How to Start a Music Management Company

By Robin Raven ; Updated September 15, 2017

A music management company can be one of the most exciting businesses to be involved in. You get to be a part of the music scene and be responsible for a lot that happens behind the scenes for your clients. A management company takes care of the business side of a musician's professional life. A manager then takes a cut of the musician's earnings in exchange for booking gigs, mediating with the record label and taking an overall guidance position in his career.

Come up with a business plan. Include an estimate of how much you predict to make in income for the first year, the first five years and the first decade. Include strategies to make your business stand apart from the rest. See the link below for the Small Business Association.

Learn all you can about the music industry and musicians. You'll be much more effective as a manager if you know what your client is facing. Contact the American Federation of Musicians and the Musicians Union. Links to both are in the resources section.

Find office space. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it should be in an area of town convenient to those in the music industry. You need a place to meet with clients and other professionals.

Select clients. Management companies sometimes specializes in a certain type of musician. Start broad so that you can narrow your choices as you see what your strong points are or the sort of musicians you prefer to manage. Attend talent nights at local bars and clubs. Ask around for recommendations. Go to concerts of graduating musicians at universities. There are many ways to find clients.

Make connections. Attend industry functions and award shows and see concerts. Meet people who are the movers and shakers of the industry. It's important to get your name out there, to be seen and to meet people who can give your clients the break they deserve.

If your client is not ready for the big time, he can still earn money. Websites like CDBaby, MySpace and Facebook provide a forum in which to put--and sell--his music.

Submit demos of your clients--along with press releases, promotional photographs and press clippings--to clubs, music labels and booking agents. You'll be in charge of all aspects of your client's career.

Book shows for your client and choose venues. Always arrange for the artist to arrive on time, and check in with each venue the day after each show to see how it went. Sending out acts that lack professionalism can kill your career and your reputation.

Negotiate with record labels. Building relationship at this level is probably the most important thing you'll do as a manager.

Hire an entertainment lawyer. Work with someone who has a vast knowledge of the laws of the industry, while you focus on the business end of things.

Foster good relationships. Always return phone calls or hire an assistant who can. When it comes to your clients, you want to be the one to whom they speak. Be fair to others in the industry.

Tip

Never take more than the agreed-upon cut from your client's earnings. Doing so is a crime and embezzlement.

About the Author

Robin Raven was first published in 1998. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and online publications, including "The Malibu Times," "Act'ionLine" for Friends of Animals, USA Today Travel Tips and the official Melissa Gilbert website. Raven specializes in travel, health, beauty, culture, vegan nutrition, joyful living, arts and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing.