Acoustic treatment entrepreneur and Creative Audio Production & Sound Engineering alumnus Jon Doig shares his top 10 tips for running a successful music business.
Acoustic treatment business Kiss Your Ears has become a household name for the city’s music producers. What started out as founder Jon Doig’s side hustle to support his Creative Audio Production & Sound Engineering studies at Catalyst, now boasts an impressive client list – including our tutors known as Kamikaze Space Programme and Cocktail Party Effect, previous guest lecturer Headless Horseman, and global stars like Peggy Gou.
Jon’s business model was simple: provide a high-quality, yet affordable, acoustic treatment service for music makers just like him. When Jon told us big things were coming in our 2019 interview, he wasn’t kidding. Kiss Your Ears enjoyed 400% annual growth until the pandemic. Jon also opened three other businesses, including a 65-strong collection of isolated and treated music studios in Berlin. His current mission: making a new range of Kiss Your Ears products available to the European market. So, what’s his secret to success?
Blazing a trail for music entrepreneurs in the making, Jon shared with us his modus operandi. Scroll down for his 10 essential tips to running a successful business in the music industry.
How to Build a Successful Music Business
- Timing is everything. Enough said.
- Be flexible as an ideology. Everything is connected holistically. Understand the structures that exist by always analysing the fundamentals.
- Take calculated risks. Business is risk. Do your homework! Don't assume that by understanding the trade that a technician does, that you have the ability to run a business doing that technical trade. The technician generally has no idea how to take the risks required to call it a business.
- Balance. Look after yourself. Look after others. Take down time, take alone time, take care of the important relationships in your life, eat well, exercise, and so on. I guess, even more importantly, one should deal with one's setbacks and traumas, etc., in order to free up the capacity to do great things.
- Pay what you have to pay and get it right from the start. Have an abundance mentality. Even regarding taxes.
- Think outside the box, but never stop studying the box. Real education begins when you leave the comfort zone of college or university. Do self-directed studies relentlessly.
- Be prepared to put in the work. My success in some areas comes from constant 12 to 16 hour long days of self-motivation, coupled with deeply analytical strategy. You have to be able to think as sharply 14 hours into your work day as you do with your first coffee in the morning. Throughout those long and high-octane days, always focus on being effective. There is always one thing on the to-do list, that by doing so, renders all other things less important or completely obsolete.
- Be consistent. Never flake. The music industry is an industry of humans, and nobody appreciates a flaky person when they are trying to do business.
- Never give up. You cannot lose if you never stop playing.
- Take advice from already successful entrepreneurs.