Plan your music journey for 2023

Happy new year 2023! I wish this new beginning brings you a lot of energy to continue with your projects, and also the motivation to start those others that you've been storing as dreams in the backburner.

As I've mentioned before, I tend to write my yearly music business plan around this time. While planning an entire year sounds daunting, I've found that doing it helps me achieve more without compromising my health or wellbeing. It allows me to distinguish between the urgent and the important, and know which actions take time because they need to and which do because I'm not being efficient. With a plan, I can also tell what opportunities align with my goals, which prevents distractions.

If you don't know where to start with your own yearly plan, have a quick model I use to write mine: 

  1. Find the time:  We often think there is not enough time in our day to plan, but there is when we decide something is a priority. Time will present itself for us to get it done. Obviously, we have to balance our commitments or make arrangements for planning. Remember that you don't have to do the whole thing in a single session. In fact, letting your plan rest for a few days before making adjustments can be very beneficial!
  2. Choose a great location: Be it a quiet trip to the park, coffee shop, your bedroom or living room, find a nice place to work that will help your mind to think and percolate your thoughts. 
  3. Record it: I'm old fashion and I still enjoy engaging with the page through paper and pen, so I write in an exercise book, but you can type it up digitally or use a planning app. You can record it using video or audio, use post-it notes, whiteboard, flip charts, coloured pens... whatever helps you to think and plan is fine! Keep your recording for review.
  4. Think big: We often limit our ability by what others might say or think.  We even reduce our dream in our mind because we don't think we can achieve it, but, if it's reasonable, why not go for it? Now is the time to think big. Some things might take more than one year to achieve and that's fine. By writing them in your plan nonetheless, you'll have a clear picture of what you have to do: don't forget all goals have steps before they are achieved!
  5. Break your targets down: This is the stage that makes the most people give up.  Breaking things down becomes onerous, boring and no fun, yet these steps will help to keep you afloat and moving forward to your goal. 
    Saying you want to record an album, put on a show or even improve your website are great goals, but what do you need to do in order to achieve them?  You need to break your goal down into more manageable steps to be achieved over time. For example, you don't just walk into a studio and say 'Record me!' You have to prepare - choose songs, rehearse, decide on the band, decide on your producer, the studio, costs, etc, There are different stages that a recording goes through, there is production,  distribution, registration, promotion and so on.  All of these take time, and the more you are aware of them, the more you can plan, budget and ultimately achieve your number 1 goal.
  6. Resources: Don’t forget to note the resources (people, finances, materials, equipment, training, etc.) you will need to make your plan work. Again, don't be put off with what you don't have. Today your hands might be empty, but tomorrow who knows what might come your way. Rome was not built in a day!
  7. Action Plan: I find it useful after writing everything down, as I tend to write in paragraphs, to create a simple To-Do list - it can be a bullet list or a table - of actions I will take and by when (target dates).  This is what I focus on throughout the year as my simplified road map for getting things done.   
  8. Review it: At key times in the year, you should look at the action points from your plan and see how you are progressing.  You might want to create monthly reviews, quarterly or even weekly, it depends on what works for you.  
    It's great to tick off what has been achieved but also note the reason why some things have not been possible. Don't beat yourself up!  Some things take time, others need other steps completing first and you may not have been aware of them until you approached the goal. 

That should help you start writing your music business plan. If you want more advice and resources, keep an eye on this website, as Success Beyond The Score will have a lot of new content and activity in 2023!