The Alliance of Mobile & Party DJs (AMPdj) 60 Second DJ Digest

The Disco Price Formula

What's in a nameThe Price Formula

Working out how much you need to charge for your mobile disco service.

Add up the number of bookings you did last year (A) and also all your expenses (B). Include music, repairs, vehicle costs, insurance (include PLI!), advertising, roadie and equipment purchased.

If you spend roughly the same amount on new equipment each year include the total figure, otherwise use a percentage of this figure (33-50%) and include the same percentage in next year’s calculations.

Divide the total of all your expenses (B) by the number of gigs you did (A) and you have your costs (C).

Next, you need to decide how much you would like to earn per hour (remember this bit is taxable). Take into account not just the disco hours but client meetings, preparing for the event, travel, set-up times, waiting around etc.

Add this to your expenses (C) and you'll have a good indication of what you should be charging to make your disco financially worthwhile.

Examples:

  • Total gigs (A) = 100
  • Total expenses (B) = £5000
  • Total expenses per gig (C) = £50
Say you require £15 per hour (about £10.50 after tax and NI deductions - assuming you've used up your tax allowance)
5 hour disco, 2 hours prep, 1 hour travel, 1 hour set-up/breakdown, 1 hour waiting time = 10 hours
10 hours x £15 = £150 + £50 (C) expenses gives a total of £200. With your earnings coming to about £105 net.

A more realistic figure may be £25 per hour (£17.50 after deductions). A total of £250 with your earnings totalling £175 net.

If you want £40 per hour (£28 after deductions) the total is £400 from which would earn you £280 net.

Of course you could charge a different hourly rate for travel etc. and another for DJing but, whatever system you choose, as long as you're earning the amount you want and you've taken into account supply and demand for your area, you should end up with enough work at a price to suit both you and your customers.

There will be some readers who are of the opinion that they could never earn more than they do at present. There are others who are charging the same now as they did ten years ago because they believe that their business would suffer if they dared to raise prices. If you're content with the way things are that’s fine; if not, review your pricing structures now.

By this time next year you may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

For more advice on running your mobile DJ business, join AMPdj here.