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Starting an Entertainment Business – A Complete Guide

Do you want to start an entertainment business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting an entertainment business with NO money and no experience.

Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample entertainment business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample marketing agency marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for marketing agencies. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a marketing agency business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.

Why Start an Entertainment Business?

Almost everyone in this modern age would agree that entertainment is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It is very important to understand that the entertainment business provides recreation as well as many other things that relate to entertainment. We can also agree that this business requires a lot of hard work and perseverance especially if you are a new start up.

To survive you need to have a lot of determination and resilience. But regardless of the numerous challenges that the business world presents, there are known tactics that successful business ‘adventurers’ have adopted in time past and even in this 21st Century – which have helped them to succeed. If followed diligently, anyone can adopt and adapt them to succeed in their own ventures too.

It is very important to state that successful entertainment businesses offer a variety of services including music groups that perform at proms and other big events, clowns that entertain children, and disc jockey services for parties of all sizes.

From our extensive research, we have been able to understand that entertainers come from a variety of discipline such as folk dance, modern dance, jazz performers, musicians who play in orchestras and artistes who have a sizable following. Starting your own entertainment business is not an easy task. You have to understand that there are some stipulations that you have to follow if you are interested with this kind of business.

Starting an Entertainment Business – A Complete Guide

  • Industry Overview

The entertainment industry is made up of film, print, radio and television. These segments include movies, TV shows, radio shows, news, music, newspapers, magazines, and books. The U.S. media and entertainment industry contributes more than $632 billion to the economy and represents a third of the global industry.

We have noted that the radio and television broadcasting industry is composed of two different types of companies. There are public service broadcasters, where the funding is through public money; and commercial broadcasters, which are funded through advertisement spots. Note that radio and television broadcasters create and/or get content for broadcasting, such as entertainment, news talk, and other programs.

A lot of television broadcasters use digital broadcasting to transmit pictures that have higher resolution, known as high-definition television (HDTV). This sector can transmit a single HDTV broadcast or transmit several conventional broadcasts. We believe that this “multicasting” means they can transmit a music concert, for example, from several different camera angles on the same channel.

This gives viewers the opportunity to then select the view they like to see on their television set. Other types of broadcasters include cable and subscription or fee-based programs that have a more narrow focus, such as sports, education and youth-oriented programming.

The print industry which is also part of this industry is made up of publishing companies that produce newspapers, magazines, books, journals and periodicals, their online versions and directories, mailing lists, software publishing, and video games.

In this sector, publishers may publish works originally created by others for which they have obtained the rights. Note that published works can be in one or more formats such as traditional print, eBooks, CD-ROM, or proprietary electronic networks.

On the other hand, the film industry is on its own made up of large, multinational corporations, major studios, and independent studios. A lot of the top-name film companies are part of larger media conglomerates that also include television, cable, newspaper, and magazine organizations. Within the film industry are subsectors: film production, film exhibition, and film post-production. The top movie companies include 21st Century Fox, Comcast Corporation, The Walt Disney Company and Viacom Inc.

All these sectors mentioned above make up the general entertainment business, where jobs include reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts; writers and authors; editors; photographers; graphic designers; translators; film and video editors and camera operators; broadcast and sound engineering technicians; announcers; producers and directors; and performers—from actors to musicians and composers.

The workers who are behind the scenes and focused on the business side are public relations people, talent agents and representatives, marketing managers, entertainment lawyers, and distribution workers, among others. But thanks to the Internet and growth of digital content, media and entertainment is now available to us 24/7 through computers, smartphones, tablets, and eBook readers.

It has been made very easy that we can go online nearly any time to watch TV shows and movies, listen to radio shows, read books and newspaper articles, and more. Digital video recorders (DVRs) also free us from being glued to our televisions at programs’ air times—we can record the shows we like and watch them when it is convenient, which is great for us but not so great for advertisers counting on prime-time viewers to see their commercials.

Starting an Entertainment Business – Market Feasibility and Research

  • Demographics and Psychographics

History has it that kings, rulers and powerful people some centuries back have always been able to pay for entertainment to be provided for them and in many cases have paid for public entertainment; people generally have made their own entertainment or when possible, attended a live performance. But the advent of technology in the 20th century meant that entertainment could be produced independent of the audience, and packaged and sold on a commercial basis by an entertainment industry.

Reports has it that this industry relies on business models to produce, market, broadcast or otherwise distribute many of its traditional forms, including performances of all types. We personally believe that this industry has become so sophisticated that its economics became a separate area of academic study.

Almost every human being living in a modern city has been to an amusement park. Amusement parks entertain paying guests with rides, such as roller coasters, train rides, water rides, dark rides, as well as other events and associated attractions. Note that these parks are built on a large area subdivided into themed areas named “lands”.

Sometimes the whole amusement park is based on one theme, such as the various SeaWorld parks that focus on the theme of sea life. But we believe that one of the consequences of the development of the entertainment industry has been the creation of new types of employment. It has also made it very hard to classify the demographics and Psychographics of the industry or rather people who are mostly in need of its services. This is because every born individual on planet earth will to a very large extent leverage on this industry.

List of Niche ideas in the Entertainment Industry

The very first thing that you have to do when starting this business is to be certain of the focus of your company. We have been able to observe that companies that have a clear focus have higher chances to succeed in this business. What we are trying to state here is to make a clear niche of your company, and that you state your business statement and motto.

Try to make it clear and straight to the point so that you will easily direct your business to your market. When starting an entertainment business, you should choose what kind of entertainment section you would like your business to specialize on. Niches in this business may include;

Level of Competition in the Entertainment business

From the business perspective, the media and entertainment industry contributes significantly to the U.S. economy. Only the film and television sector alone contribute more than $41 billion each year to the economy and provide nearly 2 million people with employment.

Then the U.S. publishing industry includes more than 6,000 magazine publishing companies with an annual revenue of about $28 billion; 4,227 newspaper companies with combined annual revenue of $26 billion, and about 2,600 book publishing businesses with combined annual revenue of about $27 billion.

While the U.S. radio broadcasting and programming industry which includes radio networks and stations, consists of about 3,348 companies that gross an average of about $17 billion annually. Much of the total radio broadcasting revenue is generated by local advertisements on radio programs. There are more than 1,300 television broadcast and cable network companies in the United States, with combined annual revenue of $126 billion. With such analysis, we can say that the industry is very competitive.

This industry is filled with eager individuals who are striving to pitch a tent and be known in this industry. This industry is very competitive and cannot be said to be saturated. Demand in this industry is characterized by the need of the audience and how willing they are to get what they want. Note that no matter how competitive this industry is, proper planning and good talent can take you to a height you can only dream of.

List of Well-Known Entertainment Business Brands

  • The Walt Disney Company
  • 21st Century Fox
  • Direct Group Holdings (DIRECTV)
  • Time Warner Inc.
  • NBC Universal
  • National Amusements Inc.
  • CBS Corporation
  • Viacom Inc.
  • News Corporation
  • TEGNA Inc.
  • Wanda Media
  • Comcast

Economic Analysis

In our modern age, the experience of being entertained has come to be strongly associated with amusement, so that one common understanding of the idea is fun and laughter, although many entertainments have a serious purpose. We strongly believe that this may be the case in the various forms of ceremony, celebration, religious festival, or satire for example. This is why there is the possibility that what appears as entertainment may also be a means of achieving insight or intellectual growth.

Note that a very important aspect of entertainment is the audience, which turns a private recreation or leisure activity into entertainment. The audience may have a passive role, as in the case of persons watching a play, opera, television show or film; or the audience role may be active as in the case of games, where the participant/audience roles may be routinely reversed.

Entertainment can be public or private, involving formal, scripted performance, as in the case of theatre or concerts; or unscripted and spontaneous as in the case of children’s games. We have noted that many forms of entertainment have carried on over many centuries, evolving due to changes in culture, technology, and fashion. Films and video games, for example, although they use newer media, continue to tell stories, present drama, and play music. Festivals devoted to music, film, or dance allow audiences to be entertained over a number of consecutive days.

It is also obvious that some activities that were once considered entertaining, particularly public punishments, have been removed from the public arena. Others, such as fencing or archery, once necessary skills for some, have become serious sports and even professions for the participants, at the same time developing into entertainment with wider appeal for bigger audiences.

Also it is also clear that other necessary skills, such as cooking, have developed into performances among professionals, staged as global competitions and then broadcast for entertainment. What entertainment is for one group or individual may be regarded as work by another.

Starting your Entertainment Business from Scratch or Buying a Franchise

Analysis has proven that this industry is worth trillions of dollars, where people who are behind the scenes tend to make substantial funds. When you venture into this business it won’t take you time to find out and understand that the industry generally has many facets that work hand in hand to make it successful, and this provides multiple opportunities for any career focused entrepreneur willing to leverage on the industry.

For the sake of this article, we advise that you consider buying a franchise from a successful company that wants to sell its franchise if all you are interested in is making money for yourself. But if you are one of the very few entrepreneurs who want a business that you can have full control of, where you will be able to transfer the ownership to your children and maybe sell the franchise in the future, then you should consider setting up your own business.

Possible Challenges and Threats of Starting an Entertainment Business

Indeed the entertainment industry is a great industry to work in, and for you to make it in this industry you need to have patience, focus and determination which should be moved by love and passion for entertainment. Just like we stated, this industry is very competitive but once you have made it, it can be one of the most fulfilling and often financially rewarding industries in the world. The possible challenges you might face may include;

  • Choosing a niche
  • Writing a business plan
  • Registering your company
  • Getting a good location and registering focused workers
  • Establishing brand affinity

Starting an Entertainment Business – Legal Matters

  • Best legal entity for an Entertainment Business

The earlier you understand the various legal requirements that you will need to satisfy when starting your Entertainment Business, the easier it will be for you to start up without any hindrance. It is advised that you check with your local city and county government to get the necessary licensing before you open your doors for business.

Also since you are going to be working with corporate organizations and individuals as your clients, you need to incorporate your business as a legal body because it may be hard for you to get clients to use your services if they know you are running the business as a private individual, not a corporate firm. Advantages in incorporating your business include…

  • Aids to Protect your personal assets
  • Easier Access to Capital
  • It enhances Your Business’ Credibility
  • Perpetual Existence
  • Gain anonymity

Catchy Business Names ideas for an Entertainment Business

  • Revolution Enterprise LLC
  • Action entertainment Inc.
  • Future Entertainment LLC
  • Angel Mystic Music Inc.
  • Favour Entertainment Inc.
  • Craig Brothers LLC
  • Success Productions
  • Shandon Entertainment World Inc.
  • Waterside Productions
  • Bomb Entertainment Inc.
  • First class Music Group
  • Clear seas Enterprise Inc.
  • Manila Entertainment LLC.
  • Dance Hall Productions Inc.
  • Venice Media LLC
  • Diverse Media Group Inc.
  • Element Films
  • 3D Enterprises LLC
  • City Media Inc.
  • Film zone
  • Crest Entertainment LLC
  • Frontline Entertainment
  • Dream Tree Inc.
  • Clear Coast Entertainment
  • Eternity Entertainment
  • Munro Entertainment
  • Patrick Entertainment
  • Ordained Enterprise
  • PRP Entertainment
  • Sharp Edge Ent Publishers
  • Rising Moment, Inc.
  • Blue Ink Productions LLC

Insurance Policies

It is important to say that effective insurance cover is very important in this industry and it is a legal requirement. Most of your prospective clients may ask to see details of your professional business insurance policy as part of their standard security checks. Having a professional business insurance cover certificate will enhance your reputation and show that you are dedicated to your profession. Some policies you should purchase include;

  • Builder’s Risk
  • Commercial Auto
  • Commercial Package (CMP)
  • Environmental
  • Inland Marine
  • Marine (Cargo)
  • Property
  • Umbrella & Excess Casualty
  • Workers Compensation
  • Crime/Financial Fidelity
  • Cyber
  • Directors & Officers Liability
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Errors & Omissions Liability
  • Fiduciary Liability
  • Kidnap Ransom & Extortion
  • Media Liability

Intellectual Property Protection

Immediately you start up this business, you should consider registering your intellectual properties. This is for your own safety and the protection of your prospective clients. Note that filing for intellectual property protection for your Entertainment Business goes beyond protecting your company’s logo and other documents, but also entails protecting your investments, patents and of course the name of your company in the industry.

To file for intellectual property protection and also register your trademark in the United States, you need to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.

Is Professional Certification Needed to Run an Entertainment Business?

Professional Certification if you do not know is an important step in the career track of leaders in all industries. Professional certifications on its own enhance professional stature among one’s peers. Professional certification in this industry will speak volumes for you and your company, showing how established and experienced you are in all industry dealings. Professional certifications may include;

  • CFEE Certificate
  • Entertainment Studies Certificate
  • IAAPA certification
  • EMT certification
  • Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP)
  • UCLA extensions certification

Legal Documents Needed for an Entertainment Business

Have it at the back of your mind that every state or even country has different terms for issuing out such licenses, make an inquiry of the requirements for the State you are planning to run your business and get the license. Or you can employ the services of a lawyer to hasten up the process. Documents you will need may include;

  • Request for Reservation of Corporate Name.
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Corporate bylaws
  • Minutes of First Meeting
  • Insurance
  • Stock certifications

Financing your Entertainment Business

Be you in the film sector or the newspaper sector, finance is very important for business organization. You need funds for the planning of financial resources, making of optimum capital structure and effective utilization of financial resources. Ways to finance your entertainment business may include…

  • Debt Financing
  • Personal savings
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Applying for loan from your bank
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors

Choosing a Suitable Location for your Entertainment Business

An Entertainment Business can be started comfortably from the walls of your house, but have it in mind that the building you decide to start from will have a big impact on your business. Everything in it, be it the size, layout, location and appearance should all catapult your operations while respecting zoning and environmental regulations.

When we look around, we can all attest to the fact that buildings come in a wide variety of shapes, locations and prices, so you need to know what your needs are and how much you can afford to pay. If you have worked on a business plan, you probably know the amount you can spend on rent or a mortgage, utilities and taxes.

In this business, do not overlook the option of renting a location. This is because it may allow you to keep more of your working capital for business operations. You should also try to take future rent increases into account when deciding if you are to rent or to buy a business location.

Therefore, experts’ advice to seek the advice of an independent commercial real estate advisor who can help you set criteria for choosing the right building for your entertainment. Outlined below are the things to consider when choosing a suitable location for your Entertainment business;

  • Analyse if it is the right location
  • If it needs modification
  • Tax and infrastructure
  • Style of operation
  • Demographics and Psychographics of the location
  • Nearness to other business and services
  • Accessibility of the location and parking space for your clients
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic and security
  • Allowing for future growth

Starting an Entertainment Business – Technical and Manpower Requirements

When you start your own entertainment business, you can choose who to work with, define your own vision, and keep the full management commission. But indeed there are technical and common skills you will need to have to effectively succeed on this business. They may include;

  • People Skills

Note that the entertainment business is a relationship business. For you to strive you have to have your head on your shoulders and be able to network, make friends and business colleagues; this is absolutely critical to success. Also you should have it at the back of your mind that it is the ‘maintaining’ of these relationships that count. No matter how competitive the industry is, know that the entertainment business is a very small world, and you don’t want to go around burning bridges. It WILL come back to bite you.

  • Business and Financial Management Skills

When starting your own entertainment business, note that you are in a position to do things your own way, but a successful entrepreneur requires a vision that is compatible with the top business managers of the world. This is a business of long-term gain. Be sure to keep your eye on where you want to be and make decisions that can get you there.

  • Work Ethic and Drive

To succeed in this business, you must have a very strong work ethic and a high level of responsibility. Indeed this is a fun business but it is a business, so you need to have the utmost work ethic and drive to keep on going when times get tough.

  • Dedication to your clients

No matter the niche you choose, have it in mind that it is your duty to give your all and sweat to your clients. Your main reason for working with them in the first place must be for the love of entertainment. You have to put your clients ahead of yourself. You have to put their needs ahead of your needs. You must understand that you are dealing with other people’s lives and other people’s money.

  • Creative Problem Solving and Fast Decision Making

Note that in this business you will have to be able to calmly jump through hoops on a daily basis. There are going to be problems that arise every day. They could be good problems or bad problems, but you are going to need to figure out how to solve them fast, without dwelling on them.

  • Patience

Indeed it might take you awhile to achieve your goals or your clients’ vision, and it will take years for you to perfect your business. This is why you need to prepare yourself for the work ahead and also stay patient, knowing that the best is yet to come.

  • Knowledge

Knowledge in this context doesn’t have to be the knowledge you have acquired from formal education such as college or university. This particular form of knowledge can be gotten through experience from reading this website through and through, from attending conferences, from a mentor, from reading books, and many other ways. This is because you need to always keep up with industry trends and be vigilant.

The Service Process Involved in Running an Entertainment Business

It is important to state that entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience, or gives pleasure and delight. Indeed it can be an idea or a task, but it is more likely to be one of the activities or events that have developed over thousands of years just for the sole purpose of keeping an audiences’ attention.

Note that people’s attention is held by different things because individuals have different preferences in entertainment. Storytelling, music, drama, dance, and different kinds of performance exist in all cultures, were supported in royal courts, developed into sophisticated forms and over time became available to all individuals in the world due to the advent of technology.

We believe that the process has been hastened in modern times by an entertainment industry that records and sells entertainment products. We have been able to understand that entertainment evolves and can be adapted to suit any scale, starting from an individual who chooses a private entertainment from a now enormous array of pre-recorded products; to a banquet adapted for two; to any size or type of party, with appropriate music and dance; to performances intended for thousands; and even for a global audience. But note that the services you might be rendering will totally depend on the niche you choose in the industry.

Starting an Entertainment Business – The Marketing Plan

  • Marketing ideas and strategies

In this sort of business, take note that the application of fundamental marketing tactics is more valuable and effective than promotional fads and gimmicks. Your marketing tactics will go a long way to help your business to remain competitive with much larger businesses in the industry. You should know that what small companies lack in resources, they can make up for in marketing intelligence and expertise.

  • Advertise your brand as a community

Know that it is your duty to give your business a renowned social media presence. Your business can gain from marketing strategies that make use of communities and networks. It is always recommended that you make use of a direct mail campaign that features mailing lists from a reliable list partner. This is because it can boost a social media drive by growing your customer base and alerting them to your presence in the industry.

  • Understand your business niche

In the general business world, nothing promotes your business like how effectively you can speak about your services. Note that even the smallest service detail translates into key value propositions which are very important for distinguishing your business from others.

  • Business Sponsorships

Sponsorship is an effective marketing tactic for many types of operations, including this industry. Building successful sponsorships help create connections with customers; ineffective ones alienate customers and drain your marketing budget.

Possible Strategies for winning Competitors and Building Customer Retention

In this century, dialogue has been adopted as the best way to settle differences and rancour. For you to succeed in any business endeavour, you need to find a common ground with your competitors. Nowadays businesses especially in the entertainment business are now collaborating with each other to collectively get more customers. Note that if you want to take your Entertainment business to the next level, you must understand the power of partnerships.

First you need to quit seeing your competition as your enemy but learn to embrace it, instead of fighting it. Note that the benefit of this is that you will have less things to worry about and be able to focus more on growing your business.

When starting your entertainment business, you are advised to make sure you do your homework before you jump into any kind of partnership with a competitor. We advise that you understand and know them before jumping into bed with them, find a gap and make the best out of it. Effective ways to leverage your competition to boost your Entertainment business include…

  • Conduct Free Value-Driven Webinars
  • Create branded pdf reports
  • Refer Service to Get Services In Return
  • Give 100% Commission on a Front End service
  • Set and meet customer expectations
  • Nail the first impression
  • Always be adding value
  • Improve competitive advantage
  • Build ‘sticky’ customer loyalty
  • Let clients know what you are doing for them
  • Focus on becoming a dependency
  • Listen to them
  • Keep your eyes open for external environment changes
  • Know your weakness

Strategies to Boosting your Entertainment Business Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate identity

Cooperate identity is the overall image of a corporation/business in the minds of its audiences, customers, its own employees, partners, competition, etc. Cooperate identity is what lets your brand to speak with a unique and consistent voice. It helps you to begin to grow in people’s minds and you start creating a particular impression in them.

Note that developing substantial brand awareness will go a long way to help your business achieve its aim and get the number of clients you hope to have. It will be the ingredient that lets your audience know how big you are and also help to retain them.

  • Do not fail to send Out Proposals

In the course of your business, we advise that you take out time to send out proposals to prospective agencies and firms that could help boost and build your clients. We suggest that you start by letting them know who you are and who you represent, before taking your time to state what they can offer, and how best you can also help them.

  • Mouth to mouth advertising

This particular strategy just like charity needs to start from home. You as the business owner should spread the word around to your friends and acquaintances that you run a entertainment business. No matter how little you think it is, it will go a long way to boost your business. It is very strategic to offer them an incentive for every client they refer to your firm. We believe that this method will work well for individual clients looking for match makers or literary experts.

  • Be sure to create and maintain an Online Presence

You should start first by creating a website, and this website needs to contain explicit details of the services your firm offers, contact information including email address and phone numbers. You also need to employ an online customer service representative who will always be on the site to attend to questions of website visitors.

Then you should have a price package for each service you offer because corporate organizations or private individuals who are looking for good entertainment firms in your location may decide to look up the internet to find good firms close to them; the search engine will direct them to your site.

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