Finance and funding for music businesses

Self-financing your music

Guide

Self-financing is quite common with start-up businesses across a range of industries, including the music sector. Self-financing generally means one of two things:

  • using your own money to invest in the business - eg your cash or personal savings
  • using your personal assets as security for additional funding - eg borrowing against your life insurance, house, car, etc

It is very important to consider carefully any financial decision that could put you in debt or risk losing your personal or family assets. Seek professional advice if in doubt about these matters.

How to fund music with your own money

You can begin by doing a detailed inventory of your personal assets. These may include:

  • savings accounts
  • real estate equity
  • retirement accounts
  • vehicles
  • equipment
  • collections

Once you know what your assets are, you can sell some for cash or use them as collateral for a loan. If you have investments, you may also be able to use them as a resource.

If you don't have a savings account, it may be worth setting one up specifically for your music project. If you're already gigging, or have other regular earnings, you could set aside a part of your income to go into the project savings. If you need to increase your savings quickly, look into alternative options for earning cash from your music. For example, think about:

  • offering music lessons
  • renting your equipment
  • selling off old systems
  • fundraising with friends, family and at venues you perform in
  • raising in-kind support - eg free services from organisations or individuals

You can also consider music merchandising and applying for grants and subsidies for music.

If you self-finance your project, and need to turn to banks for future funding, having invested your own money in your business may go in your favour, as it will show commitment and determination to your business success. See more about debt finance for music businesses.

To self-finance your business successfully, you will have to use your assets wisely, manage your cash flow and economise where possible.