As you know, running a music business is can be extremely time-consuming. Whether the business is flourishing or just getting off the ground, there are countless tasks you must do to ensure its success. Most of the time one person cannot, and should not, attempt to do everything alone.
You can get help in your music business and increase your bottom line by outsourcing tasks that you don't want to do, don't know how to do, or don't have the time to do.
By taking the time to find good people to outsource tasks to, you can almost be certain that you'll save both time and money in the long run and increase your revenue greatly over the life of your business.
Many people, including musicians, are control freaks who want to keep an eye on everything. However, if you want to scale your business, this isn't possible. There are only so many hours in a day. If you want to play with the big boys, you're going to have to bring in more people to help you run things and you're going to have to trust them.
Use these quick tips to help you get started, even if you're on a tight budget.
Quick Tip #1: Examine Your Budget and the Going Rate
When running an independent music business, it is always important to define a budget. A common error is to set aside more money than you can afford when you're first beginning to outsource projects. A smart idea is to allocate a percentage of the money you are bringing in only for outsourcing. This way you'll be able to steadily grow your profits by leveraging the work of others.
For instance, if you decide to reinvest 10% of your profits into outsourcing, then, as your income grows, the amount you spend on outsourcing will grow, as well.
The size of your budget is not what is important; you need to figure out how to use this money to benefit your music business in the best way possible. This will change depending on the tasks you are outsourcing.
Visit freelancing sites like Elance.com, Scriptlance.com, or oDesk.com. Notice which types of projects people are bidding on and how much they are offering to complete them. See then how this fits with your allocated budget.
Not all of the projects you see on these sites will be things you could use in your music business, but general aspects of promoting an online business, such as driving web traffic or search engine help, will absolutely come in handy for you. Other tasks, such as graphic design or web programming, are also needed by most musicians.
Quick Tip #2: Be Honest with Yourself
After making the decision to outsource, make sure you are honest with your decision.
Are the tasks that you have decided to outsource truly something that you cannot do yourself? If it is something that you may be able to accomplish, it would save you from wasting money from your budget. This would also allow you to allocate another task for outsourcing either now or in the future when the need arises.
Take the time to really think about what tasks need to be outsourced and what just might not be a favorite task to perform yourself. To differentiate between the two can save you money; time and can get your true priorities accomplished quicker.
With that said, your ultimate goal should be to outsource everything that other people can do. As a musician, you should focus your time on what others can't do, such as songwriting or performing.
Quick Tip #3: Search for the Best People
It is in your best interest to research before hiring a contractor. Remember that you are working within your budget, so outsourcing haphazardly can result in a loss of precious funds, especially if you need to have the work redone.
Take your time and do not make an uninformed decision. Use all available resources, ask for references, and speak to others, visit websites, look at samples, anything you can do to get a clearer perspective on someone you are considering. If you take this task seriously, you will certainly improve your odds for positive results.
I suggest you give a small task to three people to test them and find out which is the best fit for you before investing a large amount of money with any one person. For instance, if you need links to your site, hire 3 separate people to get 5 links each. Use this small assignment to figure out which links are best for your site as well as which person was the easiest to work with. You can continue with whomever “wins” the challenge.
Quick Tip #4: Consider Trades and be Creative
If you need to outsource tasks but have used your allocated funds for the month, there are other options. Simply use your imagination to figure out alternative ways to outsource.
One way may be to trade services with fans. It is likely that a task that you can finish in ten minutes may take someone else ninety minutes and vice-versa. Also, keep in mind that fans love to be part of a musician's success and will often work for little or no money, just to be part of something.
Offer to trade tasks. That way you are not only saving time but money as well. This is a great idea to build relationships with other musicians for future gig swaps.
For example, if you're in Nashville and you need promotion done in Memphis, find a band in Memphis to handle your business there. In exchange, you can handle their business in Nashville. You'll both save a lot of time and benefit from having an "insider" do the job.
Outsourcing on a budget isn't always easy, but it is possible. All you need to do is plan ahead, do your research and use your imagination to come up with win-win scenarios. This will help the process run smoothly and simply, ensuring that you will outsource again in the future.