Do you like the mobile part of this job?

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,256
45
you gotta be careful what people think you are selling though... i see these pics and think...wow... the place has an amazing outside space with wooden arch...it also has gorgeous walls and fancy ballroom style carpet... etc ...etc....etc...

if they show up and you have a spruced up rec center room...they may be none too pleased...

im sure you will have real photos once the renovation is wrapped...but if you get any takers early on...id be super forthcoming with them

cc
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
11,758
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
you gotta be careful what people think you are selling though... i see these pics and think...wow... the place has an amazing outside space with wooden arch...it also has gorgeous walls and fancy ballroom style carpet... etc ...etc....etc...

if they show up and you have a spruced up rec center room...they may be none too pleased...

im sure you will have real photos once the renovation is wrapped...but if you get any takers early on...id be super forthcoming with them

cc
Total agreement. I just grabbed some portfolio shots. Will sub in location images as we get them, assuming I can hammer out a lease agreement on Monday
 

Bob Kreider

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 12, 2016
82
Kennewick WA
I played a club for a year and was a venue DJ for all events for a few years. Didn't like the club at all and will avoid these altogether. Being the house DJ for an event venue was OK, because of serving a new and different crowd from event to event.

I have the best of both now, with different venues/locations and different crowds from week to week. Don't mind the set up, actually like brining gear in and out. So, the mobile DJ application is the best for me.

Being at the same location every weekend would seem monotonous and boring. Although with a new crowd with each event it would seem to be mostly inviting. Everything may make this be a perfect endeavor for you.

If you will be having the role as the event manager and DJ then your duties should fluctuate enough to keep you energetic and excited.
 

B-Sharp

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 9, 2008
2,338
45
Taunton MA
www.southcoastdj.com
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.
Mistake #1. If this thing pops, open a second space.

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.
You do know that any other venue would charge more for BYO vendors, right? Outside vendors don't care about your place. Outside DJs will need more time to set up and break down. Outside caterers will clog up your sinks, leave all of their trash and leave you to scrub the kitchen down yourself. Will your insurer or board of health even allow off-premises food to be served in your hall? I don't see the advantage of deducting $250 for someone who wants to bring their own DJ...it's almost a way of telling your customer you don't want to do that job in the first place, and that your value as a DJ is just $250.

There's a ton of variables that I don't think you're considering. Also, what happens when the landlord sees the success of your venue and wants a bigger piece of the pie? You talk about venues that are always building to make things bigger and better, but I bet you they own their buildings and parking lots.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
11,758
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Mistake #1. If this thing pops, open a second space.



You do know that any other venue would charge more for BYO vendors, right? Outside vendors don't care about your place. Outside DJs will need more time to set up and break down. Outside caterers will clog up your sinks, leave all of their trash and leave you to scrub the kitchen down yourself. Will your insurer or board of health even allow off-premises food to be served in your hall? I don't see the advantage of deducting $250 for someone who wants to bring their own DJ...it's almost a way of telling your customer you don't want to do that job in the first place, and that your value as a DJ is just $250.

There's a ton of variables that I don't think you're considering. Also, what happens when the landlord sees the success of your venue and wants a bigger piece of the pie? You talk about venues that are always building to make things bigger and better, but I bet you they own their buildings and parking lots.
Wow, you make some good points. I guess I've been looking at this space as a starter. A way to try the concept without risking too much investment. I'm also not quite sure how to handle a 2nd location. Heck, I'm not even sure if I know how to manage a FIRST location. ;)

You also make a good point about outside vendors. I know of at least one premium hall who charges a "buy out" fee for substituting vendors. Not sure if I can fetch that right out of the gate and with a less than stellar building to boot. At present, there will be no kitchen, nor do I plan to build one. The building owner is in tight with zoning and he said if I stick with mobile food service, we should have no problems. The caterer buddy that I'm using is fully rigged and has no problem with it.

Now as for the owner wanting a bigger piece of the pie, I expect that. However, keep in mind that he's giving me this space at about half price, in order to get me to do his upgrades. I'm going to ask for a 24-month lease and want a stipulation that caps increases to 5%-10% per renewal with option to renew (my option). I'll know in 6 months if this thing is going to fly. If it does as well as I expect then I should be in a good cash position to move, in the event he gets greedy. This really is a good deal for him as well. He's got an old building that needs some love and it fits my particular needs. I see it as a win-win.

BTW guys, I'm really digging this Go-Central website builder that GoDaddy is using. I know I'm ahead of myself but the website feels good and the tool is probably better than Squarespace and maybe even Wix. I flipped the site to a business page this morning and have added several sub-pages already. I'm going to hold off on any real work until we have a lease secured.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
11,758
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
You do know that any other venue would charge more for BYO vendors, right?
After giving this some thought, I think you're right. While it's not the norm around here (most venues will subtract money if you want your own vendors), I think it makes sense to keep my package intact and, if they insist on changing then they can just pay for it. I've also put a standard 15% discount for non-Saturday events. My venue-owner friend actually was having a lot of success at half-price for mid-week weddings. Lots of military who take advantage of that.

From my pricing sheet..........
36360
 

B-Sharp

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 9, 2008
2,338
45
Taunton MA
www.southcoastdj.com
Now as for the owner wanting a bigger piece of the pie, I expect that. However, keep in mind that he's giving me this space at about half price, in order to get me to do his upgrades. I'm going to ask for a 24-month lease and want a stipulation that caps increases to 5%-10% per renewal with option to renew (my option). I'll know in 6 months if this thing is going to fly. If it does as well as I expect then I should be in a good cash position to move, in the event he gets greedy. This really is a good deal for him as well. He's got an old building that needs some love and it fits my particular needs. I see it as a win-win.
This is a ridiculous red flag, Rick, not a win-win. Yes, you're getting cheap rent, and you've called this building "less than stellar". Yet at the same time you somehow see it as a place where people will want to host a wedding reception? I think you're going to see one of two things happen if you renovate the space and make this successful: 1) The landlord is going to want to do a percentage lease (where he takes a percentage on top of the rent once you reach a certain dollar amount in sales), or 2) the landlord is going to kick you out and continue to rent the space as his own... let's be honest, he could find a replacement DJ, Photographer and outside catering service with just a few phone calls.

You don't want to have to move if your landlord gets greedy... people aren't really hiring you, they're renting your space and you don't want to have to build this place twice (and you'll have competition, as your landlord now has a nice little event space to rent out). Also, you probably don't want to sign a 24-month lease if it's going to take you six months to find out if you can even make this venture work, but you'll have to if people are planning to hold their weddings here. Which brings me to my next question... if you book a few weddings (presumably happening in 8-12 months) and realize that the business can't sustain itself, what's your exit plan for those people?
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,256
45
Brendan has some great points!

Them aside...if you continue with the process... have you given any thought to making atleast one decorative investment to create something about your space that dazzles the client...

i was thinking today... and so many projects...if done by yourself ...could be relatively cheap ...but might give the space that certain pizazz it needs to get some buzz in the bridal world..

Say for instance some sort of unique lighting and ceiling structure over the dancefloor

36361

or maybe permanent uplights?

some sort of accent wall? or walls?

permanent photobooth ... something unique...like the front end of a 57 chevy or something...lolol... or just a self made booth reminiscent of real photobooths at a mall

if u can initially wow a client with one really cool thing...they can overlook the simplicity of the rest of the place

you only get one first impression... and even if you make needed changes in the future... the people who checked you out and passed will always see you as that initial impression...

with the puppet theater i owned... we had a boring building with white walls in a strip mall...but we had to create some sort of magic...

we did so on a fairly small budget

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we made coloring books...had mini puppets of our main characters made and sold them...

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we even made a map to tickle the little imaginations

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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
11,758
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Thanks for the pics Chris, that's really cool what you guys did with that space. Yes, I'm already thinking along the razzle-dazzle lines. While there's no much I can do about the outside, I can make the inside pop. First order of biz is acid-staining the concrete with a glazed finish. I'm thinking to perm-install several of the tri-beam uplights and supplement with single-beam lights. I'm also planning to use large glass vases with glass stones and put them onto uplight pedestals. Basically a huge visual lighted centerpiece on each table that matches the same colors going against the walls. For ambient, I'm going to hang Italian string lighting throughout. My gut tells me that you're exactly correct. They pull onto the lot and initial reaction is "Ugh" but as soon as they walk thru the door you watch those heads tilt back and the eyes go wide. That's the moment you know you've got them hooked and no way they're walking out without booking. At least that's the hope.

If you don't mind me asking, why do you feel the puppet thing didn't work, long term?
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,256
45
Thanks for the pics Chris, that's really cool what you guys did with that space. Yes, I'm already thinking along the razzle-dazzle lines. While there's no much I can do about the outside, I can make the inside pop. First order of biz is acid-staining the concrete with a glazed finish. I'm thinking to perm-install several of the tri-beam uplights and supplement with single-beam lights. I'm also planning to use large glass vases with glass stones and put them onto uplight pedestals. Basically a huge visual lighted centerpiece on each table that matches the same colors going against the walls. For ambient, I'm going to hang Italian string lighting throughout. My gut tells me that you're exactly correct. They pull onto the lot and initial reaction is "Ugh" but as soon as they walk thru the door you watch those heads tilt back and the eyes go wide. That's the moment you know you've got them hooked and no way they're walking out without booking. At least that's the hope.

If you don't mind me asking, why do you feel the puppet thing didn't work, long term?
Love your ideas!!!

The reasons we shut down the puppet theater are two fold...

We had been in business for two years and the business was doing fantastic at our first small location ....so we decided to move to a brand new larger location... we sunk a big chunk of money into rennovating it ...and had struck a deal with the landlord for a temporary lease....which stated we could have the venue month to month at 1200 dollars a month (normal lease agreement was a 5 year lease... 2000 a month plus a parking lot upkeep fee of around 500 a year) the place was ours...and if anyone wanted to lease the place at normal cost we had first dibs .... the new venue had sat empty for a couple years so we had this vision that no one would be interested....

So anyways.... we are open for a few months...things are going great... except some of the key members of my staff were graduating college and feeling the pressure to pursue their goals of becoming teachers... THEN ...ofcourse...some guy contacts the landlord wanting to put in a nail salon....the guy is flush with cash and offers 3000 a month... now mind u...we have first dibs...but our overhead would be taking an 800 a month...plus 500 a year bump... and we would be contracted for 5 years....5 scary years...lol....

Sadly we are not in a touristy area...a place like pigeon forge could kill with something like this and run maybe 2 different shows year round....The people in the area around us were supporting us so much... but in order to keep the fanbase happy and coming back we were having to produce new shows every 2 months or so....with each production we built a new stage and normally commissioned new puppets... and a new show cost around 3 to 5 grand depending on how big we went with it...

So we had a staff meeting... we pro'd and conned it... the girls were in tears...hell i cried a bit... but with all the factors at hand....we decided the best thing to do was to go out on top... as a thriving success...

it was such a tough call... but my staff is flourishing now... 1 has 2 children....she was 17 when she started for me.... 3 of them are full time teachers....one at a charter school outside of boston.... he also spent a year as a digital puppeteer for the Henson company at the Hershey factory up in PA...

We also went on to work on a web series for a couple years too...which was fun...


Im happy with our decision...and am happy to do a little dj'ing now to fill the void in my creative soul...

cc
 

B-Sharp

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 9, 2008
2,338
45
Taunton MA
www.southcoastdj.com
They pull onto the lot and initial reaction is "Ugh" but as soon as they walk thru the door you watch those heads tilt back and the eyes go wide.
So what does this place actually look like? I tried finding it using the map that's on your website but it's set for a general area, not the exact location. I doubt you're on the same main road as the Taco Bell and Walmart.
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
11,758
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
So what does this place actually look like? I tried finding it using the map that's on your website but it's set for a general area, not the exact location. I doubt you're on the same main road as the Taco Bell and Walmart.

Yep, right on the main road going thru town. 901 West Main Street, Hendersonville, TN. The space I'm looking at is on the lower level, right-side of the building. I'm starting with 2k sq feet and have option to bump it up to 3200 sq feet (the entire downstairs). There are a few walls down there, which can be removed. They have 3 working bathrooms (need remodel). Floor currently has old carpet and some hardwood. I'll have to rip that up, scrape the floor, stain it, then tear out the few walls to open up the space. There are no support poles as the upstairs floor is supported by pre-cast concrete joists. It's about 10 feet high.
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
5,968
52
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
I think you'll have so much on your mind that the thought of being bored with DJing at the same place won't be an option.

I'm excited for you Rick! Best of luck, my friend
 

B-Sharp

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 9, 2008
2,338
45
Taunton MA
www.southcoastdj.com
Yep, right on the main road going thru town. 901 West Main Street, Hendersonville, TN. The space I'm looking at is on the lower level, right-side of the building. I'm starting with 2k sq feet and have option to bump it up to 3200 sq feet (the entire downstairs).
I wish you well with this venture, but whatever beauty you're seeing in this place is completely lost on me.