The Lyon brothers, Dominic, 30, and Alex, 28, utilised their difficulty of finding a job and turned it into an extremely successful million pound business. After both graduating from prestigious music colleges, they were struck by the lack of options available to recent music graduates. Their solution? Creating a music management company, Young Guns.
Young Guns identifies new musicians while also developing existing acts. The team, consisting of 8 people, combine helping acts to secure contracts with record companies, with booking gigs and providing entertainment at corporate events.
Dominic and Alex initially came up with the idea of Yong Guns almost 10 years before it materialised. This delay was due to carrying out research and expanding ideas for the business before they took the plunge. During this time, Dominic was working as an account manager in the advertising field. In 2005, the pair decided to take the risk, and embarked on the venture with no investment and no loan. Instead they used a £1,500 overdraft to constitute their initial funding.
Following Alex’s chance meeting with McFly’s management, Young Gun’s managed to convince them that they could provide a 60-piece orchestra (which, as yet, did not exist) for McFly’s upcoming performance on Top of The Pops. The pair frantically held auditions at numerous music colleges and managed to successfully create the orchestra in time.
This break gave them the confidence they had been lacking, and urged them to expand and secure gigs acquired from meetings at corporate events trade fairs and increase their client and candidate list. Since then, Young Gun’s have been featured in the press for providing the X-Factor final choir and being involved in Britain’s Got Talent.
The growth of the business has not been easy. Having only started in 2005, Young Guns faced the challenge of starting and expanding a business during the tough years of the recession. They pushed to expand in the Middle East as this was where they grew the business. The majority of the profits have been reinvested, so far, in order to find and develop new and existing acts.
Dominic and Alex hope to increase their team as, at present, the team consists of only eight people dealing with over 1000 musicians! Despite this challenge, the company’s 2007 turnover was a million pounds and Young Guns won the Startups Award for Team of the Year – a fantastic accolade for such a young business.
With Dominic the oldest member of the team at 30, Young Guns is a young company, employing young people to promote young acts and musicians. This fresh, energetic vibe often gives Young Guns the edge over more experienced, older companies. As the company caters for the record industry, the calibre of musicians is extremely high. This allows Young Guns to compete with other corporate events entertainment companies by providing higher quality acts.
The revenue is currently split between corporate entertaining and record companies at 70:30 respectively. The brother’s hope to shift more towards the record company side of the company, in order to get more of their acts signed and achieve their main aim of providing them with worldwide success. Dominic and Alex are aware that the company’s youth and energy is they key to Young Guns’ success. Although they hope to double or triple in size throughout the year and to expand to Dubai, they are determined to maintain the intimate, friendly and young atmosphere that has made them so successful to date.
Written by Emma McWhinney