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From wedding DJ to building the full DFC experience – An interview with Robin Kershaw #Episode 5

Robin Kershaw started out as a wedding DJ and went on to build an amazing wedding and evening entertainment business.

In this episode, we celebrate Robin as someone who has dedicated his life to doing what he loves, and been able to make a real success of it. 

Listen to the episode now

Not only did we get to chat to Robin, but we also had the pleasure of meeting Beth, who is the General Manager of his company, DFC Lancashire.

DFC is a complete entertainment service which offers not just event hosting, but all the evening entertainment options you can think of; from amazing wedding DJs to live bands and artists and even event photography and videography.

We wanted to know more about him and how he runs his business, but we also wanted you to get some good advice too, so we asked him: 

  • What is a typical day in the life of a wedding entertainment business?
  • What are some examples of wedding entertainment ideas that really work?
  • How long does it take to plan a wedding? 
  • How much does a wedding DJ Cost?
  • What advice have you got for anyone planning their wedding or getting married soon?
  • What are your top tips for anyone thinking of starting their own business?

And of course, we couldn’t let the episode pass without talking about our own wedding! 

The episode has been released the weekend of our 10th wedding anniversary so the timing was perfect for us to throw in a few stories about our big day, our wedding dj and evening entertainment and of course, you can’t talk about weddings without mentioning the best man’s speech!

So if you want to know how to write a best man speech or you’re looking for best man speech examples, it’s definitely worth listening to the episode or checking out our YouTube video below as we’ve got some ideas for you!

Watch the best man speech from our wedding!

Episode transcript

Welcome to Give Social, a show about helping to improve through inspiration. Each week, we discuss things that make your heart sing through stories interviews and debate.

Every day, normal people do amazing things in business charity through self improvement and we are here to celebrate them. My name is Rob, and I’m Jen, so if you’re looking for authentic down to earth and practical help to build a better life than we welcome you to the show. And just to make sure you never miss an episode, or one of our bonus podcasts that we might sneak in from time to time, don’t forget to subscribe through your preferred podcast provider – it’s easy and more importantly it’s free! Now let’s get on with today’s show…

Okay, so today we are here talking about weddings in particular – we were very very lucky and myself and Jenna we’ve been married now – you go for it you can you say the number Rob because you should know – it’s easy ,it’s an easy one is an easy one I must admit – I’m gonna say ten – correct well done – the ten years since we got married in this show actually the goes out exactly ten years almost the day then we got married yeah it was a fantastic day yeah I know people always say their weddings are amazing but actually was yes we got to claim the best wedding days of 2010. Yes I think so in fact if you believe youtube, then it was the best wedding I think he was and we’ll come on that but we are here today to celebrate someone who’s dedicated their life to do what they love and that is weddings and events we’re also here to give you some advice about anybody wants to start their own business within the wedding industry because it is a big industry there’s so many different things you can do but also advice and tips to those who will get married soon because one of the big things as we know Covid-19 had a huge impact on weddings in twenty twenty so we are gonna have a conversation about what that looks like in really trying to figure out between us what the impact of that might be in the future so what I want to do first of all is let’s talk about robin and Beth so I want to welcome robin and Beth to the show …

Welcome to the show

welcome to the show robin, hi thanks for having us and how are you Beth thank you thank you very much for having us and now robin and Beth run a company called DFC. DFC look after the entertainment needs of over twelve hundred weddings a year now I’m sure we’re going to have a very different story this year and they are the UK’s leading D. J. and hosting company started back in two thousand and nine and the don’t just the weddings, they make them as well because they make memories they calm nerves they create a fully personalized experience for brides and grooms to treasure for ever so from things like bespoke playlists industry leading DJs specially selected artists , black tie hosts there’s nothing that robin and Beth can’t deliver for your wedding entertainment needs and DFC want to get your guests on the dance floor but not only that they want to keep them there because that’s the best thing about a wedding and they call it the full DFC experience robin tell us about you tell us about DFC tells a little bit about how you came into working and running DFC and tell us about your team it’s well the team it is the business if I’m honest with you we started back in two thousand and nine myself in a guy called Mark Walsh which was what was was great and we start off the first year we did eighty weddings second yeah we did that we did the math before him I yeah but it I do weddings first year two hundred and four hundred and two thousand and twenty would have been our biggest year with a record eleven, twelve hundred hundred. The business started off Mark and rob two likely lads and literally the success of it was simply very much along the lines of we just had a passion for weddings with a passion we had a belief that weddings would be better not just a disco Dave sorry if there’s disco Dave out there but not just a disco Dave we’ve all seen disco Dave yes we’ve got one family – my brother Dave who was D J. or has been a DJ in a past life so yeah he was this Disco Dave but yeah definitely I think we’ve all experienced those but I remember you Robin I’m I’m gonna reveal something there when I was sixteen seventeen just being allowed into bars and pubs popes and and very often you were there spinning the discs is that what they say I was that illegally yes and I’d like to say I look quite young for 39 but if you can obviously people can’t see me now but at eighteen I looked about fourteen so it was a great blag and thanks to the people the N. U. S. at Runshaw college for getting me that eighteen year old pass yeah basically a start off in a bar and start off on vinyl vinyl starred in people’s parties went away to Australia came back and my mother God love her called this agent up in Cheshire and said hi my son’s a DJ Can he come and do weddings so twenty three old lad started doing weddings, still looked about eighteen then started doing these weddings but the money doing weddings are so much better than bars so I pretty much started work this agent I started booking is DJs for him opposed by another agency started booking that DJs for them I got to a point of it is the story I tell all the time Beth is sick of hearing the story I used to be the DJ manager on a Monday morning I would call the venues venues would save DJ the weekend was absolutely brilliant but the DJ you sent the week before had a load of lights can you send the DJ from we can just gone with the DJs from the weekend before with his lights and I was like there has to be a better solution here and our solution was we need to create brand so venues and clients knew what they were getting. They we’re going to get a black tie host we’re going to get this setup, they were going to get this playlist played and literally that’s where the whole the DFC experience came from because it’s fifty percent what the DJ does on the night and it’s fifty percent off Beth and the team do it D. F. C. before the actual

The DFC Experience

so we’re gonna go into I’m Beth bath in a moment and I’m gonna ask you a little bit about what you do as part of the team but just around some of things he said that you learned your craft through the years and you probably made and saw all the mistakes that your typical DJ Dave’s makes and then you decided that I see what you’re gonna do provide some consistency and no matter who they booked, if they booked it through you they got the same experience every time. Brilliant that you’ve picked up a lot yeah absolutely on the the goal was always sort of ten years ago was to create this brand this brand of turn up in Same van not white transit van back of a fiestas to turn up in a brand new vehicle turned up in branded clothing announce yourself to the venue manager hi am here from DFC – Where am I setting up – sets up the Same they would cut the cake same they would announce the first dance the same, they would basically not talk all night on the microphone we run the DJ side of the business now off what’s called a code of conduct so all the DJ sign up to a code of conduct and thats everything from day one with DFC to actually finishing a doing a wedding because a DFC wedding is very much as soon as the client books we are in touch with them I can start planning their wedding with us a week before we can contact him DJ contacts them on the evening and then their experience finishes with us on the Monday morning when we send them out an evaluation and we ask for their feedback so Beth this is where you come in I think because listening to what robin says that I imagine the real people listen in now experience the wedding in the last few years or even in the last ten fifteen years who are thinking, I definitely didn’t have the contact and the experience with the company especially with the DJ when I got married I rang a guy six months before I got married I didn’t hear anything and then as you said someone turned up in a fiesta started un loading some kit did his bit took my money in cash and then left so Beth tells about what your role is in the company and how you support Bradburn yes so and with myself I’m the general manager and DFC and so my background is I actually graduated in tourism and event management in 2014 and i’ve worked at lots of different companies doing different events and such as Ribby Hall village Stanley house D&D London at twenty stories and in the Cheshire market, so when I touched base with DFC which I have nearly worked with them a year and now it will be my year anniversary so congratulations to me. you made it! when I first met DFC it was actually an offerings to clients and offering them something . in terms of different services something different from erm you know just yet average sorts of DJ we wanted to offer something to our clients that were more of a customer service role which leads me to bring on what we actually during in the planning stage so when a client actually books with us we always make sure that they get a welcome from us and get to know a little bit more about ourselves but we’re always there throughout the planning stage we know that and there’s lots of highs and lows of planning a wedding and I’m sure it Rob and Jen will know all about that and so we’re there to support them throughout the whole entire planning stage whether that may be six months to eighteen months who knows but we’re there Throughout just to help them along with all the questions.

Rob and Jen’s wedding planning

Jen how thinking back ten years when we got married how did you find the planning of the wedding I remember it fondly course you do – you didn’t do anything no to be fair, your job was to sort itself out so you decide what you want to wear what you want you groomsmen to wear who you want them to bay and then me and my squad. Squad goal I don’t think that – I’m too old for that I think I’m past squad goals anyway me and my family and friends we did the rest thank yeah I saw offended LU at that I’m not very offended with them I did I did book the surprise and entertainment. You did. I did. I’ll have to say rob does come up trumps pretty much whenever he possibly can, you do pull something out the bag and now we are we talking about this? Yeah we can say we can yeah we can say that I think I’ve this is completely unscripted erm we weren’t talking about this but we will so when we met we went on holiday well my nana and grandad Had a place in Tenerife and we used to go jump on the plane and just spend a few days or a week two there. I think we spent three days that ones just because we have a free days but then we just sulked to the airport all the way home, because it wasn’t long enough but anyway so because the day to get there, we had a day that another day to go home I’m but yeah we used to go to Tenerife we threw a really enjoy the time we spent there yes I’m we only just we only we just met at the first time that we went and we went into a little Irish bar we don’t know by now our surname is Flanagan traditional Irish family and we went to a little bar and in that bar was somebody singing He was called Liam big shout out to Liam yes the friends with him now yeah and he’s still in the same bar so if you go near the Irish fiddler in Tenerife – he is a legend I’m I think this guy does six nights a week yeah I think so singing every night from nine to at nine PM at nine AM till midnight nine PM else yeah and we saw him, we loved it and we recently had a cracking night – I told you that I’d booked a band yeah you thought it was my mates bond and all the speeches had finished they were getting ready for the evening and I said well somebody taught me on the shoulder yes – finished the meal and we’re kind of getting up just a bit more mingling before evening guests arrive and then somebody tell me on the shoulder I was almost a bit put out almost a bit like who wants me now I turned around though I really am on the net double take I like how you even hear you don’t even live in this country what’s happened how was this happened you know you were beaming behind him because I did it I brought him he’s he’s like a Cheshire cat because the time and the effort about to get in the exactly even though we only landed that literally half an hour before he turned to say the venue wasn’t it it was brilliant well done amazing yeah nothing in terms of the organizing one of the one of the most stressful things and I think this comes from what you were saying by the big the big thing about what you do is what I wished I’d of had actually at the time was there so many little things that are dead stressful that you don’t think about the things at the table plan and the seating so while I was worried about that If I’d have known that the DJ and everything else been taken care of that would have you know completely let me worry about that more rather than having to worry about everything and I think that’s what you know one of the really really unique things about what you do is is that service because it can just let you start worrying about one thing just focus on some of the things you might need to yeah you might need to deal with but overall it went very well did we got we got there in the end of the I think it would like he said it would have been great to have somebody handle all of that for us as robin and Beth do through DFC.

Wedding entertainment ideas

So robin can you give me some examples of wedding entertainment ideas that really work you must have seen so many. Our first question to people many many years ago probably when you got mired was hi what do you want. And the answer is it is about you guys or the couple who is getting my but the question is now is yes what do you guys want but are you going to dance all night if the answer is no we need to contemplate what the guests or your family like so we always try to to to go down the line yes what do you live what do your club but you’ll put your client what your gas like as well and you know they they may want to bond that’s absolutely fine they might know about Saks dot that’s must see for some it sucks because you we’ve also got a new bond school DSC live which saw twist all in house bound so bonds would normally do to forty five minute sets all DSC live bomb will do a five hour set for you so you have your own band as well yes so as part of this offer and when you say stocks open saxophone him I think the thing is is letting clients know what’s actually readily available to them the business has evolved massively as we start doing dance floors we did dance floors for five years without how to rebrand five years ago and the re brand was wedding hosts, artists and DJs. Moving into twenty one were rebranding slightly again and we’re going from ceremony to last downs so it’s just letting people know what is available to them Beth and I were chatting before and basically we were chatting about do you actually needed a DJ and the answer is sometimes no we’re part of some fabulous venues from the Lake District all the way down to Cheshire and sometimes we include in the package and sometimes client book us privately which both are absolutely brilliant for us. But sometimes a client might only have twenty guests, they might have this really intimate wedding but the go to is hi we needed a DJ. The answer is no you don’t actually need a DJ. yes you can have a DJ if you want a party and get on that do you know what you might what might be best for you as a singer or an acoustic artist or sax playing outside on the lawn. There is so many different things that you can do with weddings now it’s just letting people know ideas to chat with them a big one for us for the last five years is taking the first dance out on lawn are you get married in summer yes right well I know it says that you yo yo first dance is eight o’clock but it’s a beautiful night I mean you will not you will begin now not to be able to see out the window but said it’s a wintry nights in in August you know it’s letting people have different options we done a first dance where they’ve basically walked into that meal, they’ve done the first dance and then the speeches and everyone’s gone “we can relax now” it’s giving people the option to actually finding out what their needs are that’s what’s key to us. So this might be a bit of a how long’s a piece of string question but how long does it take to plan a wedding from your perspective what do you is there at an optimal time or is it just whether that you know people need to do? go get em Beth you tell em. it really does vary For our selves we always say you know six months to twenty four months you can do it but you know we do have those clients that really enjoys a long engagement and planning of it. something that day at say that we do always like to get to know our clients really and start to understand what they want and their needs because that way the more we know about the client we can help them more along the way and as robin did mention you know DJ might not be for everybody it might be something a little bit different but from experience – we don’t we always like to recommend not to have any lulls in weddings and keep everyone entertained not just by entertainment but we want everyone to enjoy the wedding as much as you do. I remember when we got married we what time did we get to bed? I don’t think we did. we would have a half life of five in the morning we didn’t get much sleep at all but we were up we we had something all the time which is great yeah helps having the entertainment there as Robin said sometimes you just don’t need a DJ Fortunately, I come from musical family which we’re go in to shortly actually but we have a musical family so we all sat up once the entertainment finished in the bar yeah I think it’s because as Beth said that it’s keeping up momentum through the day isn’t keeping something going and we had different feelings throughout the day so my granddad blessed not with us now and but he played he’s a jazz musician he played sax saxophone for us in the church and which was just beautiful and everybody just loved it and then bless him, he hot footed it over to the venue so that by the time the guests arrive at the venue he was already played in the reception area so the people welcomed into the venue with a similar theme the music and then it just kind of evolved throughout the night didn’t it rarely and then like say just ended up with who ever had an instrument near by making a noise and when I say we’re lucky, you’ve just hit upon something that I’ve not really thought about until now is and you must to come across these robin and Beth…

Keeping the clients happy

When somebody gets married in and they say no we don’t need a singer because my cousins singing or I know is it alright if halfway through the night my best friend gets up and does a song because she’s always wanted to sing? We all get that you know , and to be honest we you know we do our best to to to keep clients happy yes so at the end of the day it is that wedding we just try to guide them in the sense all of if so if nana wants to sing a song from so of the Titanic film at ten thirty today maybe that would have been better before we do the first dance or something along the lines about books let’s say a massive thing that we’ve we’ve done for the last two three years bride or groom D J. and literally ten of their favorite tracks – our DJ stays with them we announce it we’ve got a guest DJ on. Bride and groom – The pictures are immense In fact on our Instagram are instant plug – DFC Lancashire if you you know on our Instagram things like that we put a picture we did it was all ten ten year anniversary last year at the beautiful Mitton Hall on we had a bride there – headphones on the picture is immense it’s been brilliant. So I’m gonna see the really awkward quest yes if I was bringing you up tomorrow yes how much does a wedding DJ costs robin. Of course you can quote for I mean our question is – our first sort of answer back to that is you know whereabouts are you getting married okay tell us about your wedding – tell us what you actually want what you don’t want Are we the right company for you they’re they’re all the company’s doing what we do this is probably a bad businessman side of me, but if we’re not the right company for you I would prefer them to book with someone else. We’re five out of five on Facebook and have been to five years now yeah and it’s tough to keep up with the reviews come in and we will say if we not the right company for you. you do get a variety of quality and a variety of prices more more business not just in the wedding industry now we see it with people that we work with particularly those who are doing consultancy work pricing which somebody pays now is more about the value in what you bring to them and no more so than a wedding is that value so so important yeah and that’s I think that’s the thing with anything really actually what’s more important I think people value more nowadays is that connection with the people they’re working with and it almost as as they work through thing that then becomes the deciding factor actually doesn’t so what you said there was actually do do we get on do you want us to help you put things together is absolutely I think and this is the way that we’ve done things you know it’s it’s about building a rapport with people and making the entire experience like rob said weddings ups of the stand out on the road because that is such a milestone event in your life and so significant and people invest so much in as as an event that is really important you work with somebody who can make the day easier you can make things flow for you who you trust to get things done rather than the opposite if you know you worried all day about the gonna turn up on time and again as I said I was brought in to be honest as one of the reasons why we set up wedding host by DFC for simply I used to turn up at wedding’s ten twelve years ago in a turn up at six o’clock in the evening and they said they were having a right party some nights I would turn up to the subdue and quiet and I was like – I don’t – There must be another solution to this so we added on what’s called wedding hosts and a wedding host will be with you all the way through your wedding breakfast and through to the evening time she might have had a really emotional meal, you might have had a party mail and the idea behind the wedding host by DFC is the fact that you your part you a small part of the wedding and then at the evening time you know the vibe of the wedding you know whether at seven o’clock you’ll first track needs to be house of pain or it needs to be Bill withers lovely day yeah the two ends of the spectrum and there’s everything else in between and so these hosts are I suppose a development of your master of ceremonies your traditional I remember I think we have one at our wedding traditional man usually dressed in a red white gloves we we first branded it seven years ago is the modern day toastmaster and

Quick funny story

Quick funny story – I wrote an article this must be six seven years ago and it was called if red isn’t your color now this article when town county bride magazine thirty thousand copies I got a phone call a really good of friend of mine George who is now very high up in the guild of Toastmasters at hi robin I believe you written an article he said I think it’s absolutely fabulous but the Toastmasters a kicking off about it. I was all right okay I’m and basically it was nothing to do with slating them at all it was just it if you don’t want that mass formality and sort of the “ladies and gentleman” if you kinda want a less formal, black tie host that’s going to be part of the day and what Toastmasters don’t do they don’t DJ at night time they leave you at the either the end of the meal or after the first dance it was literally if red isn’t your colour a black tie host that will be with you all day might be the right reason for you so yeah well I mean we’re great. it’s taken us it’s taken us ten years to get people knowing what hosting is people thought was DJing through a meal and I remember the first job I ever did eleven to twelve years ago Park Hall and literally I went the bride and groom and press play on Buble yeah that was it. That was my job role there’s nothing wrong with Buble! nothing at all. we really lucky its take a definitely take us ten years to get to where we are we’ve now got a team of eight hosts that work for us week in week out and where expanding and definitely by twenty one there will be 12 and we’re going to move on to Covid-19 soon but what I want to just finish on around the whole wedding day itself knows a thing and the the thing here is that it’s about you making your own wedding as well yes well so people do things and put their own stamp on it yes so we have something that very much put a stamp on our wedding that we didn’t know about and actually my advice would be if you ever want to make a bit of money off the wedding and you were on the bit overspent then it may be if something funny happened at your wedding you might want to put on YouTube.

The best man’s speech of all best man speeches

we have the best man’s speech of all best man speeches I think at our wedding and I do not say that lightly what so ever. Dave who we mentioned before my brother that was going to do a best man’s speech they did a fantastic best man speech. He did and completely by surprise what we’re gonna share this video we will put it on the link we’ll put it on the the article but this was something that completely took us by surprise and I’m not going to ruin it I’m gonna make people watch it yeah so you’ve got to click the link you gotta watch it will be there on Youtube. however what I will tell you is that when we originally posted this video mmhm we received over six and a half million views it was absolutely amazing we didn’t expect it now no we sell we we put this up there in two thousand and eleven a year after we got my yeah the family and friends when we finally got the DVD through with the wedding yes so that we could share that moment with family and friends yeah and it just went wild it really did yeah it to the point where we got recognized in Debenhams one day, which was so bizarre. We went shopping and somebody came up and taps on the shoulder and said are you the couple from the best man speech yeah some what to do with them like yeah I think so was hilarious just wanted to say that okay thanks enjoy shopping bye! so make sure you check it out but I want to talk about best man speeches and there was so many things I’m sure you’ve seen lots of best man speech examples

I’ve been to over 1,500 weddings…

massively I actually worked out I think I might be personally been to over fifteen hundred weddings and as a business we’ve done over five thousand now so we are al right on giving advice on but that does qualify it will give you guys a compliment if you go you know go back to two thousand and ten I think you guys were actually one of the first people to actually show a funny best man speech yes and I think I’m I don’t even give you the exact credit for it but I know a lot of people have done a twist on that. yes they have. moving on since I you know and I please ask me the question my best mans speeches! you;re right lots of people who copied what happens we can actually claim ours was the original which was great so if there’s anybody out there now he sat wondering how to write a best man’s speech what advice as a wedding expert that you are Robin, give to somebody who wants to write a best man’s speech you know what we ummed and arred about this question before and thought how much detail to go into and I’ve personally been a Best Man which was a brilliant honour and that was about eleven years ago and I’m gonna be honest I got it wrong I got it wrong I tried to use the internet I’m I try to be funny and be best man who I was best known for is actually my business partner, who have not mentioned today I got called Adam Boasman . Adam asked me to be his best man and I knew they would have been a lot of people at this wedding so I knew I had to be funny you know what? I didn’t have to be funny. I needed to be genuine I needed to just tell people what an amazing guy this guy is the fact that everybody adores him I know I should have gone down that route and I literally use the internet I used every corny joke there was, trying to be sort of ironic with it and tell you what don’t bother just literally do it from the heart if you’re a funny person, stick some notes on Q. cards or equally if you’re more of a nervous person, there are loads of things you do some of the best ones I’ve seen probably taken from your guy’s wedding where they’ve they’ve either asked a singer to do something, they have produced something pre wedding yes and that’s brilliant idea we could we can definitely help that we’ve done that in that in the past we’ve done that with father the bride speeches where we can pre – record something we can read something out I think my one big tip is to use the internet for maybe the formalities of what you need to say but don’t use the internet for jokes and just be yourself. I think we can all relate to being at that wedding where the best man stands up and just reels off a load of jokes that you’ve heard loads of times yeah I remember going to one wedding once I’m the best man speech was just over an hour and a half okay I can be that I can do an hour and three quarters and I didn’t preempt my toilet stop before the speech because as hosts DFC we always host the speeches so we will announce the father of bride whoever is giving the bride or the the the groom away yeah literally an hour and three quarters stop was quite impressive I haven’t got tons from you there around how weddings can go and some advice about various different bits and pieces but we can’t do you this episode and avoid it

Covid 19 and the impact on weddings

Covid-19 and the impact that that has had and Covid have an impact on pretty much every area of our lives and weddings are just one of those have been really severely impacted I think probably probably more severely than others actually I’m and I’m sure we’ll know people who’ve had their wedding plans disrupted or put on hold which was such a huge life events and milestones will have been really really hard for lots of people and of course the industry itself has been particularly hard hit from a business perspective so we just wanted to really get a bit from you really around how you found the experience of what’s been going on and how you’ve adapted and responded well firstly we do really like to say thank you to our clients really because obviously and with covid we haven’t done a wedding since the twenty first of March so it’s a long time but we had a lot of postponents bu all of our clients have been really patient with us they’ve been very understanding so we’d really like to say a huge thank you. We do have one particular client who has a record of five changes so thank you for holding on and then literally five postponements I think she went March to may may June through to August yeah and yes well done that’s resilience personified isn’t it. this is the thing though you you probably planned particularly if you’ve gone with DFC Planned this for ages nine and you’ve got everything in place and everything’s ready and you gonna marry the love of your life hopefully once and you;re gonna share that with all of your family and friends and you want to make them the best day of your life and then along comes this thing I’m nearly on a high horse but I’m trying not to say I wonder is this going to but I’m I’m I’m feeling for the people who are getting married here – along comes this pandemic understandably at that to start they can’t get married and then people say they can get married and they plan it and then suddenly for some people a couple weeks ago the night before something goes on Twitter and size you can’t get married in the morning yeah yeah I mean we we’ve had it we’ve I think the latest we cancelled the wedding was lunch time before before afternoon yeah yeah absolutely crazy times what I will say is we’ve used covid as a very positive time we’ve re evaluated the business we’ve had to take a you know a hard look ourselves what what we actually want from the business and we’ve defined roles, we’ve taken on new staff and I was talking to a very good friend of mine before, who owns a beautiful beautiful venue and I said to her I do feel a little bit bad saying we’re alright in the sense of yes you know I’m gutted there’s been absolutely no weddings but we’ve used this time so positively yeah from doing live streams from working on the backend of the website to change in the warehouse around from literally aiming to do fifteen client meetings a week in our two meeting rooms to now doing twenty five meetings a week on zoom yes hands up if you’ve had a zoom quiz. my goodness yes. zoom has been absolute savior and with zoom you know going into twenty one twenty two having even more contact with clients yeah making meeting so much easier and it’s great because where you know most of our business lake district, Cheshire with over people, Adam did Australia the day we’ve done America and literally people are putting even more faith in us because they can see us with social media marketing we’ve just allowed people to let them know that we are alive when it was still going on we will be with her now I’m do you think that’s something you may keep in the future as well things like the zoom virtual meetings? massively Zoom is going to be Key for us – whether it’s his a Zoom or whether it’s Skype or something like that but with zoom and what they’ve actually done and you know you guys just sat they were these fancy mics and everything to be honest it’s well we’re going yeah we’re going down the line of giving an amazing clients experience because literally we can sit there it’s all branded with DFC on the back of it yeah our sound quality is absolutely fabulous we’ve got all our videos we have all our videos on vimeo this video on the click on DFC Lancashire and they can see all our videos so we can let you click of a button clickable to click of a button leave them with hi guys you know we really enjoyed that if you want to come out you were going to go ahead without booking get back in touch and we’ll go from there.

Live streaming

you’ve put on some brilliant shows over lockdown – live streaming yeah we’re up to a six one now really average views five and a half thousand we you know live stream is changed our business because it’s so many people have done this anyway haven’t they so artists and famous people and even not so famous local artists have been we’ve watch a magic show on Facebook with our son was just amazing I mean it really I think I mentioned it was it was only something local but actually it probably made his night but you’ve used the opportunity to kind of mini concerts on to showcase the acts in which you can sell to bride and grooms and showcase and we find you some beautiful venues we were unsure when to do it and we did it pretty much at the time you’re allowed out house so we did it socially distanced and we did one at Ashfield house with the one Eaves Hall a one at stick house one at our warehouse one at crow Wood and we’re really really fortunate we’re now doing a livestream the Kelly Lorenna and and Mike who was the DJ for NTrance wow on the Saturday night will live stream with Dave pierce Happy Days yeah you know it’s brilliant but what we try to do with those it’s it’s with the it’s with our rebrand it’s no secret yep the rebrand you know from ceremony to last dance and that’s what we try to create for our clients so we started it ceremony we’ve built it up and then we’ve ended with the right good party excellent yeah I’m so live stream has been good, but the you know the other thing is we’ve we’ve basically done with the live streams is filmed them all as well can we film them all they could see the live content the raw content and then we’ve produced a professional video at the back end of it so …

A successful wedding business

so you’ve built a really you know successful business within the wedding industry and one of the things that we talk about one of the things that we have discussed with both our guests but also with people that we interact with regularly through our work is building a successful business and that doesn’t have to be something huge you know from small icons and all of that kind of thing at the wedding the so many services within the wedding industry is that you could choose to have a stake in I suppose and you’ve chosen entertainment and singers I’m just thinking about that we probably had about ten different companies in our wedding from church flowers wedding outfits rings wedding cars DJ accommodation the cake I could go on and on and entertainment and food you know the list really is endless I imagine you meet a lot of people who have really successful side hustles yeah so people who have full time jobs but then they also at a weekend will be working in the wedding industry because that’s majority of when people got married is a Friday Saturday or Sunday and when you look at all the different areas within a wedding then it’s great to have something that you can offer to somebody in that little area the just provides them with something special one of the pieces of advice you will hear all the time on Google youtube and many of the entrepreneurs who start talking about this type of thing and building a business from nothing is finding a niche market if you’re American a niche the niche – drives me mad – you chose the wedding entertainment as your corner of the market and what I’m what I imagine is quite crowded places well so unless you offer something different unique and also offered you know to prospective brides grooms and venues something that nobody else can and you’ve been able to do that I think really really well I think what people were here today about the DFC experience is probably something very very unique tell me about before you became DFC we’ve talked about you DJ I want to know did you have any of the jobs did you have a full time job while you DJ in I am always been fortunate enough that I went self employed at twenty three never went back the problem was that I came back from Australia and I started doing weddings and to match that money it was it was pretty much impossible only to because I was keen on I’ve always been a hi if there’s money to be earned I’m gonna earn it so I used to do weddings four nights a week, so be impossible to do something else you know you go back eleven years and literally was a case of right I need to keep working to this agent or go on my own so I I met my business partner and that’s kind of where we went from it. We were I suppose we were lucky at the time I don’t really think is anyone doing exactly what we do now where it’s massively run under a brand but going back then small little agents sending out the disco Daves of the world yeah so what we when we went in that offer this whole brand new – tell you wall we will look after everything just for the DJ side of it venues bit our hand off because it was very much – you’ll look after the first dance? we don’t have to ask about songs yeah we got just about music you’ll turn up on time you’ll speak to their clients about their evening yeah we were like a breath of fresh air for people. so we were we were very niche they’re other businesses out that now but what we’ve built on is the brand what pitfalls and mistakes if any sounds like you’ve nailed it but you know what you have all those things you made long when learning journey –

Getting the right staff

I always believed that staff would never be your issue and staff have been our biggest issue and basically that’s probably been the one staff. Hiring the right staff is absolutely Key. do your trial, take your time to whether you’re going to take them on if you get a bad feeling trust it.. yes trust it to be honest with you trust you bad failing wish them all the wish them all the best and just leave it on a hand shake of “I don’t think you’re right for us” and that’s really hard isn’t it that one of the things going from probably a one a two person business the suddenly having let’s say six eight nine people working – you hear a lot about things like looking after your staff which is so so important but when you’re in such a small company you need everybody to be on the game to be with it and also to be performing at a certain level – they represent your brand in its entirety don’t they and then it’s you know bringing back what you said before about being able to go out there and be that brand ambassador and be able you know you know you can trust that person to go out and do everything you’ve just talked about from start to finish you yeah you really need to sort of nurture and develop and be able to trust those people there yeah I mean he did this saying it’s an old saying you’re only as you’re as good as your worst member of staff and we massively pride ourselves now for the last year you know poaching Beth, bringing her on was probably one of the best things we ever did just because she’s she’s a professional you know through and through all her personality is absolutely key to keeping the team you know it’s a big old team now we’re hopefully going to do is staff party and there will be over thirty people yeah we now know each one of them personally and Beth has done as a sterling job of literally keeping in contact with them because its basically, you’re managing people they’re all different personalities and you need to deal with them differently and Beth is brilliant at keeping – we do our best whether it’s prizes you know once a month rewards we do our best I was like I said the team is so key to us it’s very much they need us as much as we need them. Who does the firing? who does the firing? What a tricky question. Is it Beth or robin you weren’t expecting that question were you Robin. we weren’t expecting the I’m really thankful I don’t have to answer it anymore. you know hand on heart I was never never a businessman is literally it was a business they just went from success to success yep teaching myself business was not something I’ve had to do. I’d like to say the last year is probably the best you have ever been in business in but thankfully I don’t have to do the hiring – I can do the hiring the firing now goes to the lady on the right we haven’t had to fire anyone. But it’s always good to play in the good and the bad cop. good answer. I’m really lucky I Can play good cop all the time but sadly the I’m the soft touch you see now I just like everyone to be happy in life. and what is the best thing about running your own business? What an absolutely brilliant – you know what it’s a really really simple answer on on out I’ve got there’s a guy worked for me for four years I’m he started working for me and used to work in the pubs. he used to do karaoke in the pubs and he used to work six nights a week. He was living with his mom it was open and down with his girlfriend and when he’s keeping… he’s now been with this four years he literally he bought his house he was due to get married this year, had a little song and he’s like one of my little success stories because he’s gone from this drinking every night of the week to being this focused, focused amazing lovely lovely person and that’s one of the highlights for me doing that. brilliant brilliant so what advice would you gave to anyone out that who’s looking to setup a wedding business? we’d probably say definitely do something you love . obviously in terms of the wedding industry they are long hours and it’s important to … if you get the reviews it’s always good to have the rewards behind everything but new business is great for our business we’d say but in terms of advice we’d always say bring new blood get an idea this is a bit different and exciting for everybody yeah just be original like any business you know it happens day in day out if you going to do in a busy you going to do it do it better than the person then actually do it yeah don’t do it cheaper an not as good just do it better and I have no problem in the world without hello this is exactly what I tell Jenna every time she sees me buying a new fancy piece of kit for the podcast yeah we need we’re going to do it better we’re going to do you feel your rights fast Sir yeah and that’s the point is and I think everything that we’re talking is about passion and believe in what you do and having a purpose and that is kind of bit the Lynch pin really amongst all the different either interviews we’ve done all topics that we talk about it’s about finding that one thing that you know sort of starts that fire in your belly in and it’s just something that keeps you going to keep your resilient keeps you motivated and that is that how you do you do it that better than other people isn;t it I think and that will… this will keep you going.

What inspires you

We are nearly at the end of the show you’ve been absolutely brilliant but I just want to ask you about the other thing we talk to all our guests about is not just that passion for work and not just building their brand and not just being inspirational in their business but what inspires them in particular and we find that one of the things that inspire people most are the great causes and which we see every day and I wanted to ask you about if there’s a charity that you would like us to do an article on, that we can promote through give social that we can always always when we have guests on the show we say we want to make sure that we connect with both the people that were talking to but that we can raise awareness of some of the things that they’re really passionate about as well so tell us about what your passions for as a business we’ve had two charities, I’m gonna say for about eight years now okay Derian house massive massive fan of the work that they those guys – I was very fortunate to have a tour around there by lady called Susie Poppett many many years ago and we try and do two or three jobs a year for those they’re brilliant on the other one is the guide dogs for the blind as a child my mum used to train guide dogs and I think that would genuinely be one of my worst nightmare as is losing my sight and knowing the guide dogs and knowing what they actually do to you know to get a dog through training the money that it actually costs and you know the beautiful center up at Atherton the guide dogs at the minute would probably be my one I would you know would love to help even though at every charity needs as much help as possible. No that’s absolutely brilliant people are always very very passionate about animal charities and normally These are charities where animals have been abused or that they need re homing and this is completely different because this is about animals bringing back joy to somebody’s life that has may be in later on in life lost the elements of their sight or can’t do the things that they used to be able to do as you say big fear of mine as well so we’ll make sure that we do I think it’s the guide dogs for the blind and make sure that some links in that if you want to donate or just learn little bit more as well.

okay it’s time for us to finish for today so robin thank you very much . Beth thank you so much for being with us thank you thank you so much you’ve been absolutely brilliant but we will be back next week for another episode and we can’t wait for you to join us but before then if you haven’t already why not join our Facebook group give social or head on over to our website give social dot co dot UK we’ve got some special things lined up for subscribers and Facebook followers we’ve got giveaways and guides and free tips so don’t miss out. see you all next week for more Give Social, bye for now

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