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A Sample Music Business Plan

December 6th, 2010 | how-to

Our friend and colleague Kevin English has just published a great post on Music Think Tank where he gives you the elements of a good music business plan for your band.

I just got home from a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my mother, sister, brother, niece and nephew in Franklin Park, New Jersey. The roads were slick from an early snow shower that turned to freezing rain. As I was driving home it dawned on me that I haven’t written a blog post (on any topic) in over a month. But tonight I suddenly found the inspiration to present…

A Sample Music Business Plan for Your Band

For those of you who haven’t read my previous posts on this topic, I’ll briefly bring you up to speed.

I wrote a post on Music Think Tank Open that was transferred to the main page (an honor in my book) called How to Write a Music Business Plan. It was a bit fluffy like this one might end up and one of the MTT readers called me on it. The first comment was, “Would have been stronger with a template or sample.” I got pissed off and created a template. Thanks again Justin.

However, I never provided a sample for two reasons. One, I thought that I might loose business opportunities by providing a sample of a plan that I’ve done. People like to copy plans instead of learning the steps or hiring a business plan writer like myself. Two, because business plans as you will see in the sample below, are confidential. Half of my clients will make me sign a Non Disclosure Agreement and swear me to secrecy for good reason.

Luckily for you about a year ago, one rap group from VA gave me the go ahead to publish their plan, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

My Inspiration

Every time I sit down to write another music business plan I think about all of the starving artists out there who have failed to see the value in the business planning process. There are all sorts of books out there telling people not to plan. I personally don’t understand that concept at all.

I’ve read that planning is nothing more that guessing recently. If that’s the case, I’ve been one lucky dude. I plan everything. I plan what body part I’m going to work at the gym tomorrow, what I’ll have for dinner the next day and what I’ll will wear to work on Monday. I honestly feel that I would not be as successful as I am if it weren’t for careful planning.

Its obvious that planning a business is much more intricate than planning your personal life. If running a business was as easy as having an idea and going for it, we’d all be rich. A plan not only provides you with a framework for growth, but also takes a closer look at the details of your business; ones that are typically over looked without a business plan.

A CEO has to manage everything from personnel to product development and marketing to distribution and accounting. How is one supposed to conceptualize that process in their head? The answer is clear to me. You can’t.

Elements of a good plan

Whether you are planning to approach a bank or family member for financing or simply look at ways to improve your business, a good plan includes the five sections that follow.

1. Executive Summary

2. Products and Services

3. Marketing Plan

4. Management Plan

5. Financial Plan

Details on each of these plans can be found in previous posts and outlined in depth in my template, You don’t have to take my work for it however, there are tons of resources online that will tell you the same thing about business planning.

Over the years I have tailored these plans to mirror the needs of the ever changing music industry. Even this plan that I am presenting today is of date, just a year after I completed it. That should tell you that a business plan should be a living and breathing part of your business and updated as your wants and needs change.

Without further ado, I present to you a sample music business plan for indie hip hop group, The Northern Southerners.

Northern Southerners Business Plan

Northern Southerners Financial Statements