Do a Google search for “[insert city name] recording studios”. See how many pop up. Surprised? In a lot of cities, the number of music studios is staggering.
That’s why my best advice to anyone who comes across this web site is to consider another career path. There are already more than enough businesses serving a small number of customers. Even if you are good at what you do it will be tough to compete. Why?
Not everybody needs audio services.
If you look around at the most common types of businesses, what do you see? Stores to buy consumer products like food and medicine. Including restaurants. Everybody needs to eat and if you’re not 100% healthy medicine helps. You have gas stations because if you live in the United States a large percentage of the population drives an automobile. Hence, car dealerships and auto mechanic shops are another business you’ll see in nearly every county/city.
Banks are important so people can safely store their money and do easy money transfers with bank cards. Landscaping businesses, because people like to or legally need to keep their yards in shape. Bars and night clubs serve as common gathering places. Gyms, because people want to lose weight or maintain their fitness. Weight loss products and services is a HUGE industry in the USA.
Transportation? Be it humans in taxis/buses/trains/airplanes or cargo on a UPS truck or courier, moving stuff and people around is big business. So is storing that stuff and people (apartments, rental properties or home purchases).
Another thing that you won’t see many media companies talking about? Franchises have hurt small independent businesses. People are more likely to trust a brand name that they are familiar with vs. Sarah’s Drug Store or Bob’s Mechanic Shop. Brand awareness is a big deal!
If you don’t want to go against my advice and start a different type of business or go to college for an in-demand career field then keep reading. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you that this industry is very tough!
Back to the audio business…your potential customer base is small. Very small. Not many people need audio recorded/mixed/mastered. That’s why it is important to branch out as much as possible.
What do I mean by that? Live sound…and not just musicians. Businesses hold meetings/conferences and need people for those events. DJing weddings and other events is also a viable business to go along with the studio end of things. Think outside the box, as they say. In this case, the box is your studio.
Once your audio business is up and running you need to network and market your ass off. Remember the large number of studios I talked about in the first paragraph? Your studio will need to be unique. People who need your services must be drawn to it for some reason. And even if you have a cool and unique studio if people don’t know about your business then it may as well not exist.
That means you need to get involved in the music scene and make a ton of phone calls/send out mail to potential business customers. That’s the bootstrapping legwork that is behind most successful businesses. The owners and employees worked their butts off to get their name out there!
But before you do any of that you’ll need to demonstrate that you can do pro quality work…which is a whole other topic I’ll be writing about in the near future.