Do you like the mobile part of this job?

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Looking forward to my meeting next Monday on leasing an event space and thinking and re-thinking whether this is a smart move or not (I think it is). Besides the prospect of growing my product offerings, is the issue of DJing in the same place, night after night. Sound and lighting will be perm-installed and no humping gear in and out each evening. Travel time will be less than 5 minutes from home. Just wondering what you guys think of it? Do you think you'd get bored of seeing the same place all the time?
 

B-Sharp

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 9, 2008
2,427
45
Taunton MA
www.southcoastdj.com
It's a smart move if you can juggle all of the other aspects of running an event venue and still enjoy your job. I predict that you'll have too much on your plate and will need to hire someone else to do the DJ work in short time. Alternately, you'll have too many open dates and not enough cashflow to sustain the business.

I'd dislike being at the same place week after week because I'd never get to see how things are done elsewhere. It's very easy to get stuck in a rut, and even worse, you'll never know just how well you're doing. You may also find your photo & DJ services blacklisted at other venues because you're now in direct competition with them.

You're putting a lot on the line. If your management skills aren't superb and your venue fails, your reputation will precede you.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
It's a smart move if you can juggle all of the other aspects of running an event venue and still enjoy your job. I predict that you'll have too much on your plate and will need to hire someone else to do the DJ work in short time. Alternately, you'll have too many open dates and not enough cashflow to sustain the business.

I'd dislike being at the same place week after week because I'd never get to see how things are done elsewhere. It's very easy to get stuck in a rut, and even worse, you'll never know just how well you're doing. You may also find your photo & DJ services blacklisted at other venues because you're now in direct competition with them.

You're putting a lot on the line. If your management skills aren't superb and your venue fails, your reputation will precede you.
At least initially, we obviously will continue taking gigs that are mobile and yes, I agree with you that it's important to see how others do things. I think the mobile aspect has really started hitting me, physically, these past couple of years. I don't like the drive, the setup, the teardown, then the long drive home, every time we have a gig.

As for the management skills, it's a new challenge, no doubt about it. If I didn't think I could handle it, I wouldn't try it. My gut says this is the next evolution of our business. As for overhead, this lease is only going to run me about $400 more than what I'm paying for a single room for an office. There will be some utilities but overall, financially speaking, this is about as low risk as I could ask for. We have a personal friend who is in the process of buying a historic mansion, where they'll be hosting weddings (yes, competition), and they're looking at $4k/mth in just a mortgage note, much less much higher utilities and insurance. It would scare me to death to take on that much risk. I think my biggest risk is in whether I can actually convince 20-something females that they want to hold their wedding in an old, ugly building. The good part, if I can book it, I have a 21 year-old that's chomping at the bit to take over the biz. Our 18 year-old is also showing interest as well.

For right now, I'm just thrilled at the prospects of NOT humping gear in/out.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,229
Oklahoma City
Nope... Don’t like lugging gear in and out of venues, and though I’ve tried to make my setup and teardown process as simple as possible, it’s still not quick or painless. I suppose it helps keep me active, but I can think of better ways to keep in shape. Crawling around on my hands and knees taping cables down, while impressive at my age, is getting harder to do. The crawling is not so bad, but the getting back up is.
 

Ausumm

Day Late and a Dollar Short
Oct 21, 2008
10,494
55
Bethlehem PA
www.mikefoxx.com
Just wondering what you guys think of it? Do you think you'd get bored of seeing the same place all the time?
While most of us of a "certain age" would love the idea of never slugging gear around again...
I think I would get bored after a while.
It'd be like eating pizza for every meal for the rest of your life. (even if you love pizza)
Or, it'd be like getting married...and having......(well, you know)

But it does bring up two questions:

1- What if a bride had a vision for your venue that required the equipment to be moved?
Would you pass on the gig, charge extra, or just move the gear?

2- What if someone wants to hire you, but NOT at your venue?
Would you pass on the gig? Would you take it only if the price was right?
 
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djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,978
45
i enjoyed club residencies ...it was nice having a perm install for sure... for me...if i was going to pin myself down to a single venue...it would need to be a dazzling venue.... i would need to be very very proud of it and it would need to service a certain level of clientele that i want to work with... my fear with your plan would be... the type of clientele that would be interested in a bargain basement style event

You have sort of pigeon holed yourself to a low end clientele and with that will possibly come low end attitude...low end behavior... etc

You know i wish you well... however i would personally aim higher or stick with what i had

cc
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
While most of us of a "certain age" would love the idea of never slugging gear around again...
I think I would get bored after a while.
It'd be like eating pizza for every meal for the rest of your life. (even if you love pizza)
Or, it'd be like getting married...and having......(well, you know)

But it does bring up two questions:

1- What if a bride had a vision for your venue that required the equipment to be moved?
Would you pass on the gig, charge extra, or just move the gear?

2- What if someone wants to hire you, but NOT at your venue?
Would you pass on the gig? Would you take it only if the price was right?
#1 - Charge extra. I've found that's the universal solution, anytime a client requests something that's going to be a PITA. You make them pay.

#2 - It depends on how busy the venue gets. First off, I NEVER let a client hire ME by name. I always keep the option of sending another person in my place, per my contract. Now if the venue is so-so busy, sure I'm taking mobile gigs. If the venue is busting out, I'm probably going to send someone else to cover the mobile job.
 
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djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,978
45
Rick...do u have a promotional budget for getting the word out about your venue?

Was just curious what the plan is...where to promote? etc?

cc
 
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djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,978
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Also... are u doing any kind of branding? signage? something to promote to passers by? if its a busy road it would certainly be worth the investment

cc
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
i enjoyed club residencies ...it was nice having a perm install for sure... for me...if i was going to pin myself down to a single venue...it would need to be a dazzling venue.... i would need to be very very proud of it and it would need to service a certain level of clientele that i want to work with... my fear with your plan would be... the type of clientele that would be interested in a bargain basement style event

You have sort of pigeon holed yourself to a low end clientele and with that will possibly come low end attitude...low end behavior... etc

You know i wish you well... however i would personally aim higher or stick with what i had

cc
You may be correct, time will tell. I think I've developed my biz chops to the point that even low-end clients don't cause me grief like they did in the early days. I've written my contract to protect myself fully and I don't bat an eye over standing anyone down that's trying to push me around. Now, as for the venue being lower-end, again, time will tell the story. If this thing pops then you can bet I'll be shopping for an upgraded space. I think the problem I've seen so many venues make is trying to keep outdoing each other with "bigger/better" until they create a monsterous overhead that dogs them constantly. I'd rather start small and build up than build big and crash and burn. I sure do relish the thought of being able to perm-install then keep building/improving the setup over time.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Rick...do u have a promotional budget for getting the word out about your venue?

Was just curious what the plan is...where to promote? etc?

cc
Facebook. I might consider taking out a WW slot for this one. My buddy who owns a venue an hour south of us says WW is turning 6-8 leads per day for him. Maybe they actually work for venues? As for signage, yes, I have a spot on the sign which is right on the main road (Main Street). I'm intending to do a halo-illuminated sign for road-facing and another over the front door (to get into all the exit shots).
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,901
37
So I will say that first...I think that your endeavor with a venue will prove to be worth doing. The first 6 to 10 months might be tough for you. BUT, once you get the word out, and after you host a dozen or so weddings there, the word of mouth, and visual marketing from the pictures of those events will start to really pay off. I think you will make good money doing this, and once you get into the groove you will like it. The real test is sticking with it! ...Many venue/restaurant owners say that the hardest part is getting through year 2 through 5. After year 5 owners usually start to pay off their debts (if they have them) and it is much easier to maintain a profitable business. ...At that point the only thing that usually closes the business up is the will of the owner. ...If they don't change, or have too much life drama to care about the business enough to run it properly. ...Usually one of those 2 things. ...Sometimes if a married couple owns the business, and divorce happens, that can kill the business too. .....I know a pool supply dealer business that is closing due to a divorce this year.

...Anyway,

Regarding the Mobile side of the business....

My experience might be a bit different than most because I am often driving 1 hour to 2 hours EACH WAY for about 80% of my events. Maybe 1 to 2 times a year my drive is over 2 hours each way. Sometimes I do a local event within a 10 minute drive. Maybe 2 to 3 times a year, the drive is like 15 to 45 minutes away. It's usually at least 1 hour though

With that said, I do like a good drive to my events here and there because A: I listen to some good music. B: I need the mileage for business deductions! ...I do everything through Mile IQ App on my phone so it's llegitimately recorded as well.

HOWEVER, for consistant weekly or bi weekly business, I would like to have a wedding venue that I could put myself or other DJs in as well. It would be nice to have guaranteed staple business like that! ...It does get OLD driving 2 to 4 hours round trip to weddings weekend after weekend during high wedding season. A lot of the time I just want a well paying local wedding so I can spend less time on the event, and be home early. BUT...I go to where the money is. I don't find much in terms of great paying gigs in my area. The good paying region is DC/NOVA. So I am driving there for 80% of my bookings.
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,901
37
Hey Chris, how does this strike you?


I like the packages, and think the price point is pretty darn good. I do think that you should be accomodating, and take the cost of a DJ out of the Silver package IF they really want to bring in their own DJ. Make that number low so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to bring in their own, but don't force it on them. ...Maybe take a $300 or $350 deduction out of the package if they bring in their own DJ. Sure they could be briging in their cousin, or a friend, but if they are paying someone...whoever they get for less than that is not going to be much monetary benefit to do so.


Also, starting out, especially the first year. You WILL get people coming in who ONLY want to rent the space, and tables/chairs. They won't want ANY of the rest of the stuff in the Silver Package, and want to bring in the catering, and everything else themselves.

Will you deal with these people, and custom quote them? OR will you choose to tell them "Sorry, this is an all inclusive venue, and the Diamond package is the lowest we offer" ....I doubt those customers will drop $6500 for the venue and tables/chairs, LOL.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
I like the packages, and think the price point is pretty darn good. I do think that you should be accomodating, and take the cost of a DJ out of the Silver package IF they really want to bring in their own DJ. Make that number low so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to bring in their own, but don't force it on them. ...Maybe take a $300 or $350 deduction out of the package if they bring in their own DJ. Sure they could be briging in their cousin, or a friend, but if they are paying someone...whoever they get for less than that is not going to be much monetary benefit to do so.


Also, starting out, especially the first year. You WILL get people coming in who ONLY want to rent the space, and tables/chairs. They won't want ANY of the rest of the stuff in the Silver Package, and want to bring in the catering, and everything else themselves.

Will you deal with these people, and custom quote them? OR will you choose to tell them "Sorry, this is an all inclusive venue, and the Diamond package is the lowest we offer" ....I doubt those customers will drop $6500 for the venue and tables/chairs, LOL.
I'd have to agree. I'm already planning on standard deductions. $250 off for your own DJ (still trying to decide if I'm going to even allow this), $500 off for your own photographer, $1000 off if you supply the food, etc. As for people who ONLY want to rent the space, go somewhere else. I'm going to draw the line in the sand somewhere and I have no intention of just becoming a cheap venue space. It all depends on demand. If I have a bunch of people wanting to buy the package, as is, then I can be picky and make them deal on my terms. If I'm wrong and nobody wants it, then I'll deal on their terms. I really suspect, however, that finding people to buy dates is not going to be a problem.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
BTW, I'm kinda digging that website tool. Godaddy's website builder. I spent maybe 30 minutes total and it was up and running. Will obviously be spending more time, assuming the guy actually rents me the space, but I kinda like that single-page, scrollable site. It cuts to the point and asks for the meeting. Maybe I've been doing it wrong all along?
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,901
37
I'd have to agree. I'm already planning on standard deductions. $250 off for your own DJ (still trying to decide if I'm going to even allow this), $500 off for your own photographer, $1000 off if you supply the food, etc. As for people who ONLY want to rent the space, go somewhere else. I'm going to draw the line in the sand somewhere and I have no intention of just becoming a cheap venue space. It all depends on demand. If I have a bunch of people wanting to buy the package, as is, then I can be picky and make them deal on my terms. If I'm wrong and nobody wants it, then I'll deal on their terms. I really suspect, however, that finding people to buy dates is not going to be a problem.
I bet after your first 12 to 18 months you can raise the price at least on the Silver Package to $7.000 or even $7,500 and it won't effect bookings IF there proves to be plenty of clientelle who sees the value in this.

There are no venues like this locally where I am. There were some catering companies offering all inclusive packages a few years ago, but I don't see any marketing for that any more.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,110
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
I bet after your first 12 to 18 months you can raise the price at least on the Silver Package to $7.000 or even $7,500 and it won't effect bookings IF there proves to be plenty of clientelle who sees the value in this.

There are no venues like this locally where I am. There were some catering companies offering all inclusive packages a few years ago, but I don't see any marketing for that any more.
Keep in mind, the space I'm looking to lease has about 3,000 square feet available. If I take the other 2 stalls, I'm still only at $1500 month and I'll have enough space to host a full 150. I suspect that with the bigger space I should be able to fetch $10k-$14k pretty easily. My gut tells me that my competitors are chasing each other to create the bigger/better event space. I'd rather find a segment that nobody is servicing and I don't know of anybody doing fully all-inclusive at this price point. If I'm guessing correctly it won't be just junk, PITA el-cheapo clients.
 
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