Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in music but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Pete McAllen, Founder of McAllen Music Limited, located in Cambridge, Cambs., UK.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business works as an unofficial small record label for the artist Pyramid Park (me). Pyramid Park began after playing live for several years under my own name. As time went on, the music changed, and it became clear an artist name needed to reflect this. Now, McAllen Music serves the touring, recording, and releases of Pyramid Park, plus additional educational resources and label services for artists. My customers include fans of indie pop music.

Tell us about yourself

As an independent music artist, I began running the business side of things way before realising I had unofficially started a micro business. The idea of pioneering a new way of working, where I had 100% control of my rights, music, and company, was attractive, and so with some encouragement from trusted advisors, I began a limited company with my wife.

Each time I play live, I am reminded by the power of a song. A song that could have been written five years ago but still speaks to someone in the audience. It is these moments that motivate me. In the world of music, it is really challenging to create a sustainable business, and you require multiple revenue streams, need to be highly organised, and give enough time and energy to the creative process.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

A few months ago, I signed a publishing contract for 13 Pyramid Park songs. What opened this opportunity was a project I wrote and recorded during the most intense parts of the pandemic. Although like many, I had to re-think my business model and try to salvage what was left of my business, this season allowed me to create a project I'm really proud of. To have a bunch of songs released through a music publisher is a great step forward.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Having to juggle everything. I find it very easy to get caught up in the ever-growing list and forget about the important assets that only I can create. Finding the right people to outsource to and building a healthy sense of team is vital. The challenge is finding and growing with people with a common vision.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. If you can, gradually increase your business hours and decrease your day job hours until you feel you have a good grasp of the business and revenue sources.
  2. Don't underestimate the expenses of a business. Do your due diligence to work out costings and create a buffer.
  3. Don't be afraid of failure. We often learn by making mistakes. Each lesson is valuable; we can become better people by reflecting and changing as a consequence of these moments.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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