Case Study of a Sole Trader DJ

I often read on the DJ online communities newbie questions such as “How much should I charge?” or “What methods should I use for structuring my disco fee?”

This year, I had a pleasant chat with a full-time mobile DJ based in the South East (Kent) with over five years DJ experience, who was kind enough to share a breakdown of his calculations for inclusion in a marketing section of a DJ forum.

Although mentioned a couple of times, I’ve presented his fee structures as a sole-trader again for perusal!

Personally, he needs to take home clear over fifteen hundred pounds per month( £1543.31) which broken down is approximately around three hundred and fifty pounds per week (£356.14) or around fifty pounds per day (£50.87)

When added together, his major monthly outgoings which include the mortgage, council-tax payment and utility bills total over nine hundred and fifty pounds per month (£950.00). His food bill is around two hundred and twenty pounds a month (£220). At this point, it’s worth reminding that these where his calculations broken down. Purchases which have not been included yet in this break-down are music purchases such as mp3 downloads and Compact Discs, diesel fuel or repair costs towards the maintenance and upkeep of his disco equipment.

Breaking down his figures a little further into a weekly cost which totalled over eighty five pounds per week (£86.15) the following outgoings equate to around three hundred and seventy pounds per month (£373.31):-

Telephone, advertising and stationary – £38.46 per week
Electricity & Heating (Office Use) – £10.57 per week
Web Host – £3.25 per week
Mobile Phone and wi-fi (PAYG) – £10 per week

Car tax – £3.55
Vehicle Insurance and Breakdown Cover – £10 per week

Equipment Insurance £4.23 per week
Portable Appliance Test – £2.79 per week
National Insurance – £2.35 per week
Public Liability Insurance (£10m) – £0.95p per week

He basic charge for a gig is slightly over three hundred pounds (£315.00). Incorporated into this is a provision for TAX, a mark-up of fifteen percent and allocation for a full tank of fuel (£66.00). For seasonal work, he’ll vary his fee slightly according to demand for particular key dates.

Under his Terms and Conditions of hire, to secure his DJ service, he accepts a reservation fee of fifty pounds. The balance must be settled either fourteen days prior to the function or on the night in cash. Before undertaking any overtime, he ensures that the payment is upfront which equates to thirty pounds per half hour entered.

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