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21 June 2011

So You Want to Start a Business…

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Starting a business from scratch can be daunting. The most important tenet to remember is that you don’t have to embark upon this adventure alone. Others have gone before you and are happy to share the knowledge they have gained along the way.

This blog kicks off a series called “Business 101”. The purpose of this series is to share the business startup experiences of Eclectic Verve, LLC. We are not providing legal or financial advice – just sharing resources, information and opinions. Obviously, since our business is a band, some information will be band-specific. However, much of the information we will share applies to any type of business.

Following are suggestions that you might find useful as you research how to set up your business:

One:
Get to know your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) affiliated with the American Small Business Development Center (ASBDC). The ASBDC network is funded through federal, state and local governments as well as educational institutions and the private sector. They offer free business counseling and low cost training. In the Denver metro area, check out the following links: Colorado SBDC PortalDenver Metro Chamber of CommerceSouth Metro Denver Chamber of CommerceColorado SBDC Locations. If these locations aren’t convenient, search for a location in your area.

Two:
Thoroughly analyze the different business and tax structures that are open to you – from sole proprietorship to corporation and all the other choices in between. Note your business structure may be different than your tax structure. Solicit guidance from a CPA, lawyer, and your local SBDC. Garner advice by reading books on the topic. Ask your business owner friends and neighbors what business structure they chose and why. This is a BIG decision. Make sure you’re clear on all the choices and the pros/cons of each before settling on a business structure and a tax structure.

Three: Band-Specific
Read the book The Indie Band Survival Guide by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan. This is a veritable treasure trove of information regarding anything band – from website development to copyrights to branding. The guide is written by two people who have “day jobs” (vs. being full-time musicians) and have also established a fairly successful band called Beatnik Turtle. If you’re an indie musician, I highly recommend you buy this book!  They also have a blog for on-going information for Indie Bands.