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New KJ, I have some questions

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chunkydunky
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New KJ, I have some questions

Post by chunkydunky » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:49 pm

Hello All

So I purchased my own equipment and now i just need to get some gigs. A little background on me, I did run a show for a guy, I used his setup and i collected money at the end of the night it was AWESOME! Now he is no longer in town and it has been a few years since i have done a show or done the whole bar scene. What is going to be my best way to get some gigs? any overall advice you could give me I would greatly appreciate it.. What should I charge for doing a show?

THank you



Paradigm Karaoke
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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by Paradigm Karaoke » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:03 am

lets start at the beginning, what do you have for equipment and what do you have for a library. from there we can start to guide you, but knowing nothing we are a bit stuck.

The Lone Ranger
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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by The Lone Ranger » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:05 am

I would think the first step Paradigm would have been to check out the local karaoke scene before the purchase of any equipment. See if the local market is saturated or not and if there is room for another KJ. The reason so many KJ's are trying to fight over existing gigs is because of supply and demand. There are many more KJ's than there are venues that can support the expense of a karaoke show, even though compared to a band it is more cost effective. When I was active in the local karaoke business, my specialty was setting up new karaoke programs at venues with no karaoke shows. In fact now that I'm semi-retired the shows I started are still running, over two years since I quit the business.

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wiseguy
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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by wiseguy » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:42 am

Apparently the ship has sailed on checking out the local scene before buying the equipment. The question now, as Paradigm pointed out, is how your karaoke sound system and music library compares to that of your competition.

The Lone Ranger
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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by The Lone Ranger » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:02 pm

If the equipment and the library can't match the competition wiseguy, then it would mean additional money would have to be spent, to become competitive. The cost reward ratio would still have to be explored in that case, and it would make little sense to spend more money, if there were little or no chance of landing a job, in an over saturated market. Running a successful karaoke service business, means that basic business principles must be applied. When you buy materials to run a business or make any investment in the business, you must do your homework and determine as much as possible what the expected return on your investment will be. Poor planning and not doing what they call due diligence is why 80% small business's fail in the first 10 years. All I'm saying is, to invest in a business without doing the proper research first is like putting the cart before the horse.

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wiseguy
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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by wiseguy » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:50 am

The Lone Ranger wrote:If the equipment and the library can't match the competition wiseguy, then it would mean additional money would have to be spent, to become competitive. The cost reward ratio would still have to be explored in that case, and it would make little sense to spend more money, if there were little or no chance of landing a job, in an over saturated market. Running a successful karaoke service business, means that basic business principles must be applied. When you buy materials to run a business or make any investment in the business, you must do your homework and determine as much as possible what the expected return on your investment will be. Poor planning and not doing what they call due diligence is why 80% small business's fail in the first 10 years. All I'm saying is, to invest in a business without doing the proper research first is like putting the cart before the horse.
This is why we're asking about the karaoke system. For all we know he may have already invested a small fortune. This is basic information we need to know before we can move forward with any useful advice.

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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by The Lone Ranger » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:11 am

8) Despite the noble intentions about wanting to give good advice wiseguy this whole scenario is a learning opportunity. I think it is important to explain good fundamental business basics to anyone thinking about getting into the KJ service business. Like any service based business the same business principles apply. Building a strong business means laying the proper foundation like when constructing a house. In home construction you have to have a plan and carefully select the site, the basics have to be done.

Even if you have the right equipment that is just one small part of the KJ hosting equation, the successful karaoke host has to wear so many hats that it takes a very special person to master all of the skills required. Many hosts have some of the skills, but are not masters of all of them. It takes years and a great deal of experience, that is why so many KJ's are in and out of the business, they don't want to spend the time it takes to master their craft. That is the difference between a high paid professional and, the fly by the seat of your pants operator.

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wiseguy
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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by wiseguy » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:45 am

The Lone Ranger wrote:8) Despite the noble intentions about wanting to give good advice wiseguy this whole scenario is a learning opportunity. I think it is important to explain good fundamental business basics to anyone thinking about getting into the KJ service business. Like any service based business the same business principles apply. Building a strong business means laying the proper foundation like when constructing a house. In home construction you have to have a plan and carefully select the site, the basics have to be done.

Even if you have the right equipment that is just one small part of the KJ hosting equation, the successful karaoke host has to wear so many hats that it takes a very special person to master all of the skills required. Many hosts have some of the skills, but are not masters of all of them. It takes years and a great deal of experience, that is why so many KJ's are in and out of the business, they don't want to spend the time it takes to master their craft. That is the difference between a high paid professional and, the fly by the seat of your pants operator.
Until we know the extent of how much this person has spent, or is willing to spend, on a professional karaoke system and song library, everything else is moot. No business plan or skills are going to matter if you don't have a system that will rival your competitors'. In this instance the person has already invested in a system. He has stated that he has hosted karaoke shows and has been successful at it. He is going to start a karaoke business. He did not come here to be schooled on "fundamental business basics". His questions are very straight forward. He wants to know how to acquire gigs and what amount he should charge.

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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by The Lone Ranger » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:57 am

With all due respect having a system equal to or better than the competition will not assure success. Those business basics as you call them are important in determining if a successful karaoke business is possible or not, they apply to all service related business's. He might start a karaoke business that is true, but the chances of success are increased with the amount of information he has. Knowledge is power. If you read his post carefully you will see that he worked for a master KJ originally, so he has not performed every task necessary to run a successful show. If he had he won't have to post in the first place.

Since I have not worked professionally on a regular basis for sometime now some of this information is dated.

1. A professional host can expect to make somewhere between 25.00 to $37.50 per hour for a four hour gig, if he has all the proper skills. For a 4 hour gig that works out to $100.00 to 150.00 per night. For every additional hour it should be the same rate, plus tips. Depending on how hard your want to work you can make anywhere from 35K to 75K per year.

2. Private parties, weddings and corporate functions pay more as a rule. Some DJ hosts make $500.00 or more per wedding or special event. The patrons throwing these events expect to pay more so don't disappoint them.

3. Finding gigs is more tricky, during the early part of my karaoke hosting career I had to canvass that means going door to door. As I developed a following, word of mouth obtained me more work. Starting out is always tough, whatever you do don't go out bad mouthing other hosts in order to get work, that trick always back fires. Especially if you get work promising results that later you can't deliver.

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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by mr.dj » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:07 am

Depending on which market you are after, but for private parties I would suggest getting yourself seen in the Google search results, getting the search tags correct is the key to this, you need it to be found easily by people in your area, this can be free advertising and get yourself a Webpage that people can view. You can also get free Yellow pages entries and Scoot advertising, this can find bar owners that just looking for a new KJ but mainly private parties without a lot of foot work on your part.
Other than that it's a matter of introducing yourself to the bar managers and trying to convince them you can do a better job than the person they have at the moment. That's not always that easy as people think "better the devil they know" As to what you can charge you would probably have to offer a special low price deal as a one of introductory offer to give an incentive to try you. You will have to try to find out the going rate in your area as that can vary depending if your in a busy holiday resort or a small town. It helps if you can guarantee to bring your own following of singers with you as the bar owner will see this as extra sales to help with your pay.
The only other way I can think of but I've never used myself is to use a booking agency service but that will take a cut for each job you do and bind you to their conditions.

My real advice would be that the money making side to the karaoke market has past, so if you are after making a fortune think of something else.
If your doing it because you love it then OK.

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wiseguy
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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by wiseguy » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:31 pm

The Lone Ranger wrote:With all due respect having a system equal to or better than the competition will not assure success. Those business basics as you call them are important in determining if a successful karaoke business is possible or not, they apply to all service related business's. He might start a karaoke business that is true, but the chances of success are increased with the amount of information he has. Knowledge is power. If you read his post carefully you will see that he worked for a master KJ originally, so he has not performed every task necessary to run a successful show. If he had he won't have to post in the first place.

Since I have not worked professionally on a regular basis for sometime now some of this information is dated.

1. A professional host can expect to make somewhere between 25.00 to $37.50 per hour for a four hour gig, if he has all the proper skills. For a 4 hour gig that works out to $100.00 to 150.00 per night. For every additional hour it should be the same rate, plus tips. Depending on how hard your want to work you can make anywhere from 35K to 75K per year.

2. Private parties, weddings and corporate functions pay more as a rule. Some DJ hosts make $500.00 or more per wedding or special event. The patrons throwing these events expect to pay more so don't disappoint them.

3. Finding gigs is more tricky, during the early part of my karaoke hosting career I had to canvass that means going door to door. As I developed a following, word of mouth obtained me more work. Starting out is always tough, whatever you do don't go out bad mouthing other hosts in order to get work, that trick always back fires. Especially if you get work promising results that later you can't deliver.
I in no way even insinuated that any karaoke system assured success. And it wasn't "business basics" as I called them... I was quoting you. Whether or not they are "important in determining if a successful karaoke business is possible" are immaterial here. This person has already decided that he IS starting a karaoke entertainment business... not that he's planning on it. He has experience in running shows from start to finish and has done everything except setting the price and booking gigs. Knowing these things, and with also knowing about the sound system, I could effectively advise him on what he actually asked about.

The going rate for a professional KJ is so varied that it is pointless to try to set a price range. I deal with a lot of KJs and there are those who make less than $100 per four hour gig to those who make over $400. What a KJ can aim for is the highest price being paid in their chosen area. Just a little bit of investigation will reveal that.

Private parties and functions are cool. Weddings totally suck so I stopped doing them many years ago. For any of these make sure you have a signed contract.

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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by The Lone Ranger » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:13 pm

wiseguy wrote:


Private parties and functions are cool. Weddings totally suck so I stopped doing them many years ago. For any of these make sure you have a signed contract.
8) Weddings do not lend themselves to the karaoke format. Since I was a KJ/DJ, all weddings I performed were DJ, people want to dance not hear Aunt Minnie sing "Promise Me". Weddings can be quite good financially if done in the right format, although you are right they can be very stressful if the bride decides to throw her weight around and be difficult. I was lucky I guess I never had a signed contract to do a wedding, then again my customers were satisfied and there was no need to worry about being sued. Once again I guess I was just lucky.

mr.dj
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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by mr.dj » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:44 pm

One way to get bar gigs is to keep an eye out for new management. As soon as you hear a new manager or owner has taken over a bar make that a priority to introduce yourself. Often these people are more willing to make changes.

DanG2006
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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by DanG2006 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:47 pm

Speak for yourself. My Wedding in 1997 had karaoke and aside from the marriage not lasting five years, it was a huge success.

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Re: New KJ, I have some questions

Post by wiseguy » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:51 pm

The Lone Ranger wrote:
wiseguy wrote:


Private parties and functions are cool. Weddings totally suck so I stopped doing them many years ago. For any of these make sure you have a signed contract.
8) Weddings do not lend themselves to the karaoke format. Since I was a KJ/DJ, all weddings I performed were DJ, people want to dance not hear Aunt Minnie sing "Promise Me". Weddings can be quite good financially if done in the right format, although you are right they can be very stressful if the bride decides to throw her weight around and be difficult. I was lucky I guess I never had a signed contract to do a wedding, then again my customers were satisfied and there was no need to worry about being sued. Once again I guess I was just lucky.
Every wedding I have ever done, whether it was karaoke or DJ only, turned out to be nothing but a pain in the ass. All chiefs and no Indians. Multiple people who seem to think they're in charge. Last minute changes one after another. It's a nightmare.

The reason for the contract is because these types of events are prone to cancellations... many last minute. You need to require a deposit and then have a contract that states that you must be given a certain number days notice prior to a cancellation or the deposit will be forfeited.

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