Whether you like Hip-Hop music or not is irrelevant to this article because this article is not about Hip-Hop Music but the lessons that can be learned in starting a business.
Hip Hop is one of the most powerful and now commercial forms of music in the world and whilst other urban music trends in and out, Hip Hop is the only one to pretty much stay in the lime light and evolve.
Is it a good evolution?
That’s debatable but it is a social, musical and cultural powerhouse of a business and here’s 5 lessons your business can learn from Hip Hop:
1.Use contracts in your start up business:
Practically every internationally Hip-Hop group splits up due to contractual discrepancies.
Who’s owed money and who’s actually taking money?
And it’s a problem that’s usually overlooked right from the beginning.
You see, a start-up business is much like a new up and coming music group.
You’re just happy to be doing what you love as oppose to monitoring the monetisation of your work.
Things like contracts, terms and agreements are forgotten because progress in one form or another is being made.
But that oversight of having no contracts will show its face eventually, usually when there’s a disagreement of some sort.
And that’s when you’ll wished you had a contract in place.
Whilst you may never ever need to refer back to a contract, it’s always good to set out terms and agreements from the outset.
As a start-up business it will help protect you for the bumpy road ahead.
Check out our Guide to Copyrights to get started.
Hip Hop Lesson: Get your paper right! (Your legal papers)
2. Expand your startup business with sub-brands
International rap stars love sub-branding.
They’ll use their newly established personal brand to create an associated rap group, sell additional products and expand their income with brand power.
Have you harnessed the possibility of a sub-brand for your business?
Sub-branding for start-ups or small businesses can work in the same way.
Use whatever success your achieving to create another brand that focuses on that success.
It can become a niche brand supplementary to your main work.
The great thing is that these small, niche brands can become powerful brands themselves, sometimes surpassing the mother brand.
It’s never too early to think about sub-brands so consider a sub-branding strategy for your startup
Hip Hop Lesson: Double Up!
3. Keep grinding with your startup
Back in the day, a rap from a single rap artist would be released every 3 years or so however the evolution has shown that the most successful artists are those who release albums and music more regularly and often.
Whether it’s a small un-famed side project, a gimmicky sub-brand or even a fresh cameo, to continue working can reap all kinds of rewards.
Working on side projects whether they be personal, professional, paid or free is just a form of on-going marketing and split testing.
In the design industry we sometimes cal them WIP’S.
It’ll help keep your business name limelight.
Hip Hop Lesson: Stay on the grind!
4. Outsourcing Services
The musical world relies heavily on outsourcing whether it be backing vocals, musicians, samples, beats or even lyrics.
It may seem deceptive or out of character as an artist but business wise it could just be seen as being more creative, clever and productive.
Outsourcing is a way to a means.
As a business don’t be put off by it, embrace it.
Hip Hop Lesson: Outsource and keep it on the down low! (nobody has to know)
5. Compete or collaborate as a startup
Hip Hop itself derives from a genre were disputes, egos and competition are in the DNA.
These disputes could make or break an artist but evidence has shown that better, longstanding results are achieved when rappers collaborate instead.
Today it’s become more profitable and powerful for competing musicians to unite and work together on music projects as oppose to against each other.
Maybe there’s no need to beat the competition, you can join them instead.
It is after all what most businesses do when they get to a certain size.
Hip Hop Lesson: (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)
Can a defamatory, degrading, violent and sexist music form really be so popular and should it really be used to teach a business lesson?
We can open a big can of worms here but Hip Hop is music, and like all music and media is an artform which in turn is sellable and then becomes a business.
You don’t have to like it personally but as a business Hip Hop is 40 years strong so maybe business wise theres something we can learn from it regardless.