If you’ve been recording for some amount of time, then you’ve probably at least entertained the idea of getting paid to record someone. You may not think you’re good enough. You may not even think that it’s right to charge for your services.

But chances are you’ve at least considered the option of making money from your home studio. If so, then I have a recommendation for you. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again here.

You need to treat your home studio like a business.

Hang on, before you navigate away from the page, thinking to yourself that there’s no way you’d ever actually accept money for your work/music, hear me out.

You need to treat your home studio like a business, even if you have no intentions of making money with it.

Okay, Joe. You’re not making much sense. I know…but I’m getting there.

Why Do Businesses Exist?

It’s a simple question, right? Is the answer just as simple? You could answer “to make money,” and that wouldn’t be incorrect. However, there’s more to it than that.

Any business that is focused solely on making money and nothing else is doomed to fail.

Be honest, have you ever checked out those “Make Money Online With No Effort By Simply Using Google” scams out there? I have. They’re hilarious. Any business plan that claims to generate piles of cash with little or no effort is just silly.

When’s the last time you paid someone simply for existing? Exactly. People/businesses have to create value before they can ever expect anyone to give them money. When a business stops offering value, it then ceases to be a business.

What can we learn from businesses?

Answer: a lot.

A good business will have very specific and defined goals. It will center itself around those goals and assign tasks and jobs that will bring the company closer to them.

One of these goals? To make money, obviously. To be honest, one of my goals with Home Studio Corner is to make money. But it doesn’t begin or end there. I’ve set goals for myself to provide value to the thousands of you who are scouring the internet for good, helpful information on recording and audio.

I want to help people, and if I help enough people, a few of them might even want to pay me to train them further. Hence, the HSC Production Club, and other products/services I’ll be rolling out in 2010.

If I’m not helping people, then I might as well close up shop and go sit on the couch and watch Oprah.

So, we agree that businesses have goals, and we see that by having these goals and attacking them strategically, they are oftentimes able to achieve them.

Put on your entreprenurial hat.

Whether you want to make money with your studio or not is irrelevant. You should have goals, and you should be working hard towards achieving them. Maybe your goal is to mix one song a month for a year. Great! Do it.

Your goals can be loftier or simpler. It doesn’t matter. But if you don’t have ANY goals, you’re stuck.

So, 539 words later, I get to my main point. 🙂 You should be reading business books.

Read them with your studio in mind, and I bet you’ll come up with ideas you never even considered before. Perhaps you WILL begin to make money with your studio. Or maybe you’ll simply develop better habits and more effective ways of accomplishing things in your studio.

Either way, I can’t imagine that time spent learning about business and even personal development wouldn’t be good for everyone. I recently picked up Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe. Great stuff. It’s giving me all sorts of ideas for both HSC and my home studio.

So, here’s to expanding our horizons!

Thoughts? Leave a comment below!

[Photo by Lin Pernille ♥ Photography]

  • Gary Gray

    Great article. I just released the second edition of my book, “The Home Studio Bible.” I’m a voting member of the Grammy Academy and the foreword of the book is written by Aaron Davison, Founder of HowToLicenseYourMusic.com http://www.TheHomeStudioBible.com

  • Samwilsono2

    Guys chkout http://www.theBillionairesBrain.com, you’ll like this..

  • You must follow some thing so that’s why you have to be capable by study the book it make clear to you.

  • Ox

    Another good book that is directed at the studio business is Mitch Gallagher’s “Studio Business Book”. It is pretty thorough and deals directly with the subject. The “Studio Business Book” is written in a style and tone very similiar to a lot of Joe’s posts. Definately two thumbs up!

  • Another advantage I recently thought of for those of us who set up a part-time side-business for our studios: gear-purchases & taxes. If you’re running your studio as a business, even if you make almost nothing each year, so long as you’re filing/reporting revenue each tax quarter…you can write off tax on your gear-purchases. So not only does running your studio as a business help you improve for yourself and your own tracks, and help you want to bring value to others, it can actually save you some money here and there (though presumably you’ll also be spending money to grow the business if it takes off as a larger thing).

  • YAY! old comments form!

    Which business books do you recommend?

    • Hmm…anything from Seth Godin, for starters. There’s a guy named Dan Miller who wrote No More Mondays which is great. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. All of the “One Minute” books, One-Minute Salesperson, One-Minute Manager, to name a few.

      And yes, old comment form has resurrected.

      • If I may make a suggestion, I really liked RUTHLESS SELF-PROMOTION IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY by Jeffrey Fisher.

    • Think and Grow Rich By: Napoleon Hill
      Good to Great By: Jim Collins
      The E-Myth By: Michael E. Gerber
      How to Win Friends & Influence People By: Dale Carnegie
      Never Eat Alone By: Keith Ferrazzi
      Tribes: By Seth Goden
      7 Habits of Highly Effective People By: Stephen R. Covey
      21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership By: John C. Maxwell

      Reading about business WILL help in the creating, shaping, and running of your business….

      • Awesome list. There are a couple I haven’t heard of. Thanks Alex!

  • Joe is right…it can never hurt to treat your studio like a business. It will help you focus on your strengths and identify your weaknesses. Then if/when you want to do this for a living or go part time, you will be ready. Great post Joe.