Why should you not be afraid to start a label, your label?
If you’re at the stage where you’re wondering if you should start your label or wait a little longer, remember that there are only two moments to get started: yesterday and now.
Yesterday, because when you asked yourself the question, you shouldn’t have been discouraged and postponed until later, “when you feel ready”.
And now, because no one expects you to be perfect to start with. And if you don’t start now, you’ll be in the same situation tomorrow..
To help you get past the hurdle, I suggest that you resolve some of the questions you often encounter:
1. You don’t need to know everything
It sounds simple said that way, but it is nevertheless the first obstacle to the creation of a label for an artist or a young producer.
Personally, I don’t know anything about accounting. I have never made a pay slip in my life nor any statement of salary (and yet I have hired a lot of people). I have never published a single contract, and in my early days I was not a great manager.
What saved me is that as soon as I had the idea to create my label, the first thing I thought about was: you have to create a solid team.
You need super talented guys in the areas where you’re super bad!
So I looked for a good accountant, then a good lawyer, good press officers, good sound engineers to work with, then later good beatmakers, good artists, etc., etc.
At each step, I have been surrounded, advised, guided and all your success lies in your ability to choose the right people to be part of your team.
I have the feeling that this is the way it works in all areas, as soon as it comes to entrepreneurship.
For example, Henry Ford (founder of the car manufacturer Ford) was once attacked by some of his shareholders who, questioning his leadership skills, asked him very technical questions about his engines.
He completely ignored the answers, so he simply called his mechanical expert and invited him to answer in his place..
2. The COMPANY system protects you
Setting up a label means creating a company, and the biggest fear when you create a company is not being able to pay your expenses!
It is true when you are an entrepreneur, you are exposed to a very heavy burden regime.
Nevertheless, know that everything can be anticipated.
It costs absolutely nothing to meet with an accountant, to present your project to him/her with your perspectives, and to ask him/her for a provisional amount of expenses.
The other important point to note is that the law makes the SOCIETY system very interesting when you know how to handle it.
For example, a company is only taxed on its profits!
Before that, there is no question of talking about corporate tax.
Also, when you do what is necessary to ensure that you have no exemption of any kind whatsoever, notably from the RSI, and therefore that you pay “full pot” as of your first fiscal quarter. No chance you’ll be surprised by an unexpected return of charges.
Finally, the last major expense area to be anticipated is VAT, which may be profitable or loss-making.
The best way is to ask for a monthly declaration to avoid working with cash that no longer belongs to you and to find yourself with a large sum to be paid out at the end of the year.
By taking care to anticipate your various charges carefully, you will never be surprised and you can even with a little advice and experience, make the system heart to your advantage.
3. You don’t need to be rich to get started
I started my label with 500€, I could have started it with 1€ too! You absolutely don’t need to be rich to get started, nothing to add!
You’ve probably wondered what makes some people succeed at everything they do and others never do?
Here is the answer and I promise you that if you apply it, you have no chance of failing: those who succeed have set themselves the goal of success.
Those who fail had no goal to achieve.
You need a clear action plan and a goal to achieve.
You won’t fail if you understand that becoming a label manager means becoming a captain of a ship, and like any ship, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re screwed!
You need a map, a destination and a crew.
The crew is the team that surrounds you in each area that you do not master. We’ve already talked about this.
The destination is your goal: it can be #1 in sales with 1 single/1 album, it can be the best in this or that style, it can also be signing a talent per year or increasing your catalogue by 15 titles per year… You decide!
And finally, the map is your action plan: basically what are you going to do to get closer and achieve your goal?
It can be, canvassing 50 beatmakers in the month to get the best production, then working 4 hours a day to perfect my lyrics and melodies.
Offer me the services of the best sound engineer for the mixing and mastering of my song.
Approach labels, press officers or independent producers until you get a deal! It’s up to you to see where you want to go…
5. I’ve never started a company before, where do I start?
Choose to want it. Find a name for your label. Find a good accountant who understands your project.
Find a good lawyer to build your creative file (if like me, you are not at an administrative level or you don’t want to take time for that).
Find a banker with whom the feeling goes well and create a company account.
Use the 4 pillars mentioned in this blog to generate money with music (Sales, Booking, Rights & Help) and smile, you’re on your way!
Now all you have to do is reach out to others, create your network, develop your team and your skills, and you will see that in a short time everything will be fine.