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Types of Business

February 1, 2012

Now you are becoming familiar with the idea of seeing yourself and your career as that of an entrepreneur, it is time to get to grips with the different types if business out there. It will be your job eventually to decide which of these paths you want your freelance career or small business to go down.

Read through the resources available at the given links and complete your question sheets, which are downloadable here, individually. Once you have done this you will form 4 groups and collate your responses in your groups, presenting a summary of your findings to the rest of us.

Here are your resources, find them by clicking on the relevant images.

Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise UK have many resources available at http://www.socialenterprise.org.uk, by cliking on the image of their logo you can download a key information guide on Social Enterprises, which will give you a good introduction.

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Registered Charity

The Charity Commission website http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk is a great resource for information regarding the legalities and practicalities of running a charitable business, there is also a very helpful guidance sheet available from Bedfordshire Community and Voluntary Service, which should get you started. Dowload that by clicking the image.

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Sole Trader

 

 

 

 

Information on how to become a sole trader is available from lots of places, the Business Link website provides an overview which will serve as a good starting point. Click on the image to visit the page.

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Limited Company

 

 

 

 

If you have been given this category, you have the biggest research job, as you have to take into account the TWO main types of limited company that are out there. That’s your first helping hand, here’s your second, a guide to starting out as a limited company from Business Link. Click the image to get started.

Remember!

These links, as with any resources out there, are not specific to the music industry, it is up to you to take the advice and guidance given, and think about how you can apply what you learn to a potential idea for a successful music business or freelance career.

Good Luck!

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Templates for Dragon’s Den Activity!

January 25, 2012

On this page you can download your three Business Plan templates, which you should critically analyse and decide, in true Dragon’s Den style, who to invest in. Remember to balance the quality of the business plan against the feasability of the idea. You MUST remember to keep detailed notes on the strengths and weaknesses of each one. Download them below:

Business Plan 1: The Scene!

Business Plan 2: The Strings

Business Plan 3: Freelance Producer

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SSI Research Log – Second Year Music Students

January 11, 2012

Ok, you have your ideas for your subject of study for SSI. I will sit with you individually and discuss your research proposals with you next week. Now you must move on to your second assignment: Research Log.

You can download your Assignment Brief here

This is perhaps the most important part of your whole SSI project, as it tells me about your project. You must keep a research log that identifies how you have researched your subject. Your research log must be well-organised, thorough and provide critical analysis of the research you undertake. Whilst you must keep a record of all your research, your log must also include THREE ‘featured’ research sources, they must include:

–      ONE BOOK

–      ONE ONLINE ARTICLE/JOURNAL

–      ONE VIDEO OR AUDIO SOURCE

All your sources must be reputable, from either established media outlets, from the College online research databases or from trusted websites (Government, BBC, Guardian, Telegraph etc.) Wikipedia is not an acceptable research source. Start work on this today, you will get the hand-in date next week.

Good Luck!

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Business Plan

January 11, 2012

Ok, so you have your basic idea for either your own small business or your freelance career in the Music Industry… (if you don’t already, decide quickly!) and thought about competitors, your unique selling point etc.

Now is time to turn that idea into something more solid. The Business Plan attached here is the first step in creating a concrete idea that you can use to launch your self-employed career in the music industry. There are grants and funds available to young and upcoming musicians and music technicians that you would not stand a chance of getting if you don’t have a good business plan. I have created a basic, simplified version so you can get used to thinking of yourself as a professional, rather than a student.

So click here (or on the link in the paragraph above) to download your business plan and work your way through it. We will look at it next session together to establish what is good practice and what is a bad idea when it comes to producing a business plan.

Good Luck!

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Your Business Idea

January 4, 2012

By now you should be near to completion of your ‘Areas of the Industry Assignment‘ so you should have a good understanding of how the industry is made up from the inside. Your next task is to learn how to manage yourself as a business.

The Importance of Having a Business Brain

This video shows Jay-Z talking about how big a part business plays in his success as an artist. This is a nice introduction to get you in the business frame of mind.

Identifying Opportunities

Click on the image below to download a pdf version of the PRS Music Universe infographic. This can be a good start to get you thinking about what type of business you want to run and how it would fit into the existing industry.

Types of Business You Could Run

There are many different types of business in the music industry, some will seem obvious, other less so. Have a read through the list of examples below and see if any inspire you.

Session Musician (Freelance, Sole Trader)

Producer (Freelance, Sole Trader)

Studio Technician (Freelance, Sole Trader)

Promotion Company (Limited Company, Partnership)

Artist Management Company (Limited Company, Partnership)

Events Management Company (Limited Company, Partnership)

Music Teacher (Freelance, Sole Trader)

Learn From the Experts

By clicking on the Music Think Tank image, you will be taken to their website. Music Think Tank is an incredible resource, made up of articles, advice and guidance written by people who actually carve out a living for themselves in the music industry. Study the categories down the left hand side and you will see things like ‘Music as a Business’ and Music Business Models’ as well as useful information in categories such as ‘Handling Public Relations’, ‘Crowdsourcing’ and ‘How To Make Money’.

Take your time to read through this site and engage with discussions by commenting on the blog if you have something of value to say or serious questions to ask.

 

Now For Your Idea…

In preparation for next session, answer the following questions and be prepared to discuss your answers.

1. What is your initial business idea?

2. What product or service will you sell?

3. What will be your sources of income?

4. Who will be your main local competitors?

5. Who will be your main national competitors?

6 How will you provide something extra or different from what your competitors are offering?

 

Good Luck! You’ll be like Jay-Z before you know it!

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Using WordPress for Your Music Site

December 14, 2011

Blogging software is now so advanced that many people and companies are using it to build their full websites. As music creators and producers, you should be thinking about putting a website together for yourself as a freelancer for or your band. Other blogging services such as Tumblr and Blogger are also good, but at the moment WordPress is out in front. Below is a quick guide to help you set up your own WordPress blog. Read it carefully and get ready to create your portfolio.

1. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

WordPress has two types of platform, which can be found at two different sites. WordPress.com lets you blog for free, you get free web hosting, a domain name that ends in “.wordpress.com” and hundreds of free themes for your site. WordPress.org is free downloadable software that you can attach to your own web hosting and domain name. To use wordpress.org you need to purchase hosting and a domain name for yourself but you will have much more control over your site, including thousands of plugins and customisable CSS stylesheets.

For your first blog it is best to choose wordpress.com, learn how to use the features and then graduate to wordpress.org

2. Getting Started

WordPress is everywhere! Click on the image of the moon to visit the Wordpess.com official guide to getting started! This will guide you through signing up, familiarising yourself with the dashboard, focusing on your content, customising and publishing your posts!

3. Find Inspiration

Click the image below to be taken to the wordpress.com homepage, which includes a grid of recently published posts. Use this grid to explore the ways in which other people use wordPress!

Now go create!

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Sound and Music Industry Assignment 1

December 7, 2011

Welcome to your first assignment for Unit 39: The Sound and Music Industry.

In the past few weeks we have been working with different techniques to discover the terrain of the sound and music industry in the twenty-first century. Firstly we looked at a physical metaphor for the industry, exploring different floors of the college rotunda to conceptualise the staggered journey most people take when working in the music industry. Then we looked at desk-based research, analysing the make-up and value of each area of the industry, introducing Music Publishing alongside Live Music, Record Companies, Recording Studios and the Music Media.

Recently we have moved on to analysing job roles within each area of the industry, firstly opening our eyes to the multitude of workers from all disciplines who contribute to the successful running of each area of the music industry, and last session we narrowed that exhaustive list down to what you thought were the key roles.

Bringing it all together!

Now it is time to use all that information, research and analysis and put them together in your first assignment, which you can download here. Your task is to produce an animated presentation on four areas of the music industry, as well as the job roles and working contracts associated with each area;  providing clear descriptions, explanations and critical comments throughout. You will use the online software Prezi. Download your assignment brief above and read through it carefully, asking your tutor for guidance on anything you are not clear about. Undernath the task in the blue box on the brief frontsheet are detailed instructions on the requirements for pass, merit and distinction grades.

Good luck!