06 Jun 2021 // 6 minute read
Band management software are becoming quite a popular option for musicians who run large bands. They are also popular with freelance musicians and artists wanting to be more streamlined in their organisation. They provide an online platform where band leaders can manage their musicians, clients, contracts, invoices and much more, but the question remains, do you need one?
The first question you need to ask yourself is how much time are you spending organising one event? In our experience most band leaders can juggle managing one, or maybe two events per week without needing a tool to help them. If you're wanting to manage more events it's a definite yes that you should seriously look at the options available to you.
There is no doubt, a band management software saves you time as they easily allow you to pre-input information and use it time and time again when organising events. Let's take organising a wedding band for example. You typically need all the information about the event (date, time, setup, soundcheck information, what services you need to provide etc.), client information, book musicians, organise a setlist, equipment, contracts, and invoices. If you're not using a management software, where does all this information get stored? Excel, emails, text messages, written down? It's starts to become quite messy, and mistakes can be made.
Using a management software removes the stress and helps you store all the information in one place. Take booking musicians - most software will allow you to assign musicians to an event and manage their payment, availability, and handle communications.
What if you only manage one event per week? Well, that's fine too, band management software allows you to spend a lot less time organising that event and focus on your music and other job you may need to do.
Not only do band management software’s help you save time and store information in one place, but they make you look professional to both your musician and your clients. Having a platform where musicians can login and submit their invoices, see their income, and download event information gives them much greater control of their work. It sends a message that you're serious about the job you are hiring them for.
For clients it's pretty much the same. People don't like to ask for information, so providing a client with their own portal where they can login and see all their event information is a bonus and makes you look super organised. Not only this, but most good band management software’s will allow clients to see, and sometimes pay invoices and sign contracts online.
Aside from saving you time and looking professional, band management software’s can help you with other duties you have with running a music business. Take Band Pencil for example, we allow band leaders to track and manage their inventory, upload files which can be attached to events and shared with musicians and clients, run income reports and track unpaid invoices and that's just some of the extensive features we have.
One of our most popular feature is our band/ line-up builder. You build a band within Band Pencil, tag it to and event and we'll automatically let you know which musicians you still need to book to complete the band. This is a game changing features especially for larger music groups.
A good question, and the answer is it completely depends on your situation. If you're only managing a handful of events each year and you have plenty of time to organising them, then a band management software might be of very little benefit to you. Does the cost outweigh the time saved? Usually, yes, but if you're just starting out then you might not need one. However, it's good to get started well and using a management software might be a good start to your career.
Choosing the right software is tricky. Most software will offer you a free trial, so we recommend you sign up and try them out for yourself. You should also look out for testimonials from other customers and if you're ever unsure contract the software with your questions. Have a read of what our customers are saying. You should also pick a software which is feature rich. You might not need all the features, but as you grow you might find you need them.
We suggest you avoid looking at comparison charts, or if you do take them with a huge pinch of salt! Often, they are outdated and very bias towards their own software. Instead, you should sign up and see if what they are offering really suits your needs. If it doesn't, move on to the next one.
The question should really be, how much should a band management software cost? This is a good question and like most things there isn't a clear answer. Most band management software will be on a per month, or per year subscription. They range from $5-$100 per month. Look at how often the software is updated and how modern the user interface is. The more they update it and the easier it is to use, the better value for money you will receive. Usually if you pay per year you will receive a discount. Software isn’t cheap and you should pay for what you can afford and what software offers the best service.
What's the difference between artist management software, musician management software and band management software? Not a lot really, they all pretty much do the same thing. Artist management usually has a few more features as artists need to manage extra stuff like merchandise tracking and hotel and travel bookings. Usually, they are all the same software just branded differently. Agency management software is very different however. These software’s usually need audit tracking, user management and multiuser support. As expected, these usually cost a lot more, some even $1000+ per year. A bonus to agency management software is they are usually what we call white labelled. This means the software can be branded to your business. For example, displaying your logo within emails and your logo on the client portal. This is something Band Pencil offers on our Premium plan!
So, do you need a management software? Well hopefully this article has helped you answer that question for yourself. We believe the time you save and the fact everything is managed from one place is a certainly worth the cost. Try them out for yourself and see if it works for you!
P.S. Online software is often refereed to as SaaS. This stands for Software as a Service - techradar explain what a SaaS is in this article.
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