Deposits A Down Payment On Your Gig
Deposits a down payment on your gig may be an unusual part of your business model. But, if you are making $500 or more at a gig, then you should be asking for a deposit.
When you ask for a deposit, you are asking the venue to make a
commitment on your gig. When they have money invested up front, it is more likely that they will do more to make the gig a success.
A deposit is a percentage of the total guarantee. Normally the deposit would be 50% of the guarantee, but it doesn’t have to be. You may decide on any percentage that works for you and the booking person. In some instances, an agent making a 15% or 20% commission may ask for at least that amount in deposit if the venue is unable to do the traditional 50%. For the agent, that means at least they have covered their commission on the date.
If you are booking yourself, I would suggest you begin to ask for some deposit amount at venues that are able to accommodate you.
Performing art centers, concert promoters, private events and small concert series are likely venues used to providing deposits. On the hand, Universities and colleges, school districts, government organizations, some night clubs and bars are venues less likely or unlikely to pay a deposit. If you are playing for a percentage of the door with no guarantee whatsoever, then a deposit is out of the question.
So review the types of venues you currently play and consider whether getting a deposit makes sense for your current venue type and the size of the guarantees you are getting. If it’s a fit, then decide on the percentage of the guarantee that you will ask for as a deposit. Since your guarantees may vary, stick to the percentage.
So, if you never get a guarantee lower than $500.00, then select a standard deposit percentage such as 25, 35 or 50% of the guarantee. Start including a talking point about your deposit requirement during your negotiation discussions and then make sure to add a deposit clause to your standard contract.
Next week I’ll discuss some important details and specifics and how to handle deposits once you have the check in hand.
Next week: Deposits, 5 important steps to taking deposits
Do you already ask for a deposit on all of your gigs? If not what’s holding you back?
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I can’t wait to hear about your success.
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