What You Can Learn From A Failed Studio Owner
In my last article, I talked about what it takes to quit your job. Some people quickly took that to heart and emailed me their plans to quit their day job…and start their studio with loans, credit card debt, and loads of other terrible ideas.
Let’s take a look at what happens when you decide to just say “fuck it–I’ll start a business on a credit card.”
(watch the video before reading on)
5 Things You Should Have In Place Before Quitting Your Job
Now let’s look at what things you need in place before you can realistically look at leaving your day job to pursue your audio career full time.
1. No Consumer Debt
Consumer debt is pretty much any sort of debt except for a home mortgage and student loan debt. This would include auto loans, credit card debt, personal loans, and payday/title loans (don’t even get me started on those).
This type of debt will eat away at your savings at an alarming rate, shortening whatever little runway you have for your studio.
While it sucks to pay off debt and save money, it doesn’t suck as much as putting your family through bankruptcy (or worse).
Some seasons of life are going to suck, and paying off debt is never a fun season of life. The thing that can get you through this tough season is having a plan in place with a goal attached to it.
Quitting your job to start your studio can be a great goal to work towards, if you have these other things in place…
This leads into number 2…
2. Six Months of Runway (at least)
This simply means you have six months of savings in place so that ALL your bills and payments are taken care of for up to 6 months, even if you don’t make a single dollar.
If you ask most home studio owners, it took them more than 6 months of working before they reached their first $5k in earnings.
According to a poll I recently on The Six Figure Home Studio Facebook Community, it took most people 2+ years to make their first $5k. Although those numbers are heavily skewed by part timers and side hustlers, it’s important to understand that you likely will not be profitable from day 1…or 30….or 180.
Having a stash of cash to fall back on is going to give you the best chance for success. Otherwise, you’ll likely be forced to give up before you’ve given yourself a fair chance.
3. A Solid List of Past Clients
Don’t ever assume “if you build it, they will come.”
This is a HIGHLY competitive field of work, and it’s highly dependant on past relationships. If you’re going to make the shift to full time, take it slow.
Do it on the side for a while so you can build up your skills, abilities, and relationships with clients.
Don’t forget that every single happy client you have is a walking, talking billboard for your studio. The more of these people you have, the better your chances of success once you go full time.
4. The Support Of Your Significant Other
While you never want to shape your life after other people’s expectations, you absolutely need the support of your significant other if you’re going to do this full time.
Having that person on your team that you can turn to during tough times is going to be crucial to you.
What you don’t want is a nagging voice in your ear every single day. This will do nothing more than drain your motivation and stress you out.
If your significant other is on the fence about you going full, it’s time to sit down and have a calm conversation.
Present your plan of attack, and logically plan out what this transition would look like for both of you.
This leads to number 5…
5. Have A Solid Plan In Place
The last thing you want to do is to be like this Redditor and just say “fuck it, I’ll start my business on a credit card.”
While you don’t need a full blown business plan in place, it’s a good idea to plan out the numbers ahead of time.
What are your monthly business expenses for the first year? What are your monthly personal expenses for the first year?
What do you expect your monthly income to be? How do you expect to find the amount of clients to reach that income number?
What’s your re-assessment date? When will you step back to take a look at the big picture and decide if you can realistically keep going?
What’s your “kill point?” This would be a number your bank account reaches where you have no choice but to give up and move on. By the way, this number should not be zero.
At Least He Can Say He Tried
At the end of the day, this guy can always say he gave it a shot. Who knows, maybe he’ll give it another go in the future.
Maybe he’s an extremely talented engineer who just needs the business knowledge in place in order to truly excel. If that’s the case, I hope he finds this website and gives it another shot!
As for you, your unfair advantage is that you’ve already found The Six Figure Home Studio. You’re starting to get the full picture of what it takes to be successful.
It’s more than just the technical details of recording.
Increase Your Chances Of Success
Whether you’re trying to do this as a “side hustle” for a bit of extra cash, or you’re trying to do this full time, the business skills needed are the same.
Don’t fall into the trap of “Oh shit, I can’t charge for recording until I buy X, Y, and Z for my studio.”
It doesn’t take much to get started. Even if you have a 2 channel $100 interface, you can work with people on demo projects part time while you build your client list and hone your skills.
Download my PDF The Lean Home Studio if you want a quick guide to starting your studio on a small budget.