Multi-Op Essentials

November 6, 2015 by Jason Weldon

KEYS FOR SCALING YOUR DJ BUSINESS SUCCESSFULLY

Running a multi-op DJ company was something I always wanted to do. The thought of having a solid group of DJs that maintained a high level of talent, as well as being committed to their craft, excited me.

MultiOp-blueI knew we could be one of the solid companies in the area and that we could honestly be a good decision for our customers. I just had to find the right way to do it. The right way to bring the vision in my head to the real world.

Coming from an entrepreneurial family certainly did help. Making a business scalable was what everyone around me was doing with their businesses, so I knew from experience that finding a way to scale my company was the only way to make that dream happen.

Before I go into more depth on some things that can help you become or grow your multi-op company, here are some reasons why I did NOT want to become a multi-op:

  • For the fast cash it might bring
  • For the prestige and fame of being a “DJ”
  • Bragging rights of a DJ or business owner
  • To be a mediocre service that took advantage of people
  • Because it was cool

I became a DJ because I loved spinning music. I loved making people happy. It was so rewarding and I was good at it. I wanted to show other people how to do it as well. I realized I could give the same training to another person, helping them better their life. And then that person could go out and make more people happy. And so on and so on. I found that I could capitalize not only on my talent, but on other people’s talent, as well as being able to manage them.

The key moment for me was realizing that I could show other people how to do it. This is why most people are afraid of becoming a multi-op or fail at becoming a successful one. You don’t know the proper way to go about showing people how you do it. And after all, people are booking you because of the way you do it. Period. So the quicker you can be an effective, efficient and compelling business owner, the more successful you will be.

So let’s look at some things that can help you grow your mobile DJ company:

Goals. You need an end goal. What does your company look like 5 years out? 10 years out? 20 years out? Do you want to sell it? Pass it down to your children or family? Having a clear, concise end goal allows you to prepare, from the beginning, how YOU want to run your company. My goal was always to eventually sell the company. So a lot of my decisions are based on that outcome. What is your goals?

Advisors. You need a team of advisors. An accountant, a lawyer, a banker and a financial advisor should be your main set of people. Then try and find other business owners who have more mature businesses than yours and ask them to be part of your advisory council. The more smart people you have around you, the better your decisions will be.

Read The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber. Trust me. Just read it.

Training. Create a solid training program that details every single part of your business. A lot people think of the performance side of things when it comes to training. And while that is important, there is also the administrative side of the business as well. For example, how are you going to keep track of the bookings? How are you going to market to your prospects? How are you going to meet with customers? Let me give you an example. When I first started, I hired my first full-time employee and never thought about a phone system. I went and invested in a small, two phone system. Then when we grew, I needed a larger phone system. Instead of just adding another line, I went and bought one of those big, PBX systems that had way more than we needed at the time, but it was able to handle our growth for the next 5 years. I planned ahead, spent my money wisely and was able to grow easily. Another example I give people is on hours of operation. You have to know when you are going to be open. And there is a time when you are closed! You need your “you” time.

Human Resources. If there is one thing I could/should do better it is HR. When I say HR, I mean finding talent, training talent, proper classifications of talent, payroll, culture, and everything else that comes along with it. The most important part of your business is the talent. The most tedious part of your business is the talent. It will always be this way. Talent takes time and needs time. Make sure you prepare yourself for this part of your company.

Money. You will need money to grow your company. Using cash will hold back operations. Having a bank that believes in you and lets you borrow money will help you reach your goals faster and more easily. Businesses borrow money. It’s a good thing. Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make.

Decisions. Every day of the week, you, as the CEO, will have to make decisions. Some will be bad, most should be good. Not making any decision is a death trap. No one has all the right answers. There isn’t a business owner around that hasn’t made a mistake either. Get the best information you can and make a decision. Good or bad, just make it. If it’s bad, don’t make it again. The most successful business owners are ones that make decisions.

Your Role. I really believe that your role as the business owner needs to be just that. The owner. I get that you are the foundation of the business. You are the one who started it and you are the one that you think people are always going to want. I mean, let’s face it, you still love to do it. I get it. However, you have to try and shift that mindset. You need to hire people and let them be the star of your company. You need to be the owner, not the quarterback. The more you are the quarterback, the less you can concentrate on growth. And growth is what gets you to your goal. Not being the DJ every weekend. Make it a point to remove yourself from doing the events and work on the business. Besides, as you get older, you are going to want to enjoy the weekends and watch your business work for you.

Profit Margin. Think of this as your heartbeat. For a service industry like ours, I think a 60% gross profit margin is healthy. Anything below a 50% margin and you are probably feeling like your constantly drowning. Anything above 70-75% is extremely good. Always know and work your margins as they will be a basic metric to show you the health of your business.

There are so many more things I could tell you, but I think these basics will point you in the right direction as you start or grow your multi-op business. Good luck!

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Jason Weldon Jason Weldon (33 Posts)

Jason Weldon is a wedding business consultant who specializes in small to medium-sized companies that want to grow their business. His objective is to help guide people through organizing their thoughts and laying the groundwork for a better, more successful start-up. He currently lives in Philadelphia and is also the president of Synergetic Sound and Lighting, Inc. and DJ and A/V company.


Filed Under: Business, Issue #166