You may want to conduct a SWAT analysis of your business in your area. Look up SWAT (as it's related to new business) to see what it is... it may open your eyes!There's a lot to running a business and many times doing it alone can be overwhelming. If you have't already... check this site out: https://www.score.org/ They can help you with a lot of business related topics (related to the business, not to audio!)
then sub the extra work that i can't do out for 80-90% to someone else who takes their own gear out and does all the work. I keep the difference for a couple of phone calls and emails and no extra investment and am keeping almost the same amount as I would if I owned the gear and was sending someone else out.
Discounts - how does this work? Only discount on repeat business, never first time in. The guy who wants a discount up front just wants it cheap. He won't be back. Don't be surprised if your business model changes as you get more into this.
Sorry to write a lot. Please lemme know if you have any other specific questions!-Ray
The first thing you need to do, though, is make a firm decision as to where you want the business to go-- stick with small bar/band gigs, larger festivals, touring concerts? Or do a lot of installs and maybe some retail?
Then, you're going to want to develop a business plan. This is the blueprint for the boring stuff- all of the money things you asked about-- your goals and how you're going to achieve them. Take it from someone who didn't do a business plan- without one, you'll find yourself spending money on stupid shit.
Rigging/Flying: This all depends on what exactly you're doing. I hate giving a non-answer, but every case is different, as to whether or not you'll be needing to worry about riggers.
Do you find yourself getting worn out on shows because you exerted SO MUCH effort getting setup that now you can't do as good of a job on the show? And then you also have to load your gear out of there at the end...
I pay labor rates on the higher end of the pay scale, because I firmly believe in paying people well for a good job- I want to make sure we have a successful event AND ensure that my techs will answer the phone when I call them in the future. And perks are important. Of course, most soundcos will provide bottled water. I also have my RedBull fridge mounted in a road case- RedBull is a business expense for me, because it's a quick and easy way to perk my guys up as well as make friends with the stagehands.
HR: Once you hire an employee, speak to an employment lawyer to make sure you're covering your butt.
YeahÖ thatís probably a good idea. I dislike all these regulations on small businesses. It destroys the micro economies of our communities all in an effort to help people who donít want or need help. Business owners canít concentrate on what needs to get done instead they devote 50% of the time to keeping the government happy. Anyways, thatís my beef.
Keep in simple with the contractors. You can't tell a contractor how to do their job, only the results. If a guy can arrive 5 minutes before show and make everyone happy then you can't complain if he isn't your employee.So if you want control over how it's done they have to be direct reports, if you are OK with sending them out with a system and a contract to do xxx then you can live with a contractor.The key is finding the right contractors. It's been the key to my growth. The good guys don't need supervision. We just hired our first direct employee but I cheated and hired him into my IT company and the leased him back to the sound company.
I did a search for SWAT analasis, It keeps autocorrecting to SWOT. Iíll do some research there. As well as the score.org thanks for the info/help!
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