Category Archives: News

4 Reasons Vinyl Records Are Growing in Popularity Again

4 Reasons Vinyl Records Are Growing in Popularity AgainSome love them, and some don’t, but it’s hard to deny the growing interest in vinyl records.

They have been trending upwards for the last 10 years, give or take, and you won’t find another physical format of music with this music staying power.

Here are four reasons vinyl records are growing in popularity again.

1. Sound Quality

It depends on who you ask, but arguably, the sound quality of vinyl is much better than CDs and MP3s. At the very least, they have a warm, natural sound that you simply can’t duplicate with digital media.

In an age where audio mastering favors highly compressed, loud mixes, vinyl still allows for a great deal of dynamic variation, meaning a song preservers much of its natural ups and downs that you won’t hear on a compact disc.

But it is necessary to invest in a quality record player (the needle is the most important component) if you really want to enjoy records as they were meant to be heard. You can’t buy an inexpensive player and hope to experience the rich tones of analog media.

2. Selection

Even if not for the many modern releases that have also come out on the vinyl format, vinyl records have a much longer history than CDs, MP3s, or music streaming.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t find your favorite releases on newer formats. But some of the older releases are going to be harder to come by on modern stores, apps or devices.

Records also have physical value, as evidenced by the existence of record collectors. Additionally, when DJs invest in records, they spend good money on them.

3. Album Art & Liner Notes

This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of vinyl records – they come in large cardboard sleeves that allow for more elaborate and detailed album art and liner notes.

This will become pretty clear if you do a side-by-side comparison with a CD, MP3 player, tablet, or smartphone. Modern devices are constricted by their physical size, and don’t have the ability to display anything larger than their screen size.

Vinyl records often contain other bonuses – such as posters, ads, or liner notes and lyrics – that you simply won’t find packaged with a CD.

4. Experience

It has been hinted at already, but records are generally considered “collectables”, are kind of “cool” to have, and are fun to use too. CDs are similar in that they are round objects that spin, but the motion was obscured from plain view. By contrast, you can watch as a record rotates, and enjoy the warm sound coming from it.

Listening to a record is a commitment. Digital media can be started, stopped, or skipped at will, but once you’ve put a record on, you’re obligated to finish a side.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of reasons vinyl records are growing in popularity again. Every collector has their own thoughts.

But the sound quality, the selection, the album art and liner notes, as well as the overall experience definitely plays a part.

Are you a fan of the vinyl medium?

Vinyl Records Are Now Available At MCC

Vinyl Records Are Now Available At MCCDo you like listening to your music on vinyl? You’ll be glad to know that you can now browse records at MCC.

Whether you know it or not, vinyl sales have been seeing a steady climb since 2004, proving that this is more than just a passing trend. This is much closer to resurgence. According to Nielsen, Canadian LP sales were up by 40% in 2015 (Exclaim! Music).

The biggest growth of all – unsurprisingly – is in music streaming, but it’s interesting to see how both analog and digital formats remain relevant today.

Why Are Vinyl Records Making A Comeback?

One can only speculate. There are many good theories out there, but there isn’t necessarily hard evidence to suggest that any of them are 100% true.

Here are some possible reasons why there’s a returning interest in records:

  • They sound better than CDs. That is, of course, if the mastering was done properly. But for the most part, the warmth of analog beats out digital any day… well, it depends on who you ask.
  • For the experience. Once you put on a record, you’re kind of committed to listening all the way through – it’s a very different experience compared to listening to a CD or an MP3. Plus, you can look at the artwork, scan the liner notes, and learn more about the artist.
  • The artwork. Records come in large sleeves and often feature detailed artwork and liner notes that complement the music. You can still get a similar experience with a CD, but on a much smaller scale. Digital artwork can also offer a similar experience, but a lot of people tend not to bother with it.
  • Collectors. Some collect guitars. Others collect Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia. And still others collect LPs. Name a thing, and odds are there are people who like to amass large amounts of it.
  • You can touch a record. You can’t hold an MP3. Strange to say, but the tactile aspect of the experience can be quite pleasing.
  • For the social aspect of it. Some people like hosting house parties and getting together to listen to a record while playing a card game, board game, or while enjoying some other activity.
  • Nostalgia. Many people look back on yesteryear very fondly. They like to go back and experience things that were popular when they were a kid, a teenager, a young adult, and so on.
  • It’s counter-culture or hipster to own records. There may be some status reasons for the revival of LPs. Some people like records because no one else is using them (not so much the case anymore), while others just like to be on the bleeding edge of trends. Either way, it’s all about what’s cool now. Next year, it could be something else entirely.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the reasons, vinyl records are back in a big way.

There’s no question that music can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways, and there has never been more choice. But if you want the full-meal-deal, the end-to-end experience, then a physical medium is going to give you more bang for your buck.

The convenience and immediacy of streaming is undeniable. But in terms of experience, it can’t compare to the total immersion that a record can offer.

The 3 Biggest Challenges of Running a Franchise Business

The 3 Biggest Challenges of Running a Franchise BusinessLooking to buy a franchise business?

Great – but if you don’t want to get blindsided, make sure to temper your enthusiasm with the potential challenges associated with running a franchise.

A lot of entrepreneurs buy franchises looking for guarantees, and while it might be a “safer” way to go, that doesn’t mean that you will succeed without effort.

Here are some of the biggest challenges of running a franchise.

1. False Expectations

No matter what business you choose to put your time, money and effort into, it’s important to recognize there are no hand-outs. If you want to succeed in business, you need to be committed to the task.

And yet, many budding entrepreneurs buy a franchise thinking it will be simple. In general, you will have considerable support from the franchisor – but that doesn’t mean that you can coast your way to a thriving enterprise.

Business is often messy, and even when you do succeed, things don’t always look neat and orderly.

Expectations have to be managed if you want to win in business. More often than not, you will need to persevere for longer periods of time before seeing any kind of traction.

2. Risk

No matter what business you get into, there is a certain amount of risk that comes along with it. A franchise business has a proven history of success, and while there might be less risk buying a franchise than starting other types of business, there’s no way to eliminate it altogether.

This often comes as a surprise to new franchisees. Franchise or not, there is always some instability in business. Getting started can be daunting, and you may need to lean on the support offered by the franchisor, especially in the first two to three years.

Remember to take some time upfront to assess the risks involved with buying a franchise. When you are aware of the possible pitfalls, you’ll be much better prepared to handle problems as they arise.

3. Lack of Creative Freedom

Franchises are established business models with a particular structure set in place. Systems, policies and procedures are what allow the business to be consistent from one store to another.

But the business infrastructure can undeniably get in the way of your creative ideas, whatever they may be. Following the plan is usually the safer route, and inserting your own ideas into the formula can make it go haywire.

Don’t be too surprised to discover that you won’t always be able to leverage your creative side in a franchise business model. Remember that systems were created for a reason, and that following them will enable you to get off to a running stat.

Final Thoughts

Buying a franchise is a great option for entrepreneurs, even for those that are still learning what it means to be a business owner.

But it’s better to be aware of the challenges and obstacles that come with running a business than to go into it without any frame of reference.

If buying a franchise in the creative music industry is something you’ve dreamed of, we want to invite you to learn more about Music Centre Canada’s franchising opportunities.

4 Tips for Franchise Success

4 Tips for Franchise SuccessNo matter what business you’re looking to get into, success isn’t easily achieved.

Franchise businesses require a lot of hard work, and they can also feel a little overwhelming.

But if you commit to doing the right things, you will see your business flourish.

Here are four tips for franchise success.

1. Find & Choose A Business That’s Right For You

Are you passionate about the business you’re looking to invest in? Do you have the skills and the experience to be able to run it successfully?

Don’t rush into buying a franchise you know nothing about. Take an inventory of your connections and resources. Consider what you’re good at. Find out if the franchisor provides ongoing support (a reputable company usually does).

Also take some time to find out what the business will require of you. Are you comfortable with the job description? Would you be bored doing what you have to do, or would you be up for new challenges? This should have some bearing on what business you choose to buy.

2. Create A Plan

Every business should have a plan. It may seem obvious, but the reality is that many business owners don’t have any kind of written strategy.

Take some time to set goals – short, medium, and long range. Work backwards to figure out how you’re going to achieve those objectives.

Then, stick to your plan. It isn’t of any use if you don’t actually follow through on what you set out to do.

3. Use The System

Franchises typically have an established system built on past successes. It’s your job to learn how the system works, and to follow it so that you can ensure maximum profitability.

Absorb the information the franchisor provides you with. Read the manuals or handbooks, ask questions, and if you aren’t sure about anything, ask for help.

Some franchisees take massive risks by implementing their own processes, procedures, policies and strategies without first consulting documentation or the franchisor. This can be risky, and should be avoided if at all possible.

4. Market, Market, Market

You’re in business to sell products and services, and you can’t wait around for things to happen. You have to drum up business by marketing, and getting the word out about your business.

Hire people with different skills, particularly if you aren’t confident in sales and marketing. Also ask for help from the franchisor if need be.

Also remember to delegate administrative tasks and other tedious or boring work. Oftentimes, you will be able to find someone who enjoys the work more than you do. Start focusing on what matters most – growing your business.

Final Thoughts

Although the tips outlined here are a great starting point, there is so much more that goes into building a successful franchise business. Make sure to take the time to grow your business skills, and learn exactly what it takes to make your dreams a reality.

If buying a franchise in the creative music industry is something you’ve been thinking about, we want to invite you to learn more about Music Centre Canada’s franchising opportunities.

What To Look For In A Franchise Opportunity

What To Look For In A Franchise OpportunityIf you are new to the business world, franchise opportunities are definitely worth your consideration.

It can take time to learn the ins and outs of business, and the franchise model gives you the chance to grow as an entrepreneur in a relatively low-risk environment.

But “fit” is still critically important to your success. Although knowledge can be gained over time, passion cannot. You need to make sure that you’re comfortable with the job description, and that you’re moving into an industry you already have a penchant for.

Here are several things you should look for in a franchise opportunity.

Long-Term Potential

Do you believe in the product or service being sold by the franchise network, and if so, is it in a growth market? Does it have long-term potential, or is it in a saturated space?

You need to do your homework to determine the sustainability of the business.

Quality Products & Services

No matter how passionate you might be about a particular industry, if you choose to buy a franchise that hasn’t built its name on quality products and services, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

Quality products will not only ensure the longevity of the business, but will also help you to stay committed to the business for longer (which is important to your success).

Training & Ongoing Support

Franchisors should be willing to provide training and ongoing support for those who are interested in starting a franchise and making it a success.

Talk directly with the franchisor to find out what kind of guidance they offer. Determine how long the initial training will take, and how it will be offered.

You need to be able to turn to an experienced individual when you need help, and if the opportunity you’re considering is sound, it should come with extensive support.

Positive Brand Reputation

Does the franchise have a positive reputation with its customers?

This information should not be hard to find. You can check sites like Google My Business and Yelp for reviews on most established businesses.

With some research, you may also be able to find and talk to previous customers or franchisee owners to get a broader perspective.

Just keep in mind that no matter what business you select, there are bound to be some negative reviews. Slow service and “rude” salespeople are very commonplace. If you’re looking for a reason to stay away from a particular business, look for major red flags (i.e. the majority of its reviews are negative, customers are complaining about major issues with owners, products, services, etc.).

Return On Investment

You should get a pretty good sense of what to expect before getting into the business.

How much will the investment cost, when are you expected to break even, and how much profit can be made once the upfront expenses are covered? Try to get these questions answered.

Final Thoughts

Don’t forget – it’s critically important to choose a franchise opportunity that’s right for you. Get into a business you can see yourself succeeding in, as this will greatly increase your chances of achieving your vision.

If buying a franchise in the creative music industry is something you’ve been considering, we want to invite you to learn more about Music Centre Canada’s franchising opportunities.

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5 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying A Franchise

5 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying A FranchiseIf you’re interested in starting your own business, there are some good reasons to buy a franchise.

Of course, it’s unwise to start a new business on a whim. There are no business models that won’t require a significant amount of time and money, and you need to make sure that you are committed to the idea before jumping headlong into it.

For many entrepreneurs, buying a franchise is the right move to make, but it’s still a good idea to do your research and due diligence.

Here are five questions to ask before buying a franchise.

1. What Are Other Franchisees Saying About The Business?

Are they happy with the way the business is set up?

Although it’s unrealistic to think that there will never be any challenges to deal with, it’s a good idea to get a sense of how existing franchisees feel about the current system.

Are they satisfied with how things work? Is their general sentiment positive or negative? Gather some information to get an idea of existing advantages and disadvantages before buying in.

2. What Is It Like To Run This Business?

Do you know what running the business will require of you? Do you have an idea of what the day-to-day looks like?

Most businesses don’t run on autopilot. It’s unrealistic to expect that any business will. You need to take some time to job-shadow, and if possible, watch other franchisees to figure out what you’ll need to do on a daily basis and for how long.

3. How Much Support Is Available?

Will franchisors help you get your business set up? Are they able to provide ongoing training and support?

If you’re a new business owner, not having the proper training could mean running the business into the ground.

Make sure the franchisor can offer ongoing support, and won’t disappear on you the moment you get up and running.

4. Do I Have What It Takes To Start & Run A Business?

You need to carefully consider how much experience you have in business, and whether or not you have the right skill set and the drive to be a business owner.

If you fail, it isn’t all on the franchisor. A proper franchisor will offer you the right kind of support and guide you along the way, but if you don’t know how to run a business and aren’t willing to learn, no amount of guidance is going to make a difference.

5. What Is The Biggest Challenge Related To Running A Business Like This?

More than likely, the franchisor should be able to share with you some of the biggest challenges they are encountering.

Keep in mind that there are no businesses without challenges. However, you should be thinking about the kind of issues you’d be willing to deal with, and whether or not you have the creative energy to come up with worthwhile solutions.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to buy a franchise, asking these questions will help you to determine whether or not it’s the right decision for you.

Are you interested in starting a business in the music industry? You can learn more about Music Centre Canada’s franchising opportunities here.

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