Originally written for guest post on Growth Group.
How is your summer going? It is hot, hot, hot in Florida, so for the most part I’m inside in the cool AC. This Sunday is Father’s Day, and while I cannot be with my dad this weekend, I’ll be hanging out with my boyfriend’s family and we’ll probably spend they day on the beach to soak in the sun! But before all the fun, let’s talk about something we all really want: staying within a budget.
I think we can all agree that saving money wherever you can is a good thing to do. But with the ongoing push and grind moving forward in your career, it can be hard to stop and take the time to analyze where you’re money is going and where you can save. Maybe you signed up for a music profile on SonicBids, which charges a membership fee, only to realize you only use it one month out of the year for their exclusive CMJ showcase submission. Or, you have been using the same web host services only to realize you could be saving hundreds if you switched to a newer company.
I get it, as an independent musician you’re not only trying to improve your craft and skill, you’re also running and managing your own career and business. It’s not easy to always keep your eyes open and you don’t always have the time to analyze every small purchase, membership sign up or investment you make.
That’s when someone on your team can take the time to analyze your spending or take the time to find the best price to ensure your money is well spent, therefore keeping you in budget.
Here are 5 ways an assistant can easily start helping you stay within budget:
Find the best travel deals. An assistant can research the lowest costing travel options for your next tour. Using sites like Kayak, Priceline, Groupon, Trivago and more, they can scout out the best deal for you, comparing costs of flying vs. driving, or with Priceline, bid to get the best daily rate for a rental – which you can usually get at 40% off the advertised price. After they do all the research, you’ll just have to choose the best option for you.
Remind you of deadlines. Most contests, conventions, events, and masterclasses offer early bird pricing for signing up earlier than everyone else. If there is a conference you know you don’t want to miss, an assistant can find out when those early bird deadlines are and set reminders for you to sign up, which can potentially save you hundreds of dollars.
Monitor and manage your bills. Bills constantly come in and it can get overwhelming to keep track of which ones have been paid, which ones haven’t and when they are due. An assistant can step in and set up automatic payments, enroll in paperless billing, or schedule withdrawal dates, saving you time and the energy in dealing with your credit card company, internet company, cable company, and so on.
Dispute erroneous or late charges. Instead of spending 30 frustrating minutes on hold, delegate the task to your assistant to argue against late or erroneous charges. Make sure they have all the account information questions so they can get through securely, or ask your assistant do call in at a certain time you are available in case they need to get in touch with you for a few seconds to verify that your assistant can have access to your account, especially with phone bills or bank accounts, including Paypal.
Eliminate or reduce business expenses. There are a lot of sites you can sign up on to host your website, run your online store, distribute your music, and even manage your team, and all of them come with a price tag. An assistant can research the ones you’re considering so you can make the best choice for your needs. For example, one of my clients was looking to leave her digital music distributor, and in my research I was able to find DistroKid, who does online distribution for the lowest monthly fee I could find with similar, if not faster results, and is, get this, endorsed by founders of Tunecore and CDBaby, two of the top online distribution channels for independent artists. Being able to save those dollars each month can add up to $100s or $1000s in a year, and is definitely better spent on my client’s next album.
These five ways are a great place to start if you’re just beginning to delegate tasks to an assistant which will save you money, energy and your valuable time.
Saving those hours spent on the hassling and energy-eating things to do in order to make sure your money is being well spent will instantly open up your day to focus on where your focus should be, making music.
Happy Father’s Day tomorrow to all fathers out there, and cheers to a recharging weekend,