When it comes to taxes, most small business owners begin to stress out. With extensions now behind us, it's time to look at ways we can free up a little extra money in our expenses. Most individuals know the basics: travel; food while traveling; entertaining clients when they're in town. All of these are good things to remember. However, did you know that wages paid to family members are technically tax deductible? How about continuing education? All of these, and more, were nicely compiled by the good people at Entrepreneur Magazine.
Marvin Lopez and Paige Plissner are the DJs who surprise you. Not only is their knowledge of music encyclopedic in nature, but their very humble, insightful approach to how they present themselves is very refreshing. They don't make assumptions about their listeners, they're aware of their surroundings, and they understand there's a bigger picture and we're the puzzle pieces that make it up. With a presence that grows with each subsequent showing by these two DJs, The Borrowers are proving once more that gratitude and establishing a connection with your audience is the most authentic road to making an impact. They are the focus of this week's Music Mondays feature.
Follow The Borrowers on Facebook and be sure to peruse their eclectic playlist they curated for us below!
While a haze has been swarming around the enigmatic rapper for a little while, Raury's latest release caught our eyes (and ears). The 19-year-old Stone Mountain, GA native has developed a style all his own. Combining soul, hip hop and soul, Raury weaves his own poetry around these myriad of styles. First gaining attention in 2014 for the mixtape Indigo Child, 2015 looks to be his year. Take a listen below, specifically to his most recent and our favorite, "demo1: the sea," snd hear why we're swooning.
"How is the increasing power of artists affecting the modern day record deal – and how will that dynamic shift in future? Artist lawyer Paul Spraggon, co-founder of SSB with clients including Adele and The Prodigy, knows exactly how he’d like things to change.
“As a lawyer, the future of the record deal for us is transparency. There’s no transparency [today] in record companies; you haven’t got a clue what labels are doing with your money if you’re an artist.
“They don’t show you the figures, or what their deals are with Spotify. As an artist lawyer, you want to see it all – what are they hiding?”
Spraggon joined an array of leading music business executives on a panel in London earlier this month, presented by UK independent group Cooking Vinyl.
CV says that it prides itself on transparency – to the point of invting artists who earn over a certain amount each year to audit its books." Read more here!
Strong marketing is key for success.A powerful marketing team is fundamental to a business' short- and long-term success, states research published in the Journal of Marketing. "Managers need to look beyond one quarter or one year and see marketing is important," said Hui Feng, the study's lead author. For more read on here!
We're usually covering music on the more electronic side here at Ross Business Management, but recently we've dipped out toes into our more rock side. For this Music Monday we want to focus on a label born out of Huntington Beach, California and now residing in LA and Richmond, Virgina. With the release of their artist Juilen Baker's "Sprained Ankle" our ears were quickly perked to the garage label. Below you'll find a mix of our favorites. Sentimental, haunting and exeedingly beautiful- this label knows how to pick bands that pluck more than heart strings.
According to the new RetailMeNot Annual Holiday Insights : Based on the data and consumer research findings, category affinity tends to change throughout the holiday season. The report centers around key insights: Consumers are browsing and buying well before Black Friday
Consumers don’t shop for everything on their list at once
Mobile browsing is gaining increased influence over purchases made across channels.
Shoppers browse their aisles with mobile devices in hand.
Shoppers tend to visit certain retail categories more often on their mobile devices
Apparel, Home & Garden and Multi-category are the top three categories where shoppers request more in-store promotional content
For all additional findings, click here!
The music industry has been buzzing daily with updates regarding Apple Music, Apple's newest venture into the increasingly popular world of music streaming -- although the anticipation is now over, considering Apple Music is finally here. According to The Hollywood Reporter, expectations for Apple's entry in to the streaming music service sector were astronomical. Almost 1 billion people worldwide will have access to Apple Music on Apple's products, including individuals as well as families, who can subscribe to the program via a family plan. Apple Music supposedly will have no less than 30 million tracks available -- sounds too good to be true, right?
Billboard tried out the app for us yesterday, as reported in The Hollywood Reporter. Downsides: it takes up too much space on your device, requires the latest software update for iOS, doesn't allow you to import playlists from other apps, and does not offer a "desktop" option. Upsides: allows you to choose playlists from curators such as Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, offers offline streaming. Essentially, it's Spotify Premium built in to your Apple devices. In our opinion, it's more of a hassle than an improvement, but if you're okay with change for the sake of convenience, maybe a switch to Apple Music is the right path for you.
For today's RBM Music Monday, we bring you Camille Cushman: Fordham grad and NYC-based total boss-lady in the music industry. Camille started her career strong, working in film/TV on shows like Jerry Springer and music videos for rappers including Jim Jones and Dipset. Soon after, she moved on to adopt the role of Elektro Daily's Lifestyle Editor, and has since bounced between various internship roles (Pacha NYC) and writing gigs (InTheMix, LessThan3, Nest HQ, Insomniac) that she still maintains, on top of a now-permanent position at Magnum PR.
Coming from Camille herself, "I just hustle." We couldn't have put it better ourselves.
Listen to Camille's tunes-of-choise on Soundcloud here.
From Oklahoma to New York and back, Darku J has made techno waves across the country. He's behind one of Tulsa's longest running dance music parties, "House Party" at Electric Circus, and was also lucky enough to spend a stint in NYC between 2013 and 2014, becoming a staple part of Girls & Boys party at Webster Hall - according to Darku, "Hanging out in NYC with the Girls & Boys crew really helped me get a better understanding on how to properly throw a party...big or small."
Now, Darku is back in Oklahoma and up to big things, such as starting an electronic music collective entitled "U Don't Dance" (although we hope they do) along with other essential Tulsa-based DJs and producers. Darku's sound is hard-hitting and definitely not for the faint of heart, so give a listen to some of his original tracks below, along with some tunes he's been playing out to the Oklahoma crowd.
Follow Darku J on Soundcloud here.
If you live on the East Coast, chances are strong that you've heard of Alex English - talent buyer/resident DJ of GBH Events and co-founder of Tronic Youth Records. Although most notably, Alex has been the don of NYC's Friday night Girls & Boys party since its inception in 2002, which finally found a family and home at Webster Hall New York City's 2000+ capacity Grand Ballroom in December 2008, after jumping between venues for several years. It's likely that Alex English has played out the most comprehensive repertoire of dance music tracks in history, DJing since 1987 alongside globally-renowned artists including (but not limited to) Boys Noize, Skrillex, Richie Hawtin, Moby, Gesaffelstein, and Disclosure. We dare you to challenge him to a DJ battle. For this week's RBM Music Monday, Alex has exclusively provided us with some tracks he's into at the moment, ranging from drum n' bass to Dirtybird. He's also generously included a mix he put together for DoAndroidsDance? late last year. Check it out below, and catch him in person at this Friday's Girls & Boys, featuring Viceroy and other special guests.
Certain jobs are riskier than others -- for example, taking care of someone's child or pet, or working at a salon that does ear-piercing. There are always risks, and when you own a business, you have to take those risks, both high and low, into account to protect yourself from liability. The Huffington Post goes into detail regarding how you should protect yourself, and your business, from a nasty lawsuit.
Even if you don't have any assets to worry about at the moment, your personal assets could be vulnerable for the next 22 years, depending on a court judgment. Creating a formal business structure like an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or a corporation aids in separating personal from business assets, making your business its own entity and, therefore, responsible for itself.
Now, this doesn't automatically make you un-liable for things such as crimes or guaranteeing loans you cannot pay. You still won't be protected if you accidentally injure someone, or if you don't keep up with your filings and fees to the state. Nothing is a get-out-of-jail-free card, not even an LLC or corporation. The risk that you or your company with ever be charged with a lawsuit is small, however it can't hurt to take small steps like establishing an LLC to decrease that risk -- fortunately, Ross Business Management can help you with this process, so contact us!
This afternoon we'd like to introduce you to talented record producer, innovative music supervisor, visionary taco-maker, and renowned NYC-based DJ Matt F.X. Feldman. It's hard to believe this fellow gets any sleep, considering his productive lifestyle as Music Supervisor of the popular Comedy Central series "Broad City" and musical collaborator on Lorne Michaels' newer show "Man Seeking Woman" on FXX. In combination with those positions, Matt has been developing an album under the name Scooter Island, a musical cooperative with contributions from over 20 artists, all in the name of rooftop music. We've attached Scooter Island's newly released music video for the track "Breezy" below, via a Buzzfeed premiere. Additionally, Matt consistently DJs clubs and roaming parties throughout the New York area, whether it's an independent gig as Matt F.X., under the Scooter Island name, or along with his seasoned NYC DJ collective, Tribes.
It's safe to say that Matt F.X. is the definition of today's avant-garde within the music industry - his substantial and forward-thinking taste in music has earned him the label of icon at the budding age of 23, not to mention excellent party-thrower and chef. We're looking forward to seeing what's next from him.
He's made us a playlist of tunes for today's RBM Music Monday. You might hear a couple of these this week at his upcoming gig at Verboten. He's also included a recent mix for Discobelle. Follow Scooter Island on Soundcloud here.
Yesterday, Huffington Post released an innovative perspective on what we know to be the cardinal sins -- one in terms of a small business, and what can go wrong with social media. In recent years, social media has become essential in representing a brand, and has, in turn, created entirely new departments and positions at companies all over the world, both large and small. Since the concept of social media is so new-world, there's a lot you may not know about the digital realm -- for instance, just because you post something on your business's social channels doesn't mean your following will engage with it, nor will its following necessarily grow. Here are some "deadly sins" your business may be committing in regard to its brand representation on social media:
1) Pride Don't be too egotistical -- talking about your brand and showing its strengths are important, but it's just as valuable to share information about topics that have nothing to do with your brand. HuffPo suggests the "80/20" rule, where 80% of your posts should be non-promotional, relating to a separate topic that is still relevant to your following, and 20% should be promotional. All that matters is that people engage with your posts -- nobody needs to be reminded of how great your product is three times a day!
2) Greed Be altruistic by giving more than you take. In other words, share tips, coupons, or "secrets" with your following to help them do their jobs better, or improve their lives in general. Do something good for your readers, and they may do the same for you in return.
3) Gluttony Posting things that have nothing to do with your brand is important, as told in the Pride section, but avoid going on a wild tangent of posting irrelevant topics. Just because something is "neat" or "cool" doesn't mean people want to see it on their feed and attached to your brand. A "regular stream of content tailored to your audience" is suggested -- ask yourself, what does your audience really care about? Taking a poll or keeping track of your business's social analytics will help you figure this out.
4) Sloth We all can relate to this one -- don't be lazy! Post consistently. HuffPo suggests posting on Facebook between five and ten times per week, five times a day on Twitter (or up to 30 if you're so inclined), and twenty times a month on LinkedIn. Again, this all depends on your brand and what product or service you are promoting, so gauging your audience ahead of time will help you figure out how often you need to post. You may want to look into social media scheduling/organizing programs such as HootSuite or Buffer to make this process easier.
5) Wrath Avoid a PR nightmare by taking the stance of "the customer is always right" (even when they aren't). Never lash out on your followers online (or in person, for that matter) -- hiding behind a computer screen might make you feel like being rude or snippy with readers is inconsequential, but that's simply not true. Anybody can take a screenshot and re-post it to hurt your business, so always be kind to your readers, even when they say something untrue or hurtful about your brand. Reply kindly by apologizing to your customer, or offering a way to help resolve the situation -- this will certainly benefit your company in the long run.
6) Envy Jealous of companies with a ton of followers? Of course you are. But don't try and compete with them by buying fake followers to appear more credible. As long as you work hard, you'll get the following your business deserves, eventually. Where there's a will, there's a (not-so-shady) way.
7) Lust Sex and scandal sell -- this has been proven. Despite this, it's best to avoid dramatic social commentary or sexual posts on social media. There's a fine line between the relevant/interesting and the slightly obnoxious. Find the line, and stay on the "interesting" side, rather than the eye-catching and dramatic. You can't take away what's already been posted, because the internet always remembers.
Housing Corp is here to make your Monday afternoon much more enjoyable. The one-half Australian, one-half American DJ/producer duo is one whole of house music goodness, and they've thrown together a playlist (that would do just as well as a mini-mix played in full) for today's Music Monday. The tracklist includes recent songs from Toolroom, Dirtybird, and a couple of heavy self-released tunes by Skyler and Nick themselves.
Follow Housing Corp on Soundcloud
We at Ross Business Management (RBM) are here to help maintain your small businesses, both financially and strategically. A recent YFS Magazine article has provided a list of 10 methods to help you avoid financial turbulence as your business is growing out of startup mode - fortunately, RBM can handle all of these tasks and more. Tips, like maximizing your reserves and paying your staff on time, are no-brainers; although other tasks like keeping tabs on internal cash flow, and clearly defining your expenditures to make sure the items you spend on are truly valuable at their cost, are a bit more difficult for small businesses to handle independently. You may also need help incentivizing your clients to pay early for your services to avoid late payments, or figuring out where to raise money when you need it most, and that's why RBM is here.
Today's #MusicMonday playlist goes out to Snails - the curator of "Vomitstep", heavy hitting 808's can only give off a description of being "Snail-ey". Coming off of the huge release of his "SNAILEDIT! Mix Vol. 2 'Welcome to Slugz City' a little over a week ago, and his new major collaboration with the one and only Big Gigantic 'Funk With Me' - released two days ago - this playlist is some of his most recent inspiration for these heavy hitting bangers.
Today's Music Monday is curated by the team over at Filter PR! Filter PR was founded to help both upcoming & already established musicians gain mass exposure through various media outlets. They work with all the artists on today's playlist and continue to grow they are set to have a big 2015!