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Music Business Plan Template

music business plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their music businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a music business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

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What Is a Music Business Plan?

A music business plan provides a snapshot of your music business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Music Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a music business or grow your existing business you need a music business plan. A business plan will help you attract investors and raise money, if needed, and plan out the growth of your music business in order to improve your chances of success. Your music business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Source of Funding for Music Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a music business are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your music business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will want to see a professional music business plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a music business.

The second most common form of funding for a music business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a music business.

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How to write a music business plan.

Your music business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your music business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of music business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a music business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of music businesses?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the industry. Discuss the type of music business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target audience. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team, and offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of music business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types:

  • Recorded Music – This type of music business sells music that has been recorded in a studio.
  • Music Licensing – This type of music business licenses music for films, TV shows, video games, advertisements, online videos, etc.
  • Live Music – This type of music business sells tickets to live concerts and tours. They might also operate a school that teaches people how to become successful musicians, or they might sell memorabilia such as T-shirts and posters.
  • Music Publishing – This type of music business is in the rights business; they represent songwriters. If someone wants to use a song by a songwriter that is represented by the music publishing company, they need to get permission and then pay a royalty.
  • Music Production – This type of music business provides a service for musicians and recording artists. They might produce and record an album and then provide marketing services such as radio promotion and public relations.
  • Music Business Consulting – This type of business is in the business of providing advice to musicians on how to become successful. For example, they may offer consulting on how to promote your music and how to book gigs.
  • Music Artist – This type of business operates as an individual musician or music group. For example, they might be solo artists, bands looking for a record deal, or groups of musicians hoping to become successful together.
  • Music Education – This type of music business offers music lessons, either in-person or online.
  • Retail Music Store – This type of music business sells instruments, sheet music, and other music-related items.

In addition to explaining the type of music business you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new store openings, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the music business.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards more people purchasing music online, you may want to focus your marketing efforts on digital platforms.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your music business plan:

  • How big is the music business (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your music business. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your music business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments for a retail music store:

  • Adult beginning guitar players
  • Teenage/college-aged students who want to learn how to play the electric guitar and will commit time and money to do so
  • Middle-aged adults who want to learn how to play acoustic guitars for their own enjoyment
  • Vintage guitar enthusiasts who are looking for specific instruments that are considered rare or valuable.

The following are examples of customer segments for a music education business:

  • Parents who want their children to have a well-rounded education and believe that music is an important part of that
  • Children who want to learn to play an instrument because they enjoy music
  • Adults who want to improve their skills at playing an instrument they already know how to play

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will greatly depend on the type of music business you are operating. Clearly, baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing, and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than millennials.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. 

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers or clients.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other music businesses within the same niche.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes physical stores, online stores, and even locally owned retail shops that sell instruments.

Here are some examples of indirect competitors within the music education niche: 

  • Local music store selling instruments
  • Online retailer selling musical instruments
  • The public school system offering a music program to students in grades K-12 or college offering a music ed program as a minor.

You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone in the market is your direct competitor. Furthermore, including a SWOT analysis of your business in this section will demonstrate how you plan to compete against them.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What products/services do they offer?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to reach out to customers of your competitors and ask them what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide superior services?
  • Will you provide amenities that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to book your own studio?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a music business plan, your marketing strategy and plan should include the following:

Product : in the product section, you should reiterate the type of music that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to selling instruments, you may also offer music lessons, CD recordings of the lessons, and other merchandise related to your business.

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections, you are presenting the options you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your music business. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your music business located in a commercial district with a lot of foot traffic? If not, will you offer delivery or online sales?

Promotions : the final part of your marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
  • Partnerships with local organizations (e.g., partner with vendors to provide recording packages at a discount over a la carte services)
  • Local radio stations advertising
  • Banner ads at local music venues
  • Social media advertising

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your music business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your music business such as serving customers, cleaning, ordering supplies, and so on. This section should list the specific tasks that will need to be completed each day and who will be responsible for them.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 25th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.

Management Team

To demonstrate your music company’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a music business.

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in the music business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in music and/or successfully running small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, how many customers will you serve? How much does it cost to provide your service/product? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your recording studio, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your music business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a music business:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of equipment like studio gear, instruments, amps, inventory, etc.
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your studio design blueprint or location lease.

Music Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for your music business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the music business, your competition, and your potential customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful music business.

Music Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my music industry business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Music Industry Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of music business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a music business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of music businesses?

How Can I Generate Multiple Income Streams In My Music Business?

Whether you are a band, artist manager, recording producer, record label, or music store, if you can learn how to take the best advantage of both live and recorded revenue streams, you may be able to beat competitors at the music game. Your music business plan should describe your strategy of utilizing these two sides of the music industry.

Live concert tickets can be sold for hundreds of dollars for popular groups, while up-and-comers may need to play for just tips at bars and small venues. However, there is a place for every type of musician on this spectrum, and almost all musicians maintain a live performance schedule even as they become successful recording artists. Live concerts offer an opportunity for the group or artist’s music to be exposed to new audiences in a visceral way, sometimes driving direct sales of CDs at the concert itself, and leading to word-of-mouth inspired sales down the road.

Live concerts can be a significant revenue stream for a successful music artist, but they must play at venues large enough to cover the fixed costs of production (marketing, ticket sales, equipment rental, and set-up, travel, wages, and venue rental) leaving a net profit. If venues are too small and cost too high, concerts may have to be considered just a promotion method for other revenue streams, like recording sales.

Recorded Music

The sales of CDs or mp3s of the group or artist’s music, on the other hand, leave much more potential for huge returns. The profitability of selling recorded music increases significantly as the number of CDs or mp3s increases, as the cost of producing and selling each additional CD (and especially mp3s) approaches zero. Recordings can also help promote concert sales to a certain extent, through the release of singles and promo CDs. This can be through giveaways and through radio promotion of those songs.

If each revenue stream is significant on its own and also reinforces the other, you can build an extremely profitable business over time.

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Music Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Music Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your music business plan.

We have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their music businesses.

Below is a template to help you create each section of your Music business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

Musicians First Studio is a startup music company located in Nashville, Tennessee. The company is founded by Michael Smith, an experienced musician who has gained valuable knowledge on how to manage a music business during the past ten years while working at My Music Production & Management, another local music company. Now that Michael has experienced managing a music company, he is ready to start his own business, Musicians First Studio. Michael is confident that his skills as a musician, combined with his understanding of business management, will enable him to run a profitable music company of his own. Michael is recruiting a team of highly qualified professionals to help manage the day-to-day complexities of running a music studio – sales and marketing, production, artist management, music instruction, financial reporting, studio equipment maintenance, and client relations.

Musicians First Studio will provide a full suite of music production, management, and instruction services for both novice and professional musicians in the Nashville area. Musicians First will be the go-to music studio in Nashville for its client-focused services and dedicated professionals who are experienced in all aspects of the music industry. The company will be the ultimate choice for the needs of aspiring and professional musicians.

Product Offering

The following are the services that Musicians First Studio will provide:

  • Artist Management
  • Music Recording, Production, & Post-Production
  • Private Music Lessons & Group Classes
  • Venue Booking & Live Event Management
  • PR & Marketing for New Artists

Customer Focus

Musicians First Studio will target new and experienced musicians in Nashville who are looking for professional production, management, or marketing services. The company will also target aspiring musicians and children looking for music lessons taught by industry veterans. No matter the customer, Musicians First Studio will deliver the best communication, service, and professionalism.

Management Team

Musicians First Studio will be owned and operated by Michael Smith. Michael is a graduate of Tennessee University with a degree in music. He has over ten years of experience working as a manager for another local music studio. Michael will be the company’s chief executive officer. He will oversee the recording/production process, music equipment, and studio staff’s activities.

Michael has recruited his former administrative assistant, Jessica Garcia, to be the company’s chief operating officer and help oversee the studio’s operations. Jessica will handle the day-to-day operations, including budgeting, scheduling, client relations, and logistics.

Michael and Jessica have recruited an experienced marketing director, John Brown, to become a member of the Musicians First Studio management team. John is a graduate of the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in sales and marketing. Michael and Jessica rely on John’s expertise to execute the company’s marketing plan and advertising strategies.

Success Factors

Musicians First Studio will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • Skilled team of music production technicians and veteran musicians who will work one-on-one with clients to reach their individual music goals whether they’re looking to record a new album or learn a new instrument.
  • Musicians First Studio is one of the only studio’s in the area that offers a wide range of services for musicians of all skill levels and goals.
  • The company offers competitive pricing and discounts for referrals.

Financial Highlights

Musicians First Studio is seeking $800,000 in debt financing to launch its music business. The funding will be dedicated towards securing the studio and purchasing equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff and marketing expenses. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Studio build-out: $340,000
  • Music equipment, supplies, and materials: $280,000
  • Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, utilities): $160,000
  • Marketing costs: $10,000
  • Working capital: $10,000

The following graph below outlines the pro forma financial projections for Musicians First Studio.

Company Overview

Who is musicians first studio.

Musicians First Studio is a newly established music company in Nashville, Tennessee. Musicians First will be the first choice for aspiring, novice, and experienced musicians in Nashville and the surrounding communities for its full-suite of professional services provided by industry veterans. The company will provide a wide range of services including recording/production, music lessons, artist management, and marketing for new musicians.

Musicians First Studio will be able to guarantee high quality production thanks to the latest and most innovative music technology operated by expert music production technicians. The company’s team of highly qualified professionals experienced in music, production, and marketing will manage the suite of services offered at the studio. In addition to customized services for musicians, customers will be able to book studio time that comes with use of equipment by the hour.

Musicians First Studio History

Musicians First Studio is owned and operated by Michael Smith, an experienced musician who has gained valuable knowledge on how to manage a music business during the past ten years while working at My Music Production & Management, another local music company. Now that Michael has experienced managing a music company, he is ready to start his own business, Musicians First Studio. Michael is confident that his skills as a musician, combined with his understanding of business management, will enable him to run a profitable music company of his own. Michael is recruiting a team of highly qualified professionals to help manage the day-to-day complexities of running a music studio – sales and marketing, production, artist management, music instruction, financial reporting, studio equipment maintenance, and vendor relations.

Since incorporation, Musicians First Studio has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered Musicians First Studio, LLC to transact business in the state of Tennessee
  • Has identified an ideal location for the studio that is available for lease
  • Reached out to numerous contacts to include local musicians, production technicians, and venue managers to help spread the word about the new studio
  • Began recruiting a staff of musicians, music instructors, production technicians, marketing experts, and office personnel to work at Musicians First Studio.

Musicians First Studio Services

Industry analysis.

The global music industry is an estimated $60B market and is expected to grow by 8% by 2026. The broad music industry can be categorized into three primary segments; recording, live music, and music publishing. In the United States, the recording segment generated approximately $8B in revenues last year, while the live music segment brought in an estimated $9.5B, and the publishing segment totaled $1.8B. A majority of revenues generated in the recording segment come from streaming (28% of total industry revenue), with digital downloads and physical media coming in much lower (6.7% and 7.5% respectively). Revenue for the live music segment is generated primarily through ticket sales (37.1%) and sponsorships (10.3%). Publishing accounts for approximately 8.9% of total industry revenue.

Music streaming is one of the most significant trends in the industry, with the number of Americans who pay for streaming subscriptions at approximately 82.1M, up from 7.9M in 2014. Another trend is the emergence of independent artists and small record labels. These groups are earning more revenue than in years past and their percentage of revenue increase year over year is growing faster than that of larger record labels. With more options open to them when it comes to where and how to get their music out to consumers, artists, managers, and record labels have more opportunities for success than ever before.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

The precise demographics for Nashville, Tennessee are:

Customer Segmentation

Musicians First will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Novice-to-experienced musicians looking for recording/production services
  • Aspiring musicians of all ages looking for music lessons
  • Musicians looking for artist management, booking, and representation services

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Musicians First Studio will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

My Music Production & Management

My Music Production & Management is one of the largest commercial music studios in Tennessee. The company was established in 1997 and offers professional music recording and production services for local musicians. My Music Production & Management also handles the business management activities for musicians including marketing, booking, and legal representation services. The company is well known for providing high quality production for some of the top artists in the region and has been recognized in various publications and music industry associations for its outstanding work in the local music community.

Genre Music

Founded in 2018, Genre Music is a small music company catering to local musicians in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding areas. Genre Music is owned and operated by a veteran musician who has over 40 years of experience in the music industry. The company specializes in artist branding, marketing, and representation in addition to its top notch recording services. Genre Music has worked with a variety of up and coming artists in multiple genres and has a loyal customer base of regular musicians who use the company’s services.

Retro Recording & Productions

Retro Recording & Productions is a trusted Nashville, Tennessee-based music company that provides superior production and recording services for Nashville and the surrounding areas. The company is able to provide a wide variety of recording, production, and post-production services using its state-of-the-art music recording equipment. Retro Recording & Productions serves local musicians and national musicians. The company prides itself on being the number one choice for classic sound produced through modern technology. Retro Recording & Productions also manufactures its own collectible vinyl records in limited quantities.

Competitive Advantage

Musicians First Studio will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

  • The company offers competitive pricing on studio rentals and discounts for referrals.

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Musicians First Studio will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

  • Musicians First Studio provides a full suite of services tailored to the individual musician’s needs. Professionals are equipped to provide services for all skill levels from the aspiring and novice musician, the the industry veteran.
  • The company’s studio is expertly designed for the clearest sound quality. The equipment is carefully selected to ensure the best sound possible.

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Musicians First Studio is as follows:

Social Media Marketing

The company’s marketing director will create accounts on social media platforms such as Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. He will ensure Musicians First maintains an active social media presence with regular updates and fun content to get customers excited about using the studio’s services.

Professional Associations and Networking

Musicians First Studio will become a member of professional associations such as the Nashville Music Association, American Music Educators Society, and the Tennessee Music Production Association. The leadership team will focus their networking efforts on expanding the company’s artist and vendor network.

Print Advertising

Musicians First Studio will invest in professionally designed print ads to display in programs or flyers at industry networking events. The company will also send direct mailers to local residents advertising the services it provides.

Website/SEO Marketing

Musicians First Studio will utilize the in-house marketing director that designed the print ads to also design the company website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all the services that Musicians First is able to provide. The website will also list information on the company’s events and featured artists.

The marketing director will also manage Musicians First’s website presence with SEO marketing tactics so that when someone types in a search engine “music company” or “music studio near me”, Musicians First Studio will be listed at the top of the search results.

The pricing of Musicians First Studio will be on par with competitors so customers feel they receive value when purchasing the company’s services.

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for Musicians First Studio.

Operation Functions:

  • Michael Smith will be the CEO of the company. He will oversee the music production technicians, production process, and the music equipment maintenance. Michael has spent the past year recruiting the following staff:
  • Jessica Garcia – Chief Operating Officer who will manage the day-to-day operations, client relationships, scheduling, and logistics.
  • Nancy Johnson – Chief Financial Officer who will provide all accounting, budgeting, tax payments, and monthly financial reporting.
  • John Brown – Marketing Director who will oversee all marketing strategies for the company and manage the website, social media, and outreach.


Musicians First Studio will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.

12/1/2022 – Finalize lease to rent the studio facility

12/15/2022 – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the Musicians First Studio management team

1/1/2023 – Begin build-out of the studio, purchase equipment, and test the acoustics

1/15/2023 – Begin networking at industry events and implement the marketing plan

2/15/2023 – Finalize contracts for musicians, instructors, production technicians, and marketing professionals

3/15/2023 – Musicians First Studio officially opens for business

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Musicians First Studio are the fees charged to customers in exchange for the company’s services and fees charged to book studio time by the hour.

The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff a music company. The expenses will be the payroll cost, utilities, equipment and supplies, and marketing materials.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Average hours booked per month: 120
  • Average fees per month: $30,000
  • Overhead costs per year: $640,000

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, music business plan faqs, what is a music business plan.

A music business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your music business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can easily complete your music business plan using our Music Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Music Companies?

There are a number of different kinds of music companies , some examples include: Recorded Music, Music Licensing, Live Music, Music Publishing, Music Production, Music Business Consulting, and Retail Music Store.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Music Business Plan?

Music companies are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.

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A step-by-step guide to developing a music business plan

June 17, 2021

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Why you need a music business plan

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Making a living in the music business is the ultimate dream of every serious musician. But out of the countless individuals with a passion for music, only a select few will make a profitable business out of it. That doesn’t mean reaching your goals is impossible. If you want to earn reliable income from your music career, you need to treat it like any other business. That means making a detailed blueprint that will take you from passionate hobbyist to successful professional. This step-by-step guide to developing a music business plan will set you on the right path.

Whether your goal is to have a career as a professional musician, recording artist, producer, or music teacher, documenting the path you’ll take with a music business plan will be helpful to your cause. Your business plan outlines your goals, identifies the practical methods you’ll take to achieve them, and lists the resources you have and will need.

Not only will a concrete business plan keep you on course, it will also demonstrate your credibility in the eyes of others. Potential clients and business partners will see you as a professional and not another starving artist. If you ever need to take out a business loan or raise money for investors, a business plan is a must-have.

Crafting your music business plan isn’t something you can do in one sitting. You’ll need more than an afternoon to get this right. Take your time, bite off piece-by-piece, and chew your thoughts over thoroughly.

Our first piece of advice is as old as time:  know thyself.

You need some clarity of purpose before you can craft a useful music business plan. Ask yourself:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What is my ultimate goal?
  • Why do I want to do this?

Having this understanding will make it easier for you to explain your vision to others and convey your enthusiasm. It will also establish the framework for your music business. This step is crucial if you’ll need people to buy in to help you reach your goals.

The content of your music business plan will vary depending upon whether you’re aiming to start a music school, be a producer, or work as an artist. But the fundamental components are the same either way. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mission Statement
  • Executive Summary
  • Audience Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Marketing Plan
  • Financial Considerations

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Mission Statement:

This can be as short as a few sentences, as long as it adequately describes who you are as an artist or a musical entrepreneur and what you’re trying to accomplish. While this might sound simple, think things through a bit before you try to draft your statement. Everything that follows here will hinge upon it.

Executive Summary:

The executive summary is a one-page synopsis of your plan. It should include an introduction as well as a description of your endeavors. Details about the funding you already have and what you’ll need in addition to a brief accounting of your plans for putting all of it into play are important too.

Most experts recommend saving the drafting of this part for last. It’s essentially a digest of all the other parts of your plan. Doing it last allows you to draw upon the information you’ve drafted for all of the other steps.

Audience Analysis: 

Here’s where you’ll demonstrate your understanding of your target audience. If you’re already performing, teaching, or producing on the side, think about what traits the people who follow you have in common.

If you’re just getting started, find someone doing what you want to do whose style and circumstances are similar to yours, and analyze their target market. Create a demographic sketch of your target audience based on gender, age, location, musical tastes and favorite venues.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats:

Think about the qualities that make you unique. List everything that comes to mind, from technical mastery and creative spark to teaching older demographics and networking. Your skills might not seem extraordinary on an individual level, but combine all your best qualities and you’ll find there isn’t anyone quite like you on the market.

Don’t forget about your weaknesses. Identity these not as qualities to promote, but as areas to work on in the future. Being aware of your shortcomings will also help guide your decision on potential business partners in the future. Let your inner critic loose, but realize that this is an exercise in personal growth, not tearing yourself down.

Had enough reflecting? Let’s take a look at the marketplace. Think about potential gaps in the industry you can exploit. Perhaps your competitors are overlooking a key value and you see a way to provide it both efficiently and effectively. These are your opportunities.

Threats could include technological shifts, cultural changes, the emergence of new artists, competition, and new trends. The music world moves fast, and today’s hot act can end up as yesterday’s news before your can say “more cowbell!” Brainstorm any roadblocks you picture yourself facing over the next few years and strategies you can use to overcome them.

Marketing plan:

Your marketing plan will detail how you’ll spread the word about yourself. Consider how much money you can reasonably invest into marketing and work out how you’ll spend it to reach as many of the right people as possible. Think about how you’ll grow your online presence—including social media, a press kit, and publicity materials such as a logo and photography.

Get a full account of your current cash flow situation. List how much capital you currently have and estimate how much it’ll take to get your operation up and running. When in doubt, overestimate. Studio time, engineering talent, transportation, legal fee, copyrights and trademarks are all important considerations when projecting your budget.

Measuring your progress:

At what intervals will you go over the financials to see how you’re advancing? What are the milestones by which you’ll mark your achievements?

You’ll also need a method for measuring your impact on the market in terms of the reputation you build. Social media outlets provide analytical tools to help you track these metrics. They can also help you pinpoint the demographics of your audience.

Establishing your key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you set the standards by which you will gauge your success. Sharing this information with others makes you accountable because they can look at your projections and see how much progress you’ve made toward achieving them.

Summarizing your music business plan

As we mentioned above, once you have all of these areas covered, you can then condense the information each section contains to create your executive summary. After all, how will you know what to put in it until you’ve examined all of these other areas first?

Success in the music industry takes a lot of work and a little luck, but you can stack the deck in your favor by building multiple income streams. That way, if one area slows down, you’ll have another one in play to keep you rolling until the next opportunity presents itself. Revisit your strengths and opportunities and start brainstorming ideas. If you get stuck, here’s a quick list to get you started:

Give music lessons. Chances are if you’ve got the chops to play paid gigs, you’ve got enough skills to pass on to some novice students. Giving music lessons can be a great way to add some extra recurring income.

Start a YouTube channel. With over 2 billion active users, YouTube might just be your biggest source of untapped attention and potential. 1 The platform offers users a chance to learn or be entertained, and as a musician you’re well-positioned to offer both. You could upload instructional videos or footage of yourself performing. You’ll get to keep a portion of any ad revenue your videos make. And if the right person sees your content, it could open the doors to even greater opportunities.

Explore the marketing world. If composition is your thing, you might be overlooking a potentially huge money-maker—marketing and advertising. Brands are in constant need of good video content to market their products, and those videos need music to truly capture attention. If you’ve got a knack for putting together atmospheric instrumentals, creating music for ads could seriously help stabilize your income.

Open your own studio. If you have the capital to invest and live in an area underserved by recording studios, you might want to consider opening your own. While you’re not using it for your own projects, you can rent it out to other local musicians and producers. If there’s enough demand, you could cover the costs of equipment and rent and even have a little profit left over.

Explore session work. Sure, your band is your baby, but if you’ve got time on your hands and musical versatility to boot, why not offer your services as a session musician? Session work is an effective way to boost your income, make new connections and get your name out there as a legit professional. If an artist is truly enamoured with your work, they could invite you to join them on tour.

Another important consideration in your music business plan is protecting your livelihood from the consequences of unintentional accidents. General liability insurance is key to helping you stay focused on your business. Carrying a policy also demonstrates to potential clients that you are a serious professional — whether you’re a musician, DJ , or another kind of entrepreneur in the entertainment industry.

  • Hootsuite. 25 YouTube Statistics that May Surprise You: 2021 Edition .

Written on April 19, 2021 | Last updated: June 17, 2021

Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.

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Music Business Plan

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Music can unite individuals, inspire social change, and strengthen communities & it is satisfactory for many musicians too. Plus the financial and creative rewards are great. Therefore, want to start your own music studio or band? Then planning everything priorly is the priority.

Need help writing a business plan for your music studio business? You’re at the right place. Our music business plan template will help you get started.

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Free Business Plan Template

Download our free business plan template now and pave the way to success. Let’s turn your vision into an actionable strategy!

  • Fill in the blanks – Outline
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How to Write a Music Business Plan?

Writing a music business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is the first section planned to offer an overview of the entire business plan. However, it is written after the entire business plan is ready and summarizes each section of your plan.

Here are a few key components to include in your executive summary:

Introduce your business:

  • This section may include the name of your music business, its location, when it was founded, the type of music business (E.g., record labels, music publishers, live music industry), etc.

Market opportunity:

Product and services:.

  • For instance, you may include music recordings and albums as services.

Marketing & sales strategies:

Financial highlights:, call to action:.

Ensure your executive summary is clear, concise, easy to understand, and jargon-free.

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music shop business plan

2. Business Overview

The business overview section of your business plan offers detailed information about your company. The details you add will depend on how important they are to your business. Yet, business name, location, business history, and future goals are some of the foundational elements you must consider adding to this section:

Business description:

  • Record labels
  • Music publishers
  • Live music industry
  • Music streaming services
  • Describe the legal structure of your music company, whether it is a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or others.
  • Explain where your business is located and why you selected the place.

Mission statement:

Business history:.

  • Additionally, If you have received any awards or recognition for excellent work, describe them.

Future goal:

This section should provide a thorough understanding of your business, its history, and its plans. Keep this section engaging, precise, and to the point.

3. Market Analysis

The market analysis section of your business plan should offer a thorough understanding of the industry with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. You should include the following components in this section.

Target market:

  • For instance, music lovers, music directors, movies, younger audiences, etc can be the ideal market for the music business.

Market size and growth potential:

Competitive analysis:, market trends:.

  • For instance, the demand for rap and pop music is increasing; explain how you plan on dealing with this potential growth opportunity.

Regulatory environment:

Here are a few tips for writing the market analysis section of your music production business plan:

  • Conduct market research, industry reports, and surveys to gather data.
  • Provide specific and detailed information whenever possible.
  • Illustrate your points with charts and graphs.
  • Write your business plan keeping your target audience in mind.

4. Products And Services

The product and services section should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:

Describe your music services:

Mention the music services your business will offer. This list may include services like,

  • Music stores
  • Music licensing services
  • Music promotion services
  • Music education services

Describe each service:

In short, this section of your music plan must be informative, precise, and client-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.

5. Sales And Marketing Strategies

Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:

Unique selling proposition (USP):

  • For example, exclusive content, high-quality production, niche market focus, etc, could be some of the great USPs for a professional music company.

Pricing strategy:

Marketing strategies:, sales strategies:, customer retention:.

Overall, this section of your music studio business plan should focus on customer acquisition and retention.

Have a specific, realistic, and data-driven approach while planning sales and marketing strategies for your music business, and be prepared to adapt or make strategic changes in your strategies based on feedback and results.

6. Operations Plan

The operations plan section of your business plan should outline the processes and procedures involved in your business operations, such as staffing requirements and operational processes. Here are a few components to add to your operations plan:

Staffing & training:

Operational process:, equipment & instrument:.

  • Explain how these technologies help you maintain quality standards and improve the efficiency of your business operations.

Adding these components to your operations plan will help you lay out your business operations, which will eventually help you manage your business effectively.

7. Management Team

The management team section provides an overview of your music business’s management team. This section should provide a detailed description of each manager’s experience and qualifications, as well as their responsibilities and roles.


Key managers:.

  • It should include, key executives(e.g. COO, CMO.), senior management, and other department managers (e.g. operations manager, music director.) involved in the music business operations, including their education, professional background, and any relevant experience in the industry.

Organizational structure:

Compensation plan:, advisors/consultants:.

  • So, if you have any advisors or consultants, include them with their names and brief information consisting of roles and years of experience.

This section should describe the key personnel for your music business services, highlighting how you have the perfect team to succeed.

8. Financial Plan

Your financial plan section should provide a summary of your business’s financial projections for the first few years. Here are some key elements to include in your financial plan:

Profit & loss statement:

Cash flow statement:, balance sheet:, break-even point:.

  • This exercise will help you understand how much revenue you need to generate to sustain or be profitable.

Financing needs:

Be realistic with your financial projections, and make sure you offer relevant information and evidence to support your estimates.

9. Appendix

The appendix section of your plan should include any additional information supporting your business plan’s main content, such as market research, legal documentation, financial statements, and other relevant information.

  • Add a table of contents for the appendix section to help readers easily find specific information or sections.
  • In addition to your financial statements, provide additional financial documents like tax returns, a list of assets within the business, credit history, and more. These statements must be the latest and offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.
  • Provide data derived from market research, including stats about the music industry, user demographics, and industry trends.
  • Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
  • Include any additional documentation related to your business plan, such as product brochures, marketing materials, operational procedures, etc.

Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the necessary information.

Remember, the appendix section of your music business plan should only include relevant and important information supporting your plan’s main content.

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This sample music business plan will provide an idea for writing a successful music plan, including all the essential components of your business.

After this, if you still need clarification about writing an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, download our music business plan pdf .

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Frequently asked questions, why do you need a music business plan.

A business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful music business. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.

Overall, a well-written plan can help you make informed decisions, which can contribute to the long-term success of your music company.

How to get funding for your music business?

There are several ways to get funding for your music business, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:

Small Business Administration (SBA) loan

Crowdfunding, angel investors.

Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available, check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.

Where to find business plan writers for your music business?

There are many business plan writers available, but no one knows your business and ideas better than you, so we recommend you write your music business plan and outline your vision as you have in your mind.

What is the easiest way to write your music business plan?

A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any music business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software.

About the Author

music shop business plan

Vinay Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more

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How To Write a Business Plan for Musical Instrument Store in 9 Steps: Checklist

By henry sheykin, resources on musical instrument store.

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan

Are you considering starting a musical instrument store? You're not alone. The retail market for musical instruments is projected to reach $18.2 billion by 2027 , with a compound annual growth rate of 3.6% from 2020 to 2027. To make sure your business is poised for success, follow these 9 essential steps to write a comprehensive business plan for your musical instrument store.

First and foremost, you need to conduct thorough market research . This will help you determine factors such as demand for musical instruments in your area, popular instruments, and your target audience.

Speaking of your target audience, it's important to identify them early on in the planning process. Knowing their music interests, age groups, and shopping habits can help you make informed decisions about product offerings and marketing strategies.

Of course, it's important to keep an eye on the competition. Assessing competitors in your area can help you identify opportunities for differentiation and potential weaknesses in your business plan.

Determining funding options will be a key factor in getting your business off the ground. Research and compare different financing options, such as loans or investors, to ensure you choose the best pathway for your needs.

Selecting a location for your musical instrument store is also crucial. Consider factors such as foot traffic, parking availability, and accessibility for your target audience.

After you've secured a location, it's time to choose suppliers for your musical instruments, accessories, and repair services. Research vendors and wholesalers and negotiate favorable terms and pricing.

Getting your business' name out there is essential. Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy , including advertising, social media, and promotions, to appeal to both existing and potential customers.

As you finalize your business plan, it's important to also formulate a business structure . Decide on a legal structure, such as a sole proprietorship or LLC, and ensure you have all necessary legal documents and permits in order.

Finally, as your business expands and grows, hiring staff may be inevitable. Consider the skill sets and industry experience you'll need in employees and create hiring practices and policies that align with your company values.

  • Conduct market research
  • Identify target audience
  • Assess competition
  • Determine funding options
  • Select a location
  • Choose suppliers
  • Develop a marketing strategy
  • Formulate a business structure

Conduct Market Research

Before starting any business, it is essential to conduct market research. In the case of a musical instrument store, it is crucial to understand the preferences and behaviors of potential customers, competitive offerings, and market trends. Here are some steps to conduct effective market research:

  • Define your research objectives: Determine the goals and objectives of your research.
  • Identify your target market: Determine the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your potential customers.
  • Analyze your competition: Identify and analyze the strengths, weaknesses, and strategies of your competitors.
  • Identify market trends: Check for latest market updates in the music industry and see how the market is reacting and updating.
  • Use social media analytics to identify your ideal customer profile and to locate potential customers.
  • Look for secondary data such as economic trends, music sales data, and industry reports to supplement your primary research.
  • Conduct surveys of potential customers to gather information about their music interests, preferences, and habits.

Market research can be conducted using a variety of resources such as online surveys, focus groups, and data analysis. It is essential to document and analyze all relevant data and utilize it to shape your business plan. By conducting effective market research, you can build a strong foundation for a successful musical instrument store.

Identify Target Audience

The success of any business largely depends on understanding its target audience and their needs. As a musical instrument store, it is important to establish a clear understanding of who your target customers are in order to effectively market your products and services to them.

Demographics: Your target audience will encompass people of all ages, genders, and occupations who are passionate about music and musical instruments. However, it is important to narrow down your focus to specific demographics, including age groups, income levels, education levels, and musical interests.

Geographic location: Identify the geographic location of your target audience. Determine if your store will primarily serve the local community or if you plan on expanding your customer base to include those outside of your immediate area. This will help you in selecting an appropriate location for your store.

  • Conduct surveys or focus groups to gather specific information about your target audience.
  • Use social media analytics to gather insight on your potential customers.

Musicians' needs: It is important to understand the specific needs and pain points of musicians in order to address them through your products and services. Your target audience may include those seeking to purchase a new instrument, rent an instrument, receive repairs/services for their instruments or desire music instructions.

Competitor analysis: Analyze your competitors and their target audience. Determine why their target audience chooses them over other stores. Identify the gaps that exist in their business plan that your business can fill.

Identifying your target audience will not only help you attract the right customers but will also assist you in making informed business decisions that align with their expectations and needs. With the right understanding, you will be able to create a more personalized and effective marketing strategy targeted to your primary audience.

Assess Competition

In order to successfully run a musical instrument store, it is important to understand your competition. This means researching other musical instrument stores in your area and identifying what they offer, their pricing, and how they market themselves.

Visit your competitors in-person if possible, and take note of their store layout, the brands they carry, and the services they offer. Search online for other musical instrument stores in your area and read reviews from their customers to gain a deeper understanding of how they operate and what customers appreciate about their business.

  • Identify unique selling points of your competitors and see if there is a gap in the market for your store to fill
  • Look for areas where you can differentiate yourself from your competitors, whether it's through pricing, customer service, or offering specialized services
  • Don't be afraid to learn from your competition. Take note of what they do well and try to implement similar strategies in your own business

It's important to evaluate your competition objectively. Remember that they have likely been in business for some time and have established customer bases. Use this as an opportunity to learn from their successes and mistakes, but also be mindful of what you can offer that they may not.

Compile a list of your direct and indirect competitors and use this information to help shape your business strategy. Understanding your competition will help you make informed decisions about pricing, marketing, and the types of products and services you offer.

Ultimately, by taking the time to assess your competition, you can better position yourself in the market and ensure that your musical instrument store stands out from the rest.

Determine Funding Options

Starting a musical instrument store can be a lucrative business opportunity. However, like any business, it requires capital investment to get started. The funds required for leasing a store, purchasing inventory, and promoting the business can be significant, especially if you are planning to offer customized services. Therefore, it is crucial to determine funding options and create a budget that matches the needs of your business.

Assess your Financial Situation: Before you start exploring funding options, it is essential to understand your financial situation and figure out how much money you can contribute to your business. If you have substantial savings, you could avoid borrowing from external sources. However, it is crucial to ensure that you have a cushion in case of unexpected expenses.

Consider Traditional Financing: Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions offer loans to small businesses. These loans come with different interest rates and repayment periods. It is crucial to read the terms and conditions of the loan carefully and compare it with other options before making a decision.

  • Prepare a business plan that outlines your business goals, projected sales, and expected expenses. Financial institutions will consider this information while assessing your loan eligibility.
  • Shop around for loan options and compare interest rates, repayment periods, and additional fees before choosing a lender.

Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to pitch your business idea to a large audience and collect funds from interested investors. You can offer exclusive rewards like early access to products or merchandising to encourage people to contribute.

  • Be specific about your funding goals and how the funds will be utilized.
  • Create an engaging video that highlights your business and the products or services offered.

Personal Savings/Investors: You could consider tapping into your personal savings or seek investments from friends and family members. You could also reach out to angel investors or venture capitalists to fund your business. However, it is important to remember that investors expect a share in the profits and may want a say in the business decision-making process.

  • Be prepared to provide a business plan that outlines your investment needs and growth opportunities.
  • Assess the amount of control you are willing to give up before bringing investors onboard.

Choosing the right funding option will depend on your financial situation, business goals, and repayment ability. Ensure that you have a solid plan in place and research all the options before making a decision.

Select A Location

Choosing a location for a musical instrument store is critical to its success. The right location can attract customers, increase visibility, and provide convenient access, while the wrong location can drive customers away and negatively impact sales. Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind when selecting a location :

  • Look for areas with high foot traffic: Consider setting up shop in high-traffic areas like shopping malls, busy intersections, or near popular music venues. This will increase visibility and attract passing customers.
  • Consider parking and accessibility: Ensure your store is easy to get to and has ample parking. If customers can't find or access your store easily, they may go elsewhere.
  • Check out the competition: Look for areas with few or no competitors to avoid competition. You may also consider setting up shop near a related business, like a music school or recording studio.
  • Assess the local community: Find a location that is compatible with your target audience. For example, if you cater to classical musicians, consider setting up shop in a more upscale neighborhood.

Once you've identified potential locations, conduct a thorough evaluation of each location to determine its suitability. Consider factors like zoning regulations, lease agreements, and renovation costs when selecting a location. It's also a good idea to scout the area at different times to assess traffic patterns and evaluate the local competition.

When selecting a location , take your time and choose a site that will best suit your needs. A well-researched location can help increase customer traffic, boost sales, and ensure the long-term success of your musical instrument store.

Choose Suppliers

Now that you have assessed your competition, determined your funding options, and chosen a location for your musical instrument store, it is time to start thinking about your suppliers. Suppliers will play a crucial role in keeping your store well-stocked with high-quality musical instruments and accessories, which is essential for attracting and retaining customers.

When choosing suppliers for your musical instrument store, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Quality: It is essential to choose suppliers who offer high-quality musical instruments and accessories. Poor quality products can damage your store's reputation and lead to customer dissatisfaction.
  • Price: While quality should always be a top priority, it's also important to consider the price and compare it to similar products offered by other suppliers.
  • Reliability: Make sure to choose suppliers who are reliable and can deliver products on time. Late deliveries or inconsistent supply can cause disruptions to your business and result in lost revenue.
  • Location: Consider the geographical location of your suppliers and choose those who are located nearby. This can help you save on shipping costs and reduce the lead time for delivery.

Tips for choosing suppliers:

  • Research different suppliers and create a list of potential options before making a decision.
  • Attend trade shows and industry events to meet suppliers in person and see their products first-hand.
  • Ask for references and check online reviews before making a final decision.
  • Consider establishing relationships with more than one supplier to avoid supply chain disruptions.

When selecting suppliers for your musical instrument store, look for those who offer favorable payment terms, such as discounts for bulk orders or extended payment options. You should also consider the supplier's return policy, warranty, and customer service as part of your decision-making process.

By carefully choosing your suppliers, you will not only be able to stock your store with high-quality musical instruments and accessories but also build long-lasting relationships with suppliers that can help your business thrive for years to come.

Develop A Marketing Strategy

Developing a marketing strategy for your musical instrument store is crucial to reach out to audiences and build your brand. It needs to be comprehensive and reliable to make sure you’re targeting the right people efficiently. Here are some crucial steps you can take to develop a marketing strategy for your musical instrument store:

  • Define Your Brand: First and foremost, you need to define your brand, its unique selling point, and the values it represents. Determine your target audience, develop your brand’s tone of voice and style guidelines and stick to them in all the communication channels you utilize to create brand consistency.
  • Identify Marketing Channels: Identifying the channels best suited to reach your target audience is key. Research and analyze which channels (Social media, search engines, events, and so on) are frequently used by your target audience and use them optimally.
  • Create Consistent Messaging: Develop clear messaging that resonates with your audience and speaks to their specific needs, wants, and preferences. Keep your messaging consistent across all channels for maximum clarity.
  • Offer Special Deals or Discounts: Offering special deals or discounts on specific products or services can grab immediate attention and encourage potential customers to make their first purchase from your store.
  • Utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to reach a broad audience.
  • Make use of email marketing and SEO tactics to reach your audience with personalized messages and improve your search engine rankings.
  • Experiment with different messaging, creatives, and marketing channels to help find what is the most effective method for your store.

Overall, developing a comprehensive marketing strategy for your musical instrument store is a critical step in your business plan to ensure that you are reaching your target audience in a concise and efficient manner.

Formulate A Business Structure

One important aspect of starting a musical instrument store is to have a clear business structure in place. This includes deciding on the type of business entity, registering with the appropriate governing bodies, and establishing policies and procedures to operate the business effectively. Here are some key steps to consider:

  • Choose a Business Entity: Decide on the type of business entity that will best suit your needs. This can include sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to research and consult with a legal professional to determine the best fit for your business.
  • Register Your Business: Make sure to register your business with the appropriate authorities, such as the Secretary of State's office, local city or county offices, and the IRS. This will help ensure that your business operates legally and will also allow you to obtain any necessary licenses and permits.
  • Establish Policies and Procedures: Create policies and procedures that will guide your business operations and help streamline tasks. This can include inventory management, employee guidelines, customer service policies, and more.
  • Set up Accounting and Bookkeeping: It's important to keep accurate records of your financial transactions, such as sales, expenses, and taxes. Consider hiring an accountant or investing in accounting software to ensure your finances are organized and up-to-date.
  • Consider Liability Protection: As a business owner, it's important to protect yourself and your assets from potential legal issues. This can include obtaining liability insurance, establishing clear terms and conditions, and consulting with a legal professional to minimize risk.
  • Consult with legal and financial professionals to ensure you are following all legal requirements and making informed decisions.
  • Consider creating a business plan that outlines your structure and policies in detail.
  • Regularly review and update your policies and procedures to ensure they are relevant and effective.

Now that you have completed all the previous steps in creating your business plan for a musical instrument store, it's time to start building your team.

1. Determine your staffing needs: First, you need to decide how many employees you will need and what roles they will fulfill. For a musical instrument store, you may need sales associates, repair technicians, and music teachers.

2. Create job descriptions: Once you know what positions you need to fill, you can create job descriptions for each role. Include the position title, responsibilities, qualifications, and any other important details.

  • Be specific about what you're looking for in each job description.
  • Mention any experience levels or certifications that are required.

3. Post job listings: Share your job openings on online job boards, social media, and your website. You can also reach out to local music schools or universities to find potential candidates.

  • Try to recruit individuals who are passionate about music and have some degree of musical knowledge.
  • Look for candidates with experience in music retail or instrument repair if possible.

4. Conduct interviews: When you begin receiving applications, review resumes and schedule interviews with promising candidates. Use this opportunity to get to know them better and assess whether they would be a good fit for your store.

5. Conduct background checks and contact references: Before making any job offers, you should conduct background checks and contact the candidate's references to verify their employment history.

6. Make job offers: Once you have found the right candidates, you can make job offers and begin the onboarding process. Be sure to explain your expectations, company culture, and provide any necessary training.

  • Offer a competitive salary and benefits package to attract the best candidates.
  • Consider offering employee discounts on musical instruments and accessories as a perk.

7. Build a positive work environment: To ensure employee satisfaction and retention, focus on building a positive work environment. This can include fostering a sense of community among your staff and creating opportunities for professional development.

8. Conduct performance evaluations: Regularly evaluate your staff's performance and provide feedback to help them improve and grow within your company.

9. Continue recruiting: Your staffing needs may change as your business grows, so continue recruiting and looking for talented candidates to join your team as needed.

  • Offer referral bonuses to existing staff who refer talented candidates to your company.
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and adjusting your job requirements as per the need of those changes.

Starting a musical instrument store is an exciting but challenging endeavor. By following these 9 steps, you can create a solid business plan that will help you navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Remember to conduct thorough market research, identify your target audience, assess the competition, determine funding options, select a location, choose suppliers, develop a marketing strategy, formulate a business structure, and hire staff.

With a solid plan in place, you can create a successful store that not only serves as a hub for the musical community but also provides a range of services and products that meet the needs of musicians of all levels. So, start planning, and soon you'll be on your way to creating a space where music can thrive!

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Music Business Plan: A Guide for Music Industry Professionals


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A music business plan is crucial for any music industry professional looking to launch or grow their business. It provides a snapshot of the current state of the business and lays out a clear growth plan for the next five years. This is essential for understanding where the business is at and setting achievable goals for the future.

Check out our article below to learn more about creating an awesome music business plan and get a template.

What is a Music Business Plan?

A music business plan is a comprehensive and detailed document that outlines the goals, strategies, and financial projections for a music-related business. Whether it's a record label, music production company, artist management firm, or any other music-related venture, a business plan provides a roadmap for success. It helps to attract investors, secure loans, and guide overall operations.

From market analysis and competitive research to marketing and distribution strategies, a music business plan covers every aspect of the business to ensure clarity, direction, and long-term viability. It is an essential tool for anyone looking to establish or grow a music-related business in the highly competitive and dynamic music industry.

Why is it important to have a music business plan?

A music business plan is crucial for an artist's success in the industry for several key reasons.

It serves as a blueprint for the artist's career, outlining their goals, strategies, and financial projections. This document helps attract investors by showcasing the artist's vision, potential for return on investment, and realistic plans for reaching their target audience.

A well-crafted business plan guides decision-making by providing a clear direction and framework for the artist's activities and investments. Furthermore, it defines the artist's brand, including its image, style, and target market, which is essential for standing out in the competitive music industry.

In summary, a music business plan is instrumental in attracting investors, guiding decision-making, and defining an artist's brand, making it essential for achieving success in the music industry. Therefore, having a solid and comprehensive business plan is crucial for any aspiring musician or band looking to establish a successful and sustainable career.

How to Fill Out Your Lean Music Business Plan

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of filling out your lean music business plan, from identifying your target audience to mapping out your marketing and sales strategies. 

We'll be referencing sections of the US Small Business Administration's ( SBA ) lean business plan template . Despite its generality, it works as a music business plan template. 

Aspects of this guide relate to the traditional business plan, which we will discuss later in the article. 

Business identity

A business identity helps your business specify exactly what you offer. Both the single-page lean plan and the traditional plan place importance on your identity. Let's say, for example, you're a business-owning musician who provides audio for creatives in the media industry. Here's how your identity might look:

Our business identity revolves around providing high-quality music and sound effects for TV programs, film industries, commercials production companies, video game developers, corporations, and event organizers. 

Through the lean template, try to identify your business in under one paragraph. Then, using the traditional template (see below), expand on that identity. Things like your mission statement, which we visit later, are an aspect of this.

The problem you're trying to solve

All businesses are problem solvers. Record labels help musicians with distribution, while music teachers help provide the next generation of musicians with a strong foundation. 

Naturally, you might wonder how this applies to musicians. Just saying "entertainment" feels a bit weak. There are bands, like Rage Against the Machine, who make music to push a movement. But if you're not part of that crowd, what do you put?

So, think about why you got into music-making in the first place. Any professional musician should think about who their music appeals to and what they want people to feel when hearing their music. You can then say your music solves that problem in a cheesy reminder that you think about more than what shows up on your financial statements. 

If you don't want to get too corny, think about who your music will most appeal to. Then, you can say what your target audience is. Think of something like this:

Creating music for young men and women that will entertain them and inspire them to explore challenging topics.

This problem-solving might feel generic, but you'll know your fans and why you make music. So, stay focused on that.

Solution your business presents

Once you consider the problem your business solves, you need to state how you solve that problem. Again, this is much easier for music industry professionals who work in support roles. Music distributors solve the problem by having direct connections with other distributors, while music marketers help bands reach out to fans via multiple social media platforms. 

As someone who makes music, your solution is the creation of music. So, ask yourself how the creation of your music solves this problem. Here's an example based on our situation above:

Our band writes music that delves into mental health struggles based on personal experiences and how we overcame them.

You might think that doing this as a musician feels silly, but think of it as a reminder. One of the reasons famous musicians like David Bowie and Tom Morello were so successful is focusing on how their music helps people. 


Competitive market data varies depending on the territory you plan to target. For musicians and bands, this might involve bands in the local area and those in future touring locations. For musicians, the competition can also be a list of potential collaborators.

For everyone else not making music, other record labels and music production companies are just competition. Whether you can collaborate with them or not, you'll want to differentiate yourself from all the other options out there. Being another "me too" music business will make it easier to forget you. 

Using the lean small business plan, you'll want to stick this to two or three sentences. Be very general, knowing you can also expand using the traditional business plan. Here's an example of a made-up Tennesse company: My Music Production & Management: 

The competitive landscape for music production companies in Tennessee includes My Music Production & Management, Genre Music, and Retro Recording & Productions. My Music Production & Management offers a wide range of services, including music production, artist management, and music distribution. 

Revenue streams

Revenue streams come from various sources. A business plan reminds you of those sources so you can stay focused. As a musician, your income can come from many sources. Below is an example you can use under the lean business plan:

As a musician, my income comes from paid gigs, teaching music lessons, instrument repair services, and recording sessions. To ensure financial stability and growth, I plan to diversify my income by capitalizing on these different opportunities.

Your revenue streams will differ as a record label or other kind of music business. Like musicians, your revenue streams can vary. However, as a young business, you may specialize in specific areas. You might work on creating merch or distributing digital releases. 

Marketing activities

Marketing activities focus on how you plan on reaching out to different sources. For many new music businesses, this involves outreach through social media platforms. Here's an example of what you might include in your business plans:

Our marketing activities will primarily focus on building a strong online presence through social media and regional publications. We plan to utilize platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok to engage with our audience and share regular updates about our music and upcoming events. Additionally, we will work on developing a press kit to distribute to regional publications and media outlets to garner publicity and reach a wider audience.

Bands can create electronic press kits (EPKs) that are prebuilt for members of the media. This makes it easy for journalists and members of the media to share content about you, such as a new album release. You can also consider how much you might pay for advertising. Digital marketing activities like those above are the first choice, as this activity uses advanced targeting tools based on what people search for and their demographics.

Marketing traditionally focuses on the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotions. The first two Ps delve into your product line, which you'll learn about later. Promotions indicate the type of marketing you choose, and Place usually refers to the platforms your target audience uses. 

The lean business plan gives you a simple overview of your likely expenses, which can be detailed in your longer business plan. Part of these expenses include music taxes. Read our guide on music taxes for more details.

Expenses vary depending on the type of music business you run. You could pay to rent a studio for recording sessions, purchase recording equipment, access manufacturers, or pay for other expenses. These expenses can result in tax deductions .

Here's an example of what your expenses section might look like:

To get my music business up and running, I need to budget for several key expenses. Studio time would be required for recording and producing music, averaging around $50-$100 per hour. I'd also need to allocate funds for engineering talent, which could cost between $50-$200 per hour, depending on experience. Transportation costs for getting to and from recording studios or performance venues should be factored in, estimating around $200-$500 per month.

Legal fees for business formation are also deductible. When listing your expenses and considering deductions, ask yourself what your type of company would normally deduct. Reach out to Augur CPA if you'd like a comprehensive review.

The key roles section provides a list of high-ranking authorities in the business and explains the responsibilities and functions those roles bring to the business. Here's an example of what that might look like in your business plan:

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Responsible for overall strategic direction and leadership of the organization, making key decisions and representing the company to the public and stakeholders.

2. Human Resources Department: This department is responsible for recruiting, training, and managing employees, as well as ensuring legal compliance and promoting a positive work environment.

3. Marketing Department: Responsible for promoting the organization's products or services, conducting market research, and developing marketing strategies to attract and retain customers.

4. Finance Department: This department is responsible for managing the organization's financial resources, including budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting.

5. Operations Department: This department is responsible for overseeing the organization's day-to-day activities, optimizing processes, and ensuring efficient production and service delivery.

As a new business, you might not need all of this detail in your roles. A new business owner wears many hats, handling all of this themselves.

As your business grows and you fill roles like those above, you'll want to create an operating agreement . Operating agreements dictate the roles, holding groups responsible for their actions. This can dictate things like voting rules, which are vital when making high-risk business decisions that require more input.

Your milestones tell readers, yourself, and business partners of the important milestones you've already taken or plan to take. Your lean business plan is a single sentence telling people what you generally plan to do. Larger business plans might look something like this:

Milestone 1: Lease Finalization

- Task: Negotiate and finalize the lease agreement for the studio space

- Deadline: by May 15th

Milestone 2: Personnel Contracts

- Task: Draft, review, and finalize contracts for hired personnel

- Deadline: by May 20th

Milestone 3: Studio Build-out and Equipment Purchase

- Task: Begin construction and build-out of the studio space, purchase necessary equipment

- Deadline: Construction to be completed by June 30th

Milestone 4: Networking and Marketing Plan Implementation

- Task: Develop and implement a networking and marketing plan to attract clients

- Deadline: Marketing plan to be in place by June 1st

Each milestone outlines specific tasks and deadlines to ensure a smooth and successful opening of a recording studio. A musician or distribution company should take a similar approach, focusing on initiatives that help them grow their business.

Filling Out Longer, Traditional Business Plans

The SBA's traditional business plan, which you can find here , is a multi-page document. It's an expanded version of the lean business plan, which you can provide upon request. When applying for business loans or bringing on business partners, this plan can help communicate your vision.

Traditional business plans might use a bit more jargon, like executive summaries and mission statements. Below, you'll learn a bit more about some of the more complex aspects of writing your detailed business plan.

Executive summary

Executive summaries summarize the main points of a business plan. The summary points include the purpose of the business, the business name, the target market, your business location, and how your business solves its target audience's problem. Here's an example you can use for inspiration:

The Executive Summary of my music business plan showcases my artist bio, mission statement, and unique selling proposition. As a musician, I bring a unique blend of classical training and modern influences, with a strong foundation in jazz, pop, and R&B. My mission is to create music that transcends genres and connects with audiences on a deeper level, aspiring to inspire and uplift through my art.

My unique selling proposition lies in my ability to blend diverse musical styles and deliver powerful, emotionally resonant performances. I have achieved recognition in local music scenes, including winning the Best New Artist award at a prominent music festival. My aspirations include reaching a global audience and collaborating with industry-leading producers to create music that leaves a lasting impact. What sets me apart from others in the industry is my unwavering dedication to authenticity and artistry, always prioritizing substance over trends.

For bands and musicians, the executive summary is a great way to showcase your passion for music. Notice the "unique selling proposition," which indicates how you plan on differentiating yourself compared to other companies.

Other companies, like music publishing companies, might focus a little less on the creative aspects of their business. An executive summary can differ slightly between companies. However, if you're new, start with the template until you get comfortable writing these plans.

Company description and mission statement

Your company description, based on the traditional plan, includes the mission statement, members, legal structure, and location of the company. It might also include the executive summary.

Here's an example of the description for a made-up company: SoundWave Entertainment:

Our company, SoundWave Entertainment, is structured as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and has been in business for ten years. We specialize in providing top-quality live music entertainment, event production, and artist management services. Our diverse range of offerings includes wedding bands, corporate event entertainment, and music festivals. Our customer demographics range from engaged couples looking for the perfect wedding band to event planners seeking unique and memorable entertainment experiences. In the past decade, we have experienced significant growth, expanding our roster of talented artists and achieving a strong presence in the events industry. Our primary business goal is to continue providing exceptional musical experiences and to further expand our reach in the entertainment industry.

The description is simple enough, but the mission statement is arguably the most important aspect of your business plan. It's a few sentences long but shares the overall mission of your company, dictating where it goes and how it makes decisions. Mission statements are emotionally driven and connected to the morals and heart of the company's stakeholders. Here's how it might look:

At SoundWave Entertainment, we are committed to delivering unforgettable musical experiences and fostering the growth of talented artists. We strive to exceed our client's expectations by curating exceptional live entertainment and providing a platform for artists to showcase their skills. Our goal is to leave a lasting impression through the power of music, creating moments that inspire and connect people.

Market conditions and research

The traditional business plan offers a bit more room for reviewing your market conditions and researching your competition. Doing your own research helps you understand the market. Sharing your research on a business plan provides proof of your knowledge of market conditions. Here's a short example of market conditions:

The current market conditions in the music industry are characterized by several industry trends, including the shift towards streaming services, the resurgence of vinyl records, and the increasing importance of live performances for artists' revenue. Consumer behavior has also changed significantly, with more music fans opting for subscription-based streaming services over traditional album or single purchases. Key competitors in the industry include major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, as well as record labels and live event promoters.

Additional sections of your business plan include a detailed description of your customers, how your company outperforms the competition, and regulations that might impact your company.

Regarding regulations in the music industry, it helps to have a general understanding of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ( DMCA ), fair use , and current communication laws. Knowledge of these laws or working with a music attorney can help you with this aspect of your business plan.

Service line and pricing structure

Your service line includes a complete list of your services and their costs. For musicians, this might include gigs, music lessons, and anything else you do to advance your career in music. It then breaks down the pricing of your services, including some potential for how that pricing can flex.

Services can vary heavily depending on your company and the services you offer. When you first start your business, you might specialize in a few areas. One milestone could be expanding to include additional features, like a record company offering email marketing services.

The service line section also includes your product lifecycle. For example, albums tend to make more money during their first year of release, and your lifecycle dictates how long you might make albums. If you go on a tour during the album, you might stop creating new albums or merchandise sales during this time. 

Service line information can also include information on intellectual property rights and how your band and albums will be copyrighted. You can also work to trademark your company (or band) logo.

Marketing, sales, and growth strategy

While your marketing research section details information about the market and industry, your marketing, sales, and growth section dictates how you plan on reaching target customers. The lean plan mentioned above briefly addresses this area.

The three areas you'll want to consider are your growth strategy, how you want to communicate with customers, and how you plan on selling your products.

Let's say you plan on creating your own Shopify e-commerce store for your business, which is a huge investment. This means your growth strategy, product sales, and customer communications will wrap around this tool. If you want to start simpler, mention how you plan on talking with fans and setting up merch tables at local shows.

Here, you'll see some examples of how you could write this section:

Our music business aims to market, sell, and grow by implementing a combination of online and offline strategies. Our marketing efforts will include targeted social media campaigns, SEO optimization for our website, and collaborations with music influencers and bloggers. We will also explore opportunities for live performances, partnerships with local venues, and utilizing traditional advertisement methods.

To drive sales, we will offer unique packages for our music services, including special promotions for first-time customers and loyalty rewards for returning clients. Our pricing strategy will be competitive while still maintaining the quality of our services.

In terms of customer retention, we will focus on delivering exceptional customer service and providing personalized experiences for our clients. Our unique selling proposition lies in our ability to offer customized music solutions tailored to different occasions and preferences.

Moving forward, our plans for growth and expansion include branching out to new markets and offering additional services such as music production and event management. We will also invest in building brand loyalty and expanding our customer base through strategic partnerships and collaborations within the music industry.

Why Should I Care About A Business Plan?

A business plan is a crucial tool for any musician or music industry professional looking to advance their career in the music industry. It serves as a roadmap for your career, helping you set goals, make strategic decisions, and stay on track for success.

One of the most significant benefits of having a business plan in the music industry is its ability to attract investors. A well-thought-out plan demonstrates to potential investors that you are serious about your music career and have a clear direction for success. It outlines your financial projections, marketing strategies, and potential for growth, making it more likely for investors to see the value in supporting your music endeavors.

Additionally, a business plan guides decision-making by providing a framework for evaluating opportunities and making informed choices. It forces you to consider all aspects of your music career, from marketing and promotion to touring and merchandising, ensuring that you have a comprehensive strategy in place.

Furthermore, a business plan helps define your brand identity and outline your unique selling points, target audience, and marketing message. This is crucial in the music industry, where standing out and connecting with fans is essential for success.

To learn more about how taxes can apply to a financial plan for your business, contact Augur CPA today .

This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. You should consult your own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor regarding matters mentioned in this post. We take no responsibility for actions taken based on the information provided.

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How to start a Musical Instrument Store Business

15 February 2023 | Blog

How to start a Musical Instrument Store Business

Are you an avid musician who loves nothing more than playing with instruments? Have you ever dreamed of turning your hobby into a business? Starting up a musical instrument store business is no easy feat, but it can be rewarding.

Creating and managing a successful music store can be daunting, but the rewards are well worth it. From providing quality instruments to ensuring that customers are happy and have the best experience possible, this guide will help you get started on the path to becoming a professional instrument dealer.

The Benefits of Converting Your Hobby into a Business Starting up a musical instrument store business does not just provide customers with quality instruments and gives you a chance to share your passion for music with others. As an instrument dealer, you will be able to use your knowledge and skill to help others find their perfect fit when it comes to musical instruments.

Running your own business allows you the freedom and flexibility that comes with being an entrepreneur. But you also have to take on the responsibility of owning a business, like managing employees, finances and devising a business plan.

How To Start Up a Music Store Business

Make a plan Once you’ve decided that running a musical instrument store business is right for you, there are some key steps to take to get started. First, create a comprehensive plan that outlines how many instruments you would like to carry in your store, what types of instruments (guitars, drums etc.), how much inventory space is needed and so forth.

Start budgeting Secondly, create budgets for both initial setup costs and ongoing operational costs such as rent or utilities. Secure financing from banks or investors if necessary to cover start-up costs and operating expenses until the business becomes profitable.

Stock quality instruments Finally, research different suppliers for purchasing quality instruments at competitive prices – this will ensure that your overhead costs remain low and enable customers to access great deals on high-quality products. Ensure that your shop carries quality instrument insurance so that all of your merchandise is protected from unforeseen issues or damages .

Starting up a musical instrument store business takes dedication and hard work but can be incredibly rewarding too. With careful planning and dedication to customer service excellence, owning a music store can offer tremendous opportunities for personal growth while giving customers access to high-quality merchandise at competitive prices.

By following this simple guide on starting up a music store business, anyone can become an expert in their field while safely protecting their investment by securing quality instrument insurance coverage too.


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Sample Music Store Business Plan

Musical instrument store business plan pdf sample.

If you have a passion for music or vast experience in music festivals and the industry, then you should consider starting a music-related business.

One of the music-related businesses you can start is a music store. A music store business is very lucrative and requires low capital to start up.

However, if you really want the business to be successful, then you must make adequate plans before starting it. One of the ways you can do this is by creating a business plan.

If you are intending to create a music store business plan and don’t know how to go about it, then this post is for you. The post is a music store business plan sample that you can use as a template to easily create your own.

Here is a sample business plan for starting a music retail business.

BUSINESS NAME: Bubbling Music Store

Table of Content

Executive Summary

Vision Statement

Mission Statement

Business Structure

Products and Services

Startup Cost

Sources of Capital

Bubbling Music Store is a registered company that will be established very close to South Carolina University in the United States.

After carrying out intensive research, we discovered that the residents of our selected location comprise majorly of students of South Carolina University who are passionate about music and there is no standard music store to cater to their music needs.

We decided to tap into this opportunity by opening a top-notch music store in the heart of South Carolina University.

Bubbling Music Store aims to meet the needs of our customers while making good profits in the process. And to achieve this aim, we will ensure all our products are of the very best quality.

Also, we will make sure that we deliver excellent services to our customers in a conducive environment.

We will also make sure that beyond products and services, we sell an amazing experience that will make our customers feel special and make them not only keep coming back but also refer our business to other people.

To make things super easy for our customers, we have decided to have an online e-commerce store where they can make orders for our products and have them delivered to them anywhere they are.

None of our competitors is having an e-commerce store. So introducing this concept will make Bubbling Music Store stand out and favorably compete with its competitors.

Bubbling Music Store will be owned by Mr. Danny Fred and a partner, Mr. Bob Donald. Mr. Danny is a savvy retail store manager who has experience of over 20 years of working for different music retail stores all over the United States.

His superpower is running a highly converting e-commerce music store business for his clients.

He intends to employ this superpower in creating a stellar e-commerce music store for Bubbling Music Store which will serve as the company USP.

Mr. Bob is a business administrator who has carved a niche in the music industry. He has worked with various Music Companies and helped them to accelerate their business growth.

His experience in this area will greatly aid the growth of Bubbling Music Store.

To have become one of the leading music stores in the music industry in the United States. We also have vision 2020 which is to have 20 music stores all over Universities in the United States within 20 years.

To establish a solid reputation for selling affordable but quality products. We also intend to always come up with creative ways of serving our customers that will always make us be on top of the game.

We know that to fully realize the vision we have for Bubbling Music Store; we need to put a solid business structure on the ground.

To this end, we are going to make sure we hire workers who are not only dedicated and passionate about the business but also competent and excellent. Our business structure will comprise of:

  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Information Technologists
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Marketing Executive
  • Sales Representatives
  • Receptionist
  • Security Guards

To fully satisfy our customers, Bubbling Music Store will provide a wide range of products and services which will include:

  • Sales of music audio CDs and DVDs
  • Sales of music video CDs and DVDs
  • Sales of Audio Books
  • Sales of Video Games
  • Sales of Cartoons and Animation CDs
  • Sales of Empty CDs
  • Sales of Music Accessories
  • Sales and Renting of Music Instruments
  • Renting of Music CDs and DVDs

The amount of money needed to start up the kind of music Store business we are projecting is estimated to be $250,000.

This will cover everything ranging from the cost of acquiring a business facility to the cost of equipment, cost of marketing both online and offline.

It will also cover the salaries of staff for the first three months of operation.

The founders have already pooled their resources together and raised the total sum of $100,000.

They are already working on raising $50,000 soft loans from friends and family and applying for a bank loan to raise the remaining $100,000.

The business plan above is a Music Store business plan sample that users can use as a guideline when they want to start their own music store business.

Related posts:

  • Sample Music School Business Plan
  • Sample Music Production Business Plan
  • Sample Music Festival Business Plan

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Music Retail Business Plan

Start your own music retail business plan

Executive Summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. It describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">

Mojo Music will be a CD store that specializes in used CDs and DVD rentals as well as blank CD/DVD recording media.  Our target customers are the 23,000 students of State University and 40,000 non-student residents of the university area.

Mojo Music will be located one half block from the university campus on Taylor Street which is the major retail/commercial section of the university area.  The student foot traffic on Taylor is heavy.  The university bookstore is on Taylor Street, as well as numerous coffee houses, restaurants, and shops that cater to the student population.

Though the location is perfect for our target customers, it is more important to understand what our customers want from a CD store.

Twenty five years ago, it was popular among young adults to create mix cassette tapes of their favorite music for personal use and as gifts for friends. Today, with the wide distribution of CD recording equipment, Internet technology, and new recording formats like MP3, young adults now have the ability to create personalized presentations of their favorite music.  The market for used CDs has exploded as a consequence of young listeners’ ability to create quality duplication from CDs. With the average price for a new CD at $16-$18, young adults would rather buy a used CD for a little over half that price ($8-$11).  It is even more attractive if they can get in-store purchasing credit by selling their own CDs to the store.

Mojo Music will offer popular new releases and used CDs.  We will have a attractive CD buying program that will reward customers for spending money in the store. In addition to new CDs in the store, a customer will be able to order any CD that is currently issued.  We will have that CD in the store within three days.

Affordable blank CD/DVD recording media is another important key in bringing our target customers into the store. Young adults between 17-25 years of age are the largest group purchasing CD and DVD recorders.  There is no store that sells recording media within a 10 mile radius of the university.

Similarly, there is no video/DVD rental store next to campus.  The closest rental store is four miles off campus. Due to the drop in price for DVD players, many students own DVD/CD players, so the preferred format for movies is DVD.  This is not true for the larger community with still prefers video cassette. 

Mojo Music will sell blank recording media and rent movies in DVD format.

Music retail business plan, executive summary chart image

1.1 Objectives

  • To become the first place our target customers will go to sell and buy CDs.
  • To create a strong DVD rental business.
  • To increase blank media sales by 20% each year.

1.2 Mission

Mojo Music’s mission is to offer our target customers:

  • The best quality popular used CDs at affordable prices.
  • The most popular new CDs at the lowest prices.
  • The best recording media at affordable prices.
  • A large selection of DVD rentals.

1.3 Keys to Success

The Keys to Success for Mojo Music are the following:

  • Keep the money paid for used CDs in the store.
  • Offer a quality selection of used CDs.
  • Offer popular new CDs at a discounted price.
  • Offer popular DVDs for rental.
  • Offer recording media at a discounted price.

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Company summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">.

Mojo Music offers popular new CDs, used CDs, DVD rentals, and CD/DVD recording media.  The target customers for the store are the 23,000 students of the State University.  The store is located one half block from the major entrance to the university.  The student group represents a unique music buying and DVD rental group that is not being served by the area’s existing CD stores or video rental outlets.

2.1 Start-up Summary

The start-up cost of Mojo Music will consist primarily of inventory and display equipment. Karl Payne will invest $50,000.  In addition to securing a $100,000 SBA loan, Karl has also obtained an investment of $100,000 from a silent partner.

Music retail business plan, company summary chart image

2.2 Company Ownership

The store owner is Karl Payne who has worked in CD stores for over ten years.  Most recently, he was the store manager for CD Warehouse for seven years supervising a staff 10.

Mojo Music offers popular new CDs, used CDs, DVD rentals, and CD/DVD recording media.  The primary focus will be to satisfy the music/DVD needs of the target customers.

  • New CDs : CDs that are popular with our target group.
  • Used CDs : CDs that are in good condition and that have a reasonable chance of being purchased.
  • DVD rentals : Movies that are popular with our target customers.
  • CD/DVD recording media : Provide the best quality for the best price.

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

It is estimated that the university student community spends over $75 million with local businesses each year.  Approximately 50% of these sales are for entertainment including music and movies.   The university’s commercial/retail area borders the east side of the campus and it is the main entrance onto campus.  Each day, thousands of students shop and eat on Taylor Street before, after, and between classes.

Currently, if a student wanted to purchase a used CD, he/she would have to take a ten minute drive to reach the only used CD store in town.  Similarly, he/she would also have to drive to reach the closest video rental store to the campus community.

Mojo Music offers the student the ability to buy a CD or rent a DVD during the day while on campus.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Mojo Music will focus on three significant customer groups:

  • Used CD buyer/seller :  The shelf life for music is very short with young adults.  What was popular three months ago can quickly become boring.  The music industry is aware of this trend and is constantly releasing the next great hit to satisfy this hunger for the new.  But what does the buyer do with old CDs that are no longer being rotating into the CD player? Mojo Music will be uniquely designed to attract and retain this important customer group.
  • CD/DVD recording media buyer : This customer group is very significant. They have already embraced the technology that gives them the freedom to create their own CDs and DVDs.  The purchase/sell turnaround on a CD/DVD is very quick with this group. They will be a great source for used popular CDs and DVDs.  Mojo Music will set up an in-house credit system that will bring this customer group into the store.
  • DVD renters : As stated before, the student population represents a unique group of DVD users.  Many manufacturers now make cheap CD/DVD players that are targeted at young adults.  So DVD rentals are much higher with this customer group than the population as a whole.  Mojo Music’s location is perfect to capture the walk-in business for DVD rentals.

Music retail business plan, market analysis summary chart image

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

The advancement of CD recording equipment, Internet technology, and new recording formats like MP3, has turned young adults into a new type of music and movie consumer.  This trend has already depressed CD sales nationwide and many CD stores have gone out of business in last five years.

To be successful, a store must respond to the market opportunity the target consumer is providing. Though the game has changed, there is still tremendous opportunity if a CD store can read the market needs and trends correctly.

The student population that Mojo Music is targeting is very comfortable with the newest technology and has easy access to CD/DVD recording equipment. This creates a new expectation in the consumer’s mind concerning what is an affordable price for music.  Most college-aged adults have reported in numerous industry polls that the price of new CDs should be lower.  This search for a lower price led to the explosion of MP3 on the Internet. Consequently, CD recording media has increased in sales.

Quality used CDs fill the niche that this concern creates by offering a lower price for popular music.

Another area where the college-age consumers is leading the market is in the use of DVDs.  At most video rental shops, DVDs are small subsection of available rentals. Currently, these shops primarily serve consumers who prefer video cassettes. Though this trend is changing, DVD owners find the selection limited.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Mojo Music will be heavily promoting the store.  We will use the student daily paper to advertise a $2 off per CD coupon.  In addition, we will have a drawing for five CD/DVD players each week.  We will continue the drawings for the first eight weeks of the store’s operation.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Mojo Music’s competitive edge is:

  • Location : Mojo Music is on Taylor Street, one half block from the entrance to the university.  The student foot traffic on Taylor Street is very strong. The closest used CD store to the university area is a ten minute drive.
  • Quality used CDs : With the average price for a new CD at $16-$18, young adults would rather buy a used CD for a little over half that price ($8-$11).  It is even more attractive if they can get in-store purchasing credit by selling their own CDs to the store.
  • CD/DVD recording media : Young adults between 17-25 years of age are the largest group purchasing CD and DVD recorders.  There is no store that sells recording media within a 10 mile radius of the university.  
  • DVD rentals : The closest rental store is four miles off campus. Due to the drop in price for DVD players, many students own DVD/CD players, so their reasonable format for movies are DVD. 

5.2 Sales Strategy

The key to Mojo Music’s sales strategy is to get the sellers of used CDs to spend their money in the store. To accomplish this goal, we will offer the seller two options for their CDs: cash and in-store credit. In-store credit will be 20% more than cash.  This can be used to buy CDs or CD/DVD recording media.  In-store credit can also be used to rent DVDs.

5.2.1 Sales Forecast

The following is the sales forecast for three years.

Music retail business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

Karl Payne is the owner/manager of Mojo Music.  Karl has worked for over 15 years in record/CD stores. As a student at State University, Karl worked at The Record Factory, a successful downtown record store, in the late 80’s. After graduating in 1989 with a BA in english, Karl went on to managed two record/CD stores; the Palace (89-93) and the CD Warehouse.  Karl is a excellent staff supervisor and will do very well in managing the staff of Mojo Music.

6.1 Personnel Plan

Mojo Music will have the following staff members:

  • Assistant manager.
  • Four customer assistants.

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

The following is the financial plan for Mojo Music.

7.1 Break-even Analysis

The monthly sales break-even point is approximately 6,200 units.

Music retail business plan, financial plan chart image

7.2 Projected Profit and Loss

The following table and charts are the projected profit and loss for three years.

Music retail business plan, financial plan chart image

7.3 Projected Cash Flow

The following is the projected cash flow for three years.

Music retail business plan, financial plan chart image

7.4 Projected Balance Sheet

The following is the projected balance sheet for three years.

7.5 Business Ratios

Business ratios for the years of this plan are shown below.  Industry profile ratios based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code 5735, Record and Prerecorded Tape Stores, are shown for comparison.

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music shop business plan

How to write a business plan for a music school?

music school business plan

Creating a business plan for a music school is an essential process for any entrepreneur. It serves as a roadmap that outlines the necessary steps to be taken to start or grow the business, the resources required, and the anticipated financial outcomes. It should be crafted with method and confidence.

This guide is designed to provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary for creating a music school business plan, covering why it is so important both when starting up and running an established business, what should be included in your plan, how it should be structured, what tools should be used to save time and avoid errors, and other helpful tips.

We have a lot to cover, so let's get to it!

In this guide:

Why write a business plan for a music school?

  • What information is needed to create a business plan for a music school?
  • What goes in the financial forecast for a music school?
  • What goes in the written part of a music school business plan?
  • What tool can I use to write my music school business plan?

Being clear on the scope and goals of the document will make it easier to understand its structure and content. So before diving into the actual content of the plan, let's have a quick look at the main reasons why you would want to write a music school business plan in the first place.

To have a clear roadmap to grow the business

Running a small business is tough! Economic cycles bring growth and recessions, while the business landscape is ever-changing with new technologies, regulations, competitors, and consumer behaviours emerging constantly.

In such a dynamic context, operating a business without a clear roadmap is akin to driving blindfolded: it's risky, to say the least. That's why crafting a business plan for your music school is vital to establish a successful and sustainable venture.

To create an effective business plan, you'll need to assess your current position (if you're already in business) and define where you want the business to be in the next three to five years.

Once you have a clear destination for your music school, you'll have to:

  • Identify the necessary resources (human, equipment, and capital) needed to reach your goals,
  • Determine the pace at which the business needs to progress to meet its objectives as scheduled,
  • Recognize and address the potential risks you may encounter along the way.

Engaging in this process regularly proves advantageous for both startups and established companies. It empowers you to make informed decisions about resource allocation, ensuring the long-term success of your business.

To get visibility on future cash flows

If your small music school runs out of cash: it's game over. That's why we often say "cash is king", and it's crucial to have a clear view of your music school's future cash flows.

So, how can you achieve this? It's simple - you need to have an up-to-date financial forecast.

The good news is that your music school business plan already includes a financial forecast (which we'll discuss further in this guide). Your task is to ensure it stays current.

To accomplish this, it's essential to regularly compare your actual financial performance with what was planned in your financial forecast. Based on your business's current trajectory, you can make adjustments to the forecast.

By diligently monitoring your music school's financial health, you'll be able to spot potential financial issues, like unexpected cash shortfalls, early on and take corrective actions. Moreover, this practice will enable you to recognize and capitalize on growth opportunities, such as excess cash flow enabling you to expand to new locations.

To secure financing

A detailed business plan becomes a crucial tool when seeking financing from banks or investors for your music school.

Investing and lending to small businesses are very risky activities given how fragile they are. Therefore, financiers have to take extra precautions before putting their capital at risk.

At a minimum, financiers will want to ensure that you have a clear roadmap and a solid understanding of your future cash flows (like we just explained above). But they will also want to ensure that your business plan fits the risk/reward profile they seek.

This will off-course vary from bank to bank and investor to investor, but as a rule of thumb. Banks will want to see a conservative financial management style (low risk), and they will use the information in your business plan to assess your borrowing capacity — the level of debt they think your business can comfortably handle — and your ability to repay the loan. This evaluation will determine whether they'll provide credit to your music school and the terms of the agreement.

Whereas investors will carefully analyze your business plan to gauge the potential return on their investment. Their focus lies on evidence indicating your music school's potential for high growth, profitability, and consistent cash flow generation over time.

Now that you recognize the importance of creating a business plan for your music school, let's explore what information is required to create a compelling plan.

Information needed to create a business plan for a music school

You need the right data in order to project sales, investments and costs accurately in the financial forecast of your music school business plan.

Below, we'll cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your business plan.

Carrying out market research for a music school

As you consider writing your business plan for a music school, conducting market research becomes a vital step to ensure accurate and realistic financial projections.

Market research provides valuable insights into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies, and other key factors that can significantly impact the commercial success of your business.

Through this research, you may uncover trends that could influence your music school.

1. Your music school may experience an increase in demand for online courses, as more people seek to learn remotely. 2. Market research might indicate that potential customers may be looking for more affordable and flexible payment plans for music lessons.

Such market trends play a significant role in forecasting revenue, as they offer valuable data about potential customers' spending habits and preferences.

By incorporating these findings into your financial projections, you can present investors with more accurate information, helping them make informed decisions about investing in your music school.

Developing the sales and marketing plan for a music school

Budgeting sales and marketing expenses is essential before creating a music school business plan.

A comprehensive sales and marketing plan should provide an accurate projection of what actions need to be implemented to acquire and retain customers, how many people are needed to carry out these initiatives, and how much needs to be spent on promotions, advertising, and other aspects.

This helps ensure that the right amount of resources is allocated to these activities in order to hit the sales and growth objectives forecasted in your business plan.

The staffing and capital expenditure requirements of a music school

Whether you are starting or expanding a music school, it is important to have a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) in order to ensure the success of the business.

Both the recruitment and investment plans need to be coherent with the timing and level of growth planned in your forecast, and require appropriate funding.

A music school might incur staffing costs such as salaries for teachers, administrative staff, and janitorial staff. The school might also need to purchase or rent instruments, music stands, and other equipment required for classes and performances. Additionally, the school might need to purchase or rent audio and lighting equipment for performances, and computers and software for administrative and music production purposes.

In order to create a realistic financial forecast, you will also need to consider the other operating expenses associated with running the business on a day-to-day basis (insurance, bookkeeping, etc.). 

Once you have all the necessary information to create a business plan for your music school, it is time to start creating your financial forecast.

What goes into your music school's financial forecast?

The financial forecast of your music school will enable you to assess the profitability potential of your business in the coming years and how much capital is required to fund the actions planned in the business plan.

The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a music school are:

  • The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
  • The projected balance sheet ,
  • The cash flow forecast ,
  • And the sources and uses table .

Let's take a closer look at each of these.

The projected P&L statement

The projected P&L statement for a music school shows how much revenue and profits your business is expected to generate in the future.

projected profit and loss statement example in a music school business plan

Ideally, your music school's P&L statement should show:

  • Healthy growth - above inflation level
  • Improving or stable profit margins
  • Positive net profit

Expectations will vary based on the stage of your business. A startup will be expected to grow faster than an established music school. And similarly, an established company should showcase a higher level of profitability than a new venture.

The projected balance sheet of your music school

The balance sheet for a music school is a financial document that provides a snapshot of your business’s financial health at a given point in time.

It shows three main components: assets, liabilities and equity:

  • Assets: are resources owned by the business, such as cash, equipment, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
  • Liabilities: are debts owed to creditors and other entities, such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers) and loans.
  • Equity: includes the sums invested by the shareholders or business owners and the cumulative profits and losses of the business to date (called retained earnings). It is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.

example of projected balance sheet in a music school business plan

Examining the balance sheet is important for lenders, investors, or other stakeholders who are interested in assessing your music school's liquidity and solvency:

  • Liquidity: assesses whether or not your business has sufficient cash and short-term assets to honour its liabilities due over the next 12 months. It is a short-term focus.
  • Solvency: assesses whether or not your business has the capacity to repay its debt over the medium-term.

Looking at the balance sheet can also provide insights into your music school's investment and financing policies.

In particular, stakeholders can compare the value of equity to the value of the outstanding financial debt to assess how the business is funded and what level of financial risk has been taken by the owners (financial debt is riskier because it has to be repaid, while equity doesn't need to be repaid).

The cash flow forecast

As we've seen earlier in this guide, monitoring future cash flows is the key to success and the only way of ensuring that your music school has enough cash to operate.

As you can expect showing future cash flows is the main role of the cash flow forecast in your music school business plan.

example of projected cash flow forecast in a music school business plan

It is best practice to organise the cash flow statement by nature in order to show the cash impact of the following areas:

  • Cash flow generated from operations: the operating cash flow shows how much cash is generated or consumed by the business's commercial activities
  • Cash flow from investing activities: the investing cash flow shows how much cash is being invested in capital expenditure (equipment, real estate, etc.) either to maintain the business's equipment or to expand its capabilities
  • Cash flow from financing activities: the financing cash flow shows how much cash is raised or distributed to financiers

Looking at the cash flow forecast helps you to make sure that your business has enough cash to keep running, and can help you anticipate potential cash shortfalls.

Your music school business plan will normally include both yearly and monthly cash flow forecasts so that the readers can view the impact of seasonality on your business cash position and generation.

The initial financing plan

The sources and uses table or initial financing plan is a key component of your business plan when starting a music school.

It shows where the capital needed to set up the business will come from (sources) and how it will be spent (uses).

sources and uses table in a music school business plan

This table helps size the investment required to set up the music school, and understand how risks will be distributed between the business owners, and the financiers.

The sources and uses table also highlights what the starting cash position will be. This is key for startups as the business needs to have sufficient funding to sustain operations until the break-even point is reached.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what will go into the financial forecast of your music school business plan, let's have a look at the written part of the plan.

The written part of a music school business plan

The written part of a music school business plan is composed of 7 main sections:

  • The executive summary
  • The presentation of the company
  • The products and services
  • The market analysis
  • The strategy
  • The operations
  • The financial plan

Throughout these sections, you will seek to provide the reader with the details and context needed for them to form a view on whether or not your business plan is achievable and your forecast a realistic possibility.

Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!

1. The executive summary

The first section of your music school's business plan is the executive summary which provides, as its name suggests, an enticing summary of your plan which should hook the reader and make them want to know more about your business.

When writing the executive summary, it is important to provide an overview of the business, the market, the key financials, and what you are asking from the reader.

Start with a brief introduction of the business, its name, concept, location, how long it has been in operation, and what makes it unique. Mention any services or products you plan to offer and who you sell to.

Then you should follow with an overview of the addressable market for your music school, current trends, and potential growth opportunities.

You should then include a summary of your key financial figures such as projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.

Finally, you should detail any funding requirements in the ask section.

2. The presentation of the company

As you build your music school business plan, the second section deserves attention as it delves into the structure and ownership, location, and management team of your company.

In the structure and ownership part, you'll provide valuable insights into the legal structure of the business, the identities of the owners, and their respective investments and ownership stakes. This level of transparency is vital, particularly if you're seeking financing, as it clarifies which legal entity will receive the funds and who holds the reins of the business.

Moving to the location part, you'll offer a comprehensive view of the company's premises and articulate why this specific location is strategic for the business, emphasizing factors like catchment area, accessibility, and nearby amenities.

When describing the location of your music school, you may want to emphasize the potential for growth. The area could have a strong demand for music instruction and a steady influx of students, as well as a supportive local community that could welcome and sustain the school. You could also highlight the potential for collaborations with local organizations and businesses that could help the school to thrive. Finally, you could suggest that the area has a range of cultural and recreational activities that could attract a diverse student base and keep them engaged.

Lastly, you should introduce your esteemed management team. Provide a thorough explanation of each member's role, background, and extensive experience.

It's equally important to highlight any past successes the management team has achieved and underscore the duration they've been working together. This information will instil trust in potential lenders or investors, showcasing the strength and expertise of your leadership team and their ability to deliver the business plan.

3. The products and services section

The products and services section of your business plan should include a detailed description of the offerings that your company provides to its customers. 

For example, your music school might offer private and group music lessons, instrument rentals, and music theory workshops to its customers. Private lessons can help students build their skills quickly and allow for a more tailored approach, while group lessons can be a great way to learn social skills and develop collaboration. Instrument rentals provide an affordable way for students to get started without having to buy new instruments, while music theory workshops can help students develop a deep understanding of music fundamentals and improve their creativity.

When drafting this section, you should be precise about the categories of products or services you sell, the types of customers you are targeting and how customers can buy them.

4. The market analysis

When outlining your market analysis in the music school business plan, it's essential to include comprehensive details about customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and relevant regulations.

The primary aim of this section is to give the reader an understanding of the market size and appeal while demonstrating your expertise in the industry.

To begin, delve into the demographics and segmentation subsection, providing an overview of the addressable market for your music school, key marketplace trends, and introducing various customer segments and their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.

Next, shift your focus to the target market subsection, where you can zoom in on the specific customer segments your music school targets. Explain how your products and services are tailored to meet the unique needs of these customers.

For example, your target market might include parents of young children who are interested in learning an instrument. These parents may be looking for a way to provide their children with the opportunity to learn music in a structured and supportive environment. They may be looking for an experienced instructor who can teach the basics of music theory and playing an instrument to their children.

In the competition subsection, introduce your main competitors and explain what sets your music school apart from them.

Finally, round off your market analysis by providing an overview of the main regulations that apply to your music school.

5. The strategy section

When writing the strategy section of a business plan for your music school, it is essential to include information about your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.

The competitive edge subsection should explain what sets your company apart from its competitors. This part is especially key if you are writing the business plan of a startup, as you have to make a name for yourself in the marketplace against established players.

The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you intend to remain profitable while still offering competitive prices to your customers.

The sales & marketing plan should outline how you intend to reach out and acquire new customers, as well as retain existing ones with loyalty programs or special offers. 

The milestones subsection should outline what your company has achieved to date, and its main objectives for the years to come - along with dates so that everyone involved has clear expectations of when progress can be expected.

The risks and mitigants subsection should list the main risks that jeopardize the execution of your plan and explain what measures you have taken to minimize these. This is essential in order for investors or lenders to feel secure in investing in your venture.

Your music school could face the risk of losing income if students are unable to afford tuition. During difficult economic times, it may be difficult for your school to continue to bring in enough money to stay afloat. Additionally, your school could be at risk of facing a lawsuit if an employee or student is injured on school property. This could be a costly issue that might significantly reduce the financial stability of the school.

6. The operations section

In your business plan, it's also essential to provide a detailed overview of the operations of your music school.

Start by covering your team, highlighting key roles and your recruitment plan to support the expected growth. Outline the qualifications and experience required for each role and your intended recruitment methods, whether through job boards, referrals, or headhunters.

Next, clearly state your music school's operating hours, allowing the reader to assess staffing levels adequately. Additionally, mention any plans for varying opening times during peak seasons and how you'll handle customer queries outside normal operating hours.

Then, shift your focus to the key assets and intellectual property (IP) necessary for your business. If you rely on licenses, trademarks, physical structures like equipment or property, or lease agreements, make sure to include them in this section.

You may have a library of musical scores, books, and recordings to provide students with resources to help them learn music theory and composition. Additionally, you could have a roster of highly experienced faculty members who have years of expertise in teaching music. These faculty members might also have relationships with other music schools, orchestras, and industry professionals that could be beneficial to students.

Lastly, include a list of suppliers you plan to work with, detailing their services and main commercial terms, such as price, payment terms, and contract duration. Investors are interested in understanding why you've chosen specific suppliers, which may be due to higher-quality products or established relationships from previous ventures.

7. The presentation of the financial plan

The financial plan section is where we will include the financial forecast we talked about earlier in this guide.

Now that you have a clear idea of the content of a music school business plan, let's look at some of the tools you can use to create yours.

What tool should I use to write my music school's business plan?

In this section, we will be reviewing the two main options for writing a music school business plan efficiently:

  • Using specialized software,
  • Outsourcing the drafting to the business plan writer.

Using an online business plan software for your music school's business plan

Using online business planning software is the most efficient and modern way to create a music school business plan.

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can access a library of dozens of complete business plan samples and templates for inspiration
  • You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
  • You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
  • You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
  • You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
  • You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .

Hiring a business plan writer to write your music school's business plan

Outsourcing your music school business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.

Business plan writers are experienced in writing business plans and adept at creating financial forecasts without errors. Furthermore, hiring a consultant can save you time and allow you to focus on the day-to-day operations of your business.

However, hiring business plan writers is expensive as you are paying for the software used by the consultant, plus their time, and their profit margin of course.

From experience, you need to budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax for a complete business plan, more if you need to make changes after the initial version (which happens frequently after the initial meetings with lenders or investors).

You also need to be careful when seeking investment. Investors want their money to be used to grow the business, not spent on consulting fees. Therefore, the amount you spend on business plan writing services (and other consulting services such as legal services) needs to be negligible relative to the amount raised.

The other drawback is that you usually don't own the business plan itself: you just get the output, while the actual document is saved in the consultant's business plan software - which makes it difficult to maintain the document up to date without hiring the consultant on a retainer.

For these reasons, outsourcing the music school business plan to a business plan writer should be considered carefully, weighing both the advantages and disadvantages of hiring outside help.

Ultimately, it may be the right decision for some businesses, while others may find it beneficial to write their business plan using online software.

Why not create your music school's business plan using Word or Excel?

I must advise against using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write your music school business plan. Let me explain why.

Firstly, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel (or any spreadsheet) is highly technical and requires a strong grasp of accounting principles and financial modelling skills. It is, therefore, unlikely that anyone will fully trust your numbers unless you have both a degree in finance and accounting and significant financial modelling experience, like us at The Business Plan Shop.

Secondly, relying on spreadsheets is inefficient. While it may have been the only option in the past, technology has advanced significantly, and software can now perform these tasks much faster and with greater accuracy. With the rise of AI, software can even help us detect mistakes in forecasts and analyze the numbers for better decision-making.

And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.

Moreover, software makes it easier to compare actuals versus forecasts and maintain up-to-date forecasts to keep visibility on future cash flows, as we discussed earlier in this guide. This task is cumbersome when using spreadsheets.

Now, let's talk about the written part of your music school business plan. While it may be less error-prone, using software can bring tremendous gains in productivity. Word processors, for example, lack instructions and examples for each part of your business plan. They also won't automatically update your numbers when changes occur in your forecast, and they don't handle formatting for you.

Overall, while Word or Excel may seem viable for some entrepreneurs to create a business plan, it's by far becoming an antiquated way of doing things.

  • A business plan has 2 complementary parts: a financial forecast showcasing the expected growth, profits and cash flows of the business; and a written part which provides the context needed to judge if the forecast is realistic and relevant.
  • Having an up-to-date business plan is the only way to keep visibility on your music school's future cash flows.
  • Using business plan software is the modern way of writing and maintaining business plans.

We hope that this practical guide gave you insights on how to write the business plan for your music school. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our team if you still have questions.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • In-depth business plan structure
  • Key steps to write a business plan?
  • Free business plan template

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Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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3. Writings On Education From Introduction To Tolstoy's Writings by Ernest J Simmons (1968)

After Tolstoy's speech at the Moscow Society of Lovers of Russian Literature in 1859, the president of that organization, devoted to popular views of the immediate social significance of literature, coldly reminded him that, however eternal truth and beauty may be in art, the artist is a man of his own times, and that the present historical moment was one in which self-indictment acquired a special meaning and an indefeasible right and hence must manifest itself in literature.

The time would come when Tolstoy's own views on literature for the people would radically change, but at the moment he had reached a point of despair and thought of abandoning literature forever. To scribble stories was stupid and shameful, he told A. A. Fet in a burst of enthusiastic confidence when he learned that this poet was thinking of settling on an estate near him and subordinating literature to farming. Literary friends, learning of his intention to plunge into educational theory and start a school at Yasnaya Polyana, pleaded with him not to deprive Russia of his literary leadership. He answered that his new endeavours bore a direct connection with his retreat from literature. For whom did Russian authors write, he asked? For themselves and the cultured few. For masses of illiterate Russian peasants literature was useless. If they could not read his writings, then he would teach them. This, he declared, was the first and essential step toward the creation of a "literature for the people." Here was a purpose that would satisfy his thirst for activity and moral influence.

When Tolstoy opened his school in the autumn of 1859 in a single room of his large manor house at Yasnaya Polyana, free education for peasant children did not exist in Russia. Occasionally, a village would boast of a priest or an ex-soldier who taught a few children at so much per head. The subjects were elementary, the method a mixture of blows and learning by heart, and the results negligible. This situation Tolstoy wished to remedy by substituting public education based on entirely original pedagogical methods.

With half a year of highly successful teaching behind him, it was almost inevitable that Tolstoy should find himself bedevilled in a maze of speculation on pedagogy and obsessed with schemes for improving national education. In March, 1860, he wrote to a friend, E. P. Kovalevsky, brother of the Minister of National Education, of his efforts and mentioned that he already had fifty students and that the number was growing.

"Wisdom in all worldly affairs it seems to me," he continued, "consists not in recognizing what must be done but in knowing what to do first and then what comes after."

He boldly questioned the value to progress in Russia of roads, the telegraph, literature, and the arts, as long as only about one per cent of some seventy millions of people were literate. As a remedy he proposed the establishment of a Society of National Education. Among its duties would be setting up public schools where they were most needed, designing courses of instruction, training teachers in suitable educational methods, and publishing a journal devoted to the dissemination of the society's pedagogical ideals.

Tolstoy received no official encouragement for his proposed program, but from the evidence of fragments of pedagogical essays at this time it is obvious that he had begun to think out his own course of instruction. In one fragment, entitled " On the Problems of Pedagogy ," he wrote:

"For every living condition of development, there is a pedagogical expediency, and to search this out is the problem of pedagogy."

Aware that he was trying, without sufficient knowledge, to handle large abstract concepts of educational theory, which in Russia were entirely dominated by Western European influence, he went abroad in 1860 to study them at the source. A full account of this effort reveals how thoroughly he pursued his objective. He visited schools and participated in classroom work in Germany, France, and England; he talked with teachers and leading educational theorists in these countries; and he collected and studied quantities of textbook samples and read numerous foreign treatises on education. After visiting schools at Kissingen, he jotted down in his diary:

"It is terrible! Prayers for the king; blows; everything by rote; terrified, beaten children."

Another entry shortly after:

"The idea of experimental pedagogy agitates me. I can scarcely contain myself...."

And in still a third entry, after reading Montaigne, he wrote:

"In education, once more, the chief things are equality and freedom."

Julius Froebel, nephew of Friedrich Froebel the celebrated educational reformer and founder of the kindergarten system, has left an interesting account of his discussion with Tolstoy:

" 'Progress in Russia,' he told me, 'must come out of public education, which among us will give better results than in Germany, because the Russian masses are not yet spoiled by false education."'

Tolstoy went on to inform him of his own school in which learning was in no sense obligatory.

"'If education is good,' he said, 'then the need for it will manifest itself like hunger."'

And Froebel also relates that Tolstoy spoke of the Russian masses as a "mysterious and irrational force," from which one day would emerge an entirely new organization of the world, and said that from the Russian artel would develop in the future a communistic structure.

This report reflects the proud, dogmatic, almost arrogant attitude that Tolstoy adopted toward European personalities he met on this educational study trip. While sincerely seeking knowledge, he invariably made it clear that he belonged to no school of thought, had his own point of view on most questions, and that Europeans did not understand the real failings of their civilization.

From his visits to the schools of Marseille, Tolstoy took away a gloomy impression of the futility of the subjects taught and the lifeless, unimaginative methods of teaching them. On the other hand, when he talked with workers and children on the streets, he found them intelligent, free-thinking, and surprisingly well informed, but with no thanks to their schooling.

This situation led him to conclude in a later account of these experiences, in an article entitled " On National Education ":

"Here is an unconscious school undermining a compulsory school and making its contents almost of no worth.... What I saw in Marseille and in all other countries amounts to this: everywhere the principal part in educating a people is played not by schools, but by life."

This is the kind of characteristic half-truth that Tolstoy was fond of deducing from incomplete experience, and it became an important factor in his educational theorizing. But even half-truths that blasted away the hard shell of traditional and erroneous thinking on vital social problems had their value for him.

Tolstoy returned to Russia in the spring of 1861. He erected a three-room schoolhouse at Yasnaya Polyana, and, with several teachers employed to assist him in the instruction, he worked for the next year and a half with self-sacrificing zeal on theoretical and practical problems of education. He expounded his theories and described his practice in twelve extensive articles and a series of notes published in a magazine he founded called Yasnaya Polyana, the issues of which appeared between February, 1862, and March, 1863. Teachers and students also contributed to the magazine. Much of what follows here is based upon Tolstoy's articles, which for that time were quite original in substance but often weakened by perverse and exasperatingly dogmatic reasoning. Though truth was his sole aim, he occasionally forgot that his sweeping generalizations were based on limited experience with his own little school and on the efforts of unique students and a unique teacher. A persistent scepticism was the trade secret of his thinking in educational matters as in other fields of human endeavour.

Over the door of the school Tolstoy placed the inscription: " Enter and Leave Freely ." Perhaps he was thinking, by way of contrast, of Dante's inscription over hell: " Abandon Hope, All Ye who Enter Here ," which he would hardly have hesitated to place above the entrance to most European schools he had visited. Certainly the atmosphere of his own school convinced the children that education was a precious and joyous heritage.

Tolstoy believed that all education should be free and voluntary. He supported the desire of the masses for education, but he denied that the government or any other authority had the right to force it upon them. The logic of things, and his study of the operation of compulsory education abroad, convinced him that in this form it was an evil. Pupils should come to learn of their own accord, for if education were a good, it would be found as necessary as the air they breathed. If people were antagonistic, then the will of the people should become the guiding factor. Tolstoy's faith in the " will of the people ," even though the people might oppose commonly accepted notions of progress, contained the seeds of his later anarchism, and was a direct slap at radical reformers who would uplift the masses against their will.

Tolstoy also believed that education should answer the needs of the masses, but his conception of their needs had nothing in common with that of contemporary progressive thinkers. Nor did he have any patience with the widespread pedagogical conviction that education should mould the character and improve the morals of students. These were matters for family influence, he declared, and the teacher had no right to introduce his personal moral standards or social convictions into the sanctity of the home. In public education he was concerned primarily with peasants, the vast majority of the population. But he was not bent on elevating them above their class by the power of education (a definite evil in his eyes); he was concerned with making them better, more successful, and happier peasants.

In this context the individualistic direction of Tolstoy's thought was apparent. The assumption of civilization's progress in Macaulay, Buckle, and especially in Hegel, he firmly rejected. For some time opposition between the good of the individual and the good of society had been troubling him. He was already developing a philosophy hostile to the pragmatic ideal that progress could be achieved only by social education of the people through the medium of democracy. Progress was personal, he felt, and not social. Education must serve the individual and not society, for the individual's capacity to serve humanity was what gave meaning to life. Yet he did not appear to see the contradiction in his rejection of the whole modern concept of progress. He would teach the peasant child what he needed, but what he needed was often conditioned by the social system in which he lived.

In his article " On National Education " Tolstoy defined education as "a human activity based on desire for equality and a constant tendency or urge to advance in knowledge." Education, he asserted, was history and therefore had no final aim. Its only method was experience; its only criterion, freedom.

Tolstoy attempted to realize in practice even the more extreme aspects of his educational philosophy. Since he believed that the functioning of a school must be adapted to the peculiar conditions of the pupils, he conceded that his own village school might well be the worst possible model for those elsewhere. Attendance was non-compulsory and free to all. Classes ordinarily ran from eight o'clock to noon and then from three o'clock to six, but, as Tolstoy proudly wrote a friend, the students often continued an hour or more beyond closing time,

"because it is impossible to send the children away — they beg for more."

During the morning, elementary and advanced reading were taught, composition, penmanship, grammar, sacred history, Russian history, drawing, music, mathematics, natural sciences, and religion; in the afternoon there were experiments in physical sciences and lessons in singing, reading, and composition. No consistent order was followed, however, and lessons were lengthened or omitted according to the degree of interest manifested by the students. On Sundays the teachers met to talk over the work and lay out plans for the following week. But there was no obligation to adhere to any plan, and each teacher was placed entirely upon his own. For a time they kept a common diary in which were set down with merciless frankness their failures as well as their successes.

Originality was the guiding spirit. Freedom ruled, but never to the extent of anarchy. When Tolstoy purposely left the room in the middle of a lesson to test the behaviour of his students, they did not break into an uproar as he had observed was the case in similar circumstances in classrooms he visited abroad. When he left, the students were enjoying complete freedom, and hence they behaved as though he were still in the room. They corrected or praised each other's work, and some-times they grew entirely quiet. Such results, he explained, were natural in a school where the pupils were not obliged to attend, to remain, or to pay attention.

Tolstoy insisted that only in the absence of force and compulsion could natural relations be maintained between teacher and pupils. The teacher defined the limits of freedom in the classroom by his knowledge and capacity to manage. And the pupils, Tolstoy wrote, should be treated as reasoning and reasonable beings; only then would they find out that order was essential and that self-government was necessary to preserve it. If pupils were really interested in what was being taught, he declared, disorder would rarely occur, and when it did, the interested students would compel the disorderly ones to pay attention.

The successful functioning of such a school demanded unusual ability on the part of the teacher. Tolstoy admitted this, and justly claimed for himself a certain pedagogic tact. Always in his mind was the pupil's convenience in learning and not the teacher's in teaching. He argued that there was no best method in teaching a subject; the best method was that which the teacher happened to know best. That method was good which when introduced did not necessitate an increase of discipline, and that which required greater severity was bad. The method should develop out of the exigencies of a given problem in teaching, and it should please the pupils instead of the teacher. In short, teaching, according to Tolstoy, could not be described as a method; it was a talent, an art. Finality and perfection were never achieved in it; development and perfecting continued endlessly.

In this free atmosphere of student-dominated learning, certain traditional subjects were resisted in a manner that led Tolstoy to doubt their ultimate usefulness and to question the desirability of teaching them to youngsters. Grammar was such a subject. Although his emphasis in instruction favoured analysis, the kind involved in grammar put the students to sleep. To write correctly and to correct mistakes made by others gave his pupils pleasure, but this was only true when the process was unrelated to grammar. After much experimentation with teaching the subject, he concluded in an article in Yasnaya Polyana that

"grammar comes of itself as a mental and not unprofitable gymnastic exercise, and language — to write with skill and to read and understand — also comes of itself."

In the pages of his educational magazine, Tolstoy provides vivid accounts, filled with all the charm of his realistic art, of daily life at the school. On a cold winter morning the bell would ring. Children would run out into the village street. There was no lagging on the way, no urge to play the truant. Each child was eager to get there first. The pupils carried nothing in their hands, no homework books or exercises. They had not been obliged to remember any lesson. They brought only themselves, their receptive natures, and the certainty that it would be as jolly in school that day as it had been the day before.

At the end of a lesson Tolstoy would announce that it was time to eat and play, and, challenging them to race him out-doors, he would leap downstairs, three or four steps at a time, followed by a pack of screaming laughing children. Then he would face them in the snow and they would clamber over his back, desperately striving to pull him down. He was more like an older brother to them and they responded to his efforts with devotion and tireless interest. Their close, even tender, relations are touchingly reflected in one of the magazine articles. He describes how, after school, he accompanies several of the pupils home on a moonless winter night by a roundabout way through the woods, entertaining them with tales of Caucasian robbers and brave Cossacks. The youngest, a ten-year-old boy, furtively clasps two of his teacher's fingers during the most fearful part of a story. At the end of the narration, by one of those quick transitions of children, an older pupil suddenly asks why do they have to learn singing at school? "What is drawing for?" Tolstoy rhetorically asks, puzzled for the moment about how to explain the usefulness of art. "Yes, why draw figures?" - another queries. "What is a lime tree for?" a third asks. At once all begin to speculate on these questions, and the fact emerges that not everything exists for use, that there is also beauty, and that art is beauty

"It feels strange to repeat what we said then," Tolstoy writes, "but it seems to me that we said all that can be said about utility, and plastic and moral beauty."

The ten-year-old was the last of the group to be delivered to his home. He still clung to Tolstoy's hand, out of gratitude it seemed, and as he entered the miserable thatched hut of his poverty-stricken parents, in which his father and the drunken village tailor were gambling, the lad said pathetically:

"Good-by! Let us always have talks like this!"

Tolstoy ended this account in his article by meditating on the age-old question of the moral and practical utility of educating the masses. The cultured, he wrote, would remonstrate: Why give these poor peasant children the knowledge that will make them dissatisfied with their class and their lot in life? But such a peasant boy, concluded Tolstoy, addressing the upper class,

"needs what your life of ten generations unoppressed by labor has brought to you. You had the leisure to search, to think, to suffer — then give him that for which you suffered; this is what he needs. You, like the Egyptian priest, conceal yourself from him by a mysterious cloak, you bury in the earth the talent given to you by history. Do not fear: nothing human is harmful to man. Do you doubt yourself? Surrender to the feeling and it will not deceive you. Trust in his [the peasant boy's] nature, and you will be convinced that he will take only that which history commanded you to give him, that which you have earned by suffering."

The question of art and its relation to his young peasant pupils interested Tolstoy. With his customary freshness, attention to detail, and marvellous power of direct vision he discussed the subject in one of his most remarkable articles, " Who Should Teach Whom to Write, We the Peasant Children or the Peasant Children Us ?" It was inspired by an exciting experience in composition in his school. Themes on the usual subjects, such as descriptions of a forest, a pig, or a table, drove the children to tears. Tolstoy then suggested that they write a story on peasant life, to illustrate a proverb. The pupils found this difficult too, but one boy proposed that Tolstoy write the story himself, in competition with them. He composed several pages and then was interrupted by Fedka, who climbed on the back of his chair and read over his shoulder. Tolstoy explained the plot of the story and the boys immediately became interested. They criticized what had been done and suggested different ways of continuing. Fedka took the leading part in this discussion and surprised Tolstoy by his imagination and sense of proportion, important qualities in every art. Tolstoy set to work to write to the dictation of his pupils Syomka and Fedka, who angrily rejected superfluous details offered by others and eventually took command of the situation. The rest of the boys went home.

Tolstoy described how he and his two pupils worked feverishly from seven in the evening till eleven. Neither hunger nor weariness bothered them. In his account of their collective effort, he gave a number of convincing examples of the artistic rightness and fitness of details, descriptions, and selection that the boys argued and insisted upon. They drew from their experience of village life and characters; and they were nearly always right. Tolstoy was tremendously excited and admitted that he had felt such a strong emotion only two or three times in his life. He was amazed at his discovery of such artistic and creative powers in two peasant lads who could scarcely read or write, and it seemed almost offensive that he, a nationally known author, was virtually unable to instruct these eleven-year-old pupils in his art.

The next day, and still a third day, they continued the story with equal enthusiasm. Then the work was interrupted because Tolstoy had to go away for a few days. During his absence a craze for making popguns out of paper swept the school and the unfinished manuscript of the story was unwittingly sacrificed to this childish diversion. When Tolstoy discovered the loss upon his return, he was deeply chagrined. Fedka and Syomka, aware of his keen disappointment, offered to reproduce the tale themselves. They came after school one evening at nine o'clock and locked themselves in his study. Tolstoy listened at the door and heard them laughing. Then all grew quiet, except for subdued voices discussing the story, and the scratching of a pen. At midnight he knocked and was admitted. Fedka still had a few more sentences to dictate to Syomka, who stood at the large table busily writing, his lines running crookedly across the paper and his pen constantly stabbing at the inkpot. At last Tolstoy took the copybook. After a merry supper of potatoes and kvas, the boys lay down on their sheepskin coats under the writing table, and until sleep over-took them, their healthy, childish laughter rang through the room.

Tolstoy read the story over and found it very similar to the original draft. Some new details had been added, but the tale contained the same truth, measure, and feeling for beauty of the first version. Under the title of the Russian proverb, " The Spoon Feeds, but the Handle Sticks in the Eye ," he printed it, with very few changes, in his pedagogical magazine.

From this unusual experiment in composition Tolstoy drew some interesting conclusions. He declared that nearly all contemporary art was intended for people of leisure and artificial training and was therefore useless to the masses, whose demand for art was more legitimate. He dismissed with some vexation the stale notion that in order to understand and appreciate the beautiful a certain amount of preparation was necessary.

"Who said this?" he asked in his magazine account of the writing of the story. "Why? What proves it? It is only a dodge, a loophole to escape from the hopeless position to which the false direction of our art, produced for one class alone, has led us. Why are the beauty of the sun, of the human face, the beauty of the sounds of a folk song, and of deeds of love and self-sacrifice accessible to everyone, and why do they demand no preparation? "

Tolstoy's position was no doubt extreme, and there was also considerable exaggeration in his unqualified praise of the literary ability of his pupils, who were unquestionably inspired by his own artistic interests. Yet such schoolboy efforts helped to teach him the fundamental truth that the need to enjoy and serve art was inherent in every human being, and that this need had its right and should be satisfied.

Although the Society for National Education that Tolstoy projected found no support among government officials, his school was not without its influence. After the emancipation of the serfs, the government encouraged them to open their own schools. Peasants in the Tula district, where Yasnaya Polyana was situated, appealed to Tolstoy for teachers, and he willingly suggested a number. By 1862 there were no less than thirteen village schools in his area, and their teachers were all zealous disciples of Tolstoy's pedagogical approach. They caught from him a devotion and enthusiasm in what was essentially a pioneering venture. Living like peasants in the dirty, stuffy huts where they held their classes, and using tables for blackboards, they worked from seven in the morning until late at night. At first, like Tolstoy, they had to overcome the ignorant suspicions of peasant fathers and mothers who distrusted these newfangled methods of teaching and were alarmed because their children were not regularly beaten by the masters. But the fact that they were entirely free to send them to school or take them out overcame resistance. Finally, the happiness of the youngsters and their obvious progress in so short a time eventually won the parent's complete confidence in the system.

In a brief note " To the Public " that introduced his pedagogical magazine, Tolstoy eagerly invited criticism. Much of it was hostile and unconstructive, and particularly that which came from progressive thinkers of the time. He was called a " pedagogical nihilist " and his experiment was castigated as a complete overthrow of educational order and discipline. In a few periodicals, however, several teachers, weary of slavish Russian devotion to foreign models in pedagogy, bravely encouraged the less extreme aspects of his school. But, in general, his efforts failed to inspire enthusiastic acceptance among educators. His principle of freedom for both teachers and pupils was too radical a demand for even the most progressive theorists.

Worse still, in the eyes of critics, was Tolstoy's conviction that his educational ideas amounted to a revolt against established opinion in the name of healthy common sense. More-over, he scorned scientific exposition in his articles and used the simple and forceful prose of which he was a master. If he had elected to write treatises on experimental pedagogy in the accepted trade jargon, buttressed with elaborate footnotes and well-chosen citations from approved authorities, he would doubtless have gained a hearing, even if an unfavourable one.

As a matter of fact, certain government officials regarded Tolstoy's activities in education with dark suspicion. In October, 1862, the Minister of the Interior wrote to the Minister of National Education to complain about the harmful aspects of the pedagogical magazine. He pointed out that its general direction and spirit perverted the fundamental values of religion and morality, and he suggested that the censor's attention should be specifically directed toward correcting the situation.

In part, the fears of the Minister of the Interior were correct: Tolstoy's educational articles did call into question the whole contemporary concept of morality. His extremely radical position represented a danger not only to the whole foundation of educational practice, but to the authority of the State. The freedom that he advocated seemed to verge on rebellion, and children educated in this spirit would hardly grow up with proper reverence for those institutions of tsarist government that had been infested by corruption and oppression. His educational philosophy would place the human worth and well-being of the individual above the well-being of the State. In short, the spirit of Christian anarchy that Tolstoy was later to preach so openly and eloquently had already crept into his thinking. For in his educational articles he condemned the false morality of government and society, their despotism, the use of force, and the belief in the legality of punishment. And he frankly stated his belief that the masses could exist without the educated classes, and hence without government, but that the educated classes could not exist without the masses.

Because of his marriage, various discouragements, and a suddenly renewed interest in fiction writing, Tolstoy abandoned his school and the pedagogical magazine at the end of 1862. But his concern for the education of the young, which soon revived when his own children came along, remained with him for the rest of his life, as frequent references to it in letters and in his diary indicate. For example, in 1872 he published his first ABC Book, in which, he said, he had put more work and love than in anything else he had done. It contained a complete curriculum for beginning pupils. There are sections on reading and writing, with drawings, exercises, and various typographical devices to aid in spelling and pronunciation; there are also sections on natural sciences and arithmetic. He realized the importance of effective examples and exercises, and his selections are original and often reveal rare artistic taste. The frame of reference is restricted by the limitations of the students and their daily lives.

"From the natural sciences," he wrote a friend, "I did not choose what may be found in books or anything that I by chance knew or what appeared to me necessary to know, but only that which was clear and beautiful, and when it seemed to me insufficiently clear and beautiful, I tried to express it in my own way."

Several of the stories used as examples in the ABC Book are entirely Tolstoy's own; others are drawn from various folk sources.

The ABC Book, based upon pedagogical theories that Tolstoy had developed and put into practice in his village school was designed, as he said, for the teacher who loved both his calling and his pupils. The work firmly eschews useless or erudite knowledge, or facts beyond the comprehension or experience of beginners. For the chief significance of teaching, he maintained, was not in the assimilation of a known quantity of information, but in awakening in students an interest in knowledge.

Tolstoy was sadly disappointed at the reception of the ABC Book, in which he had deliberately tried to avoid extremes in his theorizing. However, the innovations infuriated pedagogues, and a deluge of sharp, even vicious, reviews resulted. The reviewers charged that the work was an attack on accepted methods of instruction, that he had opposed to a pedagogical system of reason one of faith, to a system of science one of instinct and imagination, and to a system of conviction and ideas one of moral principles. Stubbornly he turned once again to teaching peasant children in his district, in order to demonstrate the methods he advocated in his ABC Book.

In 1873 an invitation from the Moscow Committee on Literacy to explain his educational system to them again aroused Tolstoy's conviction that he had a national public service to perform in education. One result of the meeting was a request to test his ideas on teaching, in several subjects, against the conventional methods employed in the schools. Two groups of Moscow children of similar ages and social backgrounds were provided. One of Tolstoy's experienced Yasnaya Polyana teachers instructed a group, and a teacher designated by the Moscow Committee on Literacy the other. At the conclusion of seven weeks of teaching, six members of the committee examined both groups of students. Although there was no unanimity among the examiners, a majority decided that the pupils taught by Tolstoy's opponent had excelled in all three subjects — reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Tolstoy felt that the test had failed to prove anything because it had been conducted under the worst possible conditions. And he submitted the article previously mentioned, " On National Education ," to the popular magazine, ' Notes of the Fatherland '. It is in the form of a letter addressed to the head of the Moscow Committee on Literacy. The article (September, 1874) is largely a reaffirmation of the views Tolstoy expressed in the pages of his own pedagogical magazine twelve years before. With ruthless dogmatism he condemns outright the phonetic and visual methods of teaching then used in Russian elementary schools. And those native teachers who burned incense to German pedagogical theory he sharply criticized for failing to understand or respect the educational needs of the Russian masses. All a teacher has to know, he declares, is what to teach and how to teach. To find out what to teach, one must go to the people, to the students and their parents. At present, he asserts, the people demand that their children learn how to read and write and to cipher. Until they demand something more, teachers have no right to teach more. As for how to teach, he sums it up in his old phrase: the only criterion for pedagogy is freedom, the only method is experience.

The article created a great stir among the public, infinitely more so than all of Tolstoy's publications on educational themes in the past. To be sure, the work was attractively written, but now it had also come from the pen of the famous author of ' war and peace ', and he had had the good sense to print it in a widely read periodical. In a real sense the effort suddenly made the public pedagogically minded and inspired a surprisingly large number of articles and letters in a variety of magazines. Although the experts, with few exceptions, vigorously attacked him, his views elicited widespread sympathetic response among laymen. After years of striving he at last had the satisfaction of knowing that his theories had reached the general public.

With such encouragement, Tolstoy felt impelled to try for further success. In February, 1875, he published his New ABC Book. It was shorter, cheaper, more practical, and as he remarked in the foreword, adaptable to any method of teaching. Here, too, he now won success, for the Ministry of National Education recommended the work. It was widely adopted by schools and ran into many large editions (100,000 copies were printed for the 1900 edition).

At the same time, Tolstoy published four children's Readers, which contained material taken mostly from his first ABC Book. The excellence and variety of the selections, the artistic simplicity of the narratives, and no doubt the inexpensive price gained an enormous market for these little books, and over the years they sold in tens of thousands.

Tolstoy's old dream seemed on the point of realization — he was beginning to exercise a pronounced influence on the course of elementary education in Russia. And the dream expanded. He wanted to take a prominent place in the larger field of national education, and he wrote to the minister to inquire whether the government would consider a detailed program that he was contemplating on instruction in the schools and another for training teachers. Although the reply was favourable, it was delayed so long that the impatient Tolstoy had already charged off in another direction. Breaking a rule he had set up for himself, he accepted election to the County Council and an appointment to its Education Committee.

One naturally thinks of the poet Matthew Arnold, inspector of schools in England at this time. With Arnold, however, the post was a means of livelihood and a most unpoetic business. Tolstoy, in his more restricted sphere, found a world of poetry in the work of inspecting local schools. He agitated with some success for inexpensive instruction in the district, and he launched his pet project of establishing at Yasnaya Polyana a teachers' training seminary, for he wished to train peasant teachers to take their place in the milieu in which they had grown up and to provide the kind of education for peasant children that would not instill in them alien desires or render them unfit for the performance of duties to which they would be called by their position in life. This was to be, he remarked, a " university in bast shoes ."

In 1874 the Ministry of Education approved Tolstoy's carefully prepared plan for a teachers' training seminary. And his request to the Tula government for financial assistance in return for a certain number of tuition teaching scholarships was granted. But for some unexplained reason, perhaps because educational centers in the Tula government did not favour the idea, only twelve candidates applied for the program. This poor showing discouraged Tolstoy and he refused to open his " university in bast shoes ." It was his last constructive effort to improve formal education in Russia. A long and arduous chapter in the history of Tolstoy's civic conscience had come to an end.

Despite hostility to Tolstoy's educational practices and writings during his lifetime, since then there has been a tendency to acclaim him a brilliant innovator and one of the most significant of educational reformers. Experimental schools in America and abroad have profited from the full accounts he left of his own experiences. His methods of teaching the alphabet and reading, his insistence on self-reliance by obliging students to do manual labor, and his belief that the child should be allowed as much freedom as possible in the classroom — these features of his system have had their influence in later progressive education. And one of his principal theses, that the school should always remain a kind of pedagogical laboratory to keep it from falling behind universal progress, has found wide acceptance as an educational premise.

In one respect it may be said that his first absorbing educational experiment between 1859 and 1862 fulfilled another purpose: the school at Yasnaya Polyana contributed as much to the historical development of Tolstoy as it had to the education of peasant children — it brought him back to the career of fiction writing. It was as though a kind of catharsis had been effected that once again left his mind and spirit free for artistic work.

For more audio journalism and storytelling, download New York Times Audio , a new iOS app available for news subscribers.

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Apple reportedly faces €500m fine from EU over music streaming access

Brussels to issue levy after Spotify complained about block on telling users about cheaper alternatives to app store, according to FT

Apple is reportedly facing a €500m fine from the EU over restrictions on access to music streaming services, in what would be a landmark blow to the US tech company.

The European Commission is investigating whether Apple blocked music streamers from telling users about cheaper ways to subscribe outside its app store where it takes a significant cut of revenues.

According to the Financial Times, Brussels plans to impose a fine of €500m (£427m), which would represent a landmark ruling against Apple after years of complaints from companies whose services are delivered via iPhone apps.

The Swedish streaming company Spotify filed a complaint with the EU in 2019, claiming that Apple limits choice and competition in its app store by charging a 30% fee on all purchases. Apple also prevented Spotify and other companies from informing customers on their phones that they could avoid the commission – and get a better deal – simply by signing up on Spotify’s website.

Apple says its fee is justified because it spends heavily on providing a secure app store, and provides Spotify with access to hundreds of millions of customers. However, Spotify argues that Apple’s own music streaming service, Apple Music, does not face the same extra cost, giving it an advantage and making the fees anti-competitive.

The European Commission will say Apple’s actions are illegal and go against the bloc’s rules that enforce competition in the single market, according to the FT, which cited five people close to the investigation. The commission could also reportedly ban the practice of blocking music services from advertising cheaper subscriptions outside the platform.

Apple has never faced a competition fine from the European Commission, although it received a €1.1bn fine from France in 2020 – subsequently revised down to around €370m on appeal – for anti-competitive agreements with two wholesalers.

However, it and other big tech companies are under increasing scrutiny over competition concerns. Google is appealing against fines of more than €8bn levied by the EU in three separate competition investigations. Apple defeated a lawsuit by the Fortnite developer Epic Games that claimed that the app store was an illegal monopoly, but Epic in December won a similar cases against Google , which operates the Android mobile phone software.

Last month, Apple said it would allow EU customers to download apps without going through its own app store, a response to the bloc’s Digital Markets Act. The law, the details of which were revealed last year, introduces new obligations for “gatekeepers” including Amazon, Google and Amazon who hold particularly powerful positions in controlling mobile phone software choices.

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The European Commission declined to comment. Apple did not provide fresh comment, but pointed to a previous statement saying it would respond to the commission’s concerns “while promoting competition and choice for European consumers”.

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    Download Template Learn more How to Write a Music Business Plan? Writing a music business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan: 1. Executive Summary An executive summary is the first section planned to offer an overview of the entire business plan.

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    Conduct Market Research Before starting a music store, it is crucial to conduct thorough market research. This will help you gather important information about the music industry, identify potential customers, understand their needs, and evaluate the feasibility of your business idea.

  10. Craft a Winning Musical Instrument Store Business Plan in 9 Steps!

    Resources On Musical Instrument Store Financial Model Business Plan Value Proposition One-Page Business Plan SWOT Canvas Are you considering starting a musical instrument store? You're not alone. The retail market for musical instruments is projected to reach $18.2 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.6% from 2020 to 2027.

  11. Music Business Plan: A Guide for Music Industry Professionals

    A music business plan is crucial for any music industry professional looking to launch or grow their business. It provides a snapshot of the current state of the business and lays out a clear growth plan for the next five years. This is essential for understanding where the business is at and setting achievable goals for the future.

  12. How to start a Musical Instrument Store Business

    Make a plan. Once you've decided that running a musical instrument store business is right for you, there are some key steps to take to get started. First, create a comprehensive plan that outlines how many instruments you would like to carry in your store, what types of instruments (guitars, drums etc.), how much inventory space is needed ...

  13. Sample Music Store Business Plan

    Mission Statement Business Structure Products and Services Startup Cost Sources of Capital Executive Summary Bubbling Music Store is a registered company that will be established very close to South Carolina University in the United States.

  14. How to write a business plan for a musical instrument repair shop?

    A business plan has 2 complementary parts: a financial forecast showcasing the expected growth, profits and cash flows of the business; and a written part which provides the context needed to judge if the forecast is realistic and relevant. Having an up-to-date business plan is the only way to keep visibility on your musical instrument repair ...

  15. Music Retail Business Plan

    1.1 Objectives To become the first place our target customers will go to sell and buy CDs. To create a strong DVD rental business. To increase blank media sales by 20% each year. 1.2 Mission Mojo Music's mission is to offer our target customers: The best quality popular used CDs at affordable prices. The most popular new CDs at the lowest prices.

  16. How to write a business plan for a music school?

    To create an effective business plan, you'll need to assess your current position (if you're already in business) and define where you want the business to be in the next three to five years. Once you have a clear destination for your music school, you'll have to:

  17. Music Shop Business Plan by BizPlanDB

    Each of our plans follows a 7 chapter format: Chapter 1 - Executive Summary - This part of the business plan provides an introduction for the business, showcases how much money is sought for the company, and acts as a guideline for reading the rest of the business plan. Chapter 2 - Financing Summary - The second section of the business plan showcases how you intend to use the financing for ...

  18. He won't let the music die

    Record store revenue in the United States, has declined 9% over the past five years to an estimated $1.1 billion in 2023, while the number of music shops has fallen 6% to 1,914, according to an ...


    Find company research, competitor information, contact details & financial data for BETA GIDA, OOO of Elektrostal, Moscow region. Get the latest business insights from Dun & Bradstreet.

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    From Introduction To Tolstoy's Writings by Ernest J Simmons (1968) At the end of Tolstoy's first literary period, before his marriage and the beginning of ' War and Peace ', disillusionment with literature and art turned his thoughts to problems of education. A series of experiments resulted in a collection of educational writings that are both ...

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  23. Musical Instrument Store Business Plan

    Hours Mon-Fri: 9-6 | Sat: 10-5. Grandma's Music is Albuquerque's largest musical instrument retailer, with over 13,500 sq. ft. This store is a pro shop that carries state-of-the-art technology within its pro audio department. Grandma's carries guitars, drums, sound reinforcement, pro audio, dj and general accessories.

  24. Apple reportedly faces €500m fine from EU over music streaming access

    Brussels to issue levy after Spotify complained about block on telling users about cheaper alternatives to app store, according to FT Apple is reportedly facing a €500m fine from the EU over ...

  25. PEKIN, Elektrostal

    Lenina Ave., 40/8, Elektrostal 144005 Russia +7 495 120-35-45 Website + Add hours Improve this listing.