We work with a lot of other companies when we do our events. Caterers, photographers, planners, designers, and more make events run smoothly. In fact, a good portion of our business comes from these industry partners, and we would never be where we are today if it wasn’t for them.
And we have aligned ourselves next to some pretty top-notch professionals in our area, to boot. Each weekend we load in and load out and set up our events, sometimes not even knowing the client, as we are working for the florist or planner as part of their company. This makes our job even more critical, because not only do we have to make sure our crews are living up to our culture, but also the culture of the company we are working “as” for the day.
How confident are you in your team working under some else’s management? When is the last time you showed up at one of your DJ’s events and checked in on them? How are they dressed, what does their set up look like, how are they behaving? These are all important things that you have to manage and make sure are being held up to your standards.
Many multi-op owners are working at the same time their DJs are out working, so this could be pretty hard to do. But I think it is a commonly overlooked step in the quality control process. Checking in on your events allows you to really drive home the point that you care and want to make sure things are being done the right way. You need to make sure this is part of your management process.
This isn’t something that has to be done all the time. Six to eight times a year is enough. And don’t ever tell your crews that you are coming. Simply start at one show and drive around to three or four others. Observe everything. See where they can get better. See how your company is actually being portrayed when you are not there. Take notes and use this as time to reflect.
Don’t go up to your DJs until you are about to leave. And at that moment, don’t ever tell them something is wrong, if you aren’t happy with something. That is not the time or the place. Unless of course, it is blatantly obvious and damaging. But if things are going great, tell them! Either way, make sure you drive home a few good points that you are happy with. In some cases, you are not going to like what you see. You will have the opportunity to address the situation after the event. You may be pleasantly surprised in what you find out as well. Ultimately, you will be doing your company a great service by checking in.
This time can also give you a chance to see other professionals. You can see the photographer, the videographer, the venue manager and so on. This always is a great touch point for you to say “hi” and see them in action. You can also let them know why you are there and how important being consistent is to you.
On the flip side, you may be able to help out other professionals in your area as well. In some cases, you may be observing behavior from the other professionals that you don’t think is acceptable. As a business owner, wouldn’t you want to know if your team wasn’t doing something up to par? Wouldn’t you want a phone call about how they could be better or deliver a better experience?
With most of the vendors that we work with, I have a direct relationship with the owner. If I am out on a show and I see something that I know wouldn’t fly with me, usually I know the owner would have no problem with me calling them and letting them know what was going on. Making sure everybody is successful is the ultimate goal for all of us.
And this doesn’t only apply to companies with a few DJs. This can also be done with your office team. Sometimes it is key for you as the business owner to step away and let the team handle things themselves. Let them interact on a level without you being around. Let them make decisions and let them manage the business. If you are feeling lucky, stay away for a few days. Then come back and talk to each team member. See how things went. Ask them what problems occurred, and what they think are the best ways to fix them. This can be something exciting to come back to or it can be a huge headache. Either way, seeing what your office team does when you are not there is just as important as checking up on your event teams.
The point to drive home here is quality control. You need to have many different systems in place to make sure that quality is being maintained.
What do you do for your quality control? Have you given it any thought lately? You might be surprised at what you find when you work on managing it systematically throughout the year. In the end, it will help you tremendously.
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, Exclusive Online News and Content, Issue #157
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