INCOME / FEES
You Don't Need An Accounting Degree
To Act Like A Voice Over Business. Three Tips ...
August 4, 2016
By Tom Dheere
I love accounting.
I know, I know: there’s something very, very wrong with me - and what the hell am I doing in the voice over industry?
Some of my friends still wonder how a guy like me who loves numbers, organization and structure can thrive in such an unpredictable, right-brained vocation.
Frankly, so do I.
But here’s the thing. As a voice talent, you’re not an employee. You’re not an artist. You’re not a child.
You’re a business. You need to think like one and act like one.
There’s plenty of time in the booth to be all creative and whimsical and bard-like. That’s the fulfilling, wonderful part of the deal that we all aspire to do and be as much as possible.
THE NOT-SO-FUN STUFF
Still, you need to do the work to get the job. You need to sit your ass down, be a grown-up, and do the not-so-fun stuff now to get to do the fun stuff later.
That includes invoicing, building and sticking to a budget, and learning how to save for the future.
Don’t wanna do the grown-up stuff? Have a lolly-pop and join your local community theater group. Is that enough tough love for you?
Here’s the other side of that coin.
You know that feeling when you get that phone call or email congratulating you on the voice over gig you just booked? The one that makes you spin around and do a little dance in your office? That feeling you get because you know one your efforts that took weeks, months, or years to do or maintain actually paid off?
I especially love that feeling when I know it happened as a result of me crunching the numbers, and letting that guide me through the process of building my voice over business.
To be able to marry the creative with the technical gives me great satisfaction. I don’t know, I guess I’m just weird like that.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You don’t need a degree in Accounting to have some level of financial intelligence when it comes to your business. Here are three tips:
1. Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. This book changed how I think - not about only money, but about who I am as a person and how I make decisions.
2. Know your cash flow. Create a budget for your business as well as your personal life.
You should know where every penny comes from and where every penny goes. The more you know that, the better you’ll understand how effective your marketing efforts are, and you can make better decisions down the road.
3. Keep business and personal separate. You should have at least two checking accounts.
All of your voice over income should go into the business account, and all business-related expenses should go out of it.
Then transfer your profit to a second checking account to pay for your personal expenses.
Trust me, when the IRS comes a knockin’, you’d better have a clean audit trail or things could get wonky.
Over nearly two decades, Tom Dheere has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries and voiced more than 40 audiobooks. He is also a voice over business consultant, coach at Edge Studio, was the marketing consultant for the Voice Over Virtual online conference, and is also writer/producer of the new sci-fi action comic book Agent 1.22.
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