DEPOSIT REQUEST

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,868
36
So I can agree with both ways of doing business seeing as I book other DJs. ...Unless the date is a Saturday in October, or New Years Eve, or June or October of next year I am not going to turn down a $750 gig. Even if I don't want to book myself, I KNOW I can book my brother, sister, or other DJ on it assuming it isn't 80+ miles away from them. ...$750 gig works out to be a $562.50 booking for my DJs. ...But let's be honest. Very few Car Shows are going to pay $750, LOL. ...I'm more likely to get that amount on a aniversary party, or even a birthday party taking place at a hotel or country club over a car show.

My brother would take adult birthdays or car shows etc. at $750 all day over weddings at $1,000+ They are a much easier gig, and he even books weddings himself at $750 quite often, so to take a easy gig and net $562.50 is something he would welcome. ....I would to if it's on an upcoming open date, and I want to make money.

I am actually noticing that the $750 gigs are harder to come by. So many event clients that might have paid $750 7+ years ago are finding DJs to do their events for $250 to $400 today. Lots of cheap DJs out there, and most people know someone who is a DJ who will do the work on the low end on price.


I actually quoted on a birthday party the other day where the prospect found a $250 DJ for 3 hours.
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
1,697
57
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
Lots of factors to consider..

What kinds of events do you WANT to do? Generally weddings pay the most, but many don't like doing weddings. I find school dances to be a LOT more fun - but not as profitable. Most are not on Saturday nights, and most are during the winter, an 'off season' here so any gig is better than no gig.

I've done no freebie gigs..I know many that do. I come close - a grange camp dance I'll do for $75. Covers my cost is about it. It's a thursday in june.

My min was $300, is up this year to $350. Though I do dances 3 to 4 times a year for a special needs organization, $200 for 2.5 hours. It's always on a tuesday evening.

I've worked the local bar - $125. Doing a car cruise (second for them and me) - a wednesday in may. Now they did book for a saturday in october for halloween...so this is a gamble regarding getting a wedding or other higher paying gig.

But you add that up over a year and it's several thousand dollars, and no big effort involved in any of them, no marketing costs as they are repeat customers, and except for halloween nothing on a prime date.

I've talked to a lot of DJs that get good bit of wedding work out of bars. And I know a lot of Djs that do bar work during the week - say $350 for 3 nights times 50 weeks is $18k or so...with little to no marketing costs. It may even be considered marketing.

Rick, you have a day job, photography biz and looking at a venue - your time is more precious to you than $150 for a night.

I tend to look at these 'little gigs' as gravy money - no cost to me other than my time. $30-50/hour in my pocket, often cash (bars are always cash).

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.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,310
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.
I wasn't talking about inflation or the value of the dollar.
Think on.
 
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Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,310
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.
That's kind of a serious limitation. It sounds more like event insurance than general business liability.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
3,813
I wasn't talking about inflation or the value of the dollar.
Think on.
If you're not talking about the time value of money, then please educate us on how you're defining the "present value" being higher. And then I can get busy booking all the shitty gigs I can find to take up my good Saturdays.
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,011
52
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
If you're not talking about the time value of money, then please educate us on how you're defining the "present value" being higher. And then I can get busy booking all the shitty gigs I can find to take up my good Saturdays.
I believed he was referring to the idea that a sure thing is better than the possibility of something bigger.. You know.."a bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush"

So get busy!😄
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
33,151
Prospect, CT
I believed he was referring to the idea that a sure thing is better than the possibility of something bigger.. You know.."a bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush"

So get busy!😄
You're thinking of the old Democrat proverb .. "A bird in the hand is better than 2 George Bushes".
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,011
52
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
You're thinking of the old Democrat proverb .. "A bird in the hand is better than 2 George Bushes".
I thought it was the old Lynyrd skynard proverb, " a free bird from the government is better than working for 2 birds"
 

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
1,388
You're thinking of the old Democrat proverb .. "A bird in the hand is better than 2 George Bushes".
It's more like " A bird in the hand, is just a picture of Hillary's close associate, Huma Abedin's fiance'"...
36619

How perfectly serendipitous was that douche bag's last name...no one would believe it if you tried to make it up...right MSNBC?
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
1,697
57
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
Why book anything for october or june then - except your biggest package?

You know, someone MIGHT call and what your biggest package at hte last minute.

So best you don't book anything then.

Just in case a better gig would come along.

An extreme position, but so is raising rates and working less to make the same money. Why not just book one $75k gig and work one day a year? Or 2 38K gigs?

Cause life doesn't work like that.

I believed he was referring to the idea that a sure thing is better than the possibility of something bigger.. You know.."a bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush"

So get busy!😄
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
33,151
Prospect, CT
Why book anything for october or june then - except your biggest package?

You know, someone MIGHT call and what your biggest package at hte last minute.

So best you don't book anything then.

Just in case a better gig would come along.

An extreme position, but so is raising rates and working less to make the same money. Why not just book one $75k gig and work one day a year? Or 2 38K gigs?

Cause life doesn't work like that.
My biggest package comes with me all the time .. ba dum dum tsshh.
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,868
36
Why book anything for october or june then - except your biggest package?

You know, someone MIGHT call and what your biggest package at hte last minute.

So best you don't book anything then.

Just in case a better gig would come along.

An extreme position, but so is raising rates and working less to make the same money. Why not just book one $75k gig and work one day a year? Or 2 38K gigs?

Cause life doesn't work like that.

My rule of thumb is that Saturdays in June and October are reserved for weddings. I would reserve Saturday in September for weddings as well, BUT I only get weddings coming in for Saturdays in September any way. Nobody seems to throw a birthday or any other type of event. ...Maybe Car shows happen on September Saturdays out there, but I don't get those anyway. November seems to be the new 3rd popular month for weddings and I usually don't have much else come in for November so mainly weddings any way.

Seeing that May sucks this year, and May wasn't anything to write home about last year, I am wondering if May has declined in popularity among brides/grooms to get married in my area. I see a few inquiries for it. I just got one in next year for 5/2/20. However, I would probably book any type of event in May. I'd rather have bookings than hold out for weddings to come in during that month. May can be a good month for school dances to those who market to schools and aim to book that business.

December I usually have 1 wedding, and anything else that comes in will be a holiday party. That leaves the slow/dead months of Jan, Feb, March, April to book whatever comes my way which isn't a whole lot these months ...July and August have a few wedding bookings, and maybe I book a summer party or a birthday party.

With that said, there's really only about 12 Saturdays a year that I would deem high demand for weddings, and keep those reserved for weddings. June, October, first 2 Saturdays in November...Maybe the Saturday on Labor Day weekend. ...Usually a popular wedding date.

There are no in demand Fridays or Sundays that I can think of.

Any open date under 45 days out is going to have a discounted price quote. Full paying weddings don't come in under 45 days from the wedding date. Not at least at my full asking price. Those are going to be the below $600 weddings generally speaking. It comes down to if you want to work the date, or keep it off at that point.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,310
If you're not talking about the time value of money, then please educate us on how you're defining the "present value" being higher. And then I can get busy booking all the shitty gigs I can find to take up my good Saturdays.
Look it up. The time value of money is just a single variable, not the whole calculation. Present value includes everything on the timeline between you and the point of interest. So, if you have a lease on equipment then all those time adjusted payments between you and the date of that gig come into play, your phone bill, your advertising, etc., along with all sources of income. You can determine your situation at any given point on the timeline. Doing this kind of analysis will tell you if what you "think" is a good strategy really is or isn't. Most of the time, if you have unproductive dates because you are turning down work with a lower price but higher present value - then you are at best just running in place.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
33,151
Prospect, CT

TJS

GetSomeJuJu
Nov 8, 2018
40
53
Ankeny, IA
www.jujulab.rocks


For me, being fairly new at the DJ gig, I feel like I'm not in a position to turn down a gig (like a car show) "in the hopes of something else better coming along". I can see the various sides given..i.e. those that know their market and based on a good number of years of experience knowing that particular market's ebb & flow of higher priced events (be it weddings or whatever) enabling them to turn down certain gigs....or those that have staff they can parcel lower paying gigs out to while taking the higher priced ones, essentially scooping up both business opportunities. I also see the wisdom in asking that a contract be signed every time there is an event. Personally, I can see the potential of a great working relationship with a business going south because of a misunderstanding due to no contract signed for each event. You'd hope you could work it out but... I also see how, if you've worked with them before, requiring a deposit may not be necessary or within certain contexts.
Oh...also..thanks for mentioning about my blank profile on here. I forgot to circle back around and fill more detail out so folks know more about me. I'm in Iowa. Thanks for all the input folks!