Firing: The Ugly Part of Being the Boss

February 13, 2017 by Joe Bunn

Whether you have two DJs or twenty, at some point, as a business owner, you’re going to have to fire someone.  I’ve been really lucky over the years and had a low attrition rate. I pay my guys well and try to keep them as busy as possible But, don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some bad hiring choices before which have led to firings.

My first tip would be to do it in person. In the digital age, it’s really easy to be a text gangster and just click a few keys and go “Screw you man, you’re fired!” (been there, done that). It’s also easy to grab the phone, cuss someone into next week and hang up in there face (been there, done that). However, that’s not very professional. If you’re like me, you take this business and your company very personal. When folks don’t abide by your rules or don’t have the same standards that you do, it’s easy to blow up on them. When things fall apart, do the right thing and pull them into your office for a private meeting…then drop the hammer on them.

One thing is inevitable, you’re going to have DJs that you train, maybe even from the ground up, that are one day going to come up to you and say, “I’m going to be the next Joe Bunn, I’m starting my own thing”. I hate this conversation. As an owner, you have to make a decision here. You can either A-Tell them right then and there they are fired and that you’re replacing them on every show or B-You can ask them if there is anything they’ll do to stay. Personally, once they say that, they are a ticking bomb. I cut them loose right then and there and replace every one of their shows. The last thing I’m going to let some wannabe do is fund his new DJRickyRules.com website with MY money! Nope. Bye Felicia! Oh, and I’m going to work even harder to get every show and make sure they get none.

Basically, the harshness of the firing has to do with the circumstance. Did they show up late to a gig more than once? Or did they cuss at a guest at a wedding? The first one is terrible, and an offense that will get you fired, the second one is unforgivable and as I’m firing you, I’m punting you out the door. Or, some guys have come to me and simply said, “Joe, I’m burnt out” or “My wife doesn’t want me doing this anymore”. Those aren’t even really firings to me. You’re parting ways amicably. Even though they may burden you with replacing them on shows they have in the future, try to be understanding…you never know when they’re going to want to get back in the game and possibly come back to work for you!

Joe Bunn Joe Bunn (52 Posts)

Joe Bunn started his DJ career at the age of 14 in his hometown of Wilson, NC. He did shows all throughout high school, college at UNC-Chapel Hill, and eventually moved to Raleigh, NC in the late 90s where he started Bunn DJ Company. The company grew from a couple of DJs to 15 of the area’s best mobile DJs. Over the past few years, Bunn DJ Company has expanded to Charleston, SC, Charlotte, NC and Richmond, VA. The company performs at over 800 weddings a year and another 400 private, corporate and charity events. Joe has been on the board of both ILEA (International Live Events Assocation) and NACE (National Association of Catering & Events). In addition, he is a writer for many national DJ publications such as Disc Jockey News, Mobile Beat Magazine and DJ Times. Joe still DJs almost every weekend, but in recent years has been helping other DJs across the country grow their businesses. He has given seminars at Mobile Beat Las Vegas, Wedding MBA, DJ Times Expo, local/regional organizations, NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill. He has also been hired by DJs all over the world to help their businesses in every aspect from branding to sales.


Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business