How to Start a Karaoke Business

imagesTry to buy an existing karaoke business or become a part of a franchise, instead of opting for a start-up. This will not only give you an established customer base but will also be far less riskier than a start-up.
If you can sing, are an extrovert, and can entertain others, you will surely make a good karaoke business owner. However, this business will prove to be a disaster for introverted and shy individuals as they will have to deal with many people every day. It is recommended that you work for a karaoke business before plunging in it yourself. This will give you hands-on experience, and you will be able to network and market your business in a better way. If you do not have the funds for investing in a rental or permanent space, karaoke business is ideal for you. You can conduct this business by hosting shows at bars, cafés, restaurants, private parties, etc. However, remember that you will need to source some investment capital for buying all the equipment and paying your employees, if any. It is advisable to buy a digital karaoke system as it will save you a lot of money, effort, and storage space. If you want to know about a few more essential tips to start a karaoke business, read further.

Equipment
You will require a good karaoke digital system for your business where the files will be played from a laptop and the words will be displayed on the screen. If you think that you do not have the amount to invest in one, you can get CD+G discs which can be connected to a CD+G player, television, monitor, or screen for playing music and displaying words. You can buy karaoke CDs or download music from online websites. You can also buy karaoke music books or make them on your own. However, you need to make copies of these books so that people will select their songs and write them on the slips provided by you. Whatever you do, ensure that you will be able to play your customer’s choice of song in absolutely no time. You will also need good quality speakers, mixers, cables, extension cords, microphone stands, RF converter, and amplifiers. You will also need three wireless microphones. It is advisable that you get one extra as backup. Getting a wireless microphone is recommended because people tend to step on the cables and spoil them. It’s essential that you also carry spare cables, duct tapes, and a tool kit for a quick fix.

Conduct Research
Before jumping in this business, there are certain things which you should know. For example, you will need to know how many competitors you have, how much to charge your clients, which songs to play, dealing with difficult clients, etc. It is advisable that you speak to someone from the same business who operates from a different area. You need to keep abreast with the latest chartbuster songs as well as the classic ‘must-haves’ of a karaoke. Ensure that you have music which caters to all genres as people will like to sing different songs. You will need to have a business plan in place to organize the overheads and income of this venture. Ensure that you find a business mentor who will be able to guide you to go about setting this business.

Charges
Before you start this business, know about the prevalent rates for karaoke gigs in your area. If you are a new player, you may have to charge lesser to survive the competition. Many bar owners may not pay you well even if your show is a crowd-puller. Hence, decide and mention your payment terms in the contract itself. Also, ensure that it is mentioned in the contract about show cancellation or refund policies. Also, predetermine the amount of payment, time of the show, etc., during a private party. If you are to play a special dedication to a bride or a song while a person is proposing to his girlfriend, you can definitely go ahead and charge more fees. Ensure you include your travel and logistics charges in your final figure.

Business Expansion
If you do not want to own a karaoke bar of your own, you can always request hotels, cafés, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, etc., to allow you to host a karaoke night every week. You can also ask them to host open Mic sessions that will rake in business for both the parties. Other than this, you should also network with wedding and event planners who can recommend you for karaoke nights. This is one business that will prosper through word-of-mouth publicity. Host theme nights which will play a particular type of music; this will give you a lot of customers. Ensure that you have many satisfied customers who will recommend your business to their family and friends. Slowly, your schedule will be packed with offers for karaoke gigs.

Hosting the Karaoke Night
If you have to travel to some other venue, like a bar, café, bachelor or hen parties, birthday parties, etc., make sure you interact with the audience keeping in mind what they anticipate from this show. Wear clean and striking clothes; however, remember that you are only there to host the show. So, do not keep speaking, and encourage the other people to take over the Mic. Avoid passing negative comments about the singers as not all of them will sing with the finesse of the professionals. Have a professional attitude, and ensure that people are enjoying their karaoke time. If there is a ‘once more’ for a song, go ahead and play it again. If they request you for having a recording of their song, burn the CD of their performance and hand it to them. You can charge separately for this. If there is a time limitation for the show, ensure that you stop on time.

Wrapping Up
Always ensure that you are personally present for the wrapping up of equipment. Don’t put this duty on your employees as they may not check if everything is in place, before leaving for home late in the night. It is best to make a checklist of all the smallest to largest equipment and load them properly in their boxes before carrying it to your vehicle. Making a checklist will tell you immediately if a certain equipment is missing.

Promote Your Business
It is important that you take promotion of your business very seriously. Apart from meeting people who can get you more business, you must have a website or blog giving details about your business. This will allow customers to get in touch with you. Don’t forget to add pictures of the karaoke gigs you have hosted where people are enjoying themselves. You will have to get a written permission from your customers to display their images. You will also have to keep updating the latest schedule of your shows on your website so that people who want to visit can join you at the decided venue. Most of the younger crowd will get in touch with you through Internet, so ensure that you have posted ads on the Internet and websites that give information about the gigs, concerts, plays, etc. Get your website keyword optimized for reflecting in the top searches. Do not forget to connect with customers through social networking websites.

Slowly and steadily, you can recruit and train a good employee to become the host of your karaoke gigs, while you can look after the management of these gigs, collection of money, marketing, networking, and getting new business. Also, keep extra song books as people tend to steal some of them away. Make sure you have a professional approach all the time, and do not give a chance for people to complain. Remember that people may constantly force you to play their favorite songs and keep hogging the limelight. You will also have to learn to say ‘no’. Whatever you do, make sure that the people enjoy their karaoke time thoroughly, if you want to survive in this business.

How To Saving Money on Business Travel

Be ‘Money-wise’!
Instead of exchanging currency at the hotel desk or at airport exchange counters, use foreign ATM machines for better exchange rates. This way, you can safely withdraw smaller amounts. Credit cards are also a great option, but inquire about transaction fees before you use them.
Business travel is very different from traveling for pleasure. Traveling for work has its limitations with respect to duration and expense. Since economic viability is of importance when it comes to any business undertaking, one has no choice but to consider ways in which unnecessary outflow of cash can be harnessed without much ado. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make your business travel easy, affordable, and smooth. We have mentioned these things in the form of simple, easy-to-understand tips. Once you’re equipped with these tips for saving money on business travel, you can effortlessly save hundreds to thousands every year. Shall we start noting them down?

Evaluate phone charges.
Thanks to the perpetually skyrocketing roaming call and data charges, one of the most exorbitant bills you pay after a business trip is your phone bill. An intelligent way to tackle this problem is to buy a local SIM card every time you visit a new place where you are likely to spend a substantial amount of time. By cutting down on roaming charges, you’ll save a LOT of money by paying for only local outgoing call charges. As far as internet data charges are concerned, the best advice I can give you is to use Wi-Fi. Mostly all airports and hotels now offer free Wi-Fi services, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Finish as much work as possible using the Wi-Fi connections at these places; it’ll drastically reduce your costs later on.

Carry enough reading material.
This may look like a weird, quite unconventional a tip that may not really be of any help, but before you jump the gun, hold your horses. Think about it, don’t we usually end up buying a magazine or a book at the airport in order to keep ourselves entertained throughout the journey? While working on the flight is a good option to finish pending work, sometimes you only want to unwind. Instead of spending a few dollars here on reading material at the airport, load a few articles, books, and even movies on your cell phone. This way, you won’t add to your luggage and your expenses.

Say yes to public transport.
By using the public transport in any city, you can further reduce your business travel expense exponentially. How does this work? Seek details of the area of your travel for the day from the hotel reception. Ask them to provide commutation details, such as modes, alternative routes, and approximate charges. This way, you can cut back on almost 80% of your commutation costs when compared to the amount you would have to shell out for a cab. If the hotel doesn’t have these details, use Google Maps. It’s one of the best apps for such kind of information. You might pay for Internet data charges, but they’ll still be lesser than the cab fare you would be required to pay.

Lookout for deals.
There are a million travel deals you can tap and cash in on if you keep an eye out for them. The best and most profitable of the lot is the frequent-flyer program (FFP). Almost every airline, old and new, offers this loyalty program. Under this, you become entitled to several discounts, privileges, and offers, especially if you fly quite often. The best places to find these deals are airline magazines. Always go through these magazines, usually kept in the seat pocket in front of you, and you’ll be surprised to find some of the best deals you’ve ever come across. Apart from this, you can also apply for a debit/credit card that has a tie-up with an airline.

Never fall prey to luggage fees.
The most unforgivable mistake you can make is to create situations to pay luggage fees. It’s not always possible to weigh your luggage at the last minute, but it’s always possible to save a lot of money in this area by being a smart packer. Business trips don’t need much luggage and there are a few tips you can follow to reduce your luggage just in case you’re combining meetings or planning on a long trip. You already know how you need to replace magazines and books with eMagazines and eBooks. In a similar way, cut down on multiple gadgets and instead carry one that functions as an all-in-one cell phone, music player, tablet, camera, and laptop. Apart from these, don’t carry too many clothes, food items, and/or stationery. Calculate the number of days you are going to spend at a place and pack the exact number of clothes in keeping with your itinerary. Fill the empty spaces inside your shoes with jewelry, socks, handkerchiefs to save on space. Keep things as minimal and compact as possible.

Go for rooms with kitchens, not minibars.
Though a business trip may not give you time to cook, it’s advised that you pick hotels that have rooms with kitchens. This way, you can cook your own meals even if you choose to make just an omelet. Minibars seem tempting; all you have to do is open the door and serve yourself. However, bills that come with the usage of minibars are usually far from attractive and highly inflated. Items available at a minibar are always charged at a higher price, sometimes as much as 30% more. A room with a kitchen will also enable you to save the money you would otherwise spend on eating out. By choosing this option, you can work, eat, and rest in just one place.

Befriend locals.
The best people to help you when visiting another city are not guides or agencies, but locals. They know the city the best and have no hidden motives; they don’t gain or lose anything by cheating you. They’re the best people to approach when you need help with directions, prices, or suggestions. Just by asking a local for something as simple as directions, you save on Internet charges by not using apps, on money you may end up spending while commuting via wrong or longer routes, and in the end, time – the most crucial element while on a business trip. They also come to your aid when you’re looking for inexpensive places to eat, relax, or work.

Club trips to save thousands.
Most of the time, an executive travels to a specific place to work with a specific set of clients. In such cases, it is always advised to combine trips. For example, if you’re meeting a client in Italy, you might as well make arrangements to meet another one in Spain right after your schedule in Italy. Imagine the amount of money you will be shelling out if you go to Italy, come back to your original country of work, and then fly out to Spain again! You can actually save yourself a lot of money by avoiding at least two extra to-and-fro trips by planning your travel smartly. This not only applies to places that are located in the same geographical area but also to places that are halfway around one potential business area. For example, if you have to travel from India to France, you might as well also plan meetings in New York and finish it off at one go. This way, you can save thousands. By planning multiple meetings in the same city, you save on both traveling and staying costs. The basic tip is to get maximum work done in one single trip in order to economically use financial resources in the best possible manner. Of course, it is not always possible to club your trips because the schedule of different clients may not always match. The point is to try to schedule trips in such a manner as frequently as practicable.

Understand taxes and use them to your benefit.
Taxes levied on income from any source are waived off to a specified extent when certain stipulated types of investments/expenditure made can be shown. Travel expenses are one of them. Though only a portion is eligible to be waived off, the sum still amounts to quite a lot. So, educating yourself about how these benefits can be reaped optimally can result in saving money in the long run. Similarly, a lot of things come with additional taxes while an individual is traveling. These include food at the airport (sometimes), items at the minibar, services like laundry in a hotel, etc. Though a person learns more about these from experience, it’s good to at least know the basics in theory.

Look out for opportunities to make multiple bookings together.
Always remember that there are certain advantages and incentives of booking more than one ticket, especially in flights. It is always better to book tickets together in order to avail group discounts. This way, your company poses as a potential customer to the airline – a reason why they’ll always offer you certain privileges that they won’t offer other passengers. A company is a more respected entity with a higher brand value and credibility score than an individual in the eyes of airlines, hotels, and other business houses. A company is always more trustworthy than an individual. Also, in many ways, having your company as a client works in the favor of these houses when it comes to building their own brand value.

It’s very easy to save money while traveling for business. Think twice before you spend. It is a common observation that we tend to shell out a lot of extra cash when traveling primarily because there is no time to evaluate and understand how little things can contribute to unnecessary expenditure. Sometimes, we also opt for convenience by throwing money at a problem instead of racking our brains over tiny little details due to lack of time. These tips for saving money on business travel and a little prior planning will not only reduce your overall expenses but also help you to travel smarter in future. Believe it or not, a few smart choices in the beginning will lead to your paying fewer bills later on.

How To Business Travel

Do you remember the times, when you got a call from your boss at 5 a.m., and had to pack your bags and leave for the airport to take the 7 a.m. flight? That’s how hectic and random, business travel can be, that too when you are least prepared for it. Business trips are not similar to informal trips, as in the latter case, you have ample time to pack, re-pack, and make arrangements. No matter how easy it sounds, to just pick up the necessary things and dump them in a bag so that you can rush out of the house, there’s always something you miss out at the last minute! To make such travel easy, here are a few simple tips.

Make a Checklist
The first and foremost rule is to make a checklist of all the things you would need to carry. This is important, so you don’t end up missing something essential, and your last-minute travel arrangements are made in time. You can include clothes and toiletries, travel documents, first aid, emergency cash, cell phone, laptop, business documents, and travel tickets in the list. Prepare a common checklist which can be used for any business trip, and stick it in a convenient corner.

Pre-Pack
Now, that you have a well thought checklist, you need to make sure you pack all these items well in advance. It makes sense to purchase a travel bag and use it exclusively for business trips. You can pack all the essentials in organized compartments to avoid confusion. This way, you will save packing time, won’t have to run around for missed items, and will definitely not get delayed in catching your flight.

Carry Extras
During a trip, you never know, what you might run out of! Well, in case of emergencies, always carry an extra toothbrush, towel, pair of socks, business suit, shoes, photocopy of filed documents, cash (don’t depend on debit and credit cards), and pair of clothes.

Be Attentive
It is possible that you may be visiting a new place, therefore, you need to make sure you have the right resources for your destination. In case you have to book your own tickets, make sure you look for the best fares available. Make stay and local travel arrangements in advance, so you won’t have to face unexpected problems. Also, carry addresses, a GPS device, and a language translation book, to avoid getting lost. This is especially important for international travel.

So, if you are packed and ready, have a great trip!

Business Travel Etiquette

This is an age of globalization and nations all round the world have come very close as it is imperative for all of them to work together for fast progress. Multinational corporations have their offices in almost all countries and to carry on operations smoothly, they need some employees to move for some time and work at their foreign offices. Those jobs, which involve traveling for company work abroad, are considered to be quite prestigious in society. Top-notch companies pay for air tickets, luxury accommodation and all needs of their employees when they are in a foreign land. At the same time, it is the duty of employees to maintain the business travel etiquette so that they create a good impression about themselves and their company when they are meeting with their clients.

Etiquette for Business Travel

Pack Your Essentials Properly
Make sure that you take along all essential items which you will be needing there. It should not happen that you leave important documents and fall into trouble later on. Along with the documents and office related things, packing the best clothes you have – both formal as well casual is also important. Other essentials such as your laptop, cell phones, etc., should also be apart from your packing list for travel. Packing for a trip will be easy if you can prepare a list of the essential things.

Follow Airport Guidelines
So, you are going abroad on a business trip with some of your colleagues and are quite excited about the same. Reach the airport on time and co-operate with the airport authorities by completing all the formalities properly. When you meet your colleagues at the airport, greet them with a warm hello followed by a handshake. Getting help from travel agents while traveling by air is a good idea. You should possess important travel documents such as passport, visa, identity and age proof, nationality proof, etc. Once you enter your plane, follow all instructions and air travel tips given by the cabin crew and staff and do not argue with them. Air travel restrictions are common for all and so abide by them to avoid falling into difficulties. Be polite and humble as this can alone get you a gentleman’s tag.

Look Good and Presentable
Among the various business travel tips, being presentable and looking decent is an important one. So, when you are on a business trip, look into the mirror and make sure that you are wearing ironed, clean and good clothes. Wear the necktie and suit properly to look like a sincere professional. Have good posture while walking and sitting and a smile on your face. Maintain eye contact with people while talking and talk sensibly as these are the signs of a person having good body language. This is also one of the most commonly suggested international travel tips.

Conduct
Throughout your travel, your conduct should be extremely good. Do not make gestures and actions which can be irritating for other people or your own colleagues. If you are traveling with your boss, do not get too casual, give him the respect which he receives in the office. There would not be any ban on cracking jokes, laughing or having fun, but you should know exactly when to indulge in some good fun. Carefully listen to what the other person is speaking and then give your own opinion. You cannot just start entertaining everyone in an ongoing meeting or serious discussion!

Party Behavior
Party behavior is also an important section in business travel etiquette. Often these days, parties are arranged in hotels or restaurants for employees for some recreation. However, since it is an office party, you need to follow some behavioral norms. Avoid over drinking and making any kind of obscene gestures which can annoy the people around. Always be in your senses and be extra polite when it comes to interacting with female colleagues.

Dining Etiquette
In the course of your business travel, you are always under observation. So, even while dining with your colleagues, you must follow important etiquette. Never go late for the dinner and keep others waiting for you. If this happens, apologize immediately for your late arrival. Start your dinner along with all others and not before them. Avoid talking over the phone while eating or talking too loudly which can be disturbing for others. If you have to attend an urgent call from someone, then excuse yourself and come back immediately after attending the call.