And similar to a five year old i'm going to get unnecessarily emotional and awkward...
It only seems like yesterday that I was ordering the worlds supply of screws, plasterboard, soundproofing, and amplifiers, but it appears it was five years ago. It's been five interesting, difficult, cool and stressful years, but I consider them positive and I'm grateful for being able to have experienced it, and grateful for all the musicians that have come through these doors.
Now, the future is uncertain. Most rehearsal studios (and probably small businesses for that matter) are not secure in there success, but while we can pay the bills, provide a good level of service and earn enough to live, we'll be here. We've got plans for the next year or two but after that is unknown. If you guys decide to stop using our studio tomorrow, we'll be gone within a month. That's not unique to us, that's any business.
Financially, we've been behind more times than we've been ahead, and thanks to the support (both emotional and financial) of my family, Audio Works is able to offer, what I consider and aim for, a high quality rehearsal studio.
I've learnt that I have to be comfortable living in the unknown, the knife edge of whether you can afford that thing that will move your business on, or if you can even make rent. You have to be positive, you have to make connections & try new things, especially when people think you should be calling it a day.
I think the biggest lesson I've learnt is that you can do whatever you want. I had recently finished a job and was unemployed. I'd had an idea of opening a rehearsal studio as;
a) I didn't think it was that difficult, and
b) some of the studios I was using were terrible.
That's it. Nothing else. Fortunately, my parents loaned me some money, I got a business loan against that and bought equipment on hire purchase. Me and a friend built the studio over three months and I worked a day job for three years while I got it off the ground.
There definitely are easier, less risky, more profitable things to do, but this is what I wanted to do, and I can be stubborn.
This sounds both cheesy and stupid but the phrase in my head that pushed me forward was "if I build it they will come" (I haven't seen that film either). My rationale was that if it was good enough then people will want to use it, it doesn't matter about competitors. If my goal is to be the cheapest, and I can be the cheapest, then I'll get the customers that want cheap. If my goal is to be the best, and I can be the best, then I'll get the customers that want the best. It's simple.
I think that's the point really. It's not as difficult as you think it is, you can start small and scale up. Help is everywhere, just ask. If you don't do it, it definitely wont work.
Have a great day, go outside and do something, if you want.
p.s. if you want the version of this that includes my favourite cheesy saying and phrases, just let me know.