Finding the Perfect Harmony for Startup Success

Matthew Hanna
Entrepreneur Matthew Hanna discovered startup success with his new small business - Harmony Creek Studio, LLC.
Entrepreneur Matthew Hanna discovered startup success with his new small business – Harmony Creek Studio, LLC.

Matthew Hanna loves to play the clarinet. He also enjoys the beauty of classical music. With so many tunes dancing around in his head, he thought starting a business in which he works with fellow musicians was the best way to further his passion.

Hanna, a client of 1-800Accountant, proudly started Harmony Creek Studio, LLC in January 2014. The company is home-based in Boiling Springs, South Carolina.

Harmony Creek Studio, LLC offers music recording and production services in both audio and video forms. This includes in-studio recording and on-site concert recording services. Hanna primarily works with classical musicians and orchestras that have been established for some time. However, he certainly won’t turn down aspiring musicians looking to make it big by getting their tunes recorded.

“I’ve been doing freelance work for a long time, so I wanted to set up a business mainly for the musical work that I do playing the clarinet,” Hanna says. “But I found a way to offer these recording services as well.”

In addition to running the business, Hanna has a day job as an IT manager, which he intends to focus on for a long time.

“It’s a hard go in the music industry,” he says.

In Hanna’s view, starting a business that has a great chance to prosper for long-term sustainability is all about finding solid clients and turning a profit. While he’s still in the early stages, he has seen some success with these processes already.

The majority of the clients he works with play classical chamber music. He says most of them want their performances recorded for online platforms like iTunes, YouTube, and ReverbNation. However, some do request CDs and DVDs to be produced for them.

While many small business owners must look far and wide to find startup success in certain industries because of competition, Hanna feels like he has found a niche that is a little more untapped than other fields.

“There are some local studios, but there are not very many out there that focus on classical music genres and venues,” he explains.

Small Business Marketing Strategies

Much like music and the Internet have become closely intertwined, Hanna has turned to online marketing as his top method of spreading the word about Harmony Creek Studio, LLC. He has a website – www.harmonycreekstudio.com – and a Facebook page. He also takes advantage of search engine optimization (SEO) to get his site to appear higher in search results.

In order to achieve startup success, entrepreneurs must overcome lots of hurdles. Hanna points to a few different challenges.

“Trying to figure out what steps I needed to take to get the LLC formed was a big challenge. Making sure I understand the tax implications of the decisions I make is also a big thing. I was not well versed on this at all prior to getting into this, and I’m still learning.”

He says there are both pros and cons to starting a business, but the advantages tend to outweigh the drawbacks.

“Lots of the time, I get lump-sum payments. This makes it easier to buy equipment and other items I need for the business. It’s a lot different than getting paid a little over time. Plus, I get to take lots of tax deductions on expenses that I couldn’t take before.”

Hanna says he’s been very happy working with the tax and accounting experts at 1-800Accountant.

“1-800Accountant has taught me a lot about running a small business and the tax and financial side of things. They’ve taught me about how to pay myself, how to handle expenses, what tax deductions I qualify for, how to set up QuickBooks, and so much more. It gives me the peace of mind knowing I can call someone when I need to clarify something.”

Photo credit: The photograph of Matthew Hanna was provided by Harmony Creek Studio, LLC and is used with permission.

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