clients and topics

MUSIC RETAILING SEMINAR TOPICS

By

Alan M. Friedman, CPA

 

  1. Inventory Management – “How To Buy”
  2. Inventory Management – “How To Manage”
  3. Internal Fraud – “Internal Fraud: The Enemy Within”
  4. Business valuations – “Business Valuation of Music Retailers”
  5. Employee Compensation Plans – “Take This Comp Plan and Shove it”
  6. Music Retailing Problems – “The 25 Dumbest Things Music Retailers Do”
  7. Instrument Rental Accounting – “A Renting We Will Go”
  8. Business Sale Transition – “Get Me The Heck Out of Here”
  9. Cost of Doing Business Survey – “What Is It About Free You Don’t Understand?”
  10. Music Retailing Financing Sources – “The Loan Rangers of Music Retailing”
  11. Financial Topics Workshop – “Essential Financial Tools for Music Retailers”
  12. Succession Planning – “The Five Principles of Running a Family-Owned Business”
  13. Increasing Profits in a Deflationary Economy – “Deflationary Blues”
  14. Music Retailing Trends – “Standing at The Crossroads of MI”
  15. Music Retailing: Opportunity or Crisis
  16. Part 1 – The Buying Rules You Should Never Break
  17. Part 2 – Fixing the Buying Mistakes You Just Made
  18. Nostradamas, Chicken Little and Other Music Retailing Experts
  19. Tales of Survival
  20. Deal or No Deal
  21. Beware of How You Treat Your Music Teachers
  22. The Loan Rangers of Music Retailing
  23. Pretty Good for a Girl

Part 1 – HOW TO BUY(Summer 2002)

Too many guitars and amps, too few accessories, wrong mix of sheet music, unrented band instruments sitting on the shelves.  How does this happen?  In this session, you will learn how to buy the right product, quantity and mix, at the right cost and terms.  You’ll also gain the knowledge to improve your inventory management skills, preserve cash and minimize costly mistakes.  Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music dealer clients and vast product knowledge, will present this valuable and enlightening session.

Part 2 – HOW TO MANAGE  (Summer 2002)

You’ve identified what your customers want.  You’ve gotten the best prices and terms from your vendors.  You’ve implemented the greatest commission plan for your sales staff.  But cash is still tight, and we all know why…too much inventory.  How can you stop this dangerous trend?  In a follow-up of “How to Buy”, learn “How to Manage” your inventory.  In this session, you will learn how to identify where you went wrong and how to fix it…quickly.  Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music dealer clients and vast product knowledge, will present this valuable and enlightening session.

EMPLOYEE THEFT – MUSIC RETAILING’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET (Summer 2005)

Guitars, pedal effects, sheet music and accessories have suddenly grown feet and walked out the door.  Your bookkeeper has stopped taking vacations.  Your store manager has stopped pestering you for that raise.  Retail sales are brisk, yet your cash is dwindling and your profit margins are shrinking.  Could this be?  You bet…you’re now the latest victim of internal fraud.  In this session, you’ll learn about the kinds of employee theft affecting music retailers, and ways to detect it and prevent it.  Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music dealer clients, will expose music retailing’s “dirty little secret.”

BUSINESS VALUATION OF MUSIC RETAILERS (Winter 2002)

“ Given current market conditions, every business owner needs to know the value of their business.  Whether it’s for sale or acquisition, family transition, estate planning, partner buy/sell agreements, divorce or even bankruptcy, learn how your business is valued and by whom.  Many retailers make the mistake of spending time and money on factors that don’t add value to their store.  Join Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music dealer clients, to learn more about how music stores are being valued in today’s market.

Your employees are salaried – where’s the incentive to produce?  Your sales staff are paid commissions based on gross sales – where’s the incentive to be profitable?  You think they’re paid too much, they think they’re not paid enough, and no one cares about your pay!  Morale stinks and everyone wants a raise, but you’re trying to cut costs.  What do you do?  A new compensation plan may be just the right answer.  Join Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music retailer clients, to learn how to implement the right compensation plan that produces profits for both you and your staff.

THE 25 DUMBEST THINGS MUSIC RETAILERS DO (Winter 2004)

Just like other entrepreneurs, music retailers make inadvertent financial mistakes in running their business.  But the irony is they’re all making the same mistakes, and some of these mistakes are leading to business failures.  And don’t think “bigger” is “smarter” – big retailers simply make bigger dumb mistakes like out-of-control growth, no inventory management, lack of accurate financial data, internal theft and no succession plan, to name a few.  Fortunately, this financial distress can be prevented with a little enlightenment and proactive management.  Join Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music retailer clients, for the 25 answers to un-dumb yourself.

A RENTING WE WILL GO / MAKING MORE MONEY WITH RENTALS (Summer 2004)

It’s a widely-held belief that music instrument rental programs are one of the last few highly profitable facets of music retailing.  Does that mean rentals are right for you?  Discover new ways to make your program more profitable and insure you’re not using improper accounting and tax methods (you’ll be surprised how many dealers are in violation of these rules).  This session will explore both the benefits and costs of a well-run rental program, as well as the dangerous pitfalls found in many misguided rental programs.  Join Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music retailer clients, for an informative session designed to help you determine if rental are right for you.

ALTERNATIVE B: It’s a widely held belief that instrument rental programs are one of the last few highly profitable facets of music retailing. Does that mean rentals are right for you? Discover new ways to make your program more profitable and ensure you’re not using improper accounting and tax methods (you’ll be surprised how many dealers are in violation of these rules). This session will explore both the benefits and costs of a well-run rental program, as well as the dangerous pitfalls found in many misguided rental programs. Join Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music retailer clients, for an informative session designed to help you determine if rentals are right for you and if you already have a rental program, how to get more out of it.

GET ME THE HECK OUT OF HERE  (Winter 2004)

At some point you’re going to call it “quits”, whether it be retirement, an opportunity to be acquired, a mid-life career change or an unforeseen event.  When that day comes, three important questions will come to mind: (1) How much money can I get for my music store? (2) Who’ll buy it? (3) What can I do with the proceeds?  This session will give you an invaluable insight on how to value your music retailing business, who’s buying music stores, how much they’re paying, and what investment vehicles are available to preserve and grow your money.  Join the dynamic duo of Alan Friedman, CPA to many music dealers, and Trisha Sauer, CPA and Investment Advisor, for this enlightening session on “getting out” at the right time.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT “FREE” YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND?  (Winter 2004)

As a music retailer, your participation in the annual “Cost of Doing Business Survey” is the single most important thing you can do to assure the continuation of a meaningful benchmark against which you can measure the financial management and success of your store – and the whole thing is “free.”  The program is completely confidential, takes no more than 30 minutes of your time and provides you with a complete fiscal analysis of your business.  Join Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music dealer clients and a vast knowledge of our industry, for an explanation of this wonderful, vital and “free” program.

THE LOAN RANGERS OF MUSIC RETAILING: A Panel Discussion  (Winter 2002)

“ Unless you’ve got a stash of cash, it’s almost impossible to grow a music product retailing business without some degree of bank or institutional financing.  Yet the wrong kind of debt can hurt your business, or even put you out of business.  Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music store clients, will lead a discussion panel of four bankers from lending institutions dedicated to music retailing.  You’ll learn how to identify, request and obtain the “right” type of borrowing for your store, as well as how to avoid some of the pitfalls that cause the denial of a loan request. ”

ESEENTIAL FINANCIAL TOOLS FOR MUSIC RETAILERS  (Winter 2004)

“ Every music retailer needs to have a solid financial understanding of how their business works.  As a participant in this highly-interactive session, you’ll guide the discussion topics whether they be buying and managing inventory, designing the perfect comp plan, business financing, instrument rentals, internal fraud, music retail accounting software and a host of other important financial topics important to YOU!  Join Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music dealer clients, for a fun and informative session discovering how to improve financial performance and cash flow, and achieve profitability even in a competitive marketplace.

ALTERNATIVE B: “ You’ll learn time-tested inventory buying strategies, the correct accounting and taxation of instrument rental programs, how to improve your employee compensation plan, proper financing for growth, ways to protect store assets and minimize internal fraud, an update on music retail accounting software, and how to find the right professional advisors to help run your retail music business, instead of it running you !! ” CPA and music store consultant Alan Friedman cover topics vital to the survival of every music retailer. ”

THE FIVE PRINCIPLES OF RUNNING A FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS  (Summer 2004)

(Alan Friedman, CPA & Kacie LaChapelle) “This program focuses on the specific needs of familyowned businesses, looking at the key principles to a successfully run business. Topics include how to identify the warning signs of common problem areas, how to prevent them happening and how to deal with them if they occur. The instructors will also cover ways to improve communications throughout the organization and how key financial indicators can provide crucial information that owners and key managers need to be aware of.  Who should attend: Any family members or key managers who work in a family-owned business.

DEFLATIONARY BLUES – BOOSTING PROFITS WHEN MARGINS ARE GETTING SQUEEZED  (Summer 2004)

Your margins are shrinking, profits are flat and customers aren’t coming in like they used to. Yeah, sounds like a bad blues tune. But before YOU start playing for change on the sidewalk, join us for a session that can give you the tools you need to get back on the right road to profitability. Industry expert Alan Friedman, CPA, presents this fast-paced (have you ever seen one of his sessions that wasn’t!), exciting look at what you can do right now to stay in the retail game. Especially if you’re a smaller, independent retailer, you can’t afford to miss this session!

STANDING AT THE CROSSROADS (OF MI)  (Summer 2004)

We are at the crossroads of where the recording industry, technology and MI meet. Are guitar heroes a thing of the past? Have massive racks of hardware been replaced by a laptop studio? Are we too busy fighting for margin instead of fostering a musical community? Don’t give in to blues power or blind faith; get the keys to the highway to take your business further on up the road. Wear your badge proudly and join music business attorney Ron Bienstock, NAMM Industry Technology Manager Robert Bates and music retailing accountant Alan Friedman for a strange brew of lively debate and audience participation that won’t go after midnight.  And bring your Clapton knowledge to win a special prize at this session.

MUSIC RETAILING: OPPORTUNITY OR CRISIS? (A Panel Discussion) (Winter 2005)

Depending on your perspective, the music products industry is either expanding from vibrant opportunities or shrinking from a deflationary crisis.  Are gross sales increasing while gross profits shrink?  Are new innovations emerging while distribution channels choke from a glut of product?  Are new markets being explored because existing markets have been looted and pillaged?  And can anything be done to combat price deflation, excess inventories and low profitability?  Hell yeah!  Join industry expert Alan Friedman, CPA and his hand-picked panel of music industry leaders to get their differing perspectives and controversial answers to these and other tough questions.  The all-star panel will include manufacturer Sterling Ball (President of Ernie Ball / Music Man), national retailer Gene Joly (V.P. of Guitar Center), distributor Bob Saunders (President of Kaman Music Corporation), publisher Danny Rocks (V.P. Educational Development of Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.), journalist Frank Alkyer (Editor of Music Inc. Magazine), global internet retailer Matt Ledwith (Musical Instruments Manager of e-Bay) and independent retailer Joel Menchey (President of Menchey’s Music Service).  Come with your own tough questions to this trade show kick-off event (breakfast included).

Session designed for:  All music product retailers, suppliers and support professionals wanting to better understand the underlying causes and potential solutions to the financial constraints facing the music products industry.

PART 1 – THE BUYING RULES YOU SHOULD NEVER BREAK (Winter 2005)

Look around your store and what do you see?  Too many guitars and amps, too few accessories, the wrong mix of sheet music, unrented band instruments sitting on the back shelves, obsolete pro audio gear sitting on the floor and aging pianos racking up flooring costs.  How does this happen?  In this updated session, you will learn how to buy the right music product, quantity and mix, at the right cost and payment terms.  You’ll also gain the inside knowledge to improve your inventory management skills, preserve cash and minimize costly buying mistakes.  Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music dealer clients and vast music product knowledge, will present this valuable and enlightening session in his usual humorous way.

Session designed for:  Any music product retailer lacking inventory purchasing knowledge or skills, or any music product supplier wanting to better understand the inventory purchasing skills required by their retailing customers.

PART 2 – FIXING THE BUYING MISTAKES YOU JUST MADE (Winter 2005)

Okay, you’ve come to the show with a list of products your customers want.  You’ve talked with your vendors to get the best prices and extended payment terms.  You’ve implemented the greatest commission plan to motivate your sales staff.  But cash is still tight, vendor invoices are aging and we all know why…too much inventory.  Even if you guess right most of the time, you’re still going to guess wrong some of the time.  How do you fix these buying blunders?  In a follow-up to “The Buying Rules”, learn how to fix your mistakes and “manage” your inventory.  In this session, you will learn how to identify where you went right, or pinpoint where you went wrong and how to fix it…quickly.  Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music dealer clients and vast music product knowledge, will present his “one-page solution” to managing your store’s entire inventory.

Session designed for:  Any music product retailer lacking inventory management knowledge or skills, or any music product supplier wanting to better understand the inventory management skills required by their retailing customers.

NOSTRADAMAS, CHICKEN LITTLE AND OTHER MUSIC INDUSTRY EXPERTS (RPMDA 2005)

“Oh no…merger mania has caught up with the music products industry.  Guitar Center just bought Music & Arts, Alfred bought Warner Bros., and Loud Technologies bought St. Louis Music – and that’s just this past week!”  Calm down, Chicken Little, the sky isn’t falling.  Our industry’s favorite accountant, Alan Friedman, CPA, will provide some Nostradamian insight into why these mergers and acquisitions happen, what effect they’ll have on our industry, and how they’ll create some new opportunities for many music retailers to flourish.

THE SECRET WEAPON TO BUYING MUSIC PRODUCT (Summer 2005)

Did you ever wish you knew a “magic formula” that would guide you on every inventory buying decision?  One that was simple enough to do in your head and would always give you the right answers to “Should I buy this product?”, “How many should I buy?” and “Will I have enough cash to pay for it?”  Come join gear-head Alan Friedman, CPA, at this 20-minute session to learn the ultimate secret to perfecting your inventory buys.

WHERE’S THE BEEF? – THE HIDDEN VALUE IN MUSIC RETAILING (Summer 2005)

This has been a busy year of change in the music products industry – mergers, acquisitions, expansions and dissolutions; manufacturing has grown overseas, while retailers continue to contend with competitive pricing and erratic margins on their home turf.  These events and more are causing music store owners to ask themselves “Where’s the beef?”  “Where’s the value in my music store?”  “What can I do to add more value?”   Find the beef by joining two of our industry’s financial experts, NAMM U. speaker Alan Friedman, CPA, and Allan Greenberg, CPA and Senior VP of Operations of Music & Arts Centers (now a division of Guitar Center).  They’ll provide some insight into why these events have occurred, what effect they’ll have on the value of your music store, and how they find “the beef” when valuing music retail stores.

Session designed for:  All music product retailers, suppliers and support professionals wanting a better understanding of recent music business consolidations, their potential effect on the industry, and how to find and add financial value to your music store.

PART 1 – THE SECRET WEAPON TO BUYING MUSIC PRODUCT (Winter 2006 – Idea Center)

Did you ever wish you knew a “magic formula” that would guide you on every inventory buying decision?  One that was simple enough to do in your head and would always give you the right answers to “Should I buy this product?”, “How many should I buy?” and “Will I have enough cash to pay for it?”  Come join gear-head Alan Friedman, CPA, at this 20-minute session to learn the ultimate secret to perfecting your inventory buys.

Session designed for:  Any music product retailer lacking inventory purchasing knowledge or skills, or any music product supplier wanting to better understand the inventory purchasing skills required by their retailing customers.

PART 2 – THE SECRET WEAPON TO FIXING BUYING MISTAKES (Winter 2006 – Idea Center)

Since buying product is a game of educated guessing, did you ever wish you knew a “magic formula” that would tell you when you’ve made a buying mistake?  One that was simple enough to do in your head and would always give you the right answers to “Did I make a buying blunder?” and “Should I blow out this product?”  In a follow-up to Part 1, come join gear-head Alan Friedman, CPA, at this 20-minute session to learn the ultimate secret to identifying and fixing buying mistakes.

A COMP PLAN FOR ALL MUSIC RETAILERS (Summer 2006 – Idea Center)

Your employees are salaried – where’s the incentive to produce?  Your sales staff are paid commissions based on gross sales – where’s the incentive to be profitable?  You think they’re paid too much and they think they’re not paid enough!  Morale stinks and everyone wants a raise, but you’re trying to cut costs in an era of shrinking margins.  What do you do?  A new compensation plan may be just the right answer.  Join Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music retailer clients, to learn how to implement the perfect compensation plan that produces profits for both you and your staff.

Session designed for:  Any music product retailer wanting to implement a compensation plan that minimizes labor costs while maximizing store profitability.

TALES OF SURVIVAL (Winter 2006)

(or how about “The Music Retailer’s Series of Unfortunate Events”)

Unexpected mishaps, physical devastation, financial turmoil and unforeseen events have become commonplace occurrences in our everyday business life.  Some members of our music retailing community have suffered through devastating natural disasters, crippling employee theft, deceitful business practices by their competition, loan denials from their life-long banker and scrutinizing tax audits, to name a few.  But while some music retailers have been knocked down, many weren’t knocked out…and fought back to stability and profitability.  Come join industry CPA Alan Friedman and his panel of music retailers to hear their inspiring stories of survival and lessons learned so you’ll know what to do if bad luck comes knocking at your door.

Session designed for:  Any music product professional wanting to learn what to do when certain unfortunate events occur.

DEAL OR NO DEAL (Winter 2007)

If you can sell it, buy it!  But now that you’ve bought it, make sure you can sell it – and at a profit too!  Join industry veterans Alan Friedman and Danny Rocks for a fun-filled “game show” session of insider tips and tricks on both the buying side and selling side of your music product inventory.  Learn what sales, advertising, promotion, operational and financial programs work (and more importantly, what ones don’t) for most music stores, and how to use each of these programs to maximize your profit on each sale.  Walk away with both cool prizes and millions of dollars (in vital music retailing knowledge).

Session designed for:  Any music store owner who wants to gain more knowledge on how to achieve greater profitability by implementing music retailing programs that actually work.

BEWARE OF HOW YOU “TREAT” YOUR MUSIC TEACHERS (Winter 2007)

No, we’re not talking about whether you’re nice to them…we’re talking about whether they are viewed as “employees” or “independent contractors” in the eyes of the IRS and other tax authorities.  Many music retailers believe they can lower labor costs and eliminate benefits by treating their music teachers (and other workers) as independent contractors.  While this may be true, store owners need to be aware of the many factors that ultimately support or destroy this employment status; the wrong classification can have severe tax consequences!!  Come join music industry CPAs January Grasso and Alan Friedman to educate you on the “do’s & don’ts” of how to treat your music teachers.

Session designed for:  Any music store owner who classifies any of their workers as independent contractors.

PRETTY GOOD FOR A GIRL – A Panel Discussion (Winter 2007 )

Did you know that women make 80% of the U.S. buying decisions?  Embracing this trend, there’s a new generation of inspired, renegade retailers, suppliers, consumers and artists who are rewriting the rules…meet the Connected Women of the Music Industry, and they’re more than just “pretty good for a girl.”  These women are savvy, sophisticated, and immune to conventional thinking and marketing strategies.  They’ve made a point to study the wants, needs and buying habits of women that are often overlooked or misunderstood by other music product suppliers and retailers, men and women alike.  Don’t be disconnected any longer from this lucrative market.  Come join our industry’s financial dude, Alan Friedman, CPA, as he moderates a panel of high-profile women retailers, suppliers and special guest musical artists who have transformed market trends into actionable strategies and tangible results.  Audience Q&A will follow.

General Session designed for:  Any music industry professional who wants to better understand the buying trends and habits of today’s women consumers.

THE “LOAN” RANGERS OF MUSIC RETAILING – A Panel Discussion (Winter 2007)

Unless you’ve got a stash of cash, it’s almost impossible to grow a music store without some degree of bank financing, floor planning and/or vendor credit.  Yet the wrong kind of debt can hurt your business, or even put you out of business.  Alan Friedman, a CPA with several music store clients, will lead a discussion panel of banking, flooring and credit professionals dedicated to music retailing.  You’ll learn how to identify, request and obtain the “right” type of credit for your store, as well as how to avoid some of the pitfalls that cause the denial of loan and credit requests.  Audience Q&A to follow.

Upcoming Engagements



Past Engagements