Clear Communication is Always Key Ryan, or DJ Tempoe, shares how teamwork, cross-training, and clear communication with clients are key to curating the perfect mood for any event.

By Emily Washcovick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

DJ Tempoe
Behind the Review host and Yelp's Small Business Expert, Emily Washcovick, shares a look at this week's episode of the podcast.

Planning a big party can be extremely stressful. As a host, it's important to make sure everyone has a great time, from the quality of the food to the entertainment.

When that party is for your daughter's 16th birthday, the stakes are even higher. Teenagers are notoriously difficult to impress, so Yelp reviewer Cassandra G. knew she had to have the best for her daughter's backyard party.

She landed on Tempoe Entertainment, an entertainment network of DJs, photo booths, lighting equipment, photographers, and event coordinators based in Long Beach, California.

"It was our daughter's 16th birthday party. So I wanted the DJ, and then I also wanted a photo booth. I don't remember which came first, whether I was looking for the photography studio first or the DJ first, but somehow it all kind of worked out that they were all a one-stop shop," said Cassandra.

While she was expecting great entertainment—after all, that's a DJ's primary job—she was impressed by the extra effort put in by both DJ Mike and her photo booth attendant who, once she was done setting up her station, pitched in and helped out with other aspects of the party.

"The fact that they were able to just get in there and get to work on their own without too much direction from us—it really took a lot of stress off of us. We were able to finish up what we needed to do and then go on to play the hosts of the party," said Cassandra.

According to Tempoe Entertainment owner Ryan, who also goes by DJ Tempoe, that willingness to do whatever it takes to make a great party starts in the hiring and training process. There's no such thing as "That's not my job" at Tempoe Entertainment DJs.

"Our photo booth attendants are actually trained to do everything except DJ. They're not only just friendly and great at what they do with the photo booth, but they're always looking at something that they can advance on," Ryan said.

And as any party planner knows, there's always something to do during an event.

Tempoe Entertainment has really grown in the last few years, from a one-man-band to sixteen DJs and more than 30 other employees, plus partnerships with entertainment vendors. Communication is critical in this line of work. After all, they're working at important milestone events in their customers' lives.

Because of this, the communication systems in place at Tempoe are extensive. Even better, they're fueled by suggestions from reviewers. Ryan has worked to implement those ideas into his current business process, and he feels it has improved his business.

"We take reviews very, very seriously," said Ryan. "That's the way we see what the client not only expected from us, but the finished product as well. So we value our reviews, like 100%. Some customers will come up to you at the end of the event and say that you did a great job, but it really goes the extra mile when someone takes 15, 20 minutes out of their busy work life and says something positive about you online."

Positive reviews are the goal of every small business, but when your product is something as experiential as entertainment, it can be hard to showcase your work. Ryan firmly believes in using photos and video to make sure potential customers know the quality they're getting from Tempoe Entertainment.

"For the most part, even showing them some samples goes a long way too… Yelp is a really big help with that because we're able to actually post our pictures on Yelp and people go through them and they're like, "Hey, you know, I really liked that.' I think also a lot of videos really capture the moment of, so we have promo videos for a lot of our equipment, our lighting, our special effects, and then really, really most importantly, our DJs too. So that way they can kind of get a sense of who's going to be there at their events, before even committing to us for their event."

For Cassandra, leaving Yelp reviews is mostly about making sure small business owners know they are appreciated. She prefers leaving more positive reviews than negative.

"I write reviews when I have a positive experience—if I feel welcome or if I feel like the employees or the business owner are friendly or go out of their way to make me feel welcomed or to accommodate me. I also especially like to write reviews for local businesses and independent businesses because I know that it helps them succeed. I feel like it's my little way of doing my part to help the small guy."

Small businesses—especially those who are more service based like Tempoe Entertainment—can benefit from these other key business tactics from Ryan:

  • It's always your job. Teamwork and cross-training make a huge impression on clients and can improve your reviews.
  • Reviews can be a key to innovation. Reviews are important for growth as a company and can help you implement new policies and procedures that improve your business.
  • Always show and tell. Have examples of your work readily available to show patrons, especially when your service is auditory and/or visual.
  • Talk it out. Ensure you're communicating efficiently with staff and guests, a crucial element when hosting highly personal events like weddings and birthday parties.

Listen to the episode below to hear directly from Ryan and Cassandra, and subscribe to Behind the Review for more from new business owners and reviewers every Thursday.

Emily Washcovick

Small Business Expert at Yelp

As Yelp’s Small Business Expert, Emily is meticulously focused on helping local business owners succeed and grow. Her expertise lies in customer engagement, reputation management, and all things digital marketing. Through speaking engagements and thought leadership, Emily shares industry insights that entrepreneurs in any business category can leverage for the growth and well-being of their businesses. She is also the host of Behind the Review, a podcast from Yelp and Entrepreneur Media, where each episode features conversations with a business owner and a reviewer about the story and lessons behind their interactions.

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