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Salazar Magic
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New Jersey
344 Posts

Profile of Salazar Magic
How about, "For the deposit, you can send me a check in the amount of ..... or PayPal me at Blah, blah, blah"
Jim Snack
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Inner circle
1338 Posts

Profile of Jim Snack
For processing credit cards I use a company called Practice Pay Solutions ( For a small fee you can be up and running in a few days. They have great customer service.

My shopping cart allows Paypal payments and I also use Paypal when buying magic on ebay. I have never had any problems with Paypal. They only problem is that I use it to buy expensive props on ebay (like the Losander Floating Table delivered last week..sweet!)
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
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Reno, Nevada
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Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Living in Perth Western Australia
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Profile of Al Kazam the Magic Man
Back to the discussion about payments. Here in Taiwan, it is very rare that anyone will pay you in advance for shows. For government work it is a known fact that payment comes in a month or two. (I've even waited up to 6 months once) It's either take it or leave it here. Department stores also have policy of not paying until 45 days after the show. What works best is to have an agent do the bookings and hassling and have an arrangement for them to pay you after the show. This often means less money than if I took care of the booking myself though.
Here, no company will pay you in advance, and they will sometimes cancel at the last minute without as much as a "I'm sorry". I just have to live and work with it, as it's part of the way things are done here.
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Stuart Cumberland
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289 Posts

Profile of Stuart Cumberland
Some really great advice here.

Cashflow. My accountant explained this really simply to me. Add up all your fixed expenses--you monthly budget. THAT is the amount of money you need to generate EVERY single month to generate "good/ positive" cashflow.

If your expenses are $2000 a month, you need to generate $2000+ a month to have good cashflow. Every month.

Note: if you generate $4000 this month and nothing next month, you ARE NOT doing very well *cashflow* wise.

I fully endorse the 50% deposit concept.

I don't want to argue with anyone here, but I well and truly believe that getting payment is a mindset you must have. Ask yourself, who's making the rules?

"Our policy is to not pay vendors for 45 days" just doesn't cut it with me. (No disrespect).

"We don't give vendors deposits."

Well, I don't perform unless I get a deposit to hold the date. It's that simple.

If you have them to the selling stage of wanting your show, they WILL understand your need for a financial deposit to take the date off the market. They will also--most likely--realize that a signed contract isn't as legally binding as a signed contract with a deposit. THAT is INTENT.

Now, I'm not a lawyer here, but I can assure you if you that I've done my homework on that one.

Most of us have busy months and slow months. Many of us have very busy Decembers. But folks book WAY before then, and the 50% deposit in August counts as cashflow. It really does make a difference.

Now, we're all talking business here. Obviously you shouldn't be rude about it! When they state their policy about not paying you a deposit (or whatever), just firmly and politely say to them that you absolutely need to get a 50% deposit to hold the date or else you may have to give *their* date to someone else.

It works.

And if they don't want to play ball, do you really want to do business with them? Jim talks about the government. I personally *will not* do business with the Canadian Government if they don't pay me right up front. Period. No exceptions. I once had to wait 6 months for a payment and had to do a TON of paperwork to get it and promised myself never again.

As Deano mentioned "no dough, no show." I got that line from Stan Kramien. In my contract it clearly states that I must be paid the balance immediately prior to my performance (not after, BEFORE) and that the performance WILL NOT take place until payment is settled. I've had people "forget" or tell me the check person is sick/away/etc. (Particularly at schools!). Well, when you tell them that you can't perform until you get paid, it's amazing how quickly they can find a check or cash to pay you.

On paper, this all sounds crass. Again, dealt with politely--but FIRMLY--you command respect and we get back to...

A positive cash flow for you.

Finally, I highly recommend that you master the concept of multiple streams of income. If you ONLY do birthdays, or corporate, or whatever.... I believe you are limiting yourself. Example, many years ago I only did school shows (hypnosis). Then, the teachers went on a major strike. KILLED my business cashflow and darn near bankrupted me! But with multiple streams...$500 here, $1500 there, $3500 here, etc. can really add up quick. If one market dies you've got the others flowing in....Can't even begin to tell you how nice it is to do a psychic house party and get $250-$500 on a dead week. (And I'm doing very well). It's cashflow. It pays the bills.

Anyway. I've rambled on too much here. I hope this helps, or at least shines a light on what one full timer does.


Stuart Cumberland
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Reno, Nevada
2164 Posts

Profile of TheDean
Incredibly well presented Blair!

Your RIGHT, it "IS" a mindset, and I know that some of you will disagree, but THAT is part of that mindset. I have worked ALL-OVER the world and for MANY 'governments & agencies', (including most offered here!) and when it's CLEAR (appropriately and professionally) that this IS just the way it IS...

Like we said, it's a MINDSET.

We already know some won't understand or agree because they've 'had an experience' where they wouldn't pay... there goes that mindset again.

Funny, in the BUSINESS of professional entertaining (as well as most other business) that "mindset" is often the most 'interesting' thing to “GET” and UNDERSTAND, but I guess that too is a mindset. (Hehehehehe!)

Nicely done Blair!

I am at your service and in His service,

“THINK and Grow Rich!”
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
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Profile of NJJ
I have taken to keeping two sets of books on the computer. One for the tax man and one wait!

I have to sets of records - one is all of the money I have spent and received and the other is all of the money I am GOING to spend and receive. That way I put all of my household budget, upcoming expenses and gigs into my cash flow projection and then move them to my books when the event has passed. That way I do not have to worry if I have a bad month because I always have a date on my computer when my books will go into the red.

It is a little bit more work but it seems to be working for me. All I have to do is add in my big expenses to futures and see how it effects my cash flow.

I do this using a version of Microsoft Money from 1993!
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

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Business 101 is NEVER mix your business accounts and your personal accounts. This is a blunder often made by the beginning small businessman. It could end up to be a nightmare should you ever get audited by the dreaded IRS. (Instability of Reason and Sense).

Other blunders are forgetting to pay quarterly taxes, taking out S.S. or witholding. Get some good advice if magic is to be your career. Or you can do what I overheard a student say in a small business seminar when the subject of cash flow was brought up, "Cash Flow! there's no cash flowing around here!"

Just my two cents worth (minus State and Local.)
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
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Profile of brianmayo
Come on Frank, what's a little mixing of money here or there? You too, with little work, can operate your own little Enron! Smile
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