Founded Business : Beatshed

The “Beatshed” was a sister endeavour to Soundpond.net. A dedicated production, teaching, and practice studio, it was born primarily as a way to generate revenue to support moving into a new premises without compromising the radio stations ad-free values by leveraging the traditional paid advertising models. To not dilute the core station brand, it was spun off with it’s own business name, website, and social media. Beatshed was your place to learn and practice the basics of DJ’ing, music production, and live recording with a live vocal focus (primarily hip-hop).

One small problem, how to secure ~$20k of equipment when your capital was allocated to securing a new premises and pending move? Soundpond.net approached a major music retailer with a simple premise. We’re awesome. As *the* cultural focus point of South Australia’s underground electronic music culture our value-by-association was second to none for an electronic music retailer. Initial feedback was positive, with local and state representatives on board.

Unfortunately negotiations hit a snag when head office balked at the capital investment. The station was a new concept, and selling it’s “value” to people far away from the city we were based in was a difficult proposition, particularly without the traditional advertising model to spruik in terms of a $ “contra” value. Fortunately I came up with a solution : Throw us the equipment on a rolling 1 year lease. If the partnership was judged beneficial, the lease could be extended (or even updated with the latest products). If not, they could retain their gear and sell it with only a years depreciation, still a net profit above cost price. Or we’d simply offer to buy it out. An initial capital investment, but over 1 year the financial risk to them was literally nil. In fact, any way you cut it this sponsorship deal *still made them a profit* over cost, even with zero direct return.

Worst case for us this also shifted our capital investment in the gear forward a year, while depreciating it slightly. So not matter how the partnership turned out, both sides still stood to benefit.

These terms were immediately accepted at it was our privilege to unveil the sponsorship to our huge fanbase and dedicated team. We offered heavily subsidised hire to our existing show hosts, and in partnership with training-qualified members of our community wrote up a leading curriculum, which we teached in our off time.

The business was far more popular than we anticipated and was a definite win for the stations bottom line and fanbase, with many of our students cutting their teeth here before “graduating” to the main broadcast studio and even eventually securing shows, getting represented to the great city and securing more gigs!

There was a hidden joy to teaching. Imparting confidence on youth was one of the most rewarding aspects of my career to date.

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