Manage for Success: Taking Stock; Newsletter #125, September 2012

"Manage for Success" is a free occasional newsletter for record label executives who want to operate their companies efficiently and successfully. It's published by Keith Holzman of Solutions Unlimited, a management consultant, troubleshooter, and trusted advisor, and is based on his many years as a senior executive in the music industry.

Copyright 2012 by Keith Holzman, Solutions Unlimited. All rights reserved.



It's hard to believe that almost three quarters of the year has already slipped by, and in another week we'll be welcoming Fall.

As we prepare to enter the Last Quarter -- typically the best "selling" season of the year -- it's an excellent time to take stock. By this I mean it's a perfect time to look at all aspects of your label's operations. This includes judging the effectiveness of recent marketing campaigns. For example, did the costs of a campaign, in terms of money and labor spent, result in sufficient sales to not only justify their cost, but also bring in significant sales.

This is also a good time to judge the quality of your staff. Is each individual proving effective in his job? Is he contributing to the welfare of the company by being a "solid citizen" -- but also be someone who's good to be around?

Is the label earning a decent profit -- ensuring that it can stick around for a few more years?

Do you look forward to working in the office every day? If not, and it seems like a drudge -- that would be a good sign that you need to re-examine all aspects of your business and your motivation to keep it going -- or would it be best to lick your wounds and shut it down!

Now that you've examined how well the year has been up to now, this is a perfect time to start planning for next year. Determine how many projects you expect to release and how you plan to market them. Then work out the budget for next year.

Many suggestions on how to effectively run a record label were addressed in previous newsletters, all of which are posted to the "Archive" page of my website.

Here are a few suggested articles:

Planning Ahead (Newsletter #30, October 2003)

Planning -- an essential to running a successful record label.

Budgets (Newsletter #1, May 2001)

A look at how to prepare budgets to run a label effectively.

Strategic Planning (Newsletter #35, March 2004)

The benefits of strategic planning for all record companies.

The Business of Music (Newsletter #48, April 2005)

Keep on top of the business aspects of running a successful record label.


If you need advice on how to make your label more successful, let me help you as I've helped so many others "manage for success." Email me so we can discuss how I might improve your business.

Or if you're considering creating your own label, I recommend "The Complete Guide To Starting A Record Company." The new and improved Third Edition is now available! You can read the complete Table of Contents, and download the introductory chapter at <>.


Finally, as of this writing it appears that the European Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission are likely to approve the merger of Universal Music and EMI, despite much concern throughout the industry of the danger of such a move. Universal has already paid Citigroup the $1.6 billion previously agreed to. And after any approval, Universal will have to divest itself of about $350 million in assets by selling such labels as Parlophone and Chrysalis worldwide, and EMI Classics in Europe. Yet even so, Universal will have more than a 40-percent market share in most territories. This strikes me as very unhealthy for other labels -- most certainly independents!

Until next time,

Keith Holzman -- Solutions Unlimited

Helping Record Labels Manage for Success.

Copyright 2012 by Keith Holzman, Solutions Unlimited. All rights reserved.



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