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How To Start a DJ Business in Seven Simple Steps [2023 Update]

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Do you have a talent and think you can DJ for a living or even as a side hustle?

You should go for this business idea.

DJ businesses are replacing bands in parties, ceremonies, and events throughout the U.S. It’s a great opportunity to practice and make money as well.

As fun as this sounds, building a business can be challenging. If you don’t know how to start a DJ business, you’re at the right place.

In this article, you’ll find a complete guide about starting a DJ business and how profitable it can be.

How Profitable Is Owning a DJ Business?

As a disc jockey, you can earn between $400 to $2,000 per gig.

The more famous you are, the more you get to charge for an event.

In the beginning, you can get two to three events per month.

Charging an average of $1,000 per gig, your annual revenue may reach $36,000.

Your profit falls within the %65 margins, cutting off gas, maintenance, insurance, and marketing expenses. This is about $23,000 yearly.

As you get more recognition in the market, you get more gigs and charge more money.

Limiting your work to the weekend with a $2000 fee per gig, you can earn up to $192,000 in annual revenue.

As you grow your business and hire more employees, you can make even more profit, depending on the pay scale you’re offering.

What You Will Need To Start a DJ Business [& Associated Costs]

The best thing about DJ businesses is the wide variety of equipment to use.

You can start with affordable gadgets and work your way up from there.

As your business grows, you get to buy more sophisticated and professional equipment.

Renting a high-quality sound system at first instead of buying one is also a great idea.

At a minimum level, you should expect to spend $4,500 plus equipment rent.

Here’s a list of what you need to get your business started:

  • Business Registering: This is the first step to legalizing your business, which costs an average of $200.
  • Licenses and Permits: You need to obtain licenses and permits to operate your DJ business, requiring around $250.
  • Insurance: You need insurance to cover any damages or accidents happening to expensive equipment. This costs about $300.
  • Laptop: If you don’t already have one, a laptop with decent storage costs between $500 and $1,000.
  • DJ Equipment: This is where costs can skyrocket. It depends on whether you’re renting or buying and what you decide to buy. The range here is between $1,000 and $20,000.
  • Material: You need to buy music and update your work constantly to maintain fresh content. As a start, it costs $600 on average.
  • PA Equipment: For a professional PA system, you can pay up to $5,000. However, the average high-quality unit costs around $800.
  • Vehicle: You need a vehicle to transport all your precious equipment. A decently priced one costs about $15,000.
  • Marketing: It’s essential to reach as many potential customers as possible. That’s why marketing is worth the money. As an initial budget, it should cost you between $1,000 and $2,000.

Why You Should Consider Starting a DJ Business as a Side Hustle

Many reasons can push someone with musical talent to start a DJ business as a side hustle.

Aside from loving the job and enjoying your time, you get to:

  • Make a Profit: With a bit of effort and dedication, you can become popular in a short time. Once you get there, you’ll be able to make great money and may even rely on your DJ business as your main income.
  • Become the Boss of Yourself: Working on your terms is a dream for many people. Combining that with doing what you love gives you a strong reason to become a disc jockey.
  • Have Flexible Working Hours: DJ business isn’t a nine-to-five office job. It offers flexible hours to fit your busy schedule.
  • Start Small: You have the option to start with minor equipment and even rent some out. You don’t need to have a huge capital for establishing a DJ business.

How To Start a DJ Business in Seven Simple Steps

The process of starting a business can be intimidating and confusing.

People might think that offering DJ services isn’t a serious job, but the opposite is true.

Like any other company, starting a DJ business requires paperwork, planning, and marketing.

We’ve arranged the needed steps to put you on the right track.

Take a look.

Step #1: Make a Business Plan

Business plans help you stay focused along the way and track your progress.

Business plans contain everything about your project, including goals, objectives, marketing strategy, and finances.

It doesn’t have to be a 20-page document.

Instead, you can use a one-page business plan as a brief overview to help you map out the most essential elements of your business.

Step #2: Register Your Business

To register your business, you need to form a legal entity for it by choosing the type of its structure.

Then, pick a name for your business that’s unique and catchy to register.

The next step is to file for DBA (doing business as) to be able to run your business under the name you’ve chosen.

Registering for state and federal taxes through the IRS is also vital for getting an employer identification number (EIN).

Step #3: Get Licenses and Permits

To avoid paying fines or shutting down your business, you must obtain all necessary licenses and permits.

The type of licenses you need varies from one location to the other.

It helps to check the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website and check for your state’s requirements.

Step #4: Get the Necessary Funds

If you’re unwilling to compromise some of the gadgets or buy lower-quality equipment, you should consider getting a loan.

However, to get bank approval, your business plan must be strong enough.

Otherwise, you can try to get an SBA-backed loan for small businesses.

Step #5: Buy the Equipment

This step is where the finances get under the spotlight.

Your budget determines what you buy and what you rent.

It helps if you already have some of the equipment beforehand.

Step #6: Get Insurance

As insignificant as it may seem, business insurance plays a huge part in protecting your business.

Research the types of insurance and pick what best suits your business.

Step #7: Work on Marketing

Now that you’ve got everything covered, it’s time to focus on what matters most, which is getting people to know you.

You can’t ignore the contribution of traditional advertising methods, like word of mouth.

However, online marketing is also crucial.

Establish your online presence by developing a website and existing on all social media platforms.

Work on unique content to attract potential clients and invest some money in advertising campaigns.

Lastly, try to focus on creating a unique selling proposition (USP) to set your business apart from the competition.

Things To Consider When Building a DJ Business

If you’re feeling enthusiastic about starting a DJ business, don’t get discouraged by reading the following section.

It’s wise to get an overall idea about what to consider when building a DJ business.

Can You Run a DJ Business by Yourself?

If you’re a music lover and have done some mixing in the past, then DJ service would be an easy business to run by yourself.

However, if you don’t have the experience, you should begin by looking for people in your circle who are willing to work with you.

What Kind of DJ Will You Be?

You should determine what your niche is and stick to it.

You can be a freelance DJ, taking gigs at weddings, graduation parties, birthday parties, or other private parties.

You can also work full-time at a club.

It helps to figure out what you want from the beginning to maintain your focus.

Who Is Your Competition?

Learn more about DJ businesses in your area and what makes them special.

Know their strengths and weaknesses to be able to determine what value you’re adding to the business.

INSPIRATION: DJ Business Ideas

According to Zippia, there are over 11,000 disc jockeys in the U.S.

Many people think all DJs are the same, but there are a few different types of them.

  • Club DJ Business: This is the stereotypical image of DJs, playing in nightclubs and bars and getting people to dance. Various places may request your services as you get more famous. You can even have your show promoted under your name.
  • Mobile DJ Business: As the name suggests, mobile DJs bring their equipment to every event. Whether a corporate event, birthday party, or wedding DJ, they play music according to the client’s preferences.
  • Online Radio DJ Business: This is a business you can start from home[3] , playing music online for people to stream. As you gain more followers, you start to earn more money through sponsorship and promotion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do DJs pay for songs?

DJs can get their music from various sources, whether through free downloads or paid subscriptions.

They also buy some songs directly or receive them from record labels.

More professional DJs make their music to play it live using music production software.

How much should a DJ charge for two hours?

It depends on many factors, such as the type of event and its location.

DJs usually charge more for weddings than corporate parties.

However, a DJ should charge an average of $200 for a two-hour gig.

Similar Businesses To Consider Starting

If you like the working atmosphere of certain events but aren’t sure that a DJ business is right for you, consider these similar businesses.

  • How To Start a Photography Business: Utilizing your talent to make money is an excellent idea, especially when it’s photography. These businesses are thriving, as people love to have a tangible memory of their special moments.
  • How To Start a Catering Business: Whether you have a talent for cooking or consider hiring cooks, you can start a catering business. With good management, you can make it work.
  • How To Start a Freelance Business[4] : No matter what skill you have, you can always start a freelance business. Some people even learn a new skill for that purpose.

Wrapping Up

If you think you can be a successful DJ, you should learn how to start a DJ business.

Although it takes time to start making a decent profit out of it, you’ll be doing what you love.

All businesses face obstacles along the way, but as long as you’re committed to what you do, it’s going to be worthwhile.

Comment your opinion below, and if you have friends or family who are interested in starting a DJ business, share the article with them.

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