how do i transition into a multi op?.. that's the question!

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how do i transition into a multi op?.. that's the question!

Postby davidjones@a2zmobilemusic » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:00 am

i will start at the beginning. my single op as been very successful and i wanted/needed to expand. the very reason my business has been good is because of service. we (my wifey and I) really get alot of positive feedback because brides love the duo.

obviously she (my wife) can't be at every wedding we have booked on a given weekend. as i add dj's (1 so far) it has been a difficult transitition into a multi op. every bride wants the "deluxe" package with us as a duo.

my wife greets the bride outside the venue and lines everyone up for introductions, while i warm up the guest inside. she works with the bride and the vendors during the event to ensure a seamless event. BRIDES SUCK THIS UP!!! they don't have to lift a finger!

i cannot reproduce tis on a larger scale. she can't be in 2 places at one time. should i think about changing my whole "way" of doing things?
maybe i should just charge more, and then offer a basic dj package with out the wifey... trail and error can cost me money!! :?
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Postby dokai » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:50 am

First rule of thumb: If you're turning away business, then your rates are too low. Increase your rates until you're no longer turning away business. :wink:

Second, I think it's a great idea to have a two-person team at a wedding. I do it whenever I can (my 17yo son is learning the ropes), and it's wonderful from the client's perspective. Why change what's working so well? Just use two-person teams. In fact, you could hire another person, but team your wife and yourself with the new people, spreading the experience around. It also wouldn't surprise me to find that a "male/female" team works best, as it gives the brides and MOBs "a woman's touch" to the interaction.
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Postby davidjones@a2zmobilemusic » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:56 am

dokai wrote:First rule of thumb: If you're turning away business, then your rates are too low. Increase your rates until you're no longer turning away business. :wink: .


pls explain this. it's early and i guess i'm a little slow this morning. :hahaha: the two person team idea sounds good but then my profit goes down a bit :(
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Postby dokai » Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:09 pm

It's just supply and demand: If you're selling something, and the demand is so high that you can't supply enough of it, you should increase the price until the demand drops to the point where you can now meet the demand.

For example, if you're turning down as many jobs as you're accepting due to being already booked, then you'd be 200% booked at your current rate if you accepted all the jobs. Increase your price until you're 80%-90% booked. As your reputation continues to grow, you'll keep bumping into the 100% "ceiling", and keep raising your rates to drive your demand back down to 80%-90%.

A two-person team is probably only going to be viable on a higher-end model, not a budget-concious model. People have to be willing to pay for the additional service a second person is going to provide.
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Re: how do i transition into a multi op?.. that's the questi

Postby jbrown157 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:02 pm

Interesting topic, especially since I am in the midst of this myself. Here's what I'm doing. First, I always have a two person team for weddings - My wife works with me. This past summer, I brought in a young guy to learn from the ground up. He started by acting as a roadie and then observing what we do at events. Eventually, I allowed him to take the controls and spin music. He has a good attitude and wants to learn. He has made a lot of progress. I recycled some of my unused equipment and created another system and began booking non-wedding events for him to do solo (backyard parties, sweet 16's, etc.). To this point, he has done a half dozen events by himself and he continues to work with me on selected weddings. As an aside, I pay him well to maintain his loyalty - I am fully aware that he could jump ship and hook up with a large, local multi-op in the area who doesn't require their guys to have nearly the ability and experience that I am demanding. They bring in a young guy, have him assist with a couple weddings, then send him out on his own. I refuse to do that.

I'll book the same kind of events for him into the next year, and once he has 20 or so of these under his belt, I'll consider allowing him to do a wedding, and that will be as part of a team of two - He'll initially begin by working with either myself of my wife as his partner. Once that I am satisfied that he is ready, I have another female assistant that has worked for me in the past that I will team up with him to create a new DJ team for all events including weddings.

When he is promoted to "official" DJ status, My plan is to look for another entry-level assistant / roadie and start the process all over again with a 3rd system.

This may be a slow and somewhat cumbersome process, but my guy will be well-prepared once I turn him loose to do weddings and the quality I expect should be maintained.

comments anyone? What do you think?
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Postby Joseph Ivy » Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:32 pm

Frankly, I think that DJs should only work for other companies if they can't survive on their own.

The guy who taught me the ropes is not capable of keeping track of his own schedule and looses several clients each year because he won't call people back. This guy NEEDS a boss to kick him in the butt to get him moving. He pockets around $650 per gig while his boss gets another $350+.

On the other hand, I am less experienced, less motivating, and bring less equipment. However, I call people back, keep my own books and keep to my schedule. I pocketed around $800 per gig this year and introduced a $1000 minimum last month.

If you are going multiop, you need to hire people like the guy who trained me. Hire great DJs who can't run their own business.
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Re: how do i transition into a multi op? that's the question

Postby davidjones@a2zmobilemusic » Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:18 pm

jbrown157 wrote:Interesting topic, especially since I am in the midst of this myself. Here's what I'm doing. First, I always have a two person team for weddings - My wife works with me. This past summer, I brought in a young guy to learn from the ground up. He started by acting as a roadie and then observing what we do at events. Eventually, I allowed him to take the controls and spin music. He has a good attitude and wants to learn. He has made a lot of progress. I recycled some of my unused equipment and created another system and began booking non-wedding events for him to do solo (backyard parties, sweet 16's, etc.). To this point, he has done a half dozen events by himself and he continues to work with me on selected weddings. As an aside, I pay him well to maintain his loyalty - I am fully aware that he could jump ship and hook up with a large, local multi-op in the area who doesn't require their guys to have nearly the ability and experience that I am demanding. They bring in a young guy, have him assist with a couple weddings, then send him out on his own. I refuse to do that.

I'll book the same kind of events for him into the next year, and once he has 20 or so of these under his belt, I'll consider allowing him to do a wedding, and that will be as part of a team of two - He'll initially begin by working with either myself of my wife as his partner. Once that I am satisfied that he is ready, I have another female assistant that has worked for me in the past that I will team up with him to create a new DJ team for all events including weddings.

When he is promoted to "official" DJ status, My plan is to look for another entry-level assistant / roadie and start the process all over again with a 3rd system.

This may be a slow and somewhat cumbersome process, but my guy will be well-prepared once I turn him loose to do weddings and the quality I expect should be maintained.

comments anyone? What do you think?



thats kinda what i'm doing. he will watch several client meetings so he fully understands and appreciates the work that goes into doing a great reception. he will be doing alot of my sweet 16's and middle schools. i have alot of repeat business from those clients. this will free me up to do other events. i will not send him out unprepared. it could destroy a young dj's self esteem. you have to put them in situations where they can/will succeed.
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Postby DJPete » Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:39 am

We took the same direction as JBrown did - when we started our music business, it was a KJ's -- we worked mainly in sports bars in a town that had a Jr. College -- I also worked at the college doing sound/lighting for their theater, so I got to know some of the 'music' kids pretty well -- we found several that weren't drunks, enjoyed music and were good learners -- hence we ended up with good roadies who wanted to learn -- when Karake died around here, we had the equipment and swapped to DJ work -- went digital and started getting more calls than the wife/I could handle as a 'team' -- So we started working harder w/ the guys on learning DJ talents -- Things have gone very smoothly -- We have payed then very well -- (loyalty has never been an issue) and have used them for almost anything that comes up --

Only trouble -- in SW OK the # of DJ Gigs isn't that great for full year work! -- we have 2 busy seasons -- Xmas Parties in December and Prom season in Apr/May -- w/ weddings splattered around the calendar! So as long as the guys had decent 'day' jobs -- everything worked --

Just this last month the last guy moved to OKC to work for Dell full time -- His schedule is still being nailed down -- he will help on Sat's -- but I've turned down at least 5 gigs that we could have handled! -- Had another DJ call last week -- just moved here from up North -- but he's got no experience w/ kids -- only BAR work --

So I'm working w/ my 16 yr old Daughter -- She's a great DJ -- and she can go w/ me to gigs -- I've got another 18 yr old guy here in town who can go w/ wife to play 'roadie' -- but I've got to hook up all the equipment. Learning curve!

We're very happy with our helpers -- have only had one to get 'drunk' at an event -- (once and out!) -- Our standards are high and must be maintained --

Good luck w/ Multi-Ops -- it can be rewarding (the teaching as well as the financial)
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