I’ve been writing articles for The Disc Jockey News for years now and every once in a while I’ll get an email with a response. A question or a comment. When Stacy asked me to start contributing to this site she told me that readers could leave comments right under my articles. This seemed more immediate than the occasional email so my response was pretty positive. Careful what you wish for.
When I saw I had my very first comment to my very first article I was pretty excited. Let’s see what a new, online reader had to say:
I’ve been training people and passively working towards going multi-op for years. I’ve worked with many employees but never found anyone that I felt I could trust with my own professional image, which is what you’re doing when you hire someone else to represent your business for you at an event. To employees, this will never be any more than “just a job.” They aren’t significantly affected by the long-term success of my business. To me, my business is far more important than it can ever be to an employee, and that’s why I’m still single-op.
I can’t say I was shocked by this response. I’ve heard it before. Many times in fact. It’s one of the standard three or four road blocks that single-ops will throw up explaining why they have chosen not to grow. So in truth, this isn’t the first time I’ve refuted this one. Just the first time I’ve had the chance to do so in written form.
First, I totally agree with you that an employee must represent your “professional image.” It’s one of the main reasons I try to find talent that has no experience in the DJ business, so I can teach them my way and in my image.
But I completely disagree that to an employee “this will never be any more than “just a job.” And I’d also dispute your other assertion: “They aren’t significantly affected by the long-term success of my business.”
Every one of my employees treats this business very seriously. They know you can’t call in sick on this job and that you can’t have a bad day on this job. And they understand that the better Elite does, the better they do. The stronger our reputation, the more gigs they’ll get.
And they know and understand this because I’ve done two things:
- I’ve found people that have personal pride in what they do and strive to be great.
- I’ve instilled in them how important this job is.
So I would urge you to be more accepting and open to the idea of growth (if you really want it.) Many Multi-Ops (who BTW care just as passionately about their businesses as you do) have grown their businesses the right way.
We look for talented people who really care about what they do, and then we train them thoroughly. Not just what to say and what music to play, but we teach them how essential it is to take this job very seriously. You use the word “passively” in your response (when you talk about how you’ve gone about training and possibly growing.) I would argue that nothing about your business should be done passively. Either do it 100% or don’t do it at all.
One final point. I asked you to be open to the idea of growth and then I added in parenthesis “if you really want it.” And I mean that. Not everyone wants to grow their business by adding more DJs. And that’s OK. My best friend in this industry is staunchly proud to be a single-op. But he doesn’t use excuses like the one above to justify staying a single-op. He just prefers his life the way it is. I often wonder when I hear someone use one of the justifications for staying a single-op that you use, if they aren’t just trying to make an excuse when at the end of the day they are happier not going multi.
William Shakespeare said “To thine own self be true” and I think that’s the best advice for anyone in business for themselves. If you want to remain a single-op, do it with all your heart and passion and grow your business in other ways (increased add-ons, higher price, more exclusive service etc.) But if you really truly want to grow your business and be a multi-op, stop letting excuses stand in the way.
Others have done it successfully and so too can you. Is there anything standing in the way of your going multi-op?
Mike Walter – “The Quality Corner”
Mike Walter is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of DJ staff training and multi-system business development. He is also a writer for Disc Jockey News and Producer of the International DJ Expo’s “DJ of the Year” competition. Mike is the owner of NJ’s Elite Entertainment, selected by The Knot and Modern Bride magazine as one of the country’s top entertainment companies. Mike’s highly praised DVD set is available at TrainingYourNextGreatDJ.com. To contact him about his on-site training services or for general inquiries, write to Mike@EliteEntertainment.com.