Artist Development 6


by John Latimer

In the early stages of Artist Development, an individual thinks about becoming an artist and may dream about becoming a big star. Just so you know, big stars mean big business and big stars are business owners. You, the individual, the artist, must have an entrepreneurial spirit for your art to become your business. Many artists have a tough time thinking that their art is their business. If this is you, perhaps, you will want to wait to team-up with someone who is more business oriented.

Before we move much further, let’s define what type of business that an artist is. As a individual person, an artist may wear the “hat” of a solo artist. As a solo artist, they may write their own material, perform their own material and record their own material. In this case, perhaps their business is a sole proprietorship.



 Business Owner

Or perhaps, the artist decides to collaborate with another individual and wear the performer-artist “hat” of a being a duo or in a band. If this is the case, the artist will have to decide if they own the band or whether they are a partner and co-own the band.

In addition, the person, the individual, the artist, may be a soloist as well as a partner / collaborator at the same time. There are many artists who perform as solo singer-songwriters and then occasionally perform with a band. In this case, what’s the business arrangement? Perhaps the person is a sole proprietor as a solo artist and also a partner as a co-owner of the band.

The important take-away from this is to remember to separate one’s business from the other.

Remember, this is the music business. Successful artists know this. To set-up an artist’s business, there are three plans that need to be considered:

  1. The Artist Development Plan
  2. The Product Development Plan
  3. The Artist Business Plan

Artist Development is pre-release. It’s the creating, the planning & the preparing. Product Development is implementing and producing: The making and the selling of music. The artist Business Plan is the master plan of the who, what, when, where, why and how much of the artist’s success. The artist Business Plan brings all the components of the Artist Development Plan and the Product Development Plan together.

When a person (artist) begins to think of business side of art, he or she will start to wear the another “hat”: the entrepreneurial hat: The role of a business owner. This is when the person who is trying to establish themselves as an artist is also trying to establish themselves as a business owner; someone with whom others will want to do business.

 Art is no less important than commerce for today’s developing musician and artist.

While contemplating the Artist Development Plan, the artist will realize the importance of setting up a bona fide business. If an artist truly wants to avoid playing local taverns the rest of their career, and wants to do business with others in the music industry, then the artist should set up a business to do so; especially if there are more than one person on their team. Business. Business. Business.


Artist Business Plan

If you are generating any income, then you are a business.  What kind of business are you… a sole proprietor, partnership or corporation?  What is your plan for long and short term success?  Are you thinking in business terms?  Develop and maintain your plan.

A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm’s resume. The basic components include a current and pro forma balance sheet, income statement, and a cash flow analysis. A business plan helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make good business decisions. Because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan application. Additionally, it informs personnel, suppliers, and others about your operations and goals.

Plan Your Work

The importance of a comprehensive, thoughtful business plan cannot be overemphasized. Much hinges on it: outside funding, credit from suppliers, management of your operation and finances, promotion and marketing of your business, and achievement of your goals and objectives.

Despite the critical importance of a business plan, many entrepreneurs drag their feet when it comes to preparing a written document. They argue that their marketplace changes too fast for a business plan to be useful or that they just don’t have enough time. But just as a builder won’t begin construction without a blueprint, eager business owners shouldn’t rush into new ventures without a business plan. Before you begin writing your business plan, consider four core questions:

  1. What service or product does your business provide and what needs does it fill?
  2. Who are the potential customers for your product and why will they purchase it ?
  3. How will you reach your potential customers?
  4. Where will you get the financial resources to start your business?

Work Your Plan

A business plan is a tool with three basic purposes: communication, management, and planning. As a communication tool, it is used to attract investment capital, secure loans, convince workers to hire on, and assist in attracting strategic business partners. The development of a comprehensive business plan shows whether or not a business has the potential to make a profit. It requires a realistic look at almost every phase of business and allows you to show that you have worked out all the problems and decided on potential alternatives before actually launching your business.

As a management tool, the business plan helps you track, monitor and evaluate your progress. The business plan is a living document that you will modify as you gain knowledge and experience. By using your business plan to establish timelines and milestones, you can gauge your progress and compare your projections to actual accomplishments.