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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Show Business--Is show or business more important? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2013-12-14 20:08, bunkyhenry wrote:
Get a good product first, then sell the heck out of it!

Well Said....
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MAV
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Too often we spend most of our time working "in" our business and don't take the time to work "on" our business. Here's a great exercise that can help you along.

Go to the Small Business Administration website, http://www.sba.gov. Look for the Building a Business Plan link. Print it out, lock yourself away for about half a day and think through your current business strategy and PUT IT IN WRITING. Everyone in small business should have a written business plan and they should be updating it every year (because your business is constantly evolving and changing).

Then, if you would like some help with it, or would just like to bounce some ideas around with someone, there is a link to your local (U.S.) Small Business Development Center. These centers are funded largely by your local colleges and universities. While there may be a small charge for some of their training classes, they also offer very professional "one-on-one" business counseling at no cost. Yes you heard right...............no cost!!!

The SBA and SBDC are tremendous resources for small business owners here in the U.S. and I encourage you to take advantage of it.
MAV
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Well for some reason the link shown in the post http://www.sba.gov above does not take you directly to the site but you can type it in manually and try it that way. Sorry.
charliecheckers
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On 2013-12-15 10:14, MAV wrote:
Go to the Small Business Administration website, http://www.sba.gov. Look for the Building a Business Plan link.

The SBA and SBDC are tremendous resources for small business owners here in the U.S. and I encourage you to take advantage of it.


This is a great resource. When I first started out, I met with my local chapter and they led me in the right direction on establishing a business with respect to rules and regulations, tax assistance and basic business preparation. I then was able to better appreciate the concepts and strategies that others offered on running an entertainment business.
MAV
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Many of the SBDC Counselors have experience in owning a small business, are trained in business counseling and can offer great advice on starting and growing a business. As you mentioned Charlie, the SBDC also has access to many valuable resources for tax assistance and basic business accounting procedures. People get into business because of their passion for it but seldom have the skill sets necessary for all aspects of running a profitable business venture.

There is that old adage, "You get what you pay for." "How can anything free be any good?" In this case, the cost for the SBDC counseling is paid for through a sponsorship by your local university. The counseling is worth every penny..............oh...and remember, the costs are covered for you.
Mindpro
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The simple truth is there are many out there that do not have a great or event decent show, yet do market the he** out of it and can be successful.

In theory, yes, you should have a top notch, well rehearsed, polished and commercial show first, them go to market, but it just is not necessary, as seen over and over again.

This leads me to always believe the success is in the business and marketing. Even a crappy show can be marketed well and succeed, yet a great show without the right business will only ever go so far. This is also why the premise of the best shows are not necessarily the highest paid ones or the most booked ones.
MAV
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Perception is Reality!
Mindpro
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Quote:
On 2013-12-15 13:21, Mindpro wrote:
Even a crappy show can be marketed well and succeed


Anyone remember Tiny Tim?
charliecheckers
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On 2013-12-15 15:15, Mindpro wrote:
Anyone remember Tiny Tim?

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=skU-jBFzXl0
Oh my! 7,436,242 views! Well, mine was only a 1/2 view in actuality. What was up with dude?
Christian & Katalina
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From my perspective:

If you want to derive your full time income from performing then both are equally important . . . You cannot have one without the other.

In the beginning you will put much more time into your show. You have to because you must develop something to sell. It can take years to cultivate a tight, entertaining show. In the beginning I tell young performers to not worry about getting paid. Just get in front of audiences to perform, develop their chops, and learn what and want does not work. Money is not the key objective here. (read what Bish already posted)

Finally, there will be a time when your show is ready to sell. It might not be the best show yet or even worth a lot of money, but it will be a good show.

Then slowly you start to work on the business side. (still always working on the show as well)

Danny Doyle has stated that many people don't know that their show is not good. I can echo this. I have seen many a performer that struggles and always blames the audience, the booker, the venue . . . interestingly never their own mediocre show.

For this I always suggest, having someone evaluate your show. Not a friend or buddy at the magic club but a working, successful professional. Tell them not to pull any punches. Then . . . an here is the secret . . . be able to take criticism. Don't cry and whine and tell them how awesome you are, that's not what you are calling them for. You want to find out where you stand.

A few years back an performer asked me to evaluate his show for the college market. (My wife and I had worked that market for 10 years with well over 1000 shows under our belt) Being honest I told him that he was 60% there. I explained what he needed to change and why. He was NOT happy and pretty much ignored all my advice. To this day he is still not working the college market.

I must emphasize this point . . . not every show fits every market. Not only must your show be good, it must fit the market for which you want to work. (a lesson I have learned the hard way)

After you develop a good show, it is time to work business. Suddenly, you will notice that you are spending much more time on the business side. There are not step by step books on how to book yourself. Much of what you learn will be by trial and error. Many of the rules change depending on the market you want to perform within.

Mindpro makes a good point of saying the business side can be just as much fun as the performing side. In fact, I would go on to say if you don't enjoy marketing and selling, this might not be the business for you. You will have to learn a great deal. What grabs attention, how to create a solid website, how to attract business, how to write a contract, how to get publicity, how funnel leads for your show . . .

Ken Northridge asks, how much time should be devoted to each. There is no correct answer for this. It varies. Sometimes I am focused primarily on my business. I might not touch a magic trick for an entire month, other than to perform the show. Other months I might spend the most of my time researching, working on, and developing a script for a new piece in the show.

I can tell you there is not a month that goes by that I am not at some sort of mixer, promotional event, industry convention, tradeshow, social event, or showcase to promote my business.

Sometimes for higher priced corporate clients that want a custom show . . . I might be working on the magic a great deal that month. Sometimes that is really fun and sometimes it is not so much. There is just no way to say, you should put 32% of your time in the show and 68% in the business. As Mindpro pointed out, once you have a solid proven show, you will most likely spend less time on the show and more time on the business.

Back when we were touring I would say that we spent about 80% on the business and 20% on the show. Now that we have a running theater show, I would say we spend 70% on the business and 30% on the show. Crap...looks like I am spending a lot of time on the business.

As I reread the thread and this post . . . it looks like I am just saying the same thing that a lot of people have said. So that says something. . . .
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Vick
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The show comes first, you must have a good or great product. You must be likable.
Once the show is in place it's 90% business
For me show business = 10% show+ 90% business
I had a very strong background in marketing before starting in show business. It has been extremely helpful.
I spend far more time marketing then performing, rehearsal , practice, attending lectures and studying combined
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Christian Painter, brilliant as usual
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Dannydoyle
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Christian to the point about you helping evaluate a show for someone and them not listening. That is the SINGLE biggest thing that I see holding back performers.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bazinga
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Quote:
On 2013-12-20 23:41, Vick wrote:
The show comes first, you must have a good or great product. You must be likable.
Once the show is in place it's 90% business
For me show business = 10% show+ 90% business
I had a very strong background in marketing before starting in show business. It has been extremely helpful.
I spend far more time marketing then performing, rehearsal , practice, attending lectures and studying combined



Vick,

Do you still have that website where you evaluated every magician within 50 or so miles from you? That may be helpful for the newcomers to see how and why all those guys are such crap compared to your expertise.

I know it opened MY eyes about some things, and I now have 42 performing years under my belt.

Bazinga!
Vick
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Honestly that site is blatant self promotion ;-)
I took down the page of who not to hire and why a few years ago
It does have honest reviews of local performers but it's focused on the positive and only has talented performers who can be trusted to do good work
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