Ask any successful business owner, and they will tell you the same:
It takes money to make money.
Cliché perhaps, but true, nonetheless. The same also applies when setting up a DJ business, which calls for a fairly extensive hardware and software setup.
In theory, it does not matter how much you invest in your business, just as long as things pan out as planned. If you ultimately end up making money from your efforts, initial setup costs are inconsequential.
But exactly how much (or how little) does it cost to set up a DJ business? If you are serious about putting together a viable business, what kind of DJ equipment do you need, and how much does it cost? Are you going to buy the equipment outright or use a DJ finance package?
A Good Laptop Computer
Your laptop will effectively be the nerve center of the whole operation, so it needs to be of a decent standard. If you can afford to invest £500 in a high-quality laptop with solid specifications, you will be taking home a reliable workhorse.
Premium DJ Software
Some pretty good free DJ software suites are doing the rounds, but none deliver the features, functionalities, or flexibility you need to go pro. Therefore, you will need to pick up a premium suite of DJ software, which will probably set you back around £100 (or a small monthly subscription fee).
A DJ Controller
Combine a good DJ controller with a decent laptop, and you basically have an entire DJ setup. Shy of speakers and visual effects, of course, but these come later. Packed with faders, job wheels, audio effects, touchpads, and more, this is the device that will enable you to strut your stuff as a DJ. DJ controller costs vary from less than £100 to more than £3,000 – somewhere around the £1,000 mark should be more than enough to get your business up and running.
Headphones and Microphone
Set your sights on a performance-quality microphone or an equally stellar set of headphones, and neither will break the bank. £100 or so for each will be more than enough to kit yourself out with something that will sustain your business for years to come.
If you are planning on becoming a classic vinyl DJ, you will also need to set yourself up with a pair of turntables and an accompanying mixer. Old-school decks start from around £150 each, so you will be looking at around £500 to £700 to set yourself up with a full vinyl rig.
Speakers and Lighting
You’ll only need these if you plan on playing parties and private venues that do not have their own PA systems for performers to use. You could spend anything from £500 to more than £5,000 on a PA and lighting setup – it depends entirely on the kind of shows you intend to put on.
Representation, Marketing, and PR
Last up, it is down to you to decide whether you handle your own representation and PR or outsource to the pros. However, you will generally be looking at a better ROI with outside support, which will also give you more time to spend focusing on running your business. Think around £150 per month for a basic PR/marketing support package, and you’ll be heading in the right direction.