Looking back on any period of history teaches us that it’s impossible to predict the future. Recent history has taught me that my concern of short supply of equipment from Europe due to the changes Brexit would bring, has been over shadowed by the cancellation of all public events and the closure of all the venues we work in due to the coronavirus outbreak – wow, we really didn’t see that coming!
Predicting the future then is a hazardous occupation. Yet all businesses need a vision of what they want to achieve – given all available information combined with the aspirations of the owners. Like Eddie when he first setup Pro Mobile magazine had a vision for what the publication would become, you will have had an idea of what type of DJ you wanted to be when you set out on your personal journey. Did it look something like the photos we see of Fatboy Slim mid-gig?
Whatever the grand vision of your DJ career was, I’m sure it will have looked very different to how it turned out to be. Along the way there will have been painful lessons, loads of unexpected twists and turns, bumps in the road and, I’m sure, also some big achievements – the end result can only be loosely what you expected it to be. You are though, reading this magazine so it is safe to say you are a working mobile DJ. Reaching issue 100 is a good time for Eddie to take stock, look back at the (enormous) achievements of Pro Mobile, but also think about the future. So, what does your future hold?
Reaching a milestone is always a good time to draw a line and restart with renewed purpose. We often start to shape the future when we hit major birthdays, or when we experience major life changes such as moving house, getting married or starting a family. All of these are great opportunities to stop, look back at where you have been, and think about where you are going. But any business can perform a strategy rethink at any time. My most recent one was at the start of this year. I always try to give myself a kickstart having wrapped Christmas up, looking ahead to a new year.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." This saying may have been wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein, but is still a fabulous mantra. Incidentally, I had no idea Albert was wrongly credited until Tony Winyard revealed this injustice at last year’s Pro Mobile Focus event (apparently the saying first appeared in a book by Rita May Brown some 28 years after Mr Einstein’s demise). But in a world of uncertainty, where it is difficult – if not impossible – to predict the future, where should we start when we want to try doing things differently?
A review of your business is always worth doing and now is the perfect time since we all have plenty of extra time on our hands! However, you need to do it in a constructive way, with an honest appraisal. Whenever I stop and think about my business, I focus in on four key areas: sales, service, risk and people. Let’s take a moment to consider each of them.
First, I feel it only fair to warn you now, the following contains a lot of business speak. However, I make no apologies for this. The moment you exchange your time and expertise for payment, you start a business… even if you don’t want to be business manager, it pays to think like one.
How is this going for you? Do you have a healthy diary with the bookings you want? (Or at least, did you before Coronavirus put a temporary halt on up-coming events). Is your effort profitable enough for you, and are there opportunities to improve revenue? The best way to look at improving sales is to search out businesses which are successful. I look for inspiration both in and outside of our industry. I also cannot overstate the importance of sales training. I appreciate my last article in Pro Mobile looked at the importance of Customer Service [‘The Four Pillars Of Customer Service’, issue 99] (I’m coming back to this subject shortly), but Sales is a vital part of your success. Books to look out for are Wedding Marketing for DJs, Coffee’s For Closers, Shut Up and Sell More – all available via the Pro Mobile Book Store. Also search for my own recent favourite marketing book: Rory Sutherlands’ The Surprising Power of Ideas that Don’t Make Sense. This gives away a brilliant turn of phrase which has helped me to win more sales instantly – I’ll let you in on it for free if you stop me at any Pro Mobile or other networking event I’m at!
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 101, Pages 49-50.