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FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM DECEMBER 2010
The Mobile DJ industry touches several areas. Without question, the backbone “hands down” money producer have been the wedding sector. However, in a deepening recession riddled with changing family values, will many be able to survive a continued slump?
This isn’t just about whether a DJ company can span the gaps between dates with odd jobs or outside employment. This is about how customers value what we do and their ability to pay for it.
In the mobile DJ industry, the interactions of mobile DJs and potential clients determine the value of mobile DJ services. Mobile DJs are the ones who actually set prices, but they do so based on the behavior of potential clients. If nobody buys a product at a particular price, the mobile DJ assumes the price is too high. If some potential clients buy it, but not enough to buy the most premium available dates, mobile DJs must either decrease their price or decrease their supply. The willingness of potential clients to pay for mobile DJ services is known as demand. Even if there is constant high demand for the services we provide, individual mobile DJs feel compelled to keep the price down or potential clients will just buy it from a competitor.
Failure to understand supply and demand within the mobile DJ industry and the fundamental reasons why people purchase the service of mobile DJs is the downfall of many.
During tough economic times, generally speaking, people attempt to reduce spending. However, that’s not to say that luxury entertainment purchases are non-existent. It’s about determining at what price point you should market your services to potential clients in order to maintain your business.
Financial issues are one of the most common reasons for divorce. Sooner or later, every couple has to deal with economic strain. When there’s not enough to go around, priorities, attitudes, and temperaments can conflict with each other. Most pre-marital courses attempt to touch on the various hot topics that bridal couples may face as challenges to help them understand the important step they are taking. Ironically, most bridal couples are dealing with pre-marital counseling issues while they are trying to plan their wedding.
Under normal circumstances, a bridal couple would face challenges if one person had clean credit and the other had credit problems. In today’s financial crisis, taking on the debt and credit issues of another may not be a wise choice. Could this be one reason why people have been hitting the brakes on the way to the altar?
“The marriage ratio is at its lowest point since 1867.” Once again closing out the year with fewer weddings than in 1946 despite having more than doubled the USA population this downturn began in the 1970s. However, it has steadily dropped since 1987. Based on the 10-year trend from 1999-to 2009 the wedding market for 2010 may lose an additional 90,000 marriages. 821,619 marriages below the 142-year average.
Disposable income is a key factor. What group of potential bridal couples has the most disposable income in secure jobs with parents that are financially sound in today’s economy. Although there are more couples today waiting to tie the knot when they have their feet on the ground, you still have family influences and prejudices to contend with. Parents that realize a tightening economy may put a limit on how much they can help. If that financial limit falls short of your ability to sell your services, you need to move on to more qualified prospects.
This is where potential clients, families, and mobile DJs find themselves in a battle for bucks. Earning a living is one thing, covering costs is another. Selling yourself short on both accounts is a recipe for disaster.
Millions of Americans have felt the financial pinch. With the bulk of that pinch being attributed to tightening credit and job security. Things may look good now…but in 180 days things may be completely different. This caution is playing out in purchases both inside and outside the mobile DJ industry.
In speaking with several wedding vendors with physical storefronts, the common consensus has been good foot traffic but slow sales. Ironic that the day that is planned entirely for the proclamation of a marriage “commitment” is beleaguered by the lack of commitment in the planning process.
It really comes down to consumer confidence, which is shaky at best. This is why the “wait and see” until closer to the date is hampering pre-bookings on many calendars. Not different entirely from other types of events. Holiday parties, school events, bars, anniversaries…all waiting until closer to the date to make a commitment because making a promise TODAY could be hard to keep tomorrow.
So what is the panic point for mobile DJs in filling their calendars? 12 months, 6 months…2 weeks? At what point will they buckle in price because their phone finally rang?
Novice DJs without any business knowledge with a pinchant for pandering toward “cheap” hits at the core of nearly every issue within this industry. Competing with that message takes a substantial marketing investment. Dollars are hard for many to part with within the current economic climate. But really, what are your clients worth? Are today’s potential clients really worth risking your family’s financial future? It’s time to face the ultimate question. Contact a local marketing firm and have them create a proposal for your company. Look at the total dollars of investment vs the amount of return that you’ll receive and how much future revenue it can generate. If you can’t afford to advertise, you can’t afford to be in business. That’s a pretty blatant sign and perhaps it’s time to cut your losses.
The mobile DJ industry may lose 15,000 mobile DJs in the course of 2010 and gain 20,000 more DJs. This is not to say that these DJs don’t have talent. It will simply further congest an overcrowded industry that has long since past its ability to sustain its workforce. We are at a point in the economy that if you are considering lowering your rates to boost business…your company is already dead. The brain behind your company has simply lost its ability to monitor vital subtleties that allow one to adapt to and overcome the day to day roadblocks that all businesses are faced with. It’s not about going through the motions in business…it’s about the creativity contained in the motion and the value that the client perceives and attributes to what you can uniquely do for them.
You can contact Dude Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.