I'm a believer in "before and after" during the slow times. Let's take January. I book a show or 2 on average every year. So before the slow January comes, I work as often as possible in Dec. It's a busy month between schools, weddings, and christmas parties. Work like crazy and then enjoy January. I usually take the family on vacation. I rework my shows and market towards the summer. I do not feel a need to book many shows because of the work I did the month before. February we are starting to pick up and by April, I am in full swing again.
I also do a weekly bar gig and have a few bars who I do video shows for in my slow times to help with the income.
That's good advice for any small business. You must be able to prepare for ups and downs in income. Just because you bring in a bunch of money in December doesn't mean you can spend it right away. You have to be able to spread the money out throughout the year.
Now, if you still have the urge to work the dead months, there are things like bar jobs that can fill the time. Weddings or other events are going to be slim pickings, so the effort that goes into finding them may not be worth it.
What is your target market? Weddings? School dances? Adult parties? Children's parties? Corporate events? Whatever your target market is, you need to get out there face to face and get your company name in front of as many vendors in your target market as possible. You can't sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Being a DJ encompasses many facets. Marketing is only a small portion of the puzzle. Salesmanship, professionalism, performing, ethics, and education are just a few more.
Do you have a website?
Do you have professional business cards?
Do you have a full color brochure?
Do you have a dedicated business line?
Do you adsvertise in the phone book?
Do you attend bridal fairs? Do you send out letters from your bridal list afterwards?
What are you doing different to stand out from Joe Snuffy's DJ Service in your area? You have to let people know who you are and what you do.
You're invisible unless you get out there and market yourself.
The best plan of action is to plan for these lulls and have enough money in reserve to live through them. This requires budgeting to spread out the money so you aren't blowing it all in the busy season.
Ideally you should have charged enough during the busy season to allow the fixed costs of operation to be paid as well as your salary. And this is where the Worth debate usually will creep in.
In the event you didn't plan well, you will need to supplement your income with another revenue stream. Bar accounts can be lucrative if you can deal with the low pay, drunks more obnoxious than those you'll ever encounter at a family event, and coming home smelling like an ashtray.
We have a targeted amount that we save during the busy times for the Jan-March time. We also up are deposit amount to 400 to offset this slow period. I hate having to take low paying jobs when its snowing. Not my ideal combo!