Putting Together A Complete Business Plan For A Record Label


The importance of establishing a business plan for a record label cannot be underestimated.  Just like any other business, you must have a plan.  If you don’t know where you’re going, you will never get there.

A record label business plan is similar to a business plan for any other industry, except that there are noticeable differences, such as licenses, royalties, and online distribution.  However, the similarities are very real.  You will still need a section for the executive summary, operations, product development, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, sales, industry analysis, and financial plan.

The importance of establishing a focus for your business cannot be overlooked.  By developing a business plan, record label executives can easily explore and share ideas and strategies with collaborators and investors.

Remember, a business plan is fluid and constantly changing.  However, it creates a structure for entrepreneurs to work their ideas.  Ideally, the record label business owner can identify their niche, capture content that fits that niche and then promote and sell their recordings for monetary gain.  Remember, this is the music business.

Especially in this digital age, a business plan is essential to the record label’s success.  As a label owner, you will need to identify outlets for your recordings as well as opportunities for media exposure.  And because the costs involved with creating new music have been lowered considerably, there are many more competitors vying for the same consumer dollar.  Other than the artists and material they perform, smart management is the most important ingredient in a record label’s longevity.  A business plan is a great place to start.

Here are the basics of what goes into a business plan for a record label:


  • Business Description
  • Business Formation
  • Directors
  • Management Team
  • Business Goals / Mission
  • Business Philosophies / Identity
  • Geographical Markets
  • Vision of the Future

Executive Summary

  • Main objectives
  • Sales summary
  • Strategic positioning
  • Strategic alliances
  • Licenses
  • Key advantages
  • Funds required

Label Operations

  • A&R Artists and Repertoire
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Content Development
  • Licensing
  • Distribution

Product Development

  • Song Clearances
  • Recording
  • Mastering


  • Pressing
  • Packaging


  • Brick and Mortar
  • World Wide Web


  • The Product Mix
  • Sales Estimates
  • Competitive Research
  • Market Analysis
  • Marketing Goals & Strategies
  • Pricing Policy
  • Advertising & Promotion
  • Sales Management
  • SWOT Analysis


  • Sales Plan
  • Projections

Industry and Historic Analysis

  • General View
  • The Market Position
  • Income Statement Historic
  • Balance Sheet Historic

 The Organizational Structure

  • Management and Personnel
  • Administrative Organization
  • Contingency Planning

 Record Company Operations

  • Record Company Identity
  • Record Company Location
  • Record Company Layout

Financial Plan

  • Investment Budget
  • Statistical Data (ratios)
  • Return on Investment
  • Financial Projections

 Risk Management

  • Risk Reduction
  • Exit Strategy

Investment Opportunity


  • Personal Income Statement
  • Other

For more information about a business plan for a record label, there is a complete sample in the book “Forget the Majors… Launch Your Own Record Label” by John Latimer.


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