03 Mar 2017

How to Write a Record Label Business Plan (Free Template)


Creating a professional, well-written business plan is the best place to start when setting up your own independent record label.




Want to start your own independent label? Find out more about Record Label in a Box



Your business plan should set realistic goals, address any issues early on, and develop a clear path for the future of your record label. A solid business plan is also essential when you come to secure loans or new investment in the future.


But what should you include in a record label business plan? For starters, it should include:


- An overview of your business idea

-Your aims and goals

- How you’ll earn/spend money

- Any potential problems

- How you’ll measure progress


We’ve created a free-to-use Record Label Business Plan Template, to help budding entrepreneurs get started writing their plan. You can access the template below, but before you dive in, you can scroll down a little further to learn more about some of the topics you’ll need to include.



Free record label business plan template



Access your free record label business plan template.


Important: This link will take you to our 'View Only' business plan on Google Docs.
Just click 'File > Make a copy...' to create your own editable version.
Make sure you're using a desktop computer to easily view & edit the template.



 How to start a record label


What should a business plan for a record label include?


History and experience

What is your music industry experience? Do you have a track record of discovering and breaking new bands, or a string of successful previous releases? Make sure to sell yourself and demonstrate your value.



Your pitch

You’ll need to write an executive summary – in other words a short, inspiring pitch designed to showcase and create interest in your business. What are the unique selling points of your label? What makes it different, potentially profitable and more exciting than the other independent labels out there?



Strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats

Set out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – known as SWOT analysis.

Your strengths could include the following and reputation of your artists or access to studios and influential contacts, while weaknesses could include a current lack of funding. Your opportunities could be any events or deals you’ve already secured, while threats could be strong competition from other labels, or a limited music scene in your local area. These are just some examples, so your SWOT analysis will depend entirely on your own situation 




Your aims and how you’ll measure progress

What are the main aims of your record label? You’ll want to plan at least 1 to 3 years ahead, explaining your fundamental goals and how’ll you achieve them.

It’s also important to demonstrate how you’ll measure your achievements by identifying your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs could include your expected profits margins, streaming and download targets, or expected media coverage.



Operations and management

Who’ll be running the day-to-day operations of your label? Will you be taking on any staff or partners to help you run the business? Make sure you’re realistic what you and your team can acheieve.

Also, do you have access to a studio or any other facilities to help your label thrive? What useful equipment do you currently own or have access to?



Your marketing strategy and analysis

You’ll want to set out a solid strategy for making your label a success. How will you promote and market your artists, events and releases? Have you carried out any market research, and do you have any opportunities, clients or deals already lined up?



Financial forecasts and sales

How will your label turn a profit? What are your areas of incomes and expenses? If you already have a financial history, make sure to set it out clearly and make realistic projections for the future.



Long term, short term & contingency plan

A good way to sum up your business plan is with a short-term, long-term and contingency plan, to demonstrate foresight and the ability to adapt to new challenges.




A few more things to keep in mind... 

Keep it concise

If you’re trying to attract funding and investment, make sure would-be investors can quickly and easily decipher the aims and opportunities of working with your label. Give them plenty of good reasons to invest!

Be professional

Make your plan look and feel professional. This could include a front cover, contents page, detailed charts and forecasts, as well as a clear and inspirational executive summary or mission statement at the very beginning. Print out your plan and present in an eye-catching folder or binder.

Understand your market

Demonstrate a clear understanding of the music industry and your target market. Who are your competitors and where are your opportunities for success?

Understand your finances

Whether you’re in it for the money or not, understanding your financial limitations and objectives is extremely important, especially if you’re hoping to grow and develop your label, or attract investment now or in the future.



Don’t forget to access the free Record Label Business Plan Template above and get started writing your own business plan.

Do you have any questions about your business plan we’ve not covered here? Let us know in the comments and we’ll get to back you.