Along the way, Jack has faced the usual challenges experienced by most growing companies. In this article, he looks at some of the key details behind his company’s progress.
When I first started out as a solo DJ, I often found the work to be quite lonely – even when I was partying with hundreds of people! Living in a small village, networking opportunities with other DJs were limited, and there wasn’t a local DJ shop to hang out at. I can’t help but think that, had I been working at a company like the one I run now, I would probably have found it easy to maintain a full-time job as well as earn good money from my DJ work.
I also think about how quickly I could have achieved my goals, the first of which was to make more money than I could working at my local pizza takeaway. I also wanted to DJ on a paid basis more often that occasionally, sometimes as little as once a month. And then there was the big goal: to gain the confidence to say goodbye to my day job.
But there is another side to the story. The path I did take has developed my business skills and helped me build to where I am now, with a company taking regular bookings for others, and one that makes everything easy and straightforward for our team.
When I was working as a solo operator, the thought of having a number of people at multiple events on the same night would have been terrifying! But, looking back, it's easy to see how each step of my journey has added to my experience and brought me to where I am today.
These days, we often have multiple team members at an event, which has an added bonus of providing us all with team spirit! Working on your own, you will often come across the same suppliers on a regular basis and get to know them a bit. But a five-minute chat with a photographer isn’t the same as having your colleague on the photo booth all night!
So, what of the hurdles I faced building from solo to multi op? My main concern was how the customers would feel. Up to that point I had been the main contact at my business and the person who showed up to any event. If it’s my name on the company branding, surely nobody would want to book if it isn’t me providing the DJ service? The answer turned out to be in the sales and marketing processes. First, your marketing attracts customers who resonate with your brand and message. Then your sales process or team member will connect more personally with the customer on an individual basis. As it turned out, the fact that I’m the name and face of the company became irrelevant!
With this hurdle safely navigated, we focussed on marketing and testing new ways to attract more business. It would have been very easy for us to simply lower our prices and stack out the diary, but I still like to treat each booking the same way I did when I was doing all the gigs personally. This means maintaining a certain level of integrity, which is reflected in the select team of DJs we work with. A team who I’m proud to say I would be thrilled to have for my own wedding day. In fact, that’s precisely what happened when I got married to Louise. I asked Tom (one of our DJs) to DJ the wedding, shortly after which he became the very first DJ to work for our company, and is now a regular part of our team. Another important principle is that I never take on a booking that I wouldn’t do myself!
Our attention to detail when helping our couples plan their weddings has played a key part in helping our brand stand out. Also important is the way we organise our DJ gear to achieve a standard look, namely a starlit DJ booth, PA system and minimal but effective lighting.
From the DJ’s perspective, it's so easy to work within our guidelines. Whilst we don’t have a specific uniform or strict dress code, all of our DJs are aware of how important it is to look smart and presentable – you need to look good if you’re at a wedding! To help this, we also use branded polo and formal shirts, ensuring a consistent representation of our brand.
In terms of customer service, when I had a day job alongside my DJ work it was really difficult to keep on top of the administration, such as responding to emails. As much as I valued the customers and wanted to do a great job, going out to client meetings after a full day's work sometimes made for a long day. Now we have a dedicated member of our team who can answer emails quickly, whilst we encourage couples to come and visit us at every opportunity.
I also think it's important to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for the DJs that are working with us. We do all of the groundwork ahead of an event, collecting all relevant information from our clients, and we provide our DJs with an online platform to collect everything they need to know. This way, when it comes to doing the job they can focus on doing what they do best!
One of our team is DJ Chris, who has been a professional DJ since 1984
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 105, Pages 56-59.