What the heck is with Studio Booking

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by studio33, Jan 7, 2009.


Should I require a deposit

  1. Yes

  2. No

    0 vote(s)
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  1. studio33

    studio33 Active Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    Toledo, Ohio
    Home Page:
    I am a rookie studio owner. I have been an engineer for 8 years and am getting better but am having alot of trouble with clients cancelling sessions or not showing up or moving sessions back to later dates at the last minute which pisses me off. I dont require a deposit and am very inexpensive as an engineer. I would like to raise my prices and require deposits but am afraid that my very little business as it is would disappear all together. Please any advise would help. I use Protools and work out of my basement which I have converted to a studio. It has a live room and a separate control room and has the atmosphere of a studio but is just smaller. I really dont know what other studios around hear do because I havent talked to other owners. Should I jack my prices up so I can get clients that are less likely to do this. Or should I require a deposit to book a session in ink. I have had this happen to me twice this week and I am sick of it. I am looking for advise from seasoned owners or engineers no green meanies that think they know everything. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    yep, welcome to the music biz.
    Minimally require deposits. Raise the rates if you can.
    When you work with quality clients (In this case quality means, they show up on time, work well with others, and pay their bill)
    Cut them a break, give them that little extra. You'll get a good name among other quality clients.
    People who don't have their act together and cancel at the last minute, especially if it's their first session is a bad way to start a business relationship. Let them go and abuse someone else. You don't need them.

    We've all been there. If you're good at what you do, they will find you.
    Look at your competition and offer a competitive product.
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    GREAT advice from natural.

    I run a mastering/post house. I get some clients that think that I don't have anything better to do but wait around for them to show up. This is especially bad with hip-hop and rap clients. I had one person show up three hours late. Before we started the session I told him that I needed the money for the three hours of my time that he had already used. He looked at me and said "what the f are you talking about I just got here" I told him that the session was booked for 2 pm and it was now 5 pm and he had already used three hours of my time since he never called and just decided to show up late. He grumbled a lot, finally paid me for the three hours and has NEVER been late again. I let people know when they book the session that they are being charged from the SCHEDULED start time and not from when they decide to show up. If a client is 15 minutes late and lets me know by phone I never charge them.

    I think you need a better class of client.

    I know it took me a long time to understand this but the "bottom feeder" type clients are usually NOT worth the trouble and they are always looking for a fiscal "break", are usually late or don't show up at all or cancel at the last minute and are the hardest to please once they are here. There are a lot of good clients out there the trick is to set yourself up to welcome them and keep them once you have them.

    Charging 1/3 down as a deposit or three hours time as a deposit in advance will usually separate the ones you want to work with from those you don't.

    If someone cancels less than 24 hours we charge them an hour's worth of time. If they don't show up before we will reschedule them they owe us for three hours of time. I have lots of things I can be doing and we always have jobs that need to be done but I think people need to learn that if you make an appointment with someone they are making time for you and you should be there on time. A good trick which I learned from my dentist is to call the day before and REMIND the client that they have a session scheduled at a certain time and if they aren't on time they will be charged from the time the session started.

    Best of luck! and let us know how things are going.
  4. studio33

    studio33 Active Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    Toledo, Ohio
    Home Page:
    Ya these are hard lessons to learn but Im glad I asked you guys. Anybody else have studio booking wisdom from many miles of experience please chime in, this is great. Seems like poeple are always lacking in some area that you must have to accomplish what you want to accomplish. For me its business skills.

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