Category Archives: Bedroom Bootstrapper

When In Doubt, Hire An Assistant

Last week I had a corporate holiday party at the aquarium in town. I’ve been there before so I was familiar with the load in/load out and setup space. There’s a long hallway to trek gear back and forth but there are no stairs so hand trucks and rollers make it bearable.

In any event, the client wanted an extra setup for cocktail hour in a separate room, three wireless mics, and uplighting. To make matters more difficult the venue no longer allowed subs in the main room on account of the nearby seals. I had to bring my massive three-way JBLs instead of the more portable eVox 8’s. It would be a more involved setup but I figured 90 minutes would be fine.

The night before the party however I remembered how miserable I was during a holiday party two years prior. I was about 5 minutes late in setting up and loadout took almost 90 minutes… the venue was not happy. Granted it was on the 50th floor of the Ritz so the elevator didn’t help things, but I was alone and did have two setups to break down. Remembering this, I immediately shot a text to a friend of mine to see if he was free to help with setup for the event. He DJ’s fulltime so it happened that he was free. Perfect.

We got there early, around 4:15, but the venue would not let us so much as roll in our gear until 5 pm. To the minute. The best we could negotiate was to unload my gear into the alcove right inside the door at the end of the loooong hallway. Then, we sat. At 4:59 we begin rolling down the hall. They were so strict and overbearing that my friend noticed a staff member look at their watch as I walked by with a load of speakers. If it were not 5:01 by the time I did so, I wouldn’t put it past them to send me back to the end of the hall. Seriously.

If I had not hired my assistant that night there’s no way I would have been able to set everything up in 75 minutes. And it’s a good thing I did. Because at the end of the night I got an amazing 50% tip with exultations that they would certainly be using me again. With that tip? Please do!

If I was behind in my setup, I doubt I get that tip. They would not have become repeat clients. That $50 investment for an hour of help turned into $500 and a long-term relationship.

Have A Lawyer Review Your DJ Contract for $40

Last week I had a lawyer review the contract I’ve been using for years. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do, knowing full well that it would be worth it in the long run.

Now it’s not like I just wrote up my core legal document off the cuff, I began with a template from a reputable source and added items here and there throughout the years.

Still, would my provisions legally hold up if tested?

I started Googling for legal document review and eventually found Rocket Lawyer. For $40 per month you have a lawyer on call to answer questions and review documents. The free trial wouldn’t cut it but I happily dropped the $40 for the confirmation that the legal backbone of my business was sound.

Rocket Lawyer connected me with an attorney in my state who was familiar with local law. This is important because laws vary by state, such as whether or not a deposit can be non-refundable. (I no longer take deposits, I take retainers. Check with your lawyer.)

In total the review took about a week from start to finish, then I cancelled my monthly subscription. My contract came up clean! Except for one gap: inter-state jurisdiction. He provided a suggestion of text to incorporate and wah-lah, my Attorney check-up was complete. I no longer have to wonder if the document I’m distributing is the equivalent of crayon on construction paper.