially, it was a hard time but a good time," says Walters of their first years in business, before adding that himself and his co-founder didn't pay themselves a salary for the first two years. McLaren adds that it took around four or five years before himself and his brother starting earning a salary equivalent to what they were earning before starting their own business. Walters' best tip is that they "wouldn't spend any money we didn't have" after learning from his own personal experiences with credit card debt.

Know where to draw the line

When Weyand took over Brisbane venue The Zoo, it came along with a team of staff, many of which were her own age. For Weyand, this presented a challenge in knowing where to draw the line between being friends with your staff and maintaining a healthy employer/employee relationship. If you are planning to work with friends, think about what your boundaries are and what the best arrangement for the business.

Think about your environment

For de Souza, working from home for the past twenty years as always been a great fit, until she realised how much she feeds off the energy of the people around her. This meant looking for new ways to engage with people throughout her working days. Working from home suits some people, others need to structure of an office or the vibe of a co-working space — ultimately it comes down to what is going to work best for yourself and your business, and how you can ensure you're looking after both your mental and psychical health.

What goes around comes around…

"Be good to people" is Young's key tip. Build relationships as much as you can, don't be scared to pick up the phone, and always reply to people.