Director of Franchise Operations and Business Consultant: Eric Maas, Complete Music Disc Jockey Service
Below is the results of an interview between Rebecca Collins, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University and Eric Maas, a Director of Franchise Operations for Complete Music Disc Jockey Service. The interview was conducted in the fall of 2001.
RC: What is your job like?
EM: My job involves traveling around the country, meeting people in the entertainment industry, and being involved with a fun business. My job also involves a lot of behind the scene work like consulting, selling, and accounting.
RC: What is your job not like?
EM: My job is not just a weekend job. Most of our events are on the weekend so many people assume that we just work on the weekends and have the rest of the week off. During the week we have to handle all the behind the scenes details that are associated with running a Disc Jockey Service.
RC: What are the employment opportunities like?
EM: There are three main types of employment opportunities in our company.
1) Franchise Owner
2) Management of a franchise (this position occurs when the franchise owner acquires 15 or more disc jockey systems)
3) Disc Jockeys
RC: Can you tell me the salary ranges for a franchise owner?
EM: You build a business of your own when you start a Complete Music franchise. Within the first three years most franchise owners have five to six disc jockey systems and make anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 a year. In five years the goal for franchise owners is to have 10 disc jockey systems and make $60,000 to $80,000 a year. After this the goal is to increase to 14 to 20 disc jockey systems and make $100,000 in revenue a year. Your success in this business counts on your networking skills and your local market.
RC: What attracts people to this career?
EM: Many people are attracted to owning their own franchise because it gives you freedom to be your own boss and a higher sense of accomplishment. Our company was also rated 186th in Entrepreneur Magazine 22nd Annual franchise 500. We have low overhead and since most of our clients are wedding receptions we are recession proof because people are always getting married.
RC: Why do people stay in this position?
EM: This Corporation has a real family atmosphere. The owners also have a sense of family among one another.
RC: What is the recommended education for owning a franchise or a position like yours?
EM: A four year degree in business is a big help.
RC: When you think about the most successful people in Complete Music what are there keys to success?
EM: I believe that being organized and being able to keep the creativity alive is the key to success in this business.
RC: What are those people not succeeding lacking?
EM: They are lacking organization and the drive to keep going.
RC: What types of personalities are best for owning a Complete Music Franchise?
EM: In the entertainment industry your success relies on your ability to network with other professionals, so being outgoing is important.
RC: Can you tell me your past experience and qualifications?
EM: I was a disc jockey for Complete Music at the age of 17 and when I left for college I started working in a credit card security company. I also was involved in a young management team where I learned many great organizational skills. After college I moved to Colorado Springs to open my own Complete Music franchise. Now I am working for the corporate office here in Omaha, Nebraska.
RC: What are some of the key changes in Complete Music in the past decade?
EM: In the past, we really didn’t have much competition, but now people have picked up on the fact that the disc jockey can be so much more than someone playing the music. We were at the forefront of this concept. Our disc jockeys are entertainers and much more.
RC: What is your hiring process for the corporate office and for franchise owners?
EM: Here at the corporate office, experience in the company is the key. To be a franchise owner you must have a business background. They have to fill out a profile and have an interview with us. We usually like to see people apply from within the company. We also require them to sign the UFOC, Uniform Franchise Office Circular agreement. There is also a financial obligation involved. If you are new to the company and want to own a franchise the start up fee is $26,500. Ten thousand five hundred of this money is for the training, one disc jockey system, and sales material. Sixteen thousand purchases your territory. If you are from within the company, the start up fee is $16,000.
RC: Is your career path a typical one or an atypical one.
EM: My career path is not very typical. My father started Complete Music and has built it up to be the largest mobile disc jockey service in North America. Since Complete Music is a one-of-a-kind company there is very few positions like mine if any. When I was a kid, I had a goal of being a franchise owner, working in the corporate office, and eventually owning the company. It has been only eight years and I have already achieved two of my goals and will hopefully achieve the third someday.
RC: What are some of the most creative ways people have tried to get you to hire them?
EM: I have had interviewee?s come to an interview with headphones on and answer every question like they are a radio personality. I have also heard a man announce on a local radio station that he would like to disc jockey for Complete Music. As far as franchise prospects, I had a man dress up like the Godfather and videotape himself telling us why he should be a Complete Music franchise owner.
RC: Where are some of the best new franchise opportunities located at?
EM: I think the number one opportunity is in Indianapolis, Indiana; it is a large market for weddings because it is in the Midwest. Some other opportunities are Seattle, Washington, Baltimore, Maryland, and Orlando, Florida just to name a few.
RC: What are some of the pros and cons of your position.
EM: Some of the pros of being a franchise owner are being your own boss, creating your own future, knowing that what you do and how hard you work relates to how much you make, and great relationships you will make with the other franchise owners. The con of being a franchise owner is working with part time help. Trying to maintain them and keep them professional is a real task sometimes.