DEPOSIT REQUEST

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,138
60
None of us knows the place that's looking to book you. So we don't know how they pay vendors. It might be like a school dance where they cut you a check after the event. Sometimes weeks after the event. So I would find out how do they pay vendors and proceed from there. Something in writing is a good idea since you've never worked for this client. Now when you've worked for a client enough times than you know what to expect.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,310
If I were to book a car show for $750 on a Saturday 6 months from now, and then get a wedding inquiry... I'd be pissed. Its like giving up $1,000+ on the date. I do my best to reserve prime dates for prime bookings. And if they happen to still be open when I get there, I'm willing to fill it with something small and simple.
My guess is that you don't rely on the DJ business as your sole income? This is an important caveat because the approach you describe in the alternative is more akin to gambling than a solid business metric.

The present value of the car show is $750 while the present value of the open date remains $0. The way to approach this in business is to book both should they both occur because they each represent fixed costs of very different value. For example, the wedding requires a different class of DJ than the car show, but there are significant costs also associated with waiting to fill a date. (The longer you hold a date open, the less profitable it becomes.) If you pay an associate to do the simpler event at 50% and book the wedding then your future value of the two is significantly higher than either one by itself, your fixed costs are managed regardless of how the date develops, and the under-utilization should the wedding not materialize is still quite high and generating more leads by the exceptional value.
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,011
52
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
My guess is that you don't rely on the DJ business as your sole income? This is an important caveat because the approach you describe in the alternative is more akin to gambling than a solid business metric.

The present value of the car show is $750 while the present value of the open date remains $0. The way to approach this in business is to book both should they both occur because they each represent fixed costs of very different value. For example, the wedding requires a different class of DJ than the car show, but there are significant costs also associated with waiting to fill a date. (The longer you hold a date open, the less profitable it becomes.) If you pay an associate to do the simpler event at 50% and book the wedding then your future value of the two is significantly higher than either one by itself, your fixed costs are managed regardless of how the date develops, and the under-utilization should the wedding not materialize is still quite high and generating more leads by the exceptional value.
Or could be that he's been doing this long enough to know what months in his area he's most likely to book weddings in. He also may make enough money so that if he ends up having a weekend off, he can enjoy it. In my opinion, the way to approach it is the way one is most comfortable with.
 

tunes4046

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 24, 2008
5,929
49
Fennimore Wi
Or could be that he's been doing this long enough to know what months in his area he's most likely to book weddings in. He also may make enough money so that if he ends up having a weekend off, he can enjoy it. In my opinion, the way to approach it is the way one is most comfortable with.
And like many of us will not subcontract other to do gigs a represent his business
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
11,970
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Not everyone feels that way. Many take the approach of "working is better than not working" and will take the first lead that approaches them about the date. Your business goals and needs may determine how you approach it. But my method works well for me, and keeps me as busy as I want to be.
I agree completely with your approach but in order to sell those bigger price dates, you MUST be willing to let cheaper inquiries go, even if it means sitting at home sometimes. As for DJ, I've never once worked a club gig and have no intentions of ever doing so. We rarely work cheap dates ($500), but I will take them sometimes, if it's a non-prime date. I have absolutely no desire to ever work $350 birthday parties. I'll stay at home first.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
3,813
My guess is that you don't rely on the DJ business as your sole income? This is an important caveat because the approach you describe in the alternative is more akin to gambling than a solid business metric.

The present value of the car show is $750 while the present value of the open date remains $0. The way to approach this in business is to book both should they both occur because they each represent fixed costs of very different value. For example, the wedding requires a different class of DJ than the car show, but there are significant costs also associated with waiting to fill a date. (The longer you hold a date open, the less profitable it becomes.) If you pay an associate to do the simpler event at 50% and book the wedding then your future value of the two is significantly higher than either one by itself, your fixed costs are managed regardless of how the date develops, and the under-utilization should the wedding not materialize is still quite high and generating more leads by the exceptional value.
I have a small team of associates, none of whom would want to do a mobile gig at $375. At a minimum, I'd probably have to pay $500 to get someone to show up... and even then, on a prime date that wouldn't be ideal. While a "lesser" DJ might be able to handle it, I don't subcontract to anyone that I don't trust to represent me at high end events.

More importantly... I make the DJ commitment at the time of booking. I don't believe in swapping DJs out on a client unexpectedly, so I have the DJ written into the contract with a clause that protects me if a change HAS to be made. But I've never had to swap a DJ on a client.

I have a high degree of confidence I can book the date late for at least $300 personally if I really want to work. So, I'm willing to risk the $450 delta on a car show to book weddings at $2K+. I could make that choice, and even if I'm only right 50% of the time, at a $1,000 delta it works out in my favor.

I believe most of business is assessing probabilities. That's very different than gambling. I'm using my knowledge of my market and the demand at certain times of the year to make an assessment of where I can maximize my profit on a certain date given the resources I have available.

And I'm coming off the best year that I've ever had for both top line revenue and profit. Whether it's my sole income is irrelevant - I'm running a profit seeking entity in a way that fits my goals.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,310
While a "lesser" DJ might be able to handle it, I don't subcontract to anyone that I don't trust to represent me at high end events.

I make the DJ commitment at the time of booking. I don't believe in swapping DJs out on a client unexpectedly, But I've never had to swap a DJ on a client.

I have a high degree of confidence I can book the date late for at least $300 personally if I really want to work. So, I'm willing to risk the $450 delta on a car show to book weddings at $2K+. I could make that choice, and even if I'm only right 50% of the time, at a $1,000 delta it works out in my f
Of course, an employees is only as "lesser" as you train them to be, engaging quality subcontractors is a skill, and nothing prevents committing to a given DJ or sub in advance. A swap is inevitable at some point because anyone can be detained by illness. etc.

Your business math (Projection) is seriously off because you don't adjust for present value. A $2K wedding 10 months from now is typically worth less than a $750 car show tomorrow because the latter has significantly more fixed cost over time. If they are both 10 months out but the wedding is just a possibility - the car show is still worth more. This is the glass ceiling dilemma of going it alone. We're essentially play the roulette wheel of opportunity cost and while it may feel like our bets are hedged on color they really aren't. It simply puts a fixed limit on return.
 
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Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
3,813
Of course, an employees is only as "lesser" as you train them to be, engaging quality subcontractors is a skill, and nothing prevents committing to a given DJ or sub in advance. A swap is inevitable at some point because anyone can be detained by illness. etc.

Your business math (Projection) is seriously off because you don't adjust for present value. A $2K wedding 10 months from now is typically worth less than a $750 car show tomorrow because the latter has significantly more fixed cost over time. If they are both 10 months out but the wedding is just a possibility - the car show is still worth more. This is the glass ceiling dilemma of going it alone. We're essentially play the roulette wheel of opportunity cost and while it may feel like our bets are hedged on color they really aren't. It simply puts a fixed limit on return.
Your suggestion that the present value of $750 being worth $2,000 in 10 months implies a pretty serious discount rate. For that to be true, the value of a dollar today has to compound at 10% MONTHLY over the next 10 months. That would be an annualized 123% return on a dollar today. Or the fixed costs that you're referencing are VERY high. In either case, I don't agree with your math.

I'm not sure why you seem to take issue with how I choose to run my business. I simply explained how I think about it to the OP.
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,011
52
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
Of course, an employees is only as "lesser" as you train them to be, engaging quality subcontractors is a skill, and nothing prevents committing to a given DJ or sub in advance. A swap is inevitable at some point because anyone can be detained by illness. etc.

Your business math (Projection) is seriously off because you don't adjust for present value. A $2K wedding 10 months from now is typically worth less than a $750 car show tomorrow because the latter has significantly more fixed cost over time. If they are both 10 months out but the wedding is just a possibility - the car show is still worth more. This is the glass ceiling dilemma of going it alone. We're essentially play the roulette wheel of opportunity cost and while it may feel like our bets are hedged on color they really aren't. It simply puts a fixed limit on return.
I believe your business math is off because you have no idea of the liikleyhood that he will book a $2000 event, so there's no way for you to say if it's a good decision for him or not. He does. That's the math part.

Then there's the human part:
You also don't know what is important to him, how much money he needs/wants. His goals/desires with what he does with his time off... family/friends or the extra time needed in keeping a crew of djs. This is different than having a network of DJ's you can call in an emergency.

This is why is often the best advice to not assume we know everything about a situation and offer advice when it's not even remotely asked for. Every situation is different. It often doesn't make one look very smart and comes off as condescending.

I work with and book other djs. But I've been doing this long enough to know it's not the best idea for everyone.
 

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
1,388
36610
Ross, Scott...Y'all are getting sucked into the poorformance vortex/black hole...Adjust course 180 and engage thrusts full, proceed to planet logic in the intelligence galaxy.
 

Cap Capello

Always @ Ur Service
Dec 14, 2006
3,106
75
Saratoga, NY
www.imadj.com
I require a contract for every event... period, even a freebee. If it's a recurring event, the dates are specified in the contract. If there is no contract signing payment being required, it is still listed as zero.

Everybody has different liability coverage companies. Mine requires a contracted event in order to be fully covered which makes sense if the contract has limits of liability within its framework.
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,011
52
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
View attachment 36610
Ross, Scott...Y'all are getting sucked into the poorformance vortex/black hole...Adjust course 180 and engage thrusts full, proceed to planet logic in the intelligence galaxy.
Damnit, Rocky. I'm a DJ, not an accountant!!
 
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IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
1,697
57
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
Reservation Fee.
Deposit implies it's refundable.
Retainer to laywers has a very specific definition - money they hold against charged a client racks up. So it's not YOUR money until you perform a service...if they cancel the gig you performed no service.

What IS the fee for? To hold the date - reserve you, you on that date - a reservation fee. They cancel you will keep the fee - you earned it, you reserved that date.

I tend to keep deposit small...easier for them to book you, choose you over others perhaps, and I want my payday closer to the day I do the work, not 6, 8 10 18 months before then.

I do ask for final payment (from individuals) 3 weeks before the event - I want time for the check to clear.

Let me say I like the word retainer better than deposit. I understand your concerns since you've never worked for this client. You want to make sure you get paid. I would talk to them to see how they plan to pay you. If you don't agree with the way they want to pay you I would talk to them and seek a solution that will work for both parties.

Also I think it depends on how much they have agreed to pay you if you're going to look to get a retainer. Getting an agreement in writing weather you ask for a retainer or not would be a good idea since this is your first time working for this client.