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"The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984344 11/08/01 10:10 PM
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bdbklyn Offline OP
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One of the topics I would like to get rolling with, is how to transition from the engineering rill into the roll as studio operator/ownership.
It was one of the more difficult things that I've ever had to do. I had the advantage of working in a few "world class' studios and knew most of the procedures, forms and redundacy needed to operate an effective and efficient business. There was however, quite a learning curve in tying it all together by myself. I found myself at times being effective and not efficient and at other times, the reverse.
There are a lot of topics to cover. This thread could get pretty long winded. Perhaps any replies to specific topics could be posted as a new thread by the contributor?


1. How to schedule.
2. How to invoice
3. How to collect
4. Booking confirmations / deal memos
5. Promotion
6. Staffing your facility
7. How and when to buy new equipment?
8. Legalizing your business
9. Client's tapes, drives and equipment, your liability.
10. How to stay current and adapt in a changing marketplace
11. How to find your niche
12 How to get organized and organize others

Do you have any additional ideas?


Bill


Studio Guru
Re: "The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984345 11/09/01 01:17 AM
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Bill,
A most excellent & timely thread.

13. Security - Physical, data, records (offsite backup?) etc.
14. Tax compliance

I've added my 2 pence worth.

Thanks,

NYC Drew

Re: "The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984346 11/09/01 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by NYC Drew:
Bill,
A most excellent & timely thread.



I totally agree.


13. Security - Physical, data, records (offsite backup?) etc.
14. Tax compliance

I've added my 2 pence worth.

Thanks,

NYC Drew



Security and tax issues are excellent additions to the list Drew. Only problem with security is that everyone may not want to list ALL that they do in this regard on a public forum because if someone knows all if your security measures, they can then develop countermeasures... that decreasses your security.


Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
Riverside CA
http://members.aol.com/ssanctuary/index.html
pokeefe777@msn.com



Re: "The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984347 11/09/01 02:02 AM
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bdbklyn Offline OP
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The security thing seems to be the big angle recently. Our offices have been visited by a number of security "consultants"
since the recent terrorist threats. I would have never invited them in, but the parent company's office manager is "deer in the headlights" abut everything. These guys come in and basically terrorize you with misinformation and inuendo. The want the mail only opened by one person with a mask and gloves on in a room with it's own HVAC system.

Oh, and by the way, if you can't provide that, they offer as a service where they will pick up your mail and open it offsite......
Their contention being that even if someone sends you a white powdery substance as an anthrax hoax, that the F.B.I. and other law enforcement will shut you down for weeks while they conduct an extensive investigation and de-toxification of the premises.

I asked the "expert" if indeed this room we needed didn't also have to be a negatively pressurized room like the several provided in most hospitals and he didn't understand what I was talking about.
Well yeah, thanks, but no thanks....

Bill


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Re: "The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984348 11/09/01 03:38 AM
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When I say "security", I must confess, I had my "blinkers" on.

I'm in the middle of "ADTizing" my place, steel doors in some areas with double dead bolts, the cameras, the off site storage of video capture, the wireless alarm backing up the land line stuff, the heat sensors, the smoke detectors, the CO detectors, the motion sensors...sheesh!

plus,

I am an IT consultant, and I always have more servers at my place than faders on my console, I also offer off site backup & storage for some of my clients, so I have this one room that's like a vault, I got too many APC UPS'es...

The Taxes?
I'm way too embarrassed to talk about how bad my bookeeping is. Maybe if I don't do the books, the tax bill won't shock me.

Anyways, I eargerly await any scraps or tips you guys throw this way....I'm on the low end of the learning curve on these issues...

[ 11-08-2001: Message edited by: NYC Drew ]

Re: "The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984349 11/09/01 06:57 AM
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15. How to network with local composers, arrangers, and musicians, in order to serve clients' needs in those areas
16. Recognizing opportunities in networking with media-arts agencies
17. Researching market needs, and developing ways to focus on those needs
18. After "11. How to find your niche," how to network with studios that serve other niches, so you can work in tandem with those studios to offer wider ranges of services to potential clients IE: outsourcing work that falls beyond your niche.

Also, in going with "5. Promotion," developing an on-going public relations strategy

...and in going with "6. Staffing your facility," developing a Quality Selection Process, to ensure that staff hires will be productive additions to your business.

My $0.02US.

Eric Vincent
Curve Dominant Sound&Vision
curvdominant@earthlink.net


Eric Vincent (ASCAP)
http://www.curvedominant.com
Re: "The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984350 11/09/01 07:11 AM
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bdbklyn Offline OP
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Some good input. Thanks guys. I need to go get some sleep now as I am (again) on two consecutive days with less than 4 hours sleep. I've been doing budgets during the day and sessions at night. Doesn't this studio stuff ever get easy?

Bill

Speaking of budgets, that needs to be on the list too. Especially if you ever want to do a start up or try and get financing. Oh yeah, and financing... and then insurance and....
Arrrrgh!


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Re: "The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984351 11/09/01 08:46 AM
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At risk of tooting my own horn, I can't help but point out that something that would go a long way towards solving many of the issues mentioned is some good Studio Management Software, say... something like... oh.. how about Studio Suite?

Handles all your scheduling, project management, media asset management (what drive is that file on, and where is it?), budgets, proposals, invoicing, sales tax, inventories, labels, track sheets, maintenance, and a whole lot more. We haven't written an anti-anthrax plug-in yet, but it will help keep track of all of your communications with your clients.

For more info and a downloadable demo, check out http://www.studiosuite.com .

Joel

Re: "The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984352 11/09/01 11:38 AM
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One thing I forgot...

Laying out and documenting a decent business plan....

Re: "The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984353 11/09/01 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bdbklyn:


There are a lot of topics to cover. This thread could get pretty long winded. Perhaps any replies to specific topics could be posted as a new thread by the contributor?


1. How to schedule.
2. How to invoice
3. How to collect
4. Booking confirmations / deal memos
5. Promotion
6. Staffing your facility
7. How and when to buy new equipment?
8. Legalizing your business
9. Client's tapes, drives and equipment, your liability.
10. How to stay current and adapt in a changing marketplace
11. How to find your niche
12 How to get organized and organize others

Do you have any additional ideas?

Bill


Hell, I dont know. I am in the middle of opening my first facility and am overwhellmed with the mere basics. Wiring, groundloops, and A/C issues alone have put me on the brink of exhaustion not to mention Bankruptcy. Once all that's in place I need to "learn the room" all over again and THEN focus on 1-13.
dusk


----
Dusk Bennett
Engineer/Producer
Stigmata/Blazing Fire Productions
Los Angeles, Ca
http://www.stigmatarecorders.com
Re: "The Engineer as Entrepreneur"
#984354 11/10/01 06:31 AM
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19. Providing training in new technology so engineers can become potential users/clients.

Any studio software syncronise phone numbers with a Palm Pilot & run on a Mac?

I admit to just bumbling along. Some days I feel a genius biz brain - for just posting a letter on time!

\:\)

[ 11-09-2001: Message edited by: Julian standen ]


Jules
Producer Julian Standen
London, UK,
Come hang here! http://www.gearslutz.com

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