Pie's New Enterprise: The Thread!

Pie4Weebl

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Well this has been talked about some in various threads so I figured I might as well give it its own thread. At the moment I am looking into the possibility of starting a small rental/production company which targets larger bar bands, schools and raves. Raves you ask? Yes, apparently there is a decent market in STL and the guy who did most of that just got a real job so there is an opportunity there. My parents are willing to loan me the seed money so after I look into how many clients are out there and see if this is viable I will make the jump.

Now, the part I am sure most of you are curious about, what is my rig! Well my typical setup will consist of two stands upstage of the band. On each stand will be 4 LED pars and one cheapo DMX scanner. Pair with this will be two foh stands with two par 56's on each. All of this will be controlled by a chauvet dmx 44 controller. The grand total for this equipment comes out just under $2000....

EDIT: Also I need a name, any ideas?
 
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derekleffew

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Have you considered buying out/partnering with, the guy who used to control the majority of your market? Using his client list, you use his equipment and give him a cut of the profit, then buy better gear with your share. Are you sure you have time for this venture, and still have time for your Conservatory Theatre training? (We'd hate to see you give up ControlBooth!) Summers, when you have the most time available, is generally the slowest time for school dances, and bars too. Are you planning on DJ services also for the raves? PA for the bar bands? What sort of ROI are your parents expecting? Don't forget Liability Insurance, and cost of Business License and LLC/Inc./SP. And make sure all your equipment has a UL/CE label on it. I've got lots of questions, but unfortunately no answers.

I liked Pie4Weebl Stage Lighting, or PSL for short. Is there a labor company with those initials?
 

soundlight

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Oh - two other scanners in the cheapomatic range that I mentioned before:

The Mojo IIx has a seperate color and gobo wheel. So 4 channels. Blackout and strobe are built in to the closed/open positions on the wheel.

The Mojo IIIx has some static and some rotating gobos one a single wheel (weird design if you ask me), but the rotating gobos are pretty nice for a unit this small.

I'd also reccommend a pair of AMDJ Pearl LED Color units - one on each stand. These are a fairly wide coverage moonflower effect, with rotation and strobe capabilities. They also use a single 3W led instead of multiple 5mm or 10mm LEDs like the Vue or Revo series, so the output is better, and it's shot through a color dish which provides a wide variety of colors compared to the RGB or RGBW of the other LED moonflowers. Basically, consider it a multi-colored, rotating breakup gobo in a tiny fixture with miniscule power draw.
 
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avkid

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I hope you're planning on insurance.
Liability is a must for that kind of market.
https://www.musicproinsurance.com/index.aspx

You must watch your rental rates.
10% of value is usually what is recommended.
$200 or so is the absolute minimum you should be letting it out for.

You might consider hooking up with a DJ who works on these kind of events.
 

Pie4Weebl

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soundlight, I ended up going with this, about the same price as the mojo one with two wheels worth of stuff.

Derek, I thought about partnering with him, but I don't want to make that the major market I am in, for some of the larger parties I could see my stuff getting cross rented in. The raves tend to bring in names as far as DJ's go, so I don't plan on getting in on that side.

As far as providing sound for bar bands, as I was telling my boss about my idea the stage manger for the current show hoped into the conversation and told me that he knew a guy who does a lot of bar band sound and gave me his number to call, so I will talk to him, possibily team up some.

As far as time... its gonna be tight, I plan on turning some of my nontheatre friends and having them run shows for me.

The parents are giving me this as a loan, the details are fuzzy, but I will probably be able to talk them into a 10% or less interest rate, and paying them back with in a year.

Due to the size of this I plan on keeping it a sole proprietorship which keeps the cost of forming it down to the gas it will take me to go pick up a form. But that sort of thing I plan on talking to my advisor in the business department about. (He has a doctorate so I am sure he is well qualified to give me answers)
 

soundlight

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Pie4Weebl

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Phil, I looked over that website and I am not sure which insurance you suggest I get, I didn't see any general liability. Insurance as this stage is not a major concern of mine. There is no overhead rigging. My whole system uses less than one outlet worth of power. Again this is something I plan on talking to my advisor about.

As far as rates go, my work on my research paper had me talking to a bunch of people and the consensus was 2.5% is a standard rate, so I am actually charging quite a bit more than that.
 

avkid

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Phil, I looked over that website and I am not sure which insurance you suggest I get
The instrument and equipment policies are what I mean.

You don't need general liability at this point, this is mainly for damage or theft while "on the job".

State Farm and other run of the mill insurance companies do have some experience insuring what they call "DJ Gear".
(If you or your family is already insured through them you won't pay full price)
 

Pie4Weebl

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ok, that makes sense, I will have to see what it runs me and if its worth it.
 

STEVETERRY

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Well this has been talked about some in various threads so I figured I might as well give it its own thread. At the moment I am looking into the possibility of starting a small rental/production company which targets larger bar bands, schools and raves. Raves you ask? Yes, apparently there is a decent market in STL and the guy who did most of that just got a real job so there is an opportunity there. My parents are willing to loan me the seed money so after I look into how many clients are out there and see if this is viable I will make the jump.
Now, the part I am sure most of you are curious about, what is my rig! Well my typical setup will consist of two stands upstage of the band. On each stand will be 4 LED pars and one cheapo DMX scanner. Pair with this will be two foh stands with two par 56's on each. All of this will be controlled by a chauvet dmx 44 controller. The grand total for this equipment comes out just under $2000....
EDIT: Also I need a name, any ideas?

A very wise ex-partner of mine in a very big lighting rental business once said:

"The lighting rental business is like sex.
When it's good, it's great.
And when it's bad, it's still good."

Best of luck!


ST
 

thelightguy87

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With exception of the raves, thats the same idea of "Kellner Lighting" which I am still in the process of building. I didn't think about getting insurance, since I'm the only one using the equipment at the moment, with the help of a couple people, but we don't send out equipment, it comes with us. I'm only 20 so I haven't hit the bar scene yet, but one of the guys I work with has been doing the bar shows while I hit up the bands in highschools in my area. I tend to ask for 10% of the door, which covers equipment, and labor. Sometimes its great sometimes its not. I plan on leasing a space to turn into a venue after I get out of school. If your ever doing a show in the chicago area, you should let me know.
 

gafftaper

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They sell scanners, moving heards, controllers, and strobes that are knockoffs of knockoffs.
"Moving heards" huh? Is that like a knockoff of the Accufog for use in guiding cattle from one field to another? Sorry Phil, I just found it a very funny typo.


Congrats and good luck Pie. My little bit of knowledge of this industry is that there are a lot of people out there trying this with absolutely no knowledge of business. They get their gear, open up for a few months and then vaporize. Don't be that guy, be smart take some business classes or buy a few books on business principles. Find someone who's got their own business to be your mentor and help you make smart business decisions. Perhaps someone here on the booth even?
 

soundlight

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"Moving heards" huh? Is that like a knockoff of the Accufog for use in guiding cattle from one field to another? Sorry Phil, I just found it a very funny typo.
Nope, it's those fainting goats as seen on CenterStage.
 

len

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Chicagoland
In case no one has told you about raves, be VERY careful with the promoters. In Chicago, they have a reputation for not paying. So get all the money UP FRONT AND IN CASH.

BTW, I have done some work in STL in the past. If you need equipment and/or labor let me know.
 

Pie4Weebl

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Ok, to try and tackle all the responses.

Steveterry, that is probably the funniest advice I have heard yet, I am horrible with women though so I hope that doesn't transfer over!

Mike, I am curious how well 10% of the door actually is, mind pming me? Also do you worry about being lied to about what door is? And with that set up do you get the pay from the band or the venue. I am going to be up in St. Charles soon for a week so maybe we can do lunch and talk. PM me.

Gaff, I'm actually in the entrepreneurship program at my college. I've gotten through the introduction class this semester and next will be the marketing class. I've got an adviser in the program who I can goto when I need advice in that side of things.

Len, thanks for the word of warning about raves. Apparently the rave promoter scene in st. louis is a very tight knit group so we shall see. If you can get me equipment for a decent rate down here I will keep you in mind for cross rentals.

To All: I'm excited about this, I already got one client booked (a wedding recption, its not for a while, but while not even owning equipment yet, its a good start)

Expect pictures in a week or so of the rig set up in my little apartment then hopefully shortly after that set up at a gig!
 

derekleffew

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...You don't need general liability at this point, this is mainly for damage or theft while "on the job".

State Farm and other run of the mill insurance companies do have some experience insuring what they call "DJ Gear"...
And what happens if an audience member knocks over one of PSL's aluminum tripod stands and the falling light fixtures injures someone? The injured party will sue everyone within sight: the venue, the band, the lighting company, the bar owner(s), the lead singer, and Pie. Sure he has no assets other than the gear, but since his parents supplied "seed money" they could be named in the lawsuit also, and there goes Pie's family's home. On another note, Pie, invest in some type ABC fire extinguishers, for added insurance.

Disclaimer: The author is not an attorney, and not qualified as an expert in law, but has seen a multitude of People's Court and Judge Judy and Personal Injury Attorney's commercials on the telly.
 

avkid

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And what happens if an audience member knocks over one of PSL's aluminum tripod stands and the falling light fixtures injures someone? The injured party will sue everyone within sight: the venue, the band, the lighting company, the bar owner(s), the lead singer, and Pie.
Hence the need for a legally sound rental contract that contains a liability release.
 

Charc

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Liability contracts don't work.

My mom is a doc, and they fall through all the time. Though, this is just the medical world I'm talking about.
 

derekleffew

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Although it's been discussed before, here is the guy who may be coming to your defense, or the other side of the courtroom aisle.
 

Charc

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Attach a sticky note to the stand:

By knocking over this stand you agree to waive any right to sue the owner of said stand.