Meet Carmen Rose - London-based singer and songwriter, and also a Debitoor user.
I had a great pleasure to have Carmen contribute to our blog. There's a great deal to learn from someone who knows a great deal about the music business, managing your own career and staying on track of things. And off course it's always exciting to find out how Debitoor fits into her busy schedule.
Read on to find out how Carmen found her business focus thanks to accounting.
What do you do and how did you get started?
I specialise in singing, song-writing, and performing and have been practicing my craft since the age of 14. I started out with Musical Theatre then developed further training in Gospel, Classical, Opera and Contemporary. I’ve now focused my sound on the ‘Rock-Pop’ Vibe and operate as a Function Performer. I do write and produce my own material as well.
I’ve had quite a bit of experience on the UK music circuit and I’ve been privileged enough to have performed at great venues such as The Roundhouse, The Richmix, The Royal Albert Hall, The Grand Connaught Rooms, Canterbury Cathedral, Wembley Conference Centre, Park Plaza, and alongside Child Reach International.
I’ve been blessed to travel with my craft to places ranging from Houston-Texas, India, The Netherlands, Morocco and Ireland; and was followed by Crackit Productions for a Channel 4 documentary in 2012.
What's the biggest challenge for working in your field?
I believe the entertainment/music industry is quite a precarious one. What I find difficult is securing regular paid work and ensuring all my overheads are covered without being caught out in the red. I’ve now decided to work as a function band and have a more service driven approach than an artistic one... It’s proving to be more fruitful.
What's your daily motivation?
I’m passionate about music and performing. For me, it's a lifestyle not just a vocation. The opportunity to communicate powerful messages and enabling people to be entertained by my craft is a huge blessing. A lot of effort goes into prepping a gig such as ensuring my diet is sound, exercise, daily music practice, band rehearsals, music coordination and putting time aside for producing music. But I can’t imagine doing anything else.
How did you start with accounting?
When managing all my projects, I realised that I needed a sufficient level of cash flow. I also sought after a few grants and sponsorship opportunities. All organisations I applied to wanted to see a clear account of my expenditure and income. I’m useless at bookkeeping but learned in order to progress. I had to keep my house in order.
I also feel it creates a sense of calm when your accounts are in order. The music industry is expensive and it was good to keep tabs on what I was spending and reviewing my accounts to see if the spend actually added value to my business. From observing my accounts, I also saw what my most successful service was and decided to focus on that.
How did you find Debitoor and what made you stick around?
In 2013, I started securing paid work and needed a simple invoicing system. I came across Debitoor via Google and got far more than I bargained for! The system is so intuitive, simple to use, very professional and a great cloud system. It has taken the stress away from my excessive administration and has saved me the hassle and cost of hiring a bookkeeper. I’m a huge fan and feel much more professional when dealing with clients.
What's your favourite Debitoor feature?
I love the invoice, quote and payment tools. I can use this system proficiently without getting confused. My documents are neat and tidy and I have copies sent to my email. I don’t know how Debitoor could improve its service as it’s brilliant as it is.
What advice would you give to anyone starting off in your field?
Turning your passion into a business is one of the hardest but the most rewarding thing you could do. The advice I’d give for anyone is to provide a service that caters to your customer. I got so caught up being a ‘perfectionist’ with my performing that I forgot that it’s not about me.
For an artist that wants to be a business, it may be wise to be a bit systematic and create a business plan. Figure out what audience wants their craft and how they can sustain themselves financially through their artistry.
New to accounting & looking for a simple app to get started? Take charge of your finances with Debitoor right now.