ground up business rjs amazing entertainment

Ground-up Business: RJ’s Amazing Entertainment

THE JOURNEY BEHIND THE SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR (2018) WINNER: RJ’S AMAZING ENTERTAINMENT and THE CREATION OF TIPPING POINT DIGITAL

An Airbrush Kit and a New Town

I started RJ’s amazing entertainment out of the desire to be independent and be a professional face painter. When I moved to Loveland Colorado, I told my husband “I’m going to be a professional face painter, I’m going to have a face painting business!” He’s like “You go do that sweety, you go be a face painter, okay?” And I did! I decided to set up in places like fund raisers, parks, and I had a blast at face painting. It was a lot of fun.

I worked 3 days at Dairy Queen, got a check for a very small amount of money. And after putting in 3 days of hard work, I looked at that check. My thinking was like, “I can earn more in 2 hours twisting balloons for tips than I just did with 3 days at Dairy Queen.” From that point on I knew I was going to start an Entertainment Business. Then grow it out as fast and as big as I could, so I did!

The Sticks that Sparked Fire

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RJ’s Amazing Entertainment started between 2012 and 2013 when I moved here to Loveland, Colorado.

I started with just me, an airbrush kit, and less than $3000 to my name. I didn’t know anyone in town. Later, I just started dating my husband and I started from the ground-up literally. Nobody knew who I was. Nobody knew anything about me and I just came in and worked it.

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The things I utilized to make this company as big as it is now are people, processes, and platform. After people met me they: knew me, liked me, trusted me, and enjoyed my work. Very quickly I needed 4 entertainers and found myself catering to events that would need 4 entertainers for multiple hours. And I would have another event that needed 2 entertainers for two hours. So I started finding local talented artists and scooping them up, giving them work. They loved it; they enjoyed working with me just like I enjoyed working with them.

And from there I had to make sure that I had good processes in place for employees and training. Also for booking parties, for following up with parties, operations and logistics. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that went on for growing RJ’s Amazing Entertainment. I also had to make sure that the platforms we were using were able to have multiple functions. They include accounting and finances, as well as the inbound booking process. It really was an incredible collective process that worked well for me and helped me grow RJ’s Amazing Entertainment.

Fanning the Flames

Scalability happened due to the processes and platform; digital marketing, as I stated previously. I made sure that:

  • We had impeccable digital marketing in the sense that we had social media channels.
  • I was collecting reviews.
  • We were doing light digital ads where I don’t really have to do much.
  • I have a website.

Then I looked at other local entertainment businesses’ websites and I realized they weren’t doing all of the things that they needed to be doing to make their business more visible on the internet.

So I did everything that all of the other businesses weren’t doing. I had publisher listings or citations which people think only big businesses needed those, well guess what?  None of the other businesses out here were doing it, so I did!

I did the optimized listings, I had a system to collect reviews from past and current clients. Then asked them repeatedly for the reviews just in case they forgot to leave it which is usually the case. I made sure that I was writing relevant content and articles that were targeted towards my target audience. They were moms that go all out: age 35 with 3 kids, bringing in an income of $85,000 or higher. Those women were crazy fanatical about their kids. They love to attend sports events and love to put on big parties. Simply, they’re just wonderful people all-around.

Targeting the Right People

Those are the moms that actually would end up being event planners. They service larger businesses like Hewlett Packard or worked in the Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps, out of a lot of the other larger businesses that were out here. I got a lot of contracts just for having a really good, honed-in target audience. Some people just go “Well, kids parties, you just target moms.” Nope, you just don’t target moms. You target the right type of moms. I targeted the moms that I identify with that I know will really love all of the attention to detail. They include our systems, and everything that we have in place who aren’t just looking for a cheap entertainer. Moms that will enjoy that we have conservative quality uniforms and that we bring in the place.

We have glance sheets that the entertainers can look at. They know exactly what designs they’re going to be doing that are color coded due to speed. Just a lot of little efficiencies really made us get big fast. Then the word of mouth after I had a good enough digital presence in the beginning was phenomenal as well.

And so I became one of the highest or matched the higher pay brackets out here. Sometimes I was even more expensive than the people who had been out here for 20-30 years.

And unless the other businesses were willing to be charging a $150+ per hour, I wouldn’t let them sub out my entertainers because I’d just be undervaluing the market out here. So it was a lot of fun, it was definitely a lot of work and I’m really proud of everything that I did with RJ’s Amazing Entertainment, and it is a phenomenal, phenomenal business.

Campfire Conversation:

Wisdom for Service Providers

Not only do you need to have a great service that you’re providing – if you don’t have a great service then people aren’t going to hire you and there’s nothing that anyone can do about that. But spending the time to work on your digital presence, to collect reviews, to ensure that your clients are happy – I mean those were the key items that I made sure were in place. And having the systems, the automation’s, and the additional items afterwards to ensure that everything was taken cared of properly, were so important. And whether you’re an entertainer, home service provider, real estate agent, medical provider, I mean, you can be a doctor; anyone, this goes across so many different verticals.

As long as you have good systems in place to complement your people, and your processes – again its people, processes, and platform, these are the 3 things that make any and every business successful.

So knowing your strengths, delegating the rest, putting the right people in place, letting them thrive, letting them be confident in themselves and what it is that they’re doing, allowing your team to take ownership of those moments and for them to be leaders within whatever it is that they’re doing 

– that truly is the secret; using the business to build the people in the process, the people that we work with, so everybody can shine and everyone can feel important and valued.

A Full Blown Bonfire

RJ’s Amazing Entertainment had a big impact in me having a marketing agency. I was in a B and I group and I would be talking to people who are new business owners and I was able to go to B and I groups because I had systems in place that freed up my time, so I could go do some network and be where I needed to be. So I’d be talking with these other business owners and they just go and say “I don’t understand how you did it – I don’t understand how it is that you can be here and you’re not drowning in work.”

And I would tell them the same thing that I tell everybody else, it is the systems that I have in place, the automation which truly is the key, the right platform and processes. Having the onboarding’s, having the schedules, having somebody who knew the logistics – that is what is all about.

I would talk to people about the different types of digital marketing systems that I was using. I’d let them know about getting publisher citations, the review collection and writing articles for their site, but they’re like “It’s so much, so much time and so much money!” And I’m like, okay, when I was face painting I was bringing in less than $400 a week and maybe $60 to $100 a night that I would go out and twist balloons for tips, and I use that money to pay for these systems that I knew would get me to the next level. And I knew these systems worked so, I was ahead of the curve, in that sense.

There’re too many smaller businesses that want to get to the next level but don’t know how. Even if I tell them how – show them how, they’re afraid to make that commitment

– and with my digital marketing agency, with Tipping Point Digital, I’m able to sit and talk with these business owners and say these are the items that made my business successful and positioned me to where I could sell and have an exit strategy later. If you want these things, if you want to be successful, if you want to position yourself, get these systems. I’m able to offer them now but some people are still too afraid to pull the trigger, to take the chance – they’re not sure that it works, but it does! It really does, so you have to find which systems are good for your type of business as well, which platform specifically, and the processes that you have in place for what it is that you’re doing, and hiring good people to support you in that is always important as well.

I guess my entertainment business pivoted me into my digital marketing agency, into Tipping Point Digital. It’s been an awesome ride, I’m really happy and I love being a children’s entertainer, I love being a business owner, and I love being an agency owner. 

 

Rina Bindi

Founder & CEO

Tipping Point Digital

 

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