October 24, 2014

DJ Expo Lesson: Get Down to Business

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By Joe Molineaux

As DJs, each one of you are experienced and have the skills necessary to move people out to the dancefloor and motivate them through verbal cues and music to “get down.”

But when it comes to the development, growth and operation of your company, how many of you have the skills to “Get Down To Business”?

The following is a baseline and some thoughts to help you grow your business to the next level—which I’ll be covering in a seminar at the DJ Expo—set for Aug. 13-16 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J.

Get Going: To move forward you need to first realize that you, as the business owner, are the only person that can make the decision to take the steps necessary to reach your business development goals.

What are your goals? Do you desire more money, more fame, bigger venues and more bookings, or to increase the number of employees? Whatever the reason for wanting to grow your business, it is up to you to take the first steps toward reaching those goals. Someone always has to get the party started and in the case of growing your business, it is you.

Get Advice: There are always options and different strategies you can use to help you achieve success. A good thing to do is seek out and talk to people with the knowledge and experience as well as the willingness to share it with you. Whether you choose to use established programs like the Small Business Development Centers or SCORE, specific trade associations and publications, the web, or tap into best practices shared by the leaders in the industry, you want to collect as much advice as possible, then seek good advice.

The difference between advice and good advice is similar to what songs you could add to your musical-event mix and those that you actually play. As with songs, when you hear good advice, you will definitely know the difference.

Get Planning: For over a dozen years, my work has included helping people write business plans. Most of the people I’ve worked with struggle in this area. They feel they don’t know where to start or are afraid they have weak writing skills. Some confuse the concept of “planning” with “predicting” the future.

Just as we do not know what the next big music trend or artist will be, there is no real way to predict how your business will or will not grow. However, you possess the ability to develop ideas, strategies and to map out where you would like to see your business in the next few years.

Do you want to go from a single to a multi-op? Or perhaps you have your mind set on a few steady club gigs or perhaps breaking into a new market? Everybody should have a plan, even if it is as simple as knowing who you will be playing for this weekend. The trick is to write it down.

Write down a little description about your company as it looks today, then what you want it to be at a future date. Next, write what type of DJ you are, then write down what kind of DJ you want to be. Then write down what markets you are now in and then what markets you want to be in.

Lastly, write down how much you are currently earning and then what you realistically want to be earning in the future. See a pattern here? That’s Business Planning 101.

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