Adapted from our new Disc Makers’ guide, The Art of Running A Successful Recording Studio, we’ve compiled excellent business advice from eight Studio Partners in our Partner Program.
Managing and maintaining a successful professional recording studio blends a passion for creative art, a command of the science of recording, the ability to think like an entrepreneur, and the resilience and foresight to adapt to an ever-changing landscape. Just as technology and the Internet have forever changed the industry for music artists, the same advances and changes have indelibly altered the recording studio industry.
Our latest recording studio guide, The Art of Running a Successful Recording Studio: Advice and Insights From Studio Pros, focuses on how professional studios can better navigate the waters in the new music industry. Eight of our esteemed Disc Makers Studio Partners offered excellent content for the guide, including what they see as the necessary qualities for success in the recording studio business. But, warns David Harris of Studio B Mastering, “None of these things is nearly as simple to achieve as it may sound.”
1. Be consistent.
Turn out excellent work on a consistent basis.
2. Build a great staff.
Nothing beats a seasoned staff of pros with diverse experience, a great work ethic, and a commitment to their own engineering practice.
3. Focus on sound.
An acoustically correct facility that is fitted with well-maintained, professional recording equipment is a major reason people will choose to work in your studio.
4. Have a customer focus.
Listen to your customers’ feedback, meet their needs, and always be kind and professional. Repeat business and referrals will follow.
5. Nail your deadlines.
Getting your clients’ work done on (or before) the agreed time frame is imperative – blowing peoples deadlines just doesn’t work.
6. Be a leader.
Stay engaged in your industry and think about what’s around the corner. Clients expect you to help them adapt and do new things in the music business.
7. Be responsive.
Respond to inquiries and requests in a professional, knowledgeable, and timely manner.
8. Have a good attitude.
You and your staff must have positive, friendly, and helpful attitudes.
9. Meet your clients’ needs.
A recording studio is a service business: it’s really all about what the client wants.
10. Develop a rapport with your clients.
Give your clients a sense that you are in it together, that their concerns are your concerns, and you will do everything in your power to make their project world class.
11. Care about the people you’re working for.
Genuinely caring about your clients and their projects is a huge part of building lasting relationships.
12. Maintain a clean and comfortable environment.
A professional environment that lends itself to the creative inspiration of making music is part of what your clients are paying for.
13. Operate like a business.
You need a well-planned operating system for marketing, booking, daily administration, and a view to the future
14. Don’t nickel and dime.
Go the extra mile without charging for every 1/5 mile like a taxicab. Sometimes that extra reprint or free use of studio-owned musical instruments will win you a client (and advertiser) for life.
15. Know thyself.
Cultivate an ability to identify your own areas of excellence and pursue clients and referral sources who know and appreciate those qualities. You also need a constitution that includes an open mind, creative soul, strong work ethic, and a desire to educate.
16. Be efficient.
You need to have the technology and expertise to speed up production without compromising quality. Inefficiency equals lost billable hours.
17. Offer free parking.
An easy load in helps, too.
18. Offer free WiFi.
And provide a house computer with Internet access.
19. Make good coffee.
Tea and decaf, too!
Have a recording studio? Learn more about how you can earn commission by referring your clients to Disc Makers with our Studio Partner Program.