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Mobile DJ University of imixmag

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Welcome to the imixmag dedicated Mobile DJ page. This page is intended as a beginners to intermediate look into starting or improving a Mobile DJ business.

Do you have what it takes to enter the Mobile DJ business?
Being a Mobile DJ is nothing like being a Club DJ or just a DJ who can make nice mixes. It involves a wide array of skills and much more responsibility. This is especially true if you will be a solo operation or the person running the business.

Those that hire you to do their wedding, sweet sixteen, birthday, corporate, or any other kind of event have invested a lot of time and money into putting their event together. And though all parts of an event are important none stand out more than that of the DJ. This is why it is very important to understand how being a Mobile DJ is a serious serious business which requires skill, discipline, etiquette, and a lot of enthusiasm. To sum it up you must be prepared to provide professional services to your clients. Failing to do so will result in a failed business and possibly lawsuits.

If these words seem a bit intimidating they should be. Are you up to the challenge? Do you have the skills and discipline? If not do yourself, the Mobile DJ industry, but most importantly the bride and groom or proud parents of a Sweet 16 a huge favor and stay out of the Mobile DJ business . However, if you think you have what it takes then read on and welcome to the gratifying world of Mobile DJing.

Where do you start?
A goal without a plan is just a dream. That is why the first thing you should do is create a plan of what you envision your Mobile DJ business to be. This will define the goals and limits of your business. By laying out a plan you will be able to focus your time, energy and budget on developing and creating an efficient business that will provide your clients with professional Mobile DJ services.

These are some questions you should be asking yourself when laying out a plan for your Mobile DJ business.

What type of Mobile DJ am I?
Your style may fit some events and not others. Understanding what you can and canít offer your clients in terms of music and overall performance will help determine what events you should and shouldnít do. Taking on events you arenít suited for or really arenít capable of doing can hurt your reputation and future business.

Will I be approved for liability insurance?
For most halls you will need liability insurance. Even if they donít ask for insurance you better have it; when someone gets hurt at an event everyone gets sued. The average cost is around $300 a year, well worth it. If you have bad credit you may be denied coverage. The reason this issue is brought up so early is because is if you are unable to get liability insurance it may affect your revenue outlook.

What size/capacity rooms will my equipment handle?
Knowing the limits of your sound system is very important. Doing an event in a large room when you really donít have the sound system to do so is a huge mistake and a misrepresentation of what you can provide to your clients. Know the limits of your sound system and donít push it past that. Doing so will not only make your sound system sound like crap, but will also damage your speakers. Knowing what size events you would like to be able to handle will help answer your next question.

What equipment do I have and what do I need?
Make a budget for what you need and make sure to budget for reliable equipment. Include everything: lighting, cables, speakers, software, etc., it all adds up. When creating a budget make sure not to set it for what you can afford. Make sure your budget is set for what you need.

What to Budget for in purchasing DJ Equipment.(laptop not included)
What can you afford? Should you budget for three, four, five thousand dollars? If you were just DJing at your house then you can just buy what you want and live with the consequences. But since youíre a professional Mobile DJ you are going to have to purchase reliable quality equipment which will deliver reliable quality and premium sound to your clients. You donít have to buy the most expensive equipment but do you homework and purchase the best equipment within your budget.

What If I told you that five or six thousand dollars for DJ equipment (besides the laptop) isnít a lot of money? Youíre probably thinking it is but it really isnít. Letís say that between speakers, lighting, a DJ Controller, stands, and cables you spend six thousand dollars. If you kept that equipment for five years the total cost per year is only twelve hundred. Your revenue goal per year should be way over that dollar amount so the equipment will definitely pay for itself and put profit in your pockets for years to come.

If you donít already have a vehicle to transport all your equipment youíre going to need to purchase or rent when needed. Relying on a friend or family member might sound like a cool option but if they pick you up late or donít show up youíre the one stuck in the hole and open to a lawsuit. Your vehicle doesnít have to be new but it better be reliable. You might want to look at a vehicle that can be for both personal and business use.

Yes you will need a website. It doesnít have to be anything out of this world however it should be appealing, straight to the point, and easy to navigate. Of course the name of your website should reflect your company name. Many website names are taken so be creative. Use abbreviations or just add the name of your area at the end of the website name. If possible learn basic HTML or buy a program to create and modify your own website. In the long run this will save you money and the headaches of having to deal with someone else to update your website.

What are my strong points and weaknesses?
(This is placed in this section because of its importance to the overall success of your business.)
You can buy the best equipment, have the best website, and offer great prices, but none of this is as important as your overall performance at events. Itís all about: knowing the right music for the event and crowd, motivating the crowd with your emceeing skills,and etiquette in dealing with clients, guests, the maÓtre d and all persons at an event. Be honest with yourself and evaluate what you need to work on and teach yourself how to create the best you. This is very important because as a mobile DJ you are your biggest asset and without refining your complete performance you can be your biggest liability.

Know your region.
As a Mobile DJ you will work within a certain region of where you live. What you charge or will be able to charge may depend on the economic conditions of your area. And if within your radius there is a small population it can limit the amount of potential clients. You also need to be aware of what your competition, other Mobile DJs in your area, are charging.

Taking care of business and reaping the rewards.
Remember, you are running a business and your goal is to be profitable. This may not happen right away but should be in your plan and financial forecast. What you charge for your services is entirely up to you however you shouldnít deny yourself the financial reward for providing professional services. That is why it is important to strive at being a Derrick Jeter or Michael Jordan of Mobile DJs. Like them you will slowly gain a reputation of being elite at your trade and clients will happily pay you top dollar for the privilege of having you perform at their event.

Of course this doesnít cover every single specific topic you need to ponder when laying out a plan for your mobile DJ business however it will get your thought process headed in the right direction. Before we get into what equipment to buy and other specifics here are some other things you should be aware of and will help lay the foundation of providing professional Mobile DJ services.

Which Laptop to buy.
Obviously using a laptop is the most efficient way to DJ. The question always turns to which laptop should I buy . The argument between Mac & Windows for DJing is as old as the hills. Truth be told the argument is a silly one. It all comes down to which operating system is the most stable and reliable for the purpose of DJing and without question Mac is currently the clear winner. This doesnít mean you canít use Windows 7, you can, but from our experience you will most likely get a more stable experience with a Mac. For a Mac itís simple, any of the Macbook Pro models will do the job. .

For Windows the easiest way to figure out which one to purchase is by finding out which make and model other DJs are using with success. Windows 7 and XP are better options than the disaster that Vista was. Make sure to check the requirements of the DJ software youíll be using and make sure the specs of the Windows laptop exceed them.

Music Library.
Getting your music from illegal sources is definitely not the way to go for Mobile DJs. With illegal downloads there will definitely be sound quality issues and you arenít always guaranteed to get exactly what you were looking for. This is especially true for Mobile DJs which need clean versions of music. Legally purchasing your music from sites like ITunes and Amazon will guarantee the sound quality your clients are entitled to.

DJ Controller.
For most DJs an all in one DJ Controller is the absolute answer; they are usually light in weight, extremely easy to setup, and are less expensive than buying separate pieces like two CDJ players and a mixer. Yes using only a laptop is an option however having a DJ Controller is much easier than navigating through your software with your touchpad, mouse, and keyboard. It also looks more professional to have a DJ Controller unit.

Like with the laptop, the best way to find out which controller to buy is by looking at which ones most other Mobile DJs are using. Many of the units are built for use with specific software so make sure to purchase one which comes with proven software. Two of the most stable and reliable software for DJ Controllers are Serato Itch and Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2. Yes Virtual DJ is a widely used DJ software however we find Itch and Traktor to be reliable and stable option.

Lighting is a very important factor in setting the mood for the event. Fortunately this is one area where you don't have to spend a lot of money to have professional looking results. For small to midsized rooms you can create great looking lighting effects by choosing lights which complement each other. In other words if the lights have the same colors and similar effects they will drown each other out making it look like one mess of lights . Donít overdo it with lighting. Lights shouldn't blind people, they should create a desired ambiance, be it smooth lounge or Dance Club. One light you should definitely get is the American DJ Micro Galaxian. This ninety nine dollar compact laser light will have a dazzling effect on any small to medium size room.

This page is a work in progress. It will be updated on a weekly basis for the next few months. "Like" us on Facebook to know when we update. Last updated on June 19th, 2012.