A Studio manager’s primary task is to ensure the smooth flow of booking and clients through the day and to keep the daily activities running. In this blog post, I will talk about a few things you can look at from a recording studio perspective that will help set in place processes that will ensure the smooth and efficient running of the studio.

Usually, when dealing with bookings, there is a constant barrage of new bookings and the job is to carefully juggle all the bookings in a way that you don’t have to cancel any extra booking and also that you don’t end up overbooking and overworking the engineers. In traffic, what makes the work challenging is the barrage of last-minute changes that occur, and the mad juggling that follows. The changes come from both sides. Clients confirm dates and times, and then a day or two before the sessions call to apologize that the producer was just called out of town: Could they postpone for an extra day? Or they say that the editor showed the finished project to the company, which insisted on massive changes, and she’s been up all night and can’t make it by 10 a.m., so how does a 3:30 p.m. sound?

No. 1

Setting up a clear Terms of Engagement

When booking a studio with any client there should always be a general conversation about the terms of engagement between the two parties, about what is expected of the studio to deliver, and to inform the client of their responsibilities.
Many studios go to the extent of printing out contracts that a client must sign before starting a project. Although this might seem too extreme and uncomfortable, this usually will save you a lot of headaches later.

One could also send across a booking form for your clients to fill online which has all this information on it.
Here are some terms that you should previously discuss with your clients to avoid uncomfortable discussions later

All sessions are confirmed 24hours prior to the booking:

The Studio business works on selling time and this point needs to be conveyed to the clients. In the case that the session is canceled a couple of days before you take it on the chin and try to fill the spot as best you can. If you do end up with a client who’s a no show, you need to ensure that the client is aware that they will still be billed for the session, even though they cancelled last minute. Trying to collect this money from the client is another story, but the idea here is to tell and inform the client about this rule far in advance to avoid situations like these from happening.

Minimum booking times:

Ensure that your clients know about the studio policy on minimum booking times, you don’t want people coming in for transfer just for half an hour and then find yourself juggling multiple clients and sessions around these smaller bookings. Make sure that the clients know that the studio’s minimum booking time is at least an hour so that they come prepared with enough stuff to record for an hour.

Payment Terms:

These should be clearly laid out before starting a project, for most big projects it’s a good idea to take a 50% advance prior to the booking and collecting the balance on the delivery of the files. In case that the clients want to hear the files before they pay, please explain the policy about the studio not handing over files till the payment is made. If you do end up with a client who just does not want to listen to your studio rules, send them a file with an audio watermark and send the file without the watermark only upon collection of payment.

All client Data and Equipment left at the Studio is at the risk of the client:

You can’t assume the full responsibility for any damage caused to a client’s equipment or gear that was left at the studio due to an unfortunate accident. Always make it a point that the client knows to carry their own gear once they are done with the session.
No. 2

How to book sessions:

I’ve seen myself move from more archaic ways of booking, i,e maintaining a diary to actually using google calendars to schedule booking and there is no doubt about the fact that technology has really made this task of scheduling infinitely easier.
You can very easily create a calendar booking which can be shared with the client, this will notify the client of the booking a day prior to the booking and if you like it can also inform the client an hour prior to their booking. This makes it easier for both parties to be aware of their time commitments and actually stick to their time slots, in turn making your job of filling up your studio hours much easier.

Schedule

Get in touch!

If you guys have another other questions you would like to shoot at me, just shoot me a mail at ronak@gray-spark.com.
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