By Stacy Zemon
As the former owner of a full-service, tri-state multi-up with twenty-three DJs, I’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to be successful in business. Here are 10 things you need to know about running a profitable DJ operation. Use them as a checklist to make sure your thinking and your business plan are on the right track.
1. Offer what people want to buy, not just what you want to sell. Too often, people jump into a business built around a product or service they think will be successful, rather than one that is already proven to have a market.
2. Get cash flowing ASAP. Cash flow is the lifeblood of business, and is absolutely essential to feed bottom-line profits. So you need to find ways to jump start cash flow immediately.
3. Always find new ways to keep costs low. All the cash flow in the world is worthless if it’s not positive cash flow, which means you have to bring in more cash than you pay out.
4. When planning, always overestimate expenses and underestimate revenues. Why? Because there are always unknown expense factors that come into play that you could not have anticipated.
5. Focus on sales and marketing manically. In business, nothing happens until a booking is made. From the jump, you’ll need to find a good way to get leads, convert leads into sales, and make sure you keep getting repeat bookings from your clients.
6. Find ways to exponentially increase profits. In our industry that means adding “entertainment extras” to your basic DJ service. This can include photo booths, high-energy dancers, intelligent light shows, lounge furniture and more.
7. Test and measure everything. You can’t change what you don’t measure, and you can’t tell if a program or strategy is working if you are not faithfully testing, measuring and tracking your results.
8. Accept that learning more equals earning more. If you don’t check out ProMobileDJ.com a few times weekly or don’t attend trade shows, then you aren’t learning as much as possible (but your competitors are).
9. Don’t discount, add value. Whenever you discount, you are taking money directly out of your pocket and directly from your bottom-line profit. So don’t do it. Instead, create added value propositions all the way up and down your products and services.
10. Get a coach. Even if you don’t get a business coach at first to help you and guide you in your planning and operation, get someone who is objective and outside of your business you can rely on for nitty gritty business advice and to hold you accountable to getting results.
I hope this initial checklist will be valuable in helping you clarify your thinking and helping you prioritize some activities in the planning and running of your mobile DJ operation.