New Year’s (Business) Resolutions By: John Stienberg

January 1, 2013 by Aaron Burger


The year 2012 is history. While many mobile
entertainment companies did well, others
would admit that 2012 was tough. Expenses up, revenue flat, competition fierce. Gigs cancelled or “value engineered” to lower expenses. Amidst all this, customers want more value for less money.
As an industry, we came out OK. The New Year is an opportunity to reflect, plan, and start again.
DJs with business savvy will look to 2013 as a year to “rethink, re-focus, re-tool,” where frills and excess are replaced by practical solutions and common sense. What can we learn? Can we carry 2012 lessons over into 2013? Here are three New Year’s business resolutions for mobile entertainment professionals, looking ahead to the growth year ahead.
Resolution 1: I will build on my strengths and delegate my weaknesses.
It is important and helpful to identify your business strengths and weaknesses. Once you understand them, what do you do next? For most people, the natural inclination is to go to work on the weaknesses.
For example, let’s say you have strength in performing and event production, but weakness in the areas of accounting and finance. One approach is to drop what you are doing and learn accounting and finance: go to night school, buy the right software, practice in your spare time, and hope you get it right.
After six months, you are likely to have marginally improved in finance after spending the time and money to learn the new skill.
In the meantime, your other work may have suffered.
Action Tip #1: Delegation is generally a better alternative.
Focus on what you do best and have other people do the same, that is, focus on what they do best. If you are weak in finance (or whatever), find an accountant or bookkeeper to pick up the slack rather than trying to become an expert in a new area yourself.
Resolution 2: I will work to understand my customers and give them what they want, plus a little more.
Your customers (anyone who hires you, whether direct clients, producers, or event planners) have needs and expectations.
They will evaluate your performance based on a set of criteria. As you develop relationships with your customers, you develop an increased understanding
of what their buying
criteria (why they hire you vs.
anyone else) are.
There is both a risk and an
opportunity here. If you fail to
deliver what your customers
want, they may not come back
for more. Adding to the risk,
they may not tell you what
went wrong, but they are likely to tell others (like prospective customers, competitors, or the press). If you deliver slightly above their expectations, they are more likely to hire you again, and also more likely to tell others about you.
Action Tip #2: Get a clear and renewed understanding of your customers?how they make decisions based on a unique set of creative and business needs. Then, deliver a little more than their expectations in order to keep them coming back.
Resolution 3: I will understand my competitors and differentiate myself from them.
Here?s a harsh reality of business. If you are exactly like your competitors, then either lowest price or closest personal relationship becomes the ultimate purchase criterion. Are you just like all the rest? Are your musical and DJ chops, business approach, and technical resources just like those of every other competitor?
Probably not, and hopefully you can identify where you are different and better.
The point here is that to be better, you need to be different.
Being different does not necessarily mean that you are better.
Yet, you can’t be better just by being the same.
Action Tip #3: The first step is to analyze and understand your competition. Identify your top five competitors in each relevant category, including their strengths and weaknesses.
List the similarities and differences between you and your competitors and focus on promoting the positive differences in your marketing plan.

Planning and focus are critical success factors in 2012.
Be sure to implement the Action Tips in sequence: 1) analyze your strengths and weaknesses to determine what you can delegate, 2) analyze your customers so you can plan to exceed their expectations, and 3) analyze your competitors so you can promote positive differences. The renewed focus on your company, your customers, and your competition will inspire you and build your confidence in the New Year.
Do the three resolutions above sound like common sense?
Hopefully the answer is “yes”. The idea here is to reinforce what you already know so you can apply it to your mobile entertainment business with confidence. The good news is that there are no gimmicks in business. Your mastery of the basics puts you a step ahead on the road to success.
Here?s to a great new year.
Make it your best ever!
Next time we’ll return to the
theme of showcase events tied
to publicity and social media. In
the meantime, best wishes for
success in mobile entertainment
in 2012! MB

Aaron Burger Aaron Burger (77 Posts)

Filed Under: 2013, Mobile DJ Business