Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken money out of your savings to put into your band’s project, expecting sales to soar and make your money back (maybe even a little interest) and instead 3 months later, your band breaks up because someone decided they didn’t like be overruled on a decision?
For everyone else, this post is for you.
Debt is bad for your band and ultimately for you. If you are bringing the money to the table, you may not get it back and you’ll end up resenting everyone in the band for not helping you get your money back. If you are in a band where someone else is bringing the money to the table, then you can expect them to resent you for not helping get their money back out of the project. Debt destroys relationships because it’s only good IF it works.
Instead, build your band as you go. Spend only what you make and never borrow in order to do something because when you borrow, it only works when it works and when it fails, you’re going to destroy relationships and friendships.
When you’re doing a new project, pre-sell your project and when you get enough funds to do 1 song; record, mix and master that one song; and then send it to those who have paid already, as a digital download. This gives them something to have until your whole project is complete and ready to come out.
When it comes to other merchandise, save up just enough money to buy some basic merch (like shirts) and make sure you price your merch to where it will sell, but also have enough markup to allow you to purchase more of the same merchandise and put a little profit in your main band bank account (ie. if you buy 24 shirts, make sure you make enough from the sale of those 24 shirts to buy 30 shirts and put a little profit in your main band bank account). This allows you to grow your merch table without debt.