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My personal advice to all the young kit owners who use it for business...


High stock levels kill business. :rolleyes:


Is that piece of equipment you just spent your saved money on a wise choice?

Could it have been spent on something that could fund your kit in a more effective way?


Don't be a 'kit junky' ;) and have stuff just sitting around collecting dust, or buy something just because it's on special offer and it was a good deal at the time etc.

When ever kit is brought for the company I work for, we sit down and ask ourselves a few questions...


  • Do we need this equipment? Have we needed or hired it before?
  • If so how many times would we need to use it to pay it off?
  • What will it cost to run? IE Testing, repairs, cleaning.
  • What is our obligation with this piece of equipment? IE safety testing, certificates etc
  • How long will is its life? Is it future proof? (laptops for instance are out of date pretty much the moment you buy them)
  • What are the alternatives? Should we wait for the new model?
  • And the list goes on...

If you only need it once a year...Hire it! :** laughs out loud **:

Then you don't have to worry about testing, maintenance, replacing it if it breaks, storage.

You will save stacks of money, which you could use to add to your PA system, or upgrade to better speakers etc.

A good example of this is a moving light for instance. Cost a lot of money to maintain, lamps are pretty steep. We keep them because they are used all the time and it's cost effective to us (not necessarily to other people), but when we need more for a bigger show, we hire them.


So in summary, get the kit you need and use the most, everything else rent, borrow off your mate etc etc. Make sure you get the most out of your kit by, keeping it well maintained, and tested (its costly but it is important, if not lawful if you want to use it in public places).



;) And don't for get your insurance! if you burn down a school because of an equipment failure, you could be liable for a very large sum! Not only that, but what happens if you kit gets stolen?

If you're a freelancer its worth while looking at BECTU, they offer public liability insurance to applicable members.

If you're a business try Allen Chapmann & James Insurance brokers, not cheap through.

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Ah, yes. PLI...


Not mentioned due to the face that my knowledge in this area is somewhat in the shade. I wouldn't know where to begin for a variety of reasons. Also, feel sometimes if you say something incorrect, you get shot down very bluntly. Anyway the reasons...


- What legal documents/information do you need?

- Will it cost me a bomb and probably more money than I actually earn in a year?

- If I have registered with public liability, which as far as I know, is something significant in the terms of legal stuff, would that then mean I'd have the tax man chasing me asking for company tax and tax on the money I earn? (I'm still in full time education and living with my parents and not driving yet)

- I can imagine it's a scary thought having people with laws, rules and tax papers chasing you when you don't understand it much with the thought that they could probably demand large sums and make me start from scratch again to cover costs... *Shudders*


It's been on my mind for sometime and so has PAT testing and every other bit of cover I think I need to prevent anything going wrong.


I feel this would be an ideal time to ask for advice as it I would benefit from it greatly and possibly any others for their general interest. I might even just search the BR briefly to see if theres any other posts that could help out.


On a last note of this post, Tokm and Ablett, thank you for your support and advice. I appreciate it. :rolleyes:

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Much as it's great fun having kit and running a 'Business', there are consequences that you have to face up to if you want to be in 'Business' and play in the real world.


Please don't take this as trying to put you down.


I run a hire company, with several employees, a warehouse with some kit and a van. Our combined PLI and ELI costs us several thousand pounds a year, and that is a legal requirement when you employ people, which isn't quite were your at. But PLI is advisable, some times a necessary to be able to work in some venues, and for the level your likely to be at is going to be several hundred.


And this is where you can put the stuff you learn in school to good use. Create a speadsheet with the costs, buying Kit - Capital Expenditure, Repairs, Insurance and storage etc - Overheads, and income, then look at the net result. If the costs are bigger than than the income then enjoy it as a hobby. If you think you can make more money than your costs, then go for it. But be realistic on what you think it will cost by using quotes from companies to base the figures on for things such as the PLI.


Have a search on the site for Public Liability and there will be plenty of topics out there to read and help you out, along with the names of the companies that offer it.


If you really think that running it as a business is worthwhile, then have a look round the Business Link Website for your area. There's masses of information out there, and I still frequently go to these sorts of websites when I'm unsure. That way if you have a question you can try and find out as much as possible about it by 'Reading Round the topic' then post a sensible question on the BR to ask for help to fill in the gaps. I don't mind posting information when the OP has gone as far as they can to help themselves, as I'm sure is the same for many of the more experience members here.

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  • 4 months later...

I'm fifteen years old and I have been doing lighting and sound for ages now but this definatly sounds like a gloating thing. I have looked at all the posts and I have seen a fifteen year old aparently owns a couple of Mac 500's, various smoke & haze machines as well as generic fixtures and control equipment but quite simply, why?


You won't be using them day-after-day if your still at school (unless you really don't have a life) so what is the point? It's not like kids my age can go "Im away to my room mum, away to play with my Mac 500."


Sorry if this seems harsh but that is what most of these posts have been like and I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of these are lying. Fair enough if they aren't but this is just insane.


Fifteen year olds owning Mac's when there is no need? I'm nearly sixteen and I have better things to spend my money on....


Rant over :P

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It's not like kids my age can go "Im away to my room mum, away to play with my Mac 500."


Although it was with a bumper box of electronic bits, and by your age, a Furse copy of a Strand P.23, that is exaclty what I did!

On the plusative side, I understand how lots of things work, becuase I was given old ones to play with/dismantle and take the intereting bits from/make new things out of.

On the negative side, I missed out on social interaction, and am shy now because I would rather hide away in a room with electronics, than outside playing with chums - in school or outside of school.


Edit - swapped a b for a p!

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