A Sound Investment

Here's a step-by-step guide to building your own home studio and tips on turning a profit

and sell goods to each other. Another organization, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), sponsors the Foundation Songwriters Workshops, a program that allows songwriters to play their songs before a panel of music publishers, producers and executives-another great way to meet other enthusiasts.

  • Get help. You can’t do it all, so get others to support your effort. For example, recruit college interns by posting ads on school bulletin boards. Interns can assist you with answering phones, cleaning, repairing, management, billing and booking sessions. Also, try placing "free" ads on the Internet in the classified sections of search engines.
  • Stay informed. Mix Magazine, a publication that features information on commercial and project studio recording, concert sound, audio for film and video, is one way to help you upgrade your skills, keep abreast of new products and ensure you continue to offer quality services at a competitive price. ASCAP (www.ascap.com) recommends This Business of Music by Sidney Shemel and M. William Krasilovsky (Watson-Guptill Publications, $29.95) and All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman (Simon & Schuster, $27.50). Also refer to the product catalogs of music outfitters on a regular basis.
  • Build your clientele. The best place to get customers for your home-based business is close to home. Although your advertisements in publications, the Yellow Pages and on the Internet may drum up some business, your final product will be your best commercial. Provide your clients with exceptional service, and you’ll secure lifelong customers. Also, let your community know about your production capabilities and invite your neighbors to see your space and listen to your demos. Says Johnston, "Until recently, I never had business cards. The cassette that came out of the studio was our advertisement."
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