A record Label is like any brand or company; it requires a method(s) of operation. The difference in running a record label is that the “product and services” it deals with are Peculiar. These “products and services” requires technical protective mechanisms, accountability procedure, good human relationship and public relations expertise, involvement in creative research and development and market interactions.

Firstly, Legal and Confidential Operations, these require that a record label be a company registered under the law and the company must there on ensure to fulfill all requirements of the law. Fulfilling these requirements means you must register your intellectual properties via trademarks and copyright protection, ensure all tax liabilities are taken care of, ensure everyone working, paid and unpaid, are working under a contract and never hesitate to take legal precautions. 

These consequentially ensures the following:

  • The company is operating legally
  • The properties, products and services are protected
  •  everyone’s involvements are spelt out
  •  confidential information is kept as they are
  • smooth sailing

Secondly, Financial operations, these require that the company keeps detailed records of expenses and income, and ensure tax compliance are fulfilled. Ensure that all expenses to be incurred are properly investigated and scrutinized before incurring such. Doing all these helps the company in many ways which includes but not limited to:

  • Financial forecasting for effective production and promotional planning
  • Accessing investment
  • Reporting to shareholders, investors, Artiste and Managers
  • Paying tax liabilities

Furthermore, a record label must ensure to hire appropriate and competent staffs who understands the “product and service “and the professionalism needed to be exhibited by such personnel. Employing competent staffs cannot be over-emphasized. An incompetent manager or Publicist can cause grievous harm to a record label than a cancelled event or endorsement deal.  A competent experienced A & R can be the trade secret of a record label.  Ensuring that the assets of the company are managed by competent hands is a priority that cannot be moved down wards on any list on “How to run a record label for Dummies

Lack of these key structures in place will lead to the fall of the brand. Although, one cannot zero this on one specific shortcoming even though you realize most record labels in Nigeria lack the mechanism listed above. Through experience, I can zero in on many factors such as

  • Incompetency and negligence of the owners, directors and managers
  • Misappropriation of company funds
  • Lack of due-diligence culture and professionalism
  • Human factors such as pride, ego, distrust, infidelity among others. (funny this is the most common one)

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