My name is Sean Morrissey and I own Ultimate Entertainment. I have the largest single-owner DJ service in Iowa. My company includes a full-time office location, management team, 15 mobile DJ systems, 23 full time DJs, over 20 show computers, lots of lights and extra stuff, vehicles to get everything where it needs to go, and two full-service photo booths. It’s a lot to keep track of and has taken a few years to build, but it’s a fantastic way to make a living.
I’ve been told that multi-operation DJ companies tend to hold their “secrets of success” close to the vest. We “guard” our knowledge jealously not wanting up-and-coming DJs to compete with us on any level. I completely disagree. My philosophy is simple; I would LOVE to see a standard of excellence in our industry where DJs compete on ABILITY and REPUTATION instead of price wars. I’ve never considered what we do, and how we continue to grow, as any kind of secret. It all boils down to common sense and only one goal: to create the perfect event for our bride.
Of course within that one goal there are a few steps to success, and that’s what I’m going to be focusing on with this column. Over the course of the next five issues I’m going to be covering some specific topics:
- Hiring and training a staff. We’ll talk about training your staff to duplicate what you’ve already done. As a multi-op DJ service, clients will be hiring you based on your company’s name and reputation, not just your personal name. This is probably the hardest to achieve and build, but it can be done.
- Consistency. A consistent product is crucial. Take McDonalds for example, you can go anywhere in the world and get a Big Mac and it tastes the same. That philosophy has to carry over into your business. Your newest DJ needs to provide the same quality of service and level of excellence as you do!
- Equipment. Growing a multi-op business might mean making some changes on your current system. Some DJs are firm believers in “bigger is better.” They need bigger speakers, subs and racks and racks of lights. I completely disagree with that. There is a reason we are called MOBILE DJs.
- Building a proper support system for every reception and event you have booked. I’ll explain the booking and scheduling system we use. Being able to stay in contact with multiple clients at once can be a dizzying prospect and when you factor in scheduling your staff, chaos is very strong possible outcome. Planning and contact is very important and surprisingly simple, if you make the correct choices.
- Expanding your multi-op into a seven-day-a-week money-making machine. This is the last point, but might just end up being closer to the top. Growing your business and brand is more than just weddings and private events. Currently my company runs karaoke, bar bingo and DJ services in bars seven nights a week, with multiple shows each night. Finding weekday opportunities should be a major focus, because not only does it get your name out in the public on a daily basis, it also aids in teaching your staff how to interact with a wide spectrum of people ranging from bikers to doctors and everything in between.
Way back in ’98 the DJ Company I worked for used 2 high-speed cassette decks and a whole bunch of formatted 60 minutes tapes. It was chaos. The training was incredibly minimal—basically they showed us how to set things up, told us never to swear on a microphone and not screw up. That was it. Thinking about that now, that’s not far from what a lot of “start up” DJs begin with. You have all this equipment and a bunch of music but no direction. My goal with this column is to take you on a journey from where I started to where I’ve ended up today. At the beginning of this article I mentioned how I would love to see a more “uniform” standard of excellence in our industry. You may ignore this, because your way is “clearly” the right way. But if you keep an open mind to the things I’ll talk about, maybe together we can take this incredible industry of creating memories to a whole new level.
Filed Under: Business, Issue #151, Music, Personal Development, Sound
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