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Allocating the Duties

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Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.

If you’re the leader of your band (I imagine you are because you’re reading this), you can’t force your members to do business duties they really don’t want to do. Evaluate everyone’s strengths and get them to do the jobs that they enjoy doing. Yes, everyone needs to contribute to the project more than musically, but don’t put the guy who flunked algebra and studied botany in college in charge of your finances. Don’t have the guy with a Nokia phone in charge of managing your social media.

Bands that really succeed don’t just work their asses off in rehearsal, they have their act together in every other business aspect of their project.
+The Delusional Musician (coming soon)

Have the guy who’s great at graphic design create your posters and website. Put the guy who hates math, but wants to learn video editing in charge of creating all of your video blogs. Put your Apple fan boy and early adapter in charge of social media and web innovation.
+It Doesn’t Take A Web Genius

There will always be more work than just you can handle. There will always be more work than even all the members of your band can handle. Spreading the work around will reduce stress levels and animosities.

Naturally one band member will fall into the role of leader. I’m assuming this person is you. You need to call a band meeting to discuss which duties need to be allocated. Ask your band members to choose duties they feel comfortable taking on. You can’t just assign these duties because they may hate their job and blame you. If they choose their job then they’re the only person to blame.

Naturally, most of the time they won’t do their jobs as thoroughly as you are doing yours (or so you think) and before a giant explosion happens you should address how you’re going to make sure the work gets done. This is extremely difficult in any company except the problem in your situation is you can’t fire them if they’re not pulling their weight.

Sometimes certain band members will never pull their weight with their business duties, but if they bring an invaluable element to the band then you need to work around this. If you’re handling all of the business for your group and you don’t have a manager then maybe consider proposing to your band that to take on all of the additional work on your own you will take an additional 10% off the top of the gross income for the “manager’s fee.” This will only work if everyone is ok with this. This will help you feel like you are being compensated for the additional work you do and will get the other members off the hook from your nagging.
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That is not the best route, though. The best possible situation is having every band member equally pull their weight with the business duties and having one leader to maintain the vision and allocate duties.

Until you have a team of people working for you (or your label), you will need to put in the effort with the business. It will never truly ever stop. Because we’re in the age of social media and fan interaction, you will always need to partake in tedious ‘business’ duties you probably don’t really care to do. But if you work exceptionally hard early on, eventually you’ll be able to pass off the bulk of these duties and concentrate solely on what it’s all about: the music.

About the Author

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.

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