Preparing for a Business Interruption

By Jerry Bazata, “Money Answer Man”

On a warm summer morning in late August, I received a phone call from a good friend; fellow DJ Jim Casey with a sense of urgency in his voice.

Mike Mahoney a local DJ in Portland Maine had been taken to the hospital for a serious illness and was expected to be there for several days.

Not knowing the seriousness of his illness the main concern on Jim’s mind was how to we support Mike with the weddings he had booked for the month of September. Both Jim and I knew immediately what needed to be done.

The Maine Disc Jockey Network

Taking a step back, Jim Casey and Mike Mahoney has the foresight to organize and develop the Maine Disc Jockey Network, a group of select professionals who were sole proprietors that shared the same values, work ethic and professionalism.

This group tapped upon its talents to share best practices in business and to refer business back and forth to fill open dates in member’s calendars.

What Jim and I were about to face was never discussed as part of the group however the intent was always there to mobilize the membership to pitch in when so critically needed as that morning in late August 2012.

Taking Care of Logistics

Within several hours of first learning that Mike was in the hospital, we began to determine what brides needed to be contacted and whom was available to take charge and provide a seamless hand-off meeting the expectation of the pending nuptials.

Jim and I took the responsibility of making the initial contact with each bride involved, As you can guess there a high level on tension on our part not knowing how the brides would react.

The primary focus was too create a high level of trust and confidence with the brides and reassure them that they will be matched with a DJ that would exceed the same expectation they had for Mike Mahoney.

To our relief and somewhat surprise all the brides we connected with were completely understanding of the situation and thanked us for insuring that the wedding day would be as they expected.

As part of the conversation we introduced them to the DJ that would be working on behalf of Mike, reviewed what paperwork Mike had on file and then assured them that DJ would call them within 24 hours.

The DJs assigned to each of the weddings, Eric Kruger, Dave Windsor, Mark Sawyer and myself all took extra time and effort to review each step of the process with the bride, adjusted our calendars to meet with them prior to the event and deliver a commanding performance on behalf of Mike Mahoney.

Mission Accomplished

The transformation and hand-off of each wedding to the new DJ assigned was seamless. From the vendors to those close to the nuptials that knew what was happening were all words of praise, encouragement and thankfulness.

This is just two examples posted on Weddingwire by brides:

When our initial DJ became ill the week of our wedding, Dave stepped up to the plate having never met with myself or my fiancé. It wasn’t long into our phone conversation that my sudden panic turned to excitement. It was clear that Dave was not only professional, but sensitive to the stress this last minute change had on a nervous bride! He was incredibly flexible, given the lack of planning time, and played all of our requested songs flawlessly. His introductions of our bridal party, special dance songs, cake cutting, etc. were clear, upbeat and brief. Dave confidently orchestrated the night’s events and appreciated his willingness to work with us on such short notice.”

We received a call a week before our wedding that our chosen DJ was in the hospital. Jerry contacted us 6 days before our wedding and asked us to describe our ideal event and music styles. We even had a few mashup requests for him and he was able to create them with ease. He called three days before the event to touch base with us and do another quick walk through of what he had planned. We felt very comfortable with what he had planned. It was absolutely perfect, he nailed it! Jerry had the whole event dancing start to finish which is exactly what we envisioned and created the mix songs perfectly. Jerry would come highly recommended from my husband and I!”

Lessons Learned

As a result of this experience, members of the Maine DJ Network learned several valuable lessons about communication, preparation and teamwork to retaining a positive image in the market.

Mike Mahoney has since recovered from his illness and is “back in the game,” looking to fill his calendar in 2013.

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