Part One: Physical Assets
Band evaluations are usually done once a year near the end of October. The summer fests are over, the back to school gigs have been played. For most bands, a few fall and holiday shows are coming up, but playing out is beginning to slow down for a couple months. Rest and relaxation for all… NOT! Use this time wisely to evaluate and plan your Christian bands success for next year.
Take a band practice to evaluate where the band stands now, where you want to be next year, and what you need to do to get there. Start by assessing the physical assets of the band.
Here are some areas to look at:
• Do you have damaged equipment? Will it be more cost effective to repair or replace it (hopefully with an upgrade)?
• Did you loose equipment this year? Was it stolen or forgotten? Was it appropriately labeled? Do you need to replace that equipment? Be sure to check cords – they get lost or damaged one at a time and we generally do not pay attention to how many we are really loosing.
• Do you need to purchase new equipment? What pieces have top priority? Can you reduce the costs through endorsements or buying used?
• How well are your supplies stocked? Batteries? Duct tape? Solder and soldering iron?
• Don’t forget to check your road cases… Do you have enough and are they the right size? Are they in good condition? Are they labeled?
• How much did you sell of each item?
• What do you need to reorder?
• What should be sold out and then discontinued?
• Should you try new items? If so, what?
• Was merchandise damaged? If so, is there something you could do better to see that it does not get damaged again?
• Are your merch. cases working well and in good shape? Do you have enough? Should they be replaced or upgraded?
• Is your table and display in good condition?
• What worked well and what was hard to use or difficult to transport?
• What should be redesigned, replaced or upgraded?
• Does your display fit with the overall look and brand of the band?
• Does your cash box work well for you?
• Do you process credit cards? If so, does that work well for the band?
• Is your vehicle and trailer adequate for your bands needs?
• How many times did you break down?
• Is your first aid kit and tool kit fully stocked?
• What repairs and maintenance should be done?
• Do your vehicles need a good cleaning… inside and out?
• Do you need to purchase a different trailer or vehicle? If so, what is the most cost effective way to do that?
• Is the main computer the band uses adequate and in good condition? Are all your files backed up and the backup stored in a different location than the main computer?
• Do you have a pretty good stockpile of the supplies you use all year long? Sharpies? Paper? Toner or ink cartridges? Folders, binders etc?
• Does the band have an orderly office area to work?
• Examine telephone usage if you do your own booking. Do you have a good phone? Do you need a different plan – smaller or larger?
As you are evaluating, be sure to value each person’s opinion. Everyone sees things from different perspectives and has different priorities. Talk it out and try to prioritize expenses; set up a budget and brainstorm on potential ways to reduce costs. Realize that this is not an easy process because the band has limited finances. Do your best to come up with an actionable plan. But, remember that this is only part of your evaluation and this plan will have to fit in with the rest of the bands evaluation.
CLICK HERE to read Part Two which discusses evaluating the intangible aspects of the band. This includes things like: songwriting and recording, booking, internet presence and business structure.
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