Small Business Owner – It’s Always Something

It has been crazy busy the past several days. My office partner at the day job is out on vacation. Adding her responsibilities to mine, I barely have time to breathe. In addition to her workload, which is similar to mine, she also does additional reports. I am not familiar with them, so it takes me longer to complete.

Additionally, she is pregnant. While I’m happy she is having a baby, I’m NOT looking forward to carrying the additional workload during her eight to twelve week maternity leave. I will be surprised if anyone at the day job offers help.

My side hustle is a mobile DJ company. Having a small business is a challenge. It’s always something.

As is common for entertainers, it is “feast or famine”. Spring and Fall are the busy times of year for me. This October is the busiest so far. I have had my small business for three years. I currently have eighteen (18) events scheduled in October. This includes eleven (11) weddings.

Thankfully, I have another DJ who works with me. However, as those of you who have employees or contract laborers know, that brings it’s own set of challenges.

DJ B has been pretty dependable so far. However, he did get the flu earlier this year, and was unable to do a midweek corporate gig. DJ B called me that morning, while I was at my day job, “Brother, I can’t even get out of bed. I’m running a 103* fever, have sweats and chills, and am dizzy every time I stand up. I can’t do the gig today.

8-(

Panic time! That was about two hours before the gig was to start, and I’m at my day job for another seven hours. Happily, I had been performing as a DJ that week at my day job, for our annual employee appreciation event. I had to work overtime, doing my “real job”, plus performing four times over three days, for 1500 people over all three shifts. In lieu of overtime pay, I got comp time.

Guess what I did with my comp time. Yep, I left the day job, performed the retirement luncheon at the other company, packed up, drove back to the day job, set up, and performed again. 🙂

I booked a homecoming dance about two weeks ago for October 18th. I performed at Prom in April for this school and they LOVED it. I am also the paid announcer for their home football games. I offered to do Homecoming, but never heard back. Two weeks ago, the coordinating teacher calls and says, “We’d like you to do Homecoming“.

Great, but I’m already booked for a wedding, where the Ceremony is at 4 PM at one location, the Reception is about 45 minutes away at a second location, and DJ B is doing a wedding at a different location. However, I really don’t want to risk another DJ company coming in, doing Homecoming, and taking Prom by offering a crazy low price. I’m still the new guy in town, so I’m fighting to get market share from the local “big dog”.

The fun of being the small business newcomer.

So, I call DJ C, a guy I’ve worked with before, give him a verbal confirmation, and book the dance with the teacher. A few days ago, I text DJ C that I’m still waiting for paperwork (the teacher’s email is not working), but that the dance is still confirmed. DJ C says, “I didn’t hear back from you, so I’m booked elsewhere. I didn’t think it was for sure.

Geez… Why didn’t you call me before you booked the other gig? >:(

Over the weekend, I tried to reach DJ T by phone, email, and text. Nothing. I waited as long as I could.

Yesterday, I called DJ D. One of his guys is available, but the price is $200 more than DJ C, which seriously cuts into my profit. I’m providing the sound system. All DJ D has to do is roll in and perform, but I’m in a jam, so I gotta pay the price.

The fun of small business. 🙂

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