7 Things to Consider Before Starting a DJ Business

Things to consider on your way to the big leagues

With all the competition out there, starting a DJ business isn't for the faint of heart. Clear vision, well-defined goals, and the answers to these seven important questions can go a long way in helping you achieve success.

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What Kind of DJ Do You Want to Be?

That's two questions in one, but they're so closely related that they can't be separated. There are different types of DJs: some who perform in clubs and lounges and others who entertain at weddings, private parties, and graduations. You should be clear about your idea and the type of DJ you want to be. Find a niche and work to claim it.

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Is There a Market for Your Idea?

Identify your competitors in the area and find out if there is a market for your idea. Knowing if there is a need or demand for your services is essential. For example, if you live in an area popular for destination weddings and you want to specialize in reception events, you're on the right track. Likewise, if you're thinking of starting your DJ business in an area known for, say, a unique style of live acoustic music, you probably should think twice.

As the saying goes, find a need and fill it. No matter how good your idea, there must be someone willing to pay for your services for your business to succeed.

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Who Is Your Competition?

Assessing your competition goes hand in hand with scouting your market. How many other DJs and DJ businesses operate in your area? What are their specialties, and what kind of reputations do they have? What can you do better than they can? And most importantly, what is different about your DJ business? Maybe you have a distinctive vocal style, or perhaps you have a knack for getting your audience involved. Identify it and capitalize on it so you stand out from the rest.

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How Much Money Will You Need to Start Your DJ Business?

Most of your investment will be in audio equipment, media, and advertising. Take an inventory of the products you have, and make a list of the equipment you need to acquire. Do some research on the internet, visit a few stores to compare prices, and figure out how much it will cost you to purchase the necessary equipment for your business.

Also, think about different methods you can use to advertise and market your business to potential customers. Local newspapers, online ads, yellow pages, flyers, school newspapers, and cooperative agreements with local businesses are just a few of the ideas to consider. List the costs of each type of advertising and decide which is the most effective for your business and budget.

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How Will You Finance Your DJ Business?

Simply put, you need money. Where will it come from? You need to identify sources of financing. These might include a savings account, a bank loan, loans from friends or relatives, a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, investors, or partners. You might also be able to find some backing from organizations that advocate for the arts. Financing could be a combination of the above.

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What Business Permits, Licenses, and Insurance Do You Need?

Check with local and state government agencies to determine which, if any, licenses and permits you will need to operate your business legally. You might also need to purchase liability insurance to protect your business.

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What Is the Structure of Your DJ Business?

Before you can obtain the necessary permits and licenses, you need to select a name for your business and file the associated paperwork. You also must decide on the structure of your business. Will you be a sole proprietorship? A partnership? Limited liability corporation (LLC)? These are only a few of the choices, and fees are involved in the establishment of each.

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