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How to Create 5-Year Business Plan for Your Band

The competitive nature of the music industry is why many musicians either fail to garner the attention they deserve, eventually disappearing from the scene while others give it their all for several years, but to no avail. For the few who do make it, the fame and glory is often short-lived because they failed to define their SMART goals and missed the opportunity to capitalize on their proverbial 15 minutes of fame.

What is SMART?

According to Mind Tools, the mnemonic stands for:

Specific (or significant)
Measurable (or meaningful)
Attainable (or action-oriented)
Relevant (or rewarding)
Time-bound (or Trackable)

Whether you’re a solo artist or a four-man band, here are some ways SMART goal-setting can be used in the development of your five-year business plan:


Start by asking yourself the five Ws that we all know and love:

  • Who will be involved in the process?
  • What will you achieve?
  • When will you achieve it?
  • Where will you achieve it?
  • Why are you doing it?

Reasoning: When goals are too vague, it’s impossible to hit the target. Simply resolving to make it big in the music industry won’t cut it. You need a specific set of goals and a detailed plan of execution.

Example of a detailed plan: “Our band (who) will secure a record deal with a major label (who) and produce an 18-track album (what) by May 2018 (when). We anticipate international dissemination (where) to increase exposure and help us generate a revenue stream of $10,000 per month through record sales, appearances and live concerts. We also hope to sell at least 100,000 copies of our album during the first month of its release (why).”


To measure your progress, it's crucial that you track metrics.

A few examples:

  • How many tracks per week need to be recorded in order to compile a demo for pitching to record labels?
  • How many inquiries should be made each week to boost the chances of securing a meeting with a major record label?
  • What are the monthly proceeds from the revenue generating activities and how can these figures be improved?
  • How many live events are being booked each month?
  • What are the average monthly record sales?

Unfortunately, many individuals are tricked into believing that money is the only way to get ahead in your career and life. As a result, “we measure success most often in money and personal fulfillment,” Songhack states. But clearly, there’s more to success than a dollar bill. If your musical career generates a handsome chunk of money, that's great for you; but if you cut corners during the planning phases, your success won't last.

While money shouldn’t be your primary concern, it's still part of the equation; after all, money is literally how you'll survive, so be mindful of your finances and don't start spending like you're a rock star before you're earning like a rock star.


Are your music goals realistic and attainable over the next five years or too far-fetched? It’s OK to dream big, but you should start on a smaller scale and expand your goals as time progresses.


What’s the purpose of participating in meaningless activities that don’t benefit your career in the music industry? Completing task for the sake of bragging rights is irrelevant, unless of course it adds value to your brand and helps you get one step closer to achieving your goals.


In this case, your time frame is a maximum of five years, so you want to tailor your plan of action to reflect this window. Furthermore, doing so places the pressure on you to get to take action and holds you accountable until you reach the finish line.

If you prefer to harness the power of mobile devices to help you accomplish your goals, platforms like Trello, Evernote, Remember the Milk and Dropbox are definitely worth a try.

Reader Comments (6)


This Is Perfectly Written...!

we have been preaching this concept for many years as well as including it in our funding pitch for those that are interested in investing in the new age technology of the music industry, have not received any rejections nor have we received any checks yet we have sparked interested and always receive requests for more information. Not a single VC, Angel or Hedge fund manager want to initiate the first round of this type of funding yet none of them say it just will not work..

BRAVO Cherie Nelson....bravo....!

TRU Entertainment

This approach to participation in our sector is going to become increasingly important. Thanks for moving this type of thinking forward. Competition for markets, that now have access to more ways to expend their cash resources than at any other time in history, demand that artists utilize all available tools and methods to gain efficiency in production of consumer product. This is especially true in music and related industries.

March 6 | Unregistered Commenterquammie


March 6 | Unregistered CommenterWyldthang

Thanks For Your valuable posting, it was very informative. Am working in Cloud Erp In India

This blog is greatly appreciated. It breaks down the steps to help me think about the business of my music career. Because of it, I have a more focused view of how to make plans that will benefit my career in music. I am so looking forward to sharing my results.

March 15 | Unregistered CommenterLin Loving

If your all in with your music taking it serious then you can get a feel of where you going..I tell people all the time that if you don't give up on your hopes and dreams then the doors will stay

March 18 | Unregistered Commenteroriginal b

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