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Business Savvy: Managing Risk In The Business Of Pro Audio

What is your tolerance quotient?

QUIT THE DAY JOB?
If you’re doing something else to make a living and would like to focus on live sound full time, this is the important question.

If you are already doing audio full time, the conditions below are still valuable to review and put in perspective.

Here are three conditions to be met before you can “quit your day job” with confidence.

1) You have a business plan written down and ready to share with others. (Planning is a primary subject in my book listed in the bio at the end of this article.)
2) You have funding to cover both business and personal expenses for at least one year. Once you have drafted your business plan and budget, you’ll know how much money you need. Why one year? Because shorter than a year is not long enough to work your plan in most cases. You are likely to have revenue much sooner than a year, but having the financial support up front provides the confidence to move ahead and the cash in case a problem or opportunity arises.
3) You are comfortable taking the risk. Some people handle risk easily, others don’t. There is no rule on how much risk to take, so don’t feel that one or the other is the best way. Just determine how much risk you are willing to take, and proceed from there.

If one of these three elements is missing, you’re probably not ready to do audio full time. Don’t quit your day job prematurely

It helps greatly to have family and friends who are comfortable with your live sound business idea too. Getting that emotional support is likely to make things go a lot easier, especially on the home front.

Why did you read this article? How did you get to this point? It’s probably because you want to get ahead by some means other than trial and error.

Just like practicing your musical chops, developing your “business chops” helps you deal with the important decisions, and keeps you focused on your path to success in live sound.

John Stiernberg is founder and principal consultant with Stiernberg Consulting, the Sherman Oaks (Los Angeles) CA-based business development firm (www.stiernberg.com). He currently works with audio companies and others on strategic planning and market development.

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