Sandy Jacobs’ son, Justin, and daughter, Amanda, love music. While Justin was working as a roadie and sound technician for musicians, Amanda was working as a DJ for parties. Eventually, the family decided they wanted to branch out on their own and formally established their own DJ service. From there, Panda Jazz DJ Service, LLC was born out of Saint Louis, Missouri in April 2015. The name of the business comes from Justin and Amanda’s nicknames, Jazzy and Panda.
After formally establishing the business (“to keep everything legal,” Sandy says), Justin purchased DJ equipment like soundboards and lights to prepare them for the gigs ahead. They also designed polo shirts, business cards, and magnets for their cars. The team – which includes Sandy, husband Jerry, Justin and Amanda – currently operates out of a home office.
“We’re putting ourselves out there so we can gain word-of-mouth exposure. We’ve been told that we’re good, so now we’re doing some pro bono work to get our name out there and prove that to people who don’t know us. We know it takes awhile for things to get going and move out of the startup stage,” Sandy Jacobs explains.
According to Jacobs, competition amongst other DJ services in the Saint Louis area is fierce, some of which are licensed entities and some that aren’t. Other DJ services exist under major corporations or are franchised, and others have seniority over startups.
The family has plans to put ads in bridal magazines in order to spread the word about their services.
“It’s an expensive process,” Jacobs admits.
The Panda Jazz DJ Service team is currently building a website and pages on social media. In addition to the aforementioned polos, business cards, and magnets, they’ve also utilized promotional materials like flyers. They’ve formed business relationships with local florists, limousine services, and venues that utilize DJs for parties.
For DJs looking to formally establish themselves, Jacobs offers these suggestions.
“Make sure that you get all the facts. Before you set anything up, make sure that you’ve covered all the bases. Make sure you evaluate how much competition there is and what the startup costs are going to be. Hire an accountant who understands business taxes and legalities. Also, don’t be afraid to do some things for free just to get your name out there. We have even let people borrow our equipment just so we can get kudos for it. A lot of banquet halls already have their own DJs that they work with, so it’s just a matter of getting up and getting out there and pounding the street,” she shares.
Despite startup costs and the fear of failure, Jacobs still insists there are advantages to small business ownership.
“You can work at the pace that is best for you. When you’re working with somebody else, you’re limited to their timeframe. As a small business owner, you can set your own hours and goals. You have the satisfaction of knowing that this belongs to you rather than just working for someone. When companies outsource work to their departments, those employees aren’t as motivated because they’re probably underpaid. As a small business owner, I’m my own boss. I work at my own pace because I know that it’s mine. Whether you succeed or fail is up to you,” she explains.
Sandy Jacobs and the rest of the Panda Jazz DJ Service, LLC team are satisfied clients of 1-800Accountant.
“We would not have known where to go or what to do without 1-800Accountant. They’ve been with us every step of the way. We didn’t know how much was involved during the startup stage of small business ownership before we went into this.”
Photo credit: The photograph included in this blog post was provided by Panda Jazz DJ Service, LLC and is used with permission.