This week, our client spotlight is Shawn Pennington, CEO and founder of Pennington Entertainment in Nashville, TN. We spoke with Shawn about his company, the evolving music industry, and got some best practices for new businesses!
TenantBase worked with Shawn as he was looking for a space for his new business, which included finding a creative office environment for his office on Music Row in Nashville.
Shawn Pennington, CEO and Founder of Pennington Entertainment
About Pennington Entertainment:
Shawn Pennington launched Pennington Entertainment in March 2016 with the two goals 1) give musicians the best possible service 2) offer convenient and flexible managing. Shawn offers full-service artist development and management and creates a cohesive agenda for his performers by coordinating aspects such as sponsorship, merchandising, concert marketing, and PR.
Popular musicians such as Parmalee and Thompson Square are current clients of Pennington Entertainment. Shawn has gained an impressive reputation in the country music industry through his 12 million record sales, 8 #1 singles, 12 top 10 singles, 21 top 20 singles, and 28 top 40 singles. Shawn will continue to apply his prior success with artists at Pennington Entertainment, and will create a more efficient system through emphasizing customer satisfaction, business productivity, and good ethics.
The modern music business has dramatically changed due to technology and reliance on large, slow-moving firms. The ability to listen to music online means that musicians have lost a main form of income: album sales. Now that the majority of music is available to stream, artists must find and create new revenue streams. Most musicians aren’t business men and struggle to schedule and manage all the different services that individual corporations offer. It is easy to get distracted from their work as they become consumed by the business aspect of music.
The Pennington Solution:
Pennington Entertainment manages artists’ daily tasks such as publicity, tour planning, and marketing, empowering artists to generate as much revenue as possible while still staying focused on their careers. Pennington’s team is small and efficient; they collaborate and quickly respond to just about any task. The team embraces different roles in order to avoid unnecessary “red tape” that slows down larger companies. Responsive, focused, and personalized attention to clients allows more time for creativity and the actual production of music.
Shawn heavily leverages data in order to gain an accurate perspective of how his businesses are performing. In addition to Pennington Entertainment, Shawn owns a restaurant, bar, and a retail store, so reliable software that can be accessed from his phone is important. Due to platforms like QuickBooks, Intuit payroll, and Dropbox, Pennington Entertainment’s tasks are efficiently handled and more time is devoted to clients.
Shawn's Advice for New Small Businesses:
Take Every Opportunity: Having a small business is not a 9-5 job, it’s a 24/7 job… so you have to hustle.
Manage Money Intelligently: It is easy to see revenue rather than net revenue. This can mean living beyond your means too fast; it is important to manage expenses based on balance and needs.
Automate, Automate, Outsource: I can manage my entire business from my iPhone – I even run payroll on my cell phone! Tools like Quickbooks and Dropbox make things seamless and easily accessible. I am a huge fan of the freelance community and using Upwork.com and Fiverr.com to get things done – from the creative standpoint, you get lots of ideas you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Cover the basics: Businesses are successful when you cover the basics: 1) create a wonderful customer experience 2) make smart, data-based decisions, 3) work hard and 4) be ethical. Don’t forget to track financials accurately so you have a picture of what is happening. Don’t waste time and energy cutting corners or trying to “beat the system.”