Payment processing.

You have to have a way to collect money. There are lots of options out there, one I would strongly suggest using is PayPal, they are trusted and the customer service team is on top of everything. There's nothing like waking up to my Galaxy S4 buzzing because emails are coming in letting me know that payments have cleared.

Services like PayPal and Square make it easy for bands to get paid.

Having Paypal puts you in position to accept payments from anyone and anywhere, the client doesn't even need to have an account.

Mobile payment processing with PayPal, Square, etc

Services like PayPal and Square make it easy for bands to get paid.

Square: This is a little device that came out in 2010/2011, somewhere around that time. It basically turns your smartphone into a credit card reader. No more “sorry I just have a credit card” excuse for those trying to play the “i forgot my money” pity card. Oh and Square, has cheaper fees than PayPal.

Again there are others out there, but these are the 2 I trust most.

Get a business line.

Maybe not important, but definitely something that's important to me. Having a business line keeps my affairs in order. I know if my business line is ringing, then it's business related. We're going to be talking projects and pay. I'm not sure if you've migrated from the landline, but if you haven't, most phone companies will give you a basic line for $7-$10 a month. That's an easy tax write off.

On the other hand, if you have moved from the landline and you're more tech savvy, you can go right through Google Voice, Skype or any other VOIP service. I use different lines for different markets. If Skype rings, I know it's a sound design project. If it's Google Voice, its more likely going to be some type of licensing endeavor. Now, you don't have to have more than one, but it helps once you have everything rolling.

Get a smartphone.

Why a smart phone? They are awesome devices! What can't they do these days? My smartphone serves as a: grot box, marketing tool, beta testing device, Rolodex... It's a personal assistant.

It's a marketing tool.

Honestly, it's probably the best marketing tool I have in my arsenal. I can read/write emails; sign and forward contracts; update site, social media platforms, etc. I can conduct market research with it—it's nuts.

Most people just use it for spamming twitter and debating Mayweather's victory over Canelo Alvarez, etc. All fine and well, but there are other great uses for this technology.

Using smartphone as grot box

Your phone makes a great grot box. Especially for working on sound for mobile games.

Got box?

Phones make great grot boxes—especially if you're working in the Android and iOS gaming industry. It'll help you understand how your music will translate on other mobile devices as well as the cheap headsets they come with. Not everyone has a nice pair of Bose they can plug in.

Hosting your own website.

I always push the idea of having your own website as you have total control over the content, and it's longevity. I'm a huge fan of sites like YouTube and other free hosting services, but they can close their doors at any time leaving you in a bind. If all your music was uploaded on something like Soundcloud and they just went out of business.... Well, there goes your market.

The goal should be to get your fans off those networks and onto your site where you can keep in contact with them.

A professional email list.

The famous quote is: “The money is in the list.” I'm a firm believer in this as 77% (yes I did the math) of my income has come from being plugged in by professionals I've worked in throughout the years. I'm often passed projects or notified about them before they are released to the public. This is great because that's an easy-in most of the time.

When people think of email lists, they think of people to sell services to—and that's cool and all—but if you focus on building an email list full of professionals, you wind up with better chances of selling your services because the people on these professional lists will contact you when stuff needs to get done.