So you’ve got a decent magic act and are ready to make money at it. As any entertainment pro can tell you, it’s quite a leap to turn a magic obsession into a profitable business. Fortunately, magicians Elliott Smith and Ian Quick have written “Highway to Success
,” a road guide, so to speak, that offers a solid foundation in business basics with an emphasis on entertainment. The book is a useful and easy read that dispenses excellent advice that can help you make the move into show “business.”
Part 1 of the book talks about setting up an office, running a business from your home, managing finances-income and expenses and starting out as a part-time business. There’s lots of good information here that is consistent with that in a good small business primer.
Part 2 presents different business structures: sole proprietor to corporation and dealing with contracts, liabilities and insurance. When the book discusses contracts and liabilities, it starts to delve into entertainment-specific information.
Marketing the Magic
Magicians will most appreciate Part 3 that focuses on marketing and advertising. The book offers useful chapters on agents; creating marketing materials and promotional giveaways; advertising; generating leads; maintaining clientele; pricing and more. Part 4 discusses business language, making cold calls, telephone scripts, meeting with prospects and booking shows.
Finally, Part 5 offers suggestions on making your services unique and being a professional in everything that you do. In the back, the book features sample invoices, tracking sheets, business cards, entertainment agreements and more. Better have a magnifying glass ready to read some of these, but it’s good to have them as a reference.
Roadmap to Success
“Highway Success” provides a first rate roadmap to create a successful business. Even those who already run businesses will find useful information. I know that I did. And as I read the book, I often found myself nodding in agreement. However, I had to learn the information the hard way. It would have been easier to have Smith and Quick provide it to me at an earlier stage and get a jump start.
While there are numerous books on the market that will tell you how to start a business, and you can undoubtedly find numerous such books in your local library, it’s worth reading a great book that is specifically geared towards magicians and entertainment. If you’re serious about turning your magic hobby into a business, “Highway to Success” has lots of merit.
-Wayne N. Kawamoto