How do different seasons affect the magic industry?
Magicians often feel that they are in such a niche industry that the rules of business don't always apply. However, I must disagree here as you are still running a business and it is up to you to run that business appropriately. After all you are your own boss and you make the decisions, thus you set the rules for your clients. That being said it will only work about 95% of the time as you will run into some clients such as universities, hospitals, and other big organizations that refuse to pay a retainer fee, or refuse to sign a contract that has a indemnification clause, while other clients will only pay net 30 days. There are going to be a lot of issues like this that you will run into over the years, but the bottom line is you have to decide if you are willing to work for this type of client or not. Speaking for that 95%, you really don't have to worry too much about this since these clients will be perfectly happy to sign a contract and pay retainer fee for your services.
How can you make your magic business steady all year round?
First you should focus on making more income from each event that you do. This can be achieved by either up-selling the clients with more expensive packages, goody bags, or by offer back room sales for customized merchandise such as magic kits with your brand on them, DVD lessons on magic tricks you teach (or) USB is the newest trend. There are many more ideas for these I could recommend however these are the basics that recommend first and foremost. This additional income will require an upfront investment, but the investment is one that will last forever since the products do not expire and their are companies that can offer you a great Back Room Sales product for an extremely low cost and excellent ROI (return on investment). Check Out: http://custommagickits.com
Custom Magic Kits has a fantastic deal where you can get 100 Kits for $2.00 each including: Magic Wand, Spot Card, 2 card monte, cut and restore rope all with custom printed instructions with your brand and contact info on them. So for a $200 investment you can turn around and sell them for $10 each for an $800 ROI, and it will only take 20 sales to recoup the initial investment. These can also be sold as part of a goody bag, so with 1 party you could easily have 20 goody bags sold. I see this as a tremendous benefit and an easy way to have extra income.
So this doesn't make the business any less seasonal, but what this does do is provide extra income to be able to invest in advertising for the business to help you generate more gigs during the slower seasons.
How do you prevent from having issues with cashflow?
Cashflow is the tripwire over which many apparently flourishing businesses stumble at one time or another. It’s a tripwire that may not be immediately apparent. Think of it this way. You’ve worked out your monthly costs – including wages – and they are more than matched by sales. You are in profit and everything in the garden is rosy.
If you focus solely on the sales/costs equation you can find the day-to-day reality is a bit less comfortable. For instance, if you extend credit to customers by invoicing them and allowing a set number of days – say 30 or 60 – to pay then there will be a gap between a sale being secured and service delivered, and the cash from that transaction arriving in your bank account. Meanwhile bills still have to be paid.
If the money coming in, and the money going out of the business are not aligned, you can find yourself in the frustrating position of hitting or exceeding all your sales targets while finding there is little actual cash in the bank. Suddenly it’s a real struggle to pay those bills. Put simply you don’t have the liquidity you need. That’s why good cashflow management is vital to the success of a business. It is, of course, of paramount importance to keep a sharp focus on costs and sales figures but in parallel, you need to ensure you have the cash you need when you need it.
Cashflow management rules to live by:
I hope you have been able to learn something from this and it will benefit your magic business!
For many years I never considered turning down working a gig, so that I could go to a magic convention. I guess in my eyes I was so focused on providing for my family that I didn't see the benefit of spending money to hear other magicians talk. Well this year I made it my goal to attend as many as I possibly could. Well I achieved that goal and I am so thankful that I did. I have leaned so much from these conventions about so many aspects of entertainment. Not just about new magic tricks I could learn either...though I did learn a lot of new magic tricks as well. One of my favorite conventions was one I didn't even have to leave home to attend, The Magic Masters Summit. I loved how there were so many topics that I had the chance to hear discussed from some of the biggest names in magic. Topics that no one talks about but are tremendously important to the industry. Such as Wardrobe and Costumes, Video Editing, Systems for Contacting Clients, Promo Materials, and much more. At the Atlanta Harvest of Magic I was expecting to learn some amazing magic from the Eugene Burger lecture, but instead I was amazed by his teachings in a completely different matter. Instead of teaching something that is overly complex or requires a tremendous amount of time to practice. He brought out the simplest magic tricks you could think of and performed them in a unique way that was mind blowing. Yes, I knew how the tricks were done because I learned them when I was in elementary school, but the genius part is that there is a concept I hadn't thought of before from his lesson. That concept is that a layman doesn't know what your about to perform, nor the amount of time you have spent learning it, they just watch you perform something and wait to be amazed. So of the simplest tricks in magic performed masterfully are still amazing tricks. You know there are great magicians who have spent a lifetime learning slight of hand, and they do it beautifully. But when you factor in that your audience isn't typically a room full of magicians, you come to realize that your magic needs to be focused on the type of audience you perform for. The KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle I had never really applied to my show before, and after hearing that lecture I immediately applied and the results were incredible. I couldn't believe I was able to mystify my audience with simple magic. With one specific routine, I took Eugene's idea of a shot glass produced from a paper bag and put my own spin on it by building a routine that involved using a spectator borrowed phone, crushing it inside a paper bag, and then restoring it inside of a balloon which they blew up. I took several basic ideas and combined them into a routine that caught the audience as well as the spectator off guard.
Something else that I loved that Eugene said was that it's important to turn down clients and choose the right clients that will better your career. Not everyone who contacts you for an event deserves to have you perform for them. Bad clients and bad gigs do exist, but more importantly some gigs are better than others, and it's critical when talking to clients to ask them the right questions to know if you should do the gig yourself, or if it's better to refer someone else. Knowing when to say No to a client isn't an easy task, especially when money is the motivation. It can be extremely difficult turning down a gig not knowing if another one will come along. But you have to have faith that the Lord above will provide, and he will test you. So these gigs may just be a test to see if you are willing and able to say No. Its not always about the money, sometimes its simply more important that one day is spent with your family and God is wanting you to spend that time wisely. Don't look at it as a challenge to find another gig elsewhere, but rather an opportunity to seize the day. Thank you Eugene for this lecture and advice.
(The Amazing Ziggy)
I can barely contain my excitement for the Atlanta Harvest of Magic 2016, brought to you by the one and only Ken Scott! I was so disappointed that I couldn't make it to the show in 2015. So I made it my goal to make sure I can attend this years event. I am so looking forward to the connections that I will make, and lessons in the art of magic that I will learn. After 17 years I can't believe this will be my very first convention! I just never wanted to turn down work to go to a convention...or more accurately I didn't want to risk turning down work, because I am the bread winner for my family. I have to make sure I am making enough money to pay all the bills for my stay at home wife, and 3 kids. But finally I have decided that the connections that I can make will be more valuable than any event that I may turn away during those 3 days. I pray that by attending the Atlanta Harvest of Magic that God will bless me to be able to further my career as a magician. I moved to Georgia 4 and a half years ago and the one key thing that has helped me more than anything else in that time was the connections I have made, so I am certain that this will become a tremendous blessing. Of the guests that will be speaking/performing I can tell you the one that I am most excited to meet is Justin Flom. I am such a big fan, and he has certainly been an inspiration to my own career. My enthusiasm for Justin intensified on a personal level after seeing his latest testimony on youtube when he was speaking with Brock Gill about growing up with a father who was a magician and how he compares that to having a personal relationship with Jesus is such a great story!
Crowne Plaza near Hartsfield Airport
Crowne Plaza 1325 Virgina Ave. Atlanta, GA
1-843-760-5839 / 1-888-233-9527
Here is a schedule for the 3 Days:
Thursday - Sept 29th, 2016
1:00 -8:00 - Magic Shop Alley Open
2:00 - Harry Allen
4:00 - Brent Braun
Enjoy the Dealers and/or Dinner
7:00 - 7:15 - One Minute Dealer Demo
7:15 - Everyone buying from the dealers will get raffle tickets for prizes Thursday night.
8:00 - An Evening with Nick Lewin
10:00 - The Amazing Justin Flom Show/lecture/talk
Friday - Sept 30th, 2016
9:00 - 1:00 - Dealers open
9:30 - Suzanne The Magician
11:00 - Ken Scott Live School show (kids from school are coming to hotel)
1:30 - The Incredible Jeff Hobson: Lecture
3:00 - 6:00 - Dealers open - Go visit and buy from our Magic Dealers
7:00 - An Intimate Evening With Eugene Burger
9:00 - Closeup show in two different rooms. Performers will rotate.
11:30 - The Cast from The Illusionists will stop by to hang out and talk about the show
Saturday - Oct 1st, 2016
9:00 - 1:00 - Dealers open
9:30 - Robert Moreland
11:00 - Kostya Kimlat
Enjoy the Dealers and Lunch
2:00 - Martin Lewis
3:00 - 6:00 - Dealers open
4:00 - Gustavo Riley
8:00 - The BIG GALA show Your badge is your ticket.
If you need to buy more tickets lets us know.
****Subject to Change ******
My Name is Aaron Clark and I'm know as The Amazing Ziggy. I've been a Professional Magician for over 20 years performing all over the US and internationally, but mostly for events on the east coast in the Atlanta Area.