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Old 12-18-00, 11:26 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 38
Post Business Skills

To complement some threads already running on this board. I thought i'd add some thoughts from a recent business course I attended. And some advice i've received from people in the areas of promotions and marketing recently.

Never do business with someone of dubious or unprovable history.

Develop a sound business plan before embarking on a venture to asses its likelihood of success.

Be wary of advice or offers from those that are not visibly successful or have a proven track record in the area of the advice or offer.

Always make sure that correspondence with a potential client is correctly spelled and laid out.
this ensures it will be readable and projects a professional image.

It was said to me recently by the promotions and marketing manager of a big employer of entertainers:" If its spelt badly or is unreadable I will have a lower view of the person who sent me the letter."

I run my operation as a legitimate business and make it easy for clients to do business with me by finding ways to meet their needs.

I do as a result get many bookings for my work and positive feedback from shows 99% of the time.

Maybe its a professional approach.

My background is in ten years of theatrical production and design and performing.I have also been performing on the street, at festivals , for City Councils and private commissions for the past five years throughout the world.

People talk in the world we operate in and a bad reputation is an easy thing to create.
It is also the hardest thing to shake. I personally have been there and find that around three to five years of solid hard work will get rid (mostly) of a bad reputation.

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Old 12-18-00, 10:19 PM   #2
Peter Voice
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 1,065

I agree with all the above and would like to add, IT PAYS TO DO YOUR RESEARCH.
Once you've identified a potential job, find out all you can about the person/people you are dealing with. Most reputable festivals and agents are known to many people here and a few private emails to some-one whose opinion you trust will get valuable answers. If you are new and don't know any-one yet, pick some-one whose posts you enjoy and introduce yourself.
Making enquiries about established events is easy but in new or unknown events, it's very different. Is the event run by a proper legal body, is there and who are the CEO, Board of Directors, Artistic Director and Management?, If an event has none of these things, RUN LIKE HELL.
New events may not have all of these things but should have some and look like they can complete the list properly and quickly.
Even then, you must be careful, four of us were booked once by some-one with impeccable reputation (who I didn't know personally at the time, but now count as a great friend) to work at a Festival in Ohio for 4 weeks. It was the first 4 weeks of a four month tour of Nth America and Europe. 2 days before we were to fly to Columbus, the board collapsed and the gig was cancelled. It cost me $12,000 not counting the $16,000 fee and the guy who hired me (& many others) was left in the lurch.(At this point, I'd like to point out that the broken arm in Edmonton was an accident, and Chris will swear blind he did it playing baseball with his son long before he stumbled into my room. If you are reading this Chris, love from us all.).

I'm not sure what it is that gives you confidence but certainly some-one who communicates clearly and rationally helps. Uniformly, throughout my experience, those people that have been a pleasure to work with, have been prompt, courteous, upfront and business like in all their communications. I have found this to be true whether I'm employing some-one or they are employing me. (mind you, that's not to say I haven't made my own f*** ups)
This must be taken as doubly important in this new medium ( For years, some operators got away with all sorts of shit, 2 who spring to mind are "he who shall remain nameless (by now, probably noseless) from Nova Scotia and the man who shares the same surname in Melbourne. Such people can hardly operate now that every-one knows what they used to do. It is astounding how fast you can build or kill a reputation, the perfect example must be glaringly obvious. In a mere 12 weeks after finding this site, one of our fraternity has commited (to quote Ewan) Credibility Suicide and he's not the first.

Blake is absolutely right. Writing is incredibly important and in an arena like this, it is the only glimpse of you we get.

PS. You will tell them it was an accident, won't you Chris?

[This message has been edited by Peter Voice (edited 12-19-2000).]
Every-one should watch their drawers!
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