Coptium (loosely, “choose growth” in Latin) is a term that any business, particularly those in the entertainment industry can embrace – in order to remain competitive and successful, you must grow. Alongside growth comes the need for professionals to help small businesses to develop and reach their potential.
Enter Coptium, a management consulting firm that offers an unprecedented, holistic, human approach to traditional consulting and management. With a team including a Fortune 500 marketing company, Madonna’s former business manager, and a team of industry experts, Coptium offers effective, robust accounting, business management, social media and marketing services at a fraction of the traditional cost.
The end goal is simple: A world in which music and art are supported and valued as equally as the corporate dollar. How to tie art with financial freedom? Coptium’s “Launch” series is a new, curated showcase concert series that truly nurtures and artists work, provides and activated community around their music, and compensates them with not only monetary pay, but also business and financial support services.”
Pete Mason: When did the idea to create a business like Coptium come together?
Brian Stollery: When I was creating videos at Relix, it was a lot of fun and something I enjoyed, but I was one person and could only work with one band or artist on a video at a time. It would go online, it would get views, it might move the needle for the band or the event. I quite simply wanted to widen my scope and now I am working with renewed focus on moving the needle of the world. As much as I love making a video with a band, I would much rather step in and help bands really move the needle and really grow their bottom line. And I have found that a lot of bands historically don’t think of themselves as a business. They don’t have a P&L sheet, they don’t generally file taxes as a band, and they don’t think of themselves as a viable financial business entity.
The team I put together can help them do this. Artists can create and do what they want to do while we take care of the rest. With Coptium, we can widen the scope and effect the entire community as a whole, rather than just with one band at a time.
PM: What do you find is the biggest initial hurdle bands face?
BS: Bands rarely have startup capital. Musicians know how to create, they know how to play music and so much of that comes from feeling and emotion and that space in our brain, but bands are never coming from the analytical part, the business side of things. They’re never saying “Let’s form a band, and then reinvest 20% of our gross! Then let’s look into tax deferment and pay our taxes quarterly!” No band ever says that, because they’re musicians and they like to play music. If they wanted to do business, they would have gotten an MBA. If you look at some bands with startup capital that have a business manager, they are the bands still out there today playing and making money.
PM: What is the best advice you can offer bands that are starting out?
BS: Get a band credit card, put all your expenses for touring on that credit card. Log a spreadsheet of all of your income, a note on each performance’s revenue. Create another spreadsheet of expenses, and that’s all you need to always be flat with the IRS. If you have an accountant, that would make their life easier. If you do band taxes through Turbotax or one of those companies, you could do your taxes in an hour. There are a million reasons you may bypass this, but this is your business and you are allowed to deduct business expenses from taxes. If you don’t do that, you are probably overpaying on taxes. It sounds so counterintuitive as a musician to put your income and expenses on a spreadsheet, but it is a very easy way to actually see if you have a profitable foundation for your business.
If you’re interested in performing as part of the “Launch” concert series, or interested in learning more about Coptium’s business services, contact Launch@Coptium.com for more info.