Single operators....represent!

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Single operators....represent!

Postby djwak59 » Sun Sep 04, 2005 1:56 am

Hi everybody,

This can go out to all of you but especially, us single op guys.

You know who you are, can't be in two places at once...load and unload by yourself....nobody to help schmooze with the brides at bridal shows... and especially, no 3 to 5 other jocks doin' big buck weddings for ya every weekend!

Now, before you all think I'm sour grapes, that's not what this is about. It's more about what do some of you single op guys do to cope with these realities?

Single op guys,....what's up?
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Re: Single operators....represent!

Postby TheBartman47 » Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:20 am

Mainly, I just keep telling myself that when the check (or cash) comes, it's all mine - No having to split with anyone else. That kind of helps me keep going when I'm lugging around that equiment all by myself.
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Postby CJ Greiner » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:15 am

Can I be a single multi-op?

No employees... but able to do multiple gigs? :shock:

____________

My regular assistant is my wife -- and she does an excellent job. She knows where everything goes and how to hook everything up. She's also great with the guests.

But what about multiple gigs?

Either I can give them away to other local DJs... but that's not a very good way to do things.

I prefer to either set up a referral system with the other DJs, where we send each other a referral fee (or a reciprocal referral), or
I subcontract the other DJ company to perform the event for me.

This way, for the events that I perform: the :money: :money: :money: is all mine.
For the ones where we do a referral fee or a subcontract and someone else does the work, I still make :money: :money: :money: .
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Re: Single operators....represent!

Postby davidjones@a2zmobilemusic » Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:17 am

i have started to sub-out some jobs. on the 24th i have 3 gigs! 8) i will be doing the wedding and i have 2 dj buddies (wearing my shirts and handing out my post-event surveys) doing a middle school and a high school dance for the same ISD. HOPEFULLY they will do the great job i think they will so these schools will pencil me in for all the future dances!
i get the deposit and about $100 off the top
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Postby djwak59 » Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:55 pm

I would say that if ya sub out on a regular basis you're multi-op, because YOU still make some kind of income off it.
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Postby Wolfie » Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:57 pm

Present and accounted for. :)

I have always been a sole proprietor. Back in the early '90s I did the shows alone. In them days, the rig was smaller and I was a lot younger.

Today, the rig is a bit more complex and I'm a few years older. I thank the fates for Shirl's help at the shows. She handles the myriad of little things... pulling the covers over the cabs, rolling cables and stowing all those little things away. And she's a godsend for dealing with the guests.

If I had to do a show alone it would take me a lot longer to get loaded in and set up.

If we get a call for a date we're already booked for, we pass the word to the local networking group. They do the same for us.
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Re: Single operators....represent!

Postby Dan Zynda, Mobile Music » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:19 pm

We're a multi-unit single-op. Because we're the only ones in the area that can do split locations, remote speakers, etc. we have carved out our own niche.

There's a delivery company that we use to transport our stage but I still set up everything. Might get some roadies soon.
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Postby DJPete » Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:47 pm

We too are multi-unit single-op service -- My Wife/I run the main system and I have a helper who can DJ anything that comes up by himself if necessary -- I own all the equipment and the 'split' varies w/ venu/mileage my involvement etc.

Has worked out well since I also farm -- so my time is limited during certain seasons.
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Re: Single operators....represent!

Postby Michigan DJ » Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:49 pm

Multi-unit Single Op here as well.

Wife and I are the only employees we have (other than the kids sometimes helping with load unload ops.) 8)

We are basically a single op in that we book me first. If there ever comes a time when we are asked to do another on the same day, they hire my wife. They know this up-front so there is no bait and switch tactics going on here.
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Re: Single operators....represent!

Postby Dan Zynda, Mobile Music » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:00 am

Thomas & Pete, I hate to say this but you guys are multi-op because you will "op" for two clients.

We can only take care of one community event or bride & groom on a given day.

One DJ system is used for the wedding ceremony and the second DJ system is for the reception. Or one DJ system is in the dinner ballroom and the other DJ system is for the party ballroom. Our PA system is in the sound tent and one of our DJ systems is up on stage. On top of all of that, we can transmit from one of our DJ systems to remote speakers.

We regularly do a three zone coverage!

By this time next year, we will be looking at a hefty FOH speaker system so that we can use our EV powered speakers as monitors.
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Re: Single operators....represent!

Postby djwak59 » Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:39 am

Right....I'm with Dan. When I started this post, what I meant was, there's ONE guy doing ONE show, on any given day.
Anytime there's someone else, OTHER than YOU, to do another show for YOU, I consider that multi-op, because IF you didn't have that other operator, you couldn't do the job. Now....how many out there really ARE single operators like me? :?:
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Postby dokai » Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:52 am

Usually it's just me and, occasionally, my 16yo son. As soon as I can get him to overcome his fear of the microphone, I'll become a multi-op. :D
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Re: Single operators....represent!

Postby TheBartman47 » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:27 pm

I'm in the true single-op cattegory. Just me, no wife or kids helping (wife doesn't really want to unless only to be "hired" as a "dance motivator") and kids are too young to help out at this time.
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Re: Single operators....represent!

Postby Dave Miller » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:44 pm

If I get inquiries for a date that I'm booked, I will either take basic info and hand it off to a friend, or give the client the friend's phone number. After that point, I am not concerned with the gig.

I don't want the headaches associated with employees, or even subcontracting. (I will BE a subcontractor on short notice if I'm open.)

djwak59 wrote:....nobody to help schmooze with the brides at bridal shows....
What? No wife or girlfriend to help out?

Either get/pay a friend to help you out, or, if all your friends are unreliable losers, call a temp agency.

It doesn't take a lot of detailed knowledge about you or your business to schmooze with the brides. If they get stuck, they can simply say "I think [your name] can better answer that question."
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Postby djmc » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:57 pm

CJ Greiner wrote:Can I be a single multi-op?

No employees... but able to do multiple gigs? :shock:

____________

My regular assistant is my wife -- and she does an excellent job. She knows where everything goes and how to hook everything up. She's also great with the guests.

But what about multiple gigs?

Either I can give them away to other local DJs... but that's not a very good way to do things.

I prefer to either set up a referral system with the other DJs, where we send each other a referral fee (or a reciprocal referral), or
I subcontract the other DJ company to perform the event for me.

This way, for the events that I perform: the :money: :money: :money: is all mine.
For the ones where we do a referral fee or a subcontract and someone else does the work, I still make :money: :money: :money: .



Ditto everything CJ said except that part about the "wife" thing.

My daughter doesn't seem to have any interest in learning how to operate the equipment!

I'm probably going to have to sell the system I built for her.....but meanwhile its being used for wedding ceremonies & 2nd system.



CJ & me fall into the category of "Single Ops who can do multiple events"

My company is a network of Owner-Operated systems, coordinated by myself (the "primary owner") and the subcontracted gigs are performed by the "associate owners".
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Postby JR » Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:48 pm

djwak59 wrote:...It's more about what do some of you single op guys do to cope with these realities? Single op guys,....what's up?

I'm a little confused as to what realities you're speaking of. Are we comparing "Multi" to "Single” operators, or just the specifics of how we manage as a single operator?

On the former, I haven’t any experience as a multi, so I couldn’t comment intelligently.

If the latter is true, then my reality is; if I didn’t have Michele by my side I’d probably stay strictly with Karaoke. While I may be the pilot, she is the navigator of this fight crew. Without her I’m lost. She develops the play-lists, she pulls and feeds me the music, and she interfaces with the guests for request and information purposes. I serve as the salesman, roadie, equipment operator, reception coordinator, and MC. I tend to get easily distracted from my primary mission when guests approach with questions and such. I’m fortunate in that she acts as a buffer. I can do my job as well as monitor the gathering’s overall reaction to the music while I direct all guest inputs to her. She helps to keep me sane.

There are occasions I have had to do without her support, and while I did alright, I really didn’t care for it. Just this past Sunday we did a wedding where I was doing the ceremony and cocktail hour downstairs in the courtyard while she was on the third floor ready to play background as guests began to arrive. The only sticky part was the transition from breaking down the first system to getting upstairs to introduce the B&G as they entered and took the floor for their first dance. Michele had the first dance Que’d and all I had to do was announce and press play. Now that’s teamwork. Unfortunately, because shea has been (and is currently) experiencing some extreme back problems, Michele had to leave once we got to the open dancing part of the program. But I was set. She left me a play-list with all the discs pulled. And with the exception of personally interfacing with the guests, I was on auto pilot.

Hence this is the reality of how we function as a single operator.
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Postby djmc » Tue Sep 06, 2005 4:32 pm

Sounds like you make a great team JR.

Unfortunately when you work with a teenage girl, sometimes the hormones take over (like when she is OTR) and little "gaps" sometimes occur.......like when the guests arrived in the reception hall and they found her sprawled out at one of the tables doing her homework.......can anyone say "dead air?" (LOL)

(No harm no foul......usually the earliest to arrive at the reception are the least connected to B/G and least likely to report a service gap of 30 seconds when the guests started to arrive....)
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Re: Single operators....represent!

Postby djwak59 » Wed Sep 07, 2005 1:27 am

To those of you that have some help on the gig, like a wife, girlfriend, son, or buddy, that's cool. It's something I rarely get! My boy's in a metal band, and once in a while, I can get him to help break down a show or lug a pair of subs to a job.

jr2423, imagine doing all you described in your post by yourself, or, doing as much as you could, without that extra help, that would be a good example of something a single op would have to cope with.

So far, I've only had a few times that I was double booked. In those situations, I passed the jobs onto another jock, no cash for me, I put myself out of the deal.

See ya.
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Postby DJPete » Wed Sep 07, 2005 5:23 am

Guess I'm a Part Time - Multi-OP

This has become an interesting topic -- for you guys that live in the areas where you can get the big $$ -- Pure Single Op / w/ Backup System / Referrals are wonderful --- Out here in the boonies -- there's wannabe's and very very few DJ's --- so I use my backup system for weddings where I need a ceremony system in addition to reception -- or for remote rooms, but since I run dual powered heads, I have up to 8 speaker capacity (4 speakers per amp - w/2 ohm total load) on each Mackie -- So I can send the 2nd system to another location and handle somebody elses need for a real DJ -- My wife started this business and she's the real DJ -- I'm the equipment guy, but when we went digital -- well that allows me to also become a DJ when needed - We started doing this w/ Karaoke in a Sports Bar -- I hauled in more equipment then than I do now to satisfy their needs -- found some college guys who like music (what college kid doesn't), didn't get drunk and enjoyed being roadies and enjoyed helping and learning -- they learned our ways of doing business and are reliable -- So they become DJ's when the need arises -- I'm thankful that I have the equipment and help to continue doing this in an area where $325 can be hard to get. Our real Multi-Op time is only Xmas Dinners and Prom season -- occasional double weddings.

Maybe there's two categories for Multi-Ops -- Full Time Multi-Ops, and occasional Multi-Ops ?
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Postby JR » Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:09 am

djwak59 wrote:jr2423, imagine doing all you described in your post by yourself, or, doing as much as you could, without that extra help, that would be a good example of something a single op would have to cope with.


I do imagine such a situation; hence the quote from my previous post:

jr2423 wrote:… my reality is; if I didn’t have Michele by my side I’d probably stay strictly with Karaoke.


Now, in reference to your last post, I see now that you are speaking of one person who runs a single set-up business. As opposed to those of us who run a single set-up business and have the added benefit of at least one other person to assist in running the business. In either case, according to how I understand the terminology, we are both single ops.

So to clarify your original post, it appears that you want to hear from people who operate a single set-up business with no assistance; Sort of a “Single-Single-Op”? Would that be a correct analogy?
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