Originally published on January 27th, 2017.
Article is property of Music Think Tank.
Often times, people look at their band/music project as an endless money pit. They view it as impossible to break even. However, I’d argue that over time, breaking even is pretty attainable. A lot of young bands don’t pay enough attention to money – they give up early and view their losses as necessary evils for the sake of “the game,” so to speak. And they also give way too much away for free. That’s fine if free merch is your thing and you’re not concerned with breaking even (in fact, I think that’s noble of you). But if the reason you’re doing that is due to an idea that success comes only from terrible losses, I think you’re wrong. You can start making money now, and it’ll probably help you to continue your music henceforth.
Price Your Merch at Cost (at least)
This is the most obvious of the bunch but breaking even starts with keeping track of how much your merch items cost to manufacture. That goes for your recording costs as well, even though that can be hard to break even on. But the point is: keep track of your expenses, and for each item, charge what you paid for it or above. Personally, I think it’s good to charge more than you paid for each item if you’re trying to break even on recording as well, or gas if you’re on tour. Sometimes payouts aren’t very much. So know how much you need to pay off for other expenses as well – that’s what will help ensure you are able to keep doing this whole music thing.
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