Today we’d like to introduce you to David Buono.
David, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up with an affinity music. My father was a Boston area radio personality under a pseudonym on several big name stations and although that was before my time I was lucky to have stumbled upon some old studio equipment. I remember seeing the old reel-to-reel, Technics 1200 turntables (an industry staple) and Numark studio mixer. My family also had an in-home intercom system. Combining the DJ equipment and intercom system and my home radio days were born when I was around nine years old. My father had contacts still in the business and would bring me into the radio studios around Boston to watch the on-air personalities for hours on end. All of the amplifiers, expensive audio equipment, recording studios and meters had me transfixed.
I soon realized that I preferred behind the scenes work and disc jockey work versus speaking on a microphone. My parents bought me a cheap “bedroom DJ” system (which I still have in a closet somewhere) and I would practice with 45s and CDs late into the nights. I started getting small, underpaid backyard gigs. My friends’ birthdays, a retirement party, a 100th Birthday (hey – had to start somewhere) and my own middle school’s dances. Over the years the DJ business expanded and I was earning larger contracts and more high-end events. I graduated high school with a $40,000 young entrepreneur scholarship and went off to business school. As my business knowledge grew, so did the realization that there is not much money in the DJ business. I was leaning towards a hospitality degree and leaving the business behind. Then my Service Operations Management professor analyzed my business plan with me. There was, in fact, money in this business. Lots of it. Boston has one of the largest high end markets in the events industry. That was the revelation; this business had to grow with services related to events overall; lighting, video, non-DJ entertainment acts, novelties, photo booths, etc.
And that’s what I did. Over the course of a few years we re-tailored our marketing efforts to attract some of Boston’s elite brides and corporate entities. We turned a 100th birthday DJ company into an award winning event production company serving Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. In 2017 I acquired my first official commercial property lease for the business and interview with you as a successful young entrepreneur with an incredibly loyal and talented staff of ten.
Has it been a smooth road?
As smooth as a porcupine!
It would have been great to have it easy and smooth while growing a small business but there are quite a few hurdles to get over. Try being a sixteen year old being explained to the intricacies of 1099’s, W2’s, self-employment taxes (you mean I have to pay someone else for money I earned?!) and liability insurance. Or an eighteen year old learning about hiring the *right* person for the job and failing to find proper, trainable candidates and now having to learn about and deal with payroll, worker’s comp and UI.
There have been equipment failures right in the middle of a large contract event. Database failures where 1,000’s of important files are lost without backups. A blown tire on the way to a gig at a venue two hours away on a holiday weekend travel day. Employees returning equipment sans a $1,000 component that is now lost to the abyss. So many struggles.
While I likely cursed heavily and hated this business during each of those struggles; they were completely necessary. I learned about the need for backup equipment and hard drives, punctuality, employee accountability and equipment handling, inventory management and so much more that I did not learn in the classroom. True life and business mistakes that we handled as valuable lessons.
Our biggest struggle at present is growth and quality control. We have the quality leads pouring in. We can acquire all of the equipment we desire and keep hiring talent. But if done too quickly both I and my clients would suffer. I am lucky to have enough work to have to decline contracts often however we would certainly rather attain those contracts than lose them. I just trust myself and my understanding of a slow and controlled growth rather than trying to blow up too quickly.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Spinner Music Productions – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Spinner Music Productions is a Greater Boston-based small and mid-sized event production company. Our niche is in weddings and corporate events but my AWESOME crew is cross-trained in multiple event types and client types. Some specialize in weddings, some in lighting design, some in handling kid-focused events, some in equipment management but they all know how to do each other’s job if the need arises.
While the “DJ” service brings in most of our leads, the company offers non-dj events services such as uplighting, abstract patterns projection (want the ceiling covered in leaves during your fall event), special effect lighting design, photo booths, decor, novelties and essentially any component of an event designed to keep guests entertained, engaged, dancing and smiling.
With this being a full time career for me, I am able to focus all of my attention and energy into each client. I am able to quickly build rapport and sustain great client relationships as we cap the number of event contracts we execute each year. My clients are not just numbers on the books but many have become good friends of mine over the years. In fact, earlier this week I had dinner with my first “real” client who at the time was my middle school principal. That person has become a great friend through this business and a great confidant. Our relationship with our clients does not often end with the last song played at their event, and that is something I am proud of my entire crew for being a part of.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
One of our clients booked us to provide sound for the starting line of the Patriot’s parade earlier in 2017. THAT was a cool event to be a part of and even more fun knowing it is bound to happen again! If it does not, please burn this article and do not blame me for jinxing the upcoming seasons.
Boston has some of the most glamorous wedding and corporate event venues in the country and some of the best people I’ve ever had the opportunity to network with are the incredibly intelligent and diligent managers of venues and firms in the verticals that we work with.
The only negative I can truly say is getting through the Ted Williams tunnel to get to an event on the South Shore on a Friday during rush hour. NEVER. AGAIN. Oh, and I guess I should mention the sometimes nasty snow. A snowy Boston is beautiful but try pushing a cart full of hundreds of pounds of equipment into a loading dock in three feet of the white stuff!
- Address: Wilmington, MA
- Website: www.SpinnerMusicDJ.com
- Phone: 781-706-6429
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/spinnermusic
- Facebook: facebook.com/spinnermusic
Roberto Farren Photography