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Musical arrangement and composition in the classical genre is the major focus of this business plan. Northern Crayons aims at spotlighting unconventional music and entertainment through mainstream ideologies. The company focuses on sharing experiences of Generations Y and Z to foster growth and development among young people through positive mental health. This business plan seeks to outline the key objectives of our music brand and the organizational structure and strategies to attract a wider audience and identify greater opportunities for our future projects. The main strategies highlighted center around presenting the music content to the target market, creating a web presence, and subsequently reaching audiences through social media.
Northern Crayons is a trendsetter in the music industry, with a focus on empowering youths and adolescents through unconventional classical music. Our main goal is to establish and grow into a complete business that offers a universal service record label, multimedia, and merchandising company. The focus is to create a revenue stream from digital music sales, record sales, licensing, and live performances. The company will create a consistent stream of high-quality classical music and related products that empower the youths of Hong Kong to achieve its goal. Moreover, we will conduct independent marketing, advertising, and promotions to create a wider audience and reach a bigger audience in the country and abroad. The company remains committed to delivering its products and services on time, monitoring its marketing and promotional activities, and developing unique growth strategies that are effective in generating revenues.
Northern Crayons promotes classical music with a variety of themes and contexts. Working with various artists, the company composes a wide variety of music steadily and has been able to increase its scores through performances and purchases in various Hong Kong media channels. The company equally supports classical musicians to gain wide audiences, and in turn, get commissions through grants and commercial sales. It is important that our music expresses the needs of youths in society, particularly through fostering positive thinking and attitude. Our music content has exceptional lyrics blended with unique beats and infectious opera sound. The company’s sources of income will include a list of products and services, including sales of music CDs, DVDs, and other multimedia formats; live performances; fees and royalties earned from music recordings and performances, and copies on television, radio, internet, commercial venues, and in movies; and sales of tour books, jackets, and t-shirts.
Northern Crayons is primarily a for-profit company. This is a type of organization that generates a profit, which implies earning and making a profit from its products and services (Hull & Lio, 2006). Currently, the company is self-funded, with the founders having worked in the music recording company and a few signed classical music artists. We, however, plan to generate part of our revenues from international grants because we are expanding our purpose: to empower youths in the society. With millions of youths in Hong Kong who plan to venture into music, one of our aims is to create an empowerment program that will give youths the opportunity to perform and record their songs. Since we are still in the development stage, grants will be the most effective way to achieve our social goal.
Through intellectual property, we are sure that all our artists and creators are recognized and legally compensate for their hard work. Concerning music, copyright remains a critical component as it defines the rights of all original works that an individual produces, performs, or promote. Our company will ensure that it owns two copyrights. The first one pertains to the composition of a song, copyright that occurs immediately a song is composed or recorded. It would be physical proof of or creations, including the digital copies, recordings, and written copies. The other copyright is mechanical, which refers to a particular song recording. All our musicians will obtain copyright attached to the company's recording label.
Every business has a value creation aspect in which the needs of a target audience are met (Kaufman, 2010). To us, venturing music will help create a new experience for our stakeholders and society at large. Through music, the company's target audience will learn important life values. Hong Kong youths would get to learn important life subjects, including hard work, perseverance, inspiration to achieve life goals, and get motivated with the classical music that enhances the health of the mind and soul. Upcoming artists, particularly those aged below 18 years, will learn expression through music and sound, develop problem-solving skills, enhance motor skills, learn self-discipline, and ignite their critical and creative thinking skills. In Hong Kong, music and art play a key role in enriching our culture. Our classical songs feature a mainstream context with which our listeners can relate. For internal stakeholders, Northern Crayons promises a favorable environment for success—we will ensure that every income earned is accounted for through a transparent organizational board.
In his book, The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, Josh Kaufman discusses the 12 standard forms of value relevant to every business. Among these, our company relates to value forms, products, and services (Kaufman, 2010). We will sell music products in the form of live performances, CDs, DVDs, books, jackets, and t-shirts and offer our services through media platforms. The business is confident that the products and services we offer will be of high value to the consumers. Since our signed artists will be within Generations Y and Z, our target audience will be able to relate to them easily. Our unique selling proposition is, "We give you music that quenches your thirst, strengthens your soul.” This summarizes the purpose of the company and its relevance to society.
The company will focus on producing music to deliver its value. Northern Crayons will spend most of its resources on writing classical music lyrics and composition. It will remain committed to having a steady flow of high-quality recordings throughout the year, with the production of 1 or 2 songs every month (Hughes et al., 2016). The recordings will be sold in the form of CDs and DVDs to several music stores, on live shows, retail chains, and through the internet via distributors and aggregators. The company also plans to sell its music using accessible online formats, such as Ringback Tones, Full Track Downloads, and Polyphonic Ringtones, through authorized online retailers. Northern Crayons will also focus on live performances in Hong Kong and across the border.
The company expects to double its value in the coming years because of the long-term business strategies put in place. For starters, we plan to sign several millennial musicians and upcoming artists in the company. This means that we will be able to increase the number of music we produce every month, which would translate to higher revenue (Schultz, 2016). Moreover, the company plans to work with the Hong Kong youth department to empower youths through concerts and live performances. The platform will increase our customer base and enhance the reputation of the brand. Currently, we are focused on music production, but we plan to increase the frequency of our live performances and the capacity of other products.
Although we are a new company, Northern Crayons began on the right foot. The founders had secured enough finance to support it through the first year. The money currently used to run the business is partly savings and partly a loan (Hughes et al., 2016). In order to survive the other years, we have put in place member fees to ensure that every company member contributes to the recurring expenditure. Our new songwriters and musicians, together with the board of governors and partners, would be expected to pay a monthly fee ranging from $50 to $150. Our staffing constitutes a number of positions, including an artist representative, the publicist team, marketing forces, and the CEO. These staff members will be paid monthly, depending on their job responsibilities.
The company’s daily operations will include music production and recording, signing and training artists, and marketing. As stated by Hughes et al. (2016), the cost of production and recording will vary depending on the type of song and the instruments included. Part of the company’s expenses will include marketing efforts to retailers. Our key retail marketing step will involve building a list of songs produced by the company, which will be published on the company's website and blog. The company will also serve its retailers with the current music release and promotional material. It is estimated that the cost of the distribution will be $600 per month. The customer service team is also an integral part of the company’s financial plans. Part of the marketing budget will be dedicated to the customer service who responds to queries about our products and services. The cost to fund this special tam will be $4000 a month.
Northern Crayons has an organizational structure that encompasses the President, the Treasurer, the VP of Operations, VP of Sales, the Product Manager, and company Attorney to ensure that the business is run legally. Being a co-founder, I am currently the president of the company, while Ms. Perkins is the treasurer. We oversee every activity in the business and ensure that the right company decisions are made to foster growth and meet consumer demands. Our VP of Operations is Collins Johnson, whose role is to ensure all decisions are implemented by the staff. Johnson's perspective of life is truly evident in his potential in music management. He has worked with several music labels in the past and has always left a mark in all the endeavors.
Our VP of Sales is Ralph Roman, an African American, who moved to Hong Kong in 2008 to launch his event organizing business. Roman understands what it takes to create a lucrative business, with a focus on positive branding. Ralph organizes several marketing campaigns and creates collaborations with local influences to reach the youth to ensure that the company generates the highest income every year. The company’s Product Manager is Jerry Hearts, a man known for his successful musical career in Hong Kong in the 1980s. He has been successful in transforming the business as he works with major labels in the country to create a more modern classic tone in our music. Our attorney, Scott Couper, is also a significant figure at the company. He ensures that we adhere to all the music laws and regulations and protects our products and services from copyright claims or piracy. With his experience, our company has not experienced any legal claims or filed lawsuits as a result of breaking the Hong Kong music laws.
The marketing strategy of Northern Crayons revolves around online and offline platforms, including Road, Retail, Radio, and Reviews. We must prepare a functional press kit and a strong online presence to get the most out of these mediums. Our professional kit will include a biography, photoshoot, CD manufacturing, electronic press kit, and download cards. The company will outline a professional biography that offers fans, the press, and radio a true picture of the company in relation to classical music. A photoshoot will then be carried out to get a high-resolution image for the company, as well as its logo, blog, and online page. We will then create authentic manufactured CDs, which will be given to print publications and radio stations for the company’s latest releases. A business card is important for every company; we will create gift cards, which our partners and fans can download with unique codes. Finally, an electronic press kit will be created to enable easy access by journalists and press outlets.
One way we plan to market our services is through radio. The company will effectively promote its records to college and commercial radios in Hong Kong. We will hire a professional radio promoter who will secure radio spins on our music to local stations to maximize this approach. This will cost the company about $500 a month. Our project manager will create a list of information such as new releases, concert and performance calendars, upcoming events, and new singles to assist the promoter. We will evaluate the efforts of this marketing strategy by reviewing our ads' effects, overall chart statistics, and rotation level.
We also plan to use road trips and tours to gain more fans. We plan to work with campuses in Hong Kong to maximize our paid gigs. We will also work closely with media companies to organize events, including concert reviews, live performances, radio interviews, and CD adverts. Northern Crayons will do a lot because it is able to promote itself through the press. However, this will be achieved by recruiting a full-time publicist. The roles of the publicist will include compiling different press accounts in our target markets and publishing information on such accounts so that our music fans can read and follow us. Some of the accounts to review will include newspapers, online media such as Facebook and Instagram, and fanzines. Our publicist will be paid $500 every month to make positive reviews and secure interviews for the company in the offline and online press.
As the producer and publisher of our songs, Northern Crayons is guaranteed certain rights. Since we own absolute right to all our music and products, everyone who wishes to use or access them must seek permission from us. Regarding sampling rights, whoever uses our music samples must go through us who own the sound recording (Einhorn, 2002). Just like other labels, we take complete ownership of all our sound recordings, including those signed by our musician partners. In the next five years, we will be giving away new samples freely to entertainment and media houses since these will act as marketing points for our musical products.
We are also claiming synchronization rights from our classical music. In this case, all our music synced with images and visuals like movies, commercials, TV shows, and corporate videos are licensed, and as such, would be paid to use (Dursun, 2018). Our royalty checks in Hong Kong are affordable; we have put a standard rate of $50 for synchronized shows in learning institutions and entertainment joints and $1000 for large corporates and major media houses. The company has ensured that its royalties are protected abroad to make profits from our licensing activities. We are planning to reach a sub-publishing agreement with a partner company to license our music in the U.S. and Canada.
Dursun, M. (2018). Music licensing SOS. Dance Australia, (217), 45. https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=813825043214203;res=IELLCC
Einhorn, M. A. (2002). Music licensing in the digital age. Chapters. https://ideas.repec.org/h/elg/eechap/2378_10.html
Hughes, D., Evans, M., Morrow, G., & Keith, S. (2016). The new business of music. In The New Music Industries (pp. 17-35). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40364-9_2
Hull, C. E., & Lio, B. H. (2006). Innovation in non-profit and for-profit organizations: Visionary, strategic, and financial considerations. Journal of Change Management, 6(1), 53-65. https://doi.org/10.1080/14697010500523418
Kaufman, J. (2010). The personal MBA: Master the art of business. Penguin.
Schultz, D. (2016). Flipping the value creation model. Journal of Creating Value, 2(2), 155-159. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2394964316673165
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