I’m taking the time today to celebrate a group of unsung heroes. The people working hard behind the scenes to make things happen, keep things on track and generally just get stuff done: Operations Managers.

To run a successful record label, for example, you need a combination of talented individuals. Great artists, a driven leader and clued-up A&R are probably the first people we think of when it comes to label success. If those positions are the rhythm guitarists and lead singers of the record label band – the operations manager is the drummer. They’re busy keeping the beat and tying together all the elements whilst frantically expending energy!

Not all Operations Managers look like this, but they certainly feel like this 90% of the time…

Let’s state the obvious first, then work our way backwards: Operations Managers manage operations… What does that mean? Well, for different businesses it may mean a combination of different things. Their job spec is wide-ranging and covers just about everything and anything an organisation needs doing in order to reach their goals.

For a music-focused business, it might mean providing support to the different functions of your business: publishing, A&R, marketing… The nitty gritty stuff happening in the background that makes everything work. Having someone with an understanding of all the back-office processes and the ability to bring them together and have them working in harmony is invaluable to the smooth running of a business that has so many moving parts.

“Making sure the operations team & marketing team are working hand in hand is key to any music business. Many people have the mentality that these two are separate, but in order to have a successful operations function...these in fact need to compliment each other!”

Silvia Montello - Vice President of Operations at AWAL/Kobalt

An operations manager at a record label could be the lynchpin of your supply chain process, ensuring the delivery of digital and physical releases. Your ops manager might be in charge of recruitment, mentoring new staff and liaising with industry contacts – the list goes on.

Operations managers in music can be known as label managers, because they are the very glue holding everything together – and if your music business doesn’t have one yet… you need to give us a call so we can help you find one!

Does this image give you anxiety? Me too. Hire an Operations Manager and let them do this stuff…

If your business is young, the founder or CEO might carry out these functions. If this sounds like your business, or where your business was at the start, you’ll know that it can’t last long. In order for your company to grow and flourish, you need to free up the leader to do what they do best – and lead!

Growing and expanding is vital when it comes to music. If you stay still in this industry, you stagnate pretty quickly. When you reach the growth and expansion phase you need a competent, organised and fearless operations manager to help you push above and beyond the goals you’ve set for your business. As you expand further, it may be the case that you need a team of staff working on operations to ensure everything runs smoothly and nothing is left to slip. Remember, there is no rhythm without a drummer keeping the beat!

“An operations manager is a business’s echo system… Ensuring that your clients are happy, your employees are happy and working out where you can then add value once those have been met… You need to think on your feet”

Nathan Burroughs – Operations Manager at Genre Music

With the right Operations Manager your music business could be hurtling towards its next success – without one, you might be a missing a beat! If you’re looking for your first hire in this area, want to expand your team or even just discuss your needs – give me a call, any time.


0203 773 3530


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