Unit 39: Assignment 3 – Creating A Business Plan

Label Overview




Jordan Duck

Flat 4

3 Granada Road








Since I was young I’ve had an ear for discovering new music from many genres and styles. I believe it is important to stay open to new concepts and ideas for new genres to be born.

I have achieved a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Technology. I have a broad knowledge about the industry and different aspects of production, live sound and music from different cultures. I have also attained an AS Level in Business Studies, which gave me an insight into business management. For the last two years I have been practicing music production skills, familiarising myself with the industry and building contacts which will enable this label, and the artists signed, to succeed. An A-level in graphic design has equipped me with the skills to design and execute successful artwork and promotional material for releases on the label.



Executive Summary


Makeshift Recordings is an independent label based in Portsmouth, UK, releasing underground techno and house music sourced locally, and from afar. Our plan is to sign emerging talent along side names already established in the industry. We aim to give the artist a platform in which to grow.

This business will demonstrate how Makeshift Recordings will create strong brand recognition within the UK’s dance music scene and generate profit through royalties, merchandising and an online production video service.

Our brand will stand out from the crowd with professional visuals and a distinctive sound. We will maintain consistency throughout our brand visually and audibly with each track mastered and marketed. Our showcase for both local up and coming artists and emerging international talent will attract the attention of fans close to home and worldwide.

We plan on growing by launching an online production tutorial service to increase brand recognition and generate additional profits. This can take place when the brand is established and the funds come available.



SWOT Analysis



  •      Distribution routes to all major music stores such as Beatport, iTunes, Spotify, Juno, Amazon, Tidal, YouTube etc. through Label Worx. This will add a level of professionalism to the brand and also mean the product is more widely available.
  •      Cheap start up costs as equipment is already owned.




  •      No major brand awareness
  •      No previous experience running label




  •      Local artists and labels to work/collaborate with
  •      Growing market for music production videos and tutoring all over the country.
  •      House and Techno slipping into mainstream means there is more of a demand.
  •      There is a thriving student nightlife in the local area. This could open doorways to putting on shows and events for example a label launch night.




  •      Competition from other high-profile independent and major labels



Market & Competitor Analysis



Given the underground nature of Techno and House Music, my customer base is predominantly DJ’s. I will be targeting people who attend relevant local events and raves. My typical customer immerses themselves in club culture, more specifically the techno and house scene. They are active members of all main social networking sites and keep up to date with new releases.

My customers are from around the world, given that my label is online based with online sales. That being said, my customers will also be local DJ’s, artists and fans in the south of England that support local talent.




-South Coast Independent label run by Shadow Child & Kry Wolf founded in 2012

-Successful label showcasing house & bass

-40k Sound Cloud followers

-10k Facebook likes

-Artists include: Shadow Child, Kry Wolf, Hannah Wants, Chris Lorenzo, Zinc, Sacha Robotti

-Consistent simple branding and image maintained throughout all platforms

-Music sold on all major platforms



-Portsmouth based independent label

-Started by hosting nights in Portsmouth

-House & Tech house

-4k Sound Cloud followers

-8k Facebook likes

-Hard to find consistent branding online, still active accounts with similar names around

-Music sold on all major platforms



-Portsmouth based promoter and label founded 2010

-5k Sound Cloud followers

-14k Facebook likes

-Tech house/techno

-Included online radio station

-Host events at clubs and festival stages

-Beatport logo not consistent

-Full informative website

-Music sold on all major platforms



-Portsmouth based independent label run by Kry Wolf

-7k Sound Cloud followers

-2k Facebook likes

-Bass house label last release Nov 2016

-Outdated graphics and not active for a while

-Logo doesn’t fit sound of brand

-Music sold on all major platforms



-Southampton based tech house label

-11k Sound Cloud followers

-6k Facebook likes

-Put on events at local clubs

-Highly active on all social networks, great social media presence and marketing

-Sister label (Vacant Recordings) merchandising consists of t-shirts, sold for £15

-Consistent image and branding



-Independent label based in Kent

-137k Sound Cloud followers

-215k Facebook likes

-Very well established brand

-Good consistent sound with consistently good music

-Active on all social media platforms

-Also run Toolroom Academy; music production classes, DJ school

-They also generate income through sample pack releases, mastering services and merchandising, I believe this is why they have been so successful


TARO RECORDS – case study

-Independent artist run label, based in Portsmouth

-Aggressive, dark, distorted Techno

-700 Sound Cloud followers

-1k Facebook likes

-Appropriate artwork and consistency throughout brand

-Has targeted niche market and built following from Facebook and gigs

-Uses Label Worx as distributors, releasing once every 3 weeks

-Uses Dominus mastering with a cost of 5 tracks for £20

-Mailchimp used for promotional mailings, consist of new releases to artists

-Label is in first year of business and currently makes a loss

-Such a niche market means the fan base is small and may prohibit opportunities to grow.

-Revenues made from gigs and playing out

-Promotion and marketing via Facebook page. £20 spent for each release, targeting customers with relevant interests and likes.



Nearly all of the successful local labels are highly active on social media. Social media is key for getting the brand out into the market by promoting via the Makeshift Recordings page. Colourful yet relevant artwork will help attract fans and customers if kept consistent and professional.

The majority of local labels host events. Putting on events will help build contacts and give a first hand experience of the local talent signed to Makeshift Recordings to existing and potential new customers.



Products & Services






Makeshift Recordings will be releasing professionally mastered and branded Techno and House tracks. These will come as individual tracks and EPs. Prior to the release of the track/EP, graphics will be made either by label owner Jordan Duck, or by a design company.



Merchandise will be sold via our site http://www.makeshiftrecordings.com. This will generate income to further fund the business. Its becoming common to see people sporting their favourite or local record labels on t-shirts, hoodies and hats. We will exploit this market by selling plain black and white tees with the brand logo on the front.



Makeshift Recordings plans on growing to develop online production courses. The courses will consist of 3-5 one hour long tutorial videos hosted by artists signed to the label and respected producers and teachers. They will be priced relevant to skills taught and length of video and average around £40 per course. The production courses will be online and available to stream when purchased.






All music released on Makeshift Recordings will be distributed to all major online stores secured via Label Worx, including iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer and Google Play. A timescale of roughly six weeks will ensue before a track or EP is officially released. In this time we will market and promote the product to build hype and interest.



            Merchandising will be organised and implemented by Jordan Duck. T-shirts will be ordered online for a price of £150 for 25 screen printed Haynes t-shirts. They will be advertised on our website and stored at the label owners home. They will be advertised on all social media platforms and will be included for promotional purchases. They will also be sold at gigs and given to signed artists to wear when performing.

T-shirt: RRP: £15 | Cost: £6 | Net profit: £9

Additional items will be sold as the brand grows such as hats, hoodies and posters.



Operations & Management





Jordan Duck – Director of Makeshift Recordings

–                Responsible for scouting, signing and promoting new artists

–                Managing the labels finances

–                Setting up business

–                Managing music and merchandising distribution

–                Responsible for finding teachers and organising online production courses

–                Responsible for ordering merchandise

–                Responsible for all promotion strategies and social media coverage

–                Creating new business opportunities for the label to generate business growth



A demo email address will be created and available on all social media platforms. It will be checked and managed by Jordan Duck for the sole purpose of finding new artists and music to sign to the label.

The artists will be signed through a contractual agreement that benefits the label. The contract will cover Makeshift Recording against Copyright Infringement and will licence us to publish their music on Makeshift Recordings.



                  Payments from music sales will be received from the distributor quarterly. Royalties will be paid to artists at percentage agreed upon when sales reach £50 or more.



                  The label is run from label owner, Jordan Ducks home with his current equipment. This includes storage of merchandise.



                  Recording contracts and licensing deals will be drawn up to cover Makeshift Recordings of any costs, damages, losses, copyright, licensing or legal problems. A MCPS (Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society) membership will be created to maximise profits when signed music is streamed, downloaded or used in TV, film or radio.



Marketing Strategy & Analysis




  •      Identify and reach out to new business partners to create brand recognition and new marketing opportunities
  •      Promote releases to increase sales
  •      Increase merchandise and online course sales through PR strategies and social media campaigns
  •      Secure sync deals for TV, films and games to increase revenues and market reach



  •      House and techno fans, DJ’s and attendees of local events, festivals and raves, young generation, local and worldwide



  •      Spotify currently pays out £0.00429 per stream
  •      Facebook page promotion can potentially be broadcasted to tens of thousands of people that are interested in similar things



  •      Social media (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Soundcloud) and web campaigns
  •      Physical posters, leaflets and stickers in local area



Financial Forecast



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Plan Overview



Within 6 months:

Sign 5 new artists and secure distribution to the major online music stores through Labelworx. Business up and running with professional website and social media presence. Create successful social media marketing campaigns to build brand and awareness.



Within 3 years:

Generate enough revenue to become profitable through royalties, initiate sync deals, and increase merchandise sales with more products. Secure press coverage and features in magazines and blogs (for label and artists signed to label) to create awareness and brand recognition. Establish online tutorial course service by sourcing artists and certified teachers.



If the objectives are not met within the first year of operation, the label will be streamlined and cuts will be made to stop further loss of revenue.







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