Small Business Start-Up Idea – Music Centre

Although MP3 technology has completely changed the music industry, there are still niche areas that could provide you with great business opportunities.  It is up to you what you wish to sell, but it could be CDs / digital downloads, musical instruments or collectibles and paraphernalia. The key is to have a well-designed website and build a strong community around it that your customers feel a part of. This will keep them coming back on a regular basis.  

Skills needed: It is essential that you must be very knowledgeable about the musical niche you are focussing on. It will be your responsibility to provide content for the website and play a ‘guru’ role in regards to the community you establish.  

Business environment and set-up cost:  There is some international potential for this business but postal charges for the items you are selling will discourage this to some degree. The set-up costs are quite low for this business if you already own the equipment (computer, printer, scanner & digital camera). You will need to pay for the website design and hosting as well as an inventory of the products you will be selling. The overall start-up cost will range from £2,500 to £10,000 (3,000 – 12,000 EUR, 5,000-20,000 AUD/USD).  

Marketing Techniques:  

  • Make your website easy to find via the major search engines by optimising it with keywords
  • Participate in the pay-per-click schemes of the popular search engines
  • Use viral marketing to encourage your clients to recommend your service to their friends
  • Get your website listed in link directories and web-rings related to music
  • Pay for banner advertising on non-competing music websites
  • Run an affiliate program to generate referrals from partners
  • Have a featured artist or product section of your website.  This could focus on a specific artist for a period of time – for example a local band that needs exposure. You could even interview them or get them to record an exclusive session
  • Establish a weekly newsletter and discussion forum to create a community surrounding your chosen music in which you can provide information and help
  • Use OnlineOffice to set up web-site, blog and online shop to promote your business online

Complimentary business ideas: There are numerous ways you can expand if you begin with a minimal product line and become successful e.g. selling gig tickets or organising events.  

Notes: It is important to remember that you will be unable to compete on a large scale with the main retailers but if you focus on one area you know well then you can still be successful.  

Online examples & resources:  

For previous SME start-up ideas, look through the archive here  


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