Chad Clements is the Co-owner of Dat Band, a live event band that makes music for memories. Chad is an entrepreneur and a third-generation musician with over 13 years of experience in professional sales, from small B2B institutions to Fortune 5 companies. Chad has strengths in relationship building and is passionate about helping clients find solutions to their problems.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Chad Clements talks about Dat Band and what they do
- Chad explains his role in Dat Band and how the band came together
- Lessons Chad learned on the business side of launching Dat Band that he didn’t know during his time as a musician
- How did Chad discover 8 Figure Firm and what lessons did he learn from working with Luis Scott?
- How Dat Band scaled their business
- Chad shares a “guts and glory” story about rebounding after the pandemic
- The recruitment challenges Dat Band faces and how they solve them
- Where did Chad get his inspiration to be a musician?
In this episode…
Are you a musician that would like to have a successful business someday? What is the key to running a profitable business in the events industry?
Having a successful business can be easy as long as you have a plan, a good team, and the right strategies to execute your strategy. It’s also valuable for business leaders to have mentors or consultants that they can seek advice from when they run into a problem. As Chad Clements says, a good business is a good business as long as you do it right — it doesn’t matter the industry you are in.
In this episode of The Guts and Glory Show, Chad Franzen sits down with Chad Clements, the Co-owner of Dat Band, to explain how to scale a business in the music industry. Chad shares the business lessons he learned from launching a live event band, the process he’s using to scale the business, and the challenges Dat Band has faced and how they solve them.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Chad Franzen on LinkedIn
- Luis Scott on LinkedIn
- 8 Figure Firm
- Dat Band
- Dat Band on: Instagram, Facebook
- Chad Clements on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by 8 Figure Firm.
After their own law firm scaled from $3.5 million in revenues to $30 million per year in revenues in just two years, Luis and Seth started the 8 Figure Firm to share their strategies and help other law firms achieve exponential growth.
Visit www.8figurefirm.com to receive a consult call and start scaling your business today.
Luis Scott 0:00
I’m Louise Scott, Managing Partner of Bader Scott Injury Lawyers one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. And I’m also the Co-founder of 8 Figure Firm Consulting. I’ve successfully built multiple companies by focusing on leadership, operations and culture. Using these principles, my company has generated close to $100 million in revenue. But before any of this success, I started my legal career as a receptionist, and I worked my way up to becoming managing partner. And each episode of this podcast I sit down with leaders and entrepreneurs who have had the guts to step out on their own, and the courage to face adversity. They share with us their tips for achievement, the challenges they have faced and the glory of success. I welcome you to The Guts and Glory Show.
Chad Franzen 0:46
Chad Franzen here one of the hosts of The Guts and Glory Show, we feature top leaders who share challenges of leadership, the guts it takes to succeed and the glory of success. This episode is brought to you by 8 Figure Firm Consulting. At 8 Figure Firm, they help law firms grow to eight figures. Louis Scott was telling me when he started his career he was working over 80 hours a week to make partner. After that he finally started his own firm and wished he had someone walking him through all the steps to growth. At 8 Figure Firm they show you how to develop a business that works for you, instead of you working for it. Go to 8figurefirm.com to learn more. Today, we have Chad Clements, an entrepreneur and third-generation musician starting parties all over the country with Dat Band, a professional event band with locations in New Orleans, Pensacola, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia, and more cities coming soon. Hey, Chad, thanks so much for joining me today. How are you?
Chad Clements 1:39
Hey, Chad, I’m doing great. Thank you for having me.
Chad Franzen 1:41
Hey, so tell me a little bit more about Dat Band and what you guys do?
Chad Clements 1:46
Yeah, absolutely be my pleasure. So we started around 2012. And we basically want to impress that we play a wide range of music and a high energy engaging way, that just leaves people talking about the party for years to come.
Chad Franzen 2:07
So what goes into that? What does that look like?
Chad Clements 2:12
Well, mainly, that comes down to number one, the type of music that we play. So we play a little bit of everything. Because that a typical party, there’s going to be people who might be seven years old, might be seven years old, and then everything in between, right. So we need to find a way to appeal to all of those different ages, those varieties and tastes. So we play a little bit of everything from the 1950s up to the hits that you hear on the radio tech today. And then everything in between. But most importantly, we do that in a way that is super engaging. And it really just makes people who are there at the party are part of what the band is doing. So doing things like live man karaoke, dance-off competitions, anything we can do to just interject the energy in the party and just bring people in so far to make them a part of what band is doing.
Chad Franzen 3:07
Sounds good. What’s your role?
Chad Clements 3:10
So I am a Co-owner, founded the band back in, like I said, 2012 with my business partner, Armando. And I’m also just like you said, a third-generation musician. So my grandfather was a drummer. My dad was a drummer. And as they say, the Apple does not fall far from the tree, because I’m the drummer, too.
Chad Franzen 3:33
Very nice. Very nice. So you founded the band in 2012, how did it kind of come together?
Chad Clements 3:39
So we started basically, with a very small band, it was kind of a skeleton crew, if you will just kind of basic lead singer guitar, bass, drums and keys. We actually had, at the time, kind of was like a very niche level 80s kind of cover band, like we only did 80s music, we lost our lead singer. And we kind of just had some cattle call auditions just to find another lead singer. We found Armando who eventually became my business partner, and said, “Hey, guys, why are we only doing this very specific niche music, let’s expand things so we can serve a larger audience.” And so that’s exactly what we did. Just over the years, we’ve obviously curated that down into what that band is today.
Chad Franzen 4:33
So you’re a third generation musician, you’re a drummer. But in terms of having a band and a business, there’s a lot more things that go into it. What are some things you kind of realized as you got going with Dat Band that maybe you hadn’t learned yet during your time as a musician?
Chad Clements 4:48
Yeah, that is so critical, because you’re absolutely right. The skillset that you develop as a musician is obviously supercritical to the musician with loud music part of things. But those skills don’t necessarily translate to kind of the tenants of being a good business, good customer service consistency, educating your client, and just coming through and following through on the execution. So where I’m a little bit different from most of my peers, in terms of that mix, I spent really the last 14 years selling in corporate America, working in the energy infrastructure industry, and selling to Fortune 10 companies. So I’ve definitely, through that process and being in corporate America, learn kind of the skillset that you need to succeed in a world like that. It’s definitely given me a different polish from I’d say, most of my musical peers.
Chad Franzen 5:55
Oh, very nice. Very nice. Good for you. And how did you discover 8 Figure Firm and Louis Scott?
Chad Clements 6:01
Yeah, that’s great. So my business partner Armando actually went to high school with Luis. So they knew each other from way back in the day and recently reconnected. And Luis and his whole team has obviously made some extreme strides in the legal world. And so we just thought it was a perfect fit from a consulting standpoint, to be able to say, hey, we want to really take things to the next level with Dat Band. And we feel like this is a great opportunity to do that.
Chad Franzen 6:34
Have you done some performances? Or has had some parties in association with Luis, where your band played?
Chad Clements 6:40
Yeah, we did actually. We did the 8 Figure Firm holiday party last year, and then Luis just turned 40. So we did his 40th birthday party as well as blast.
Chad Franzen 6:51
And then you relied on Luis and then also as a consultant, what are some lessons maybe you learned from him?
Chad Clements 6:59
Yeah, I tell you what is his approach to business is one that we really from day one just immediately aligned with. Because from our standpoint, it’s all about systemization, when we figured out that what we were doing with Dat Band was very much scalable, we knew that we needed a little help to kind of push through some of the obstacles and challenges that we knew were on the horizon. And the way that Luis and his whole team has laid out the program has just made it very easy for us, it’s kind of outsiders, outside the legal world. It’s funny, every time we have a group call, or we’re at a mastermind conference, it’s like we go around the room make an introduction. So like, lawyer, lawyer, lawyer, lawyer, Fan Guy, lawyer, lawyer, it’s funny. But yeah, what it’s taught me is that good business is good business. And no matter how it’s applied, or what industry it’s applied in, it just makes sense that you do it right. And you do it right.
Chad Franzen 8:11
So when you say it was very much scalable, what does that end up looking like? With a band, you would just think a band, a band as a band, how was it scalable?
Chad Clements 8:21
Yeah, I’ll tell you that, that has been a wild ride. In the last, really, three to four years. When we first started out, we had one band, I mean, was the kind of traditional model, you had the one band, we realized pretty early on that because we want to have that repeatability, we want to have that predictability, we needed to have just like an NFL team has a roster that, you have three or four quarterbacks, you have three or four centers, we need to have that same depth of roster for our band. So we basically built that over time to make sure that every time showed up without fail, delivered on our promises, without any exceptions. And really, honestly, it was COVID that taught us a huge lesson. With that being said, because we were now in a situation in the height of COVID. You know, say like late 2020, where we might get a call from a musician a couple days before an event who said, “Hey, I’m so sorry to do this to you guys, but I’ve got to stop quarantine for the next 14 or 21 days or whatever the requirements were at that time.” So having that depth roster was invaluable for us to be able to honor our obligations to our clients, and do it in a way where we’re delivering the same product that we do each and every time. And so, we really sat down and said, “Well, here we are turning down a ton of work, because the banned books, really anywhere from about 12 to 24 months in advance.” I mean, we’ve got projects on books right now for 2024. So, with that being said, there’s certain dates where we know they’re in high demand, super high demand. And we said, “Well, is there anything that we are doing from a material standpoint, that couldn’t be replicated?” And the answer is obviously not because there’s a ton of different event bands that are out there work. And so we said, “Well, why can’t we apply all the lessons that we’ve learned with that band over the years, and then turn that around into a business that’s very much scalable.” So one band in New Orleans turned into two bands, and that shortly turned into three bands, and now four bands. So we’ve been operating on that model, and it has been a runaway success. We’ve grown the business by multitude of six over the last few years.
Chad Franzen 11:21
Wow, amazing. And they all go by Dat Band?
Chad Clements 11:24
Yeah, we’re a little bit of a market disruptors in that sense, because I don’t know of any other band, who is operating from a kind of, for lack of a better description, a franchise model, if you will. But what we’ve done here is basically taken everything about how an event band works, and what product is delivered for an event band and reverse engineer the entire process. And it’s all the lessons that we’ve learned through experience. And then the lessons that we’ve learned with our meetings and coachings with Luis and his team, to really systematize and make this whole thing predictable. Our mission is to, can we use R-rated language on this podcast, okay, our mission is to deliver a kick ass party without exception without fail every time for everyone. So having that repeatability having that predictability, where we know the musicians on stage, really are less of a focus, because it’s just like a Broadway show. We audition the right people, we have the song list and material just like they had this script and the show. And then we execute on that plan. And it’s just it’s worked like gangbusters.
Chad Franzen 12:51
When you formed a band back in 2012, as a drummer, did you imagine that it would turn into a scalable business like this?
Chad Clements 12:59
No, no possible concept. I had no idea that we’d take it as far as we’re taking it.
Chad Franzen 13:06
So since this is The Guts and Glory Show, normally I always ask, what’s a gut story and a glory story? So like a gut story, maybe where you overcame some, some obstacles, or some odds, and then a glory story where you were, it was just glorious? Can you share one of those or both of those?
Chad Clements 13:23
Yeah, absolutely. I feel like I’m going to repeat myself a little bit, but I think this is absolutely The Guts and Glory story of that. And so, back in, what was it 2019 when we still had one band, and then kind of we had on the horizon, maybe we could do another band, maybe it’s an idea that will kind of put on the backburner. And the COVID hit, it completely rocked our industry. I mean, since we’re in the live entertainment business, if there’s no events, we were kind of dead in the water. So, the thing is, when things started to come back, the fact that people had been in a time where there was no concerts, no parties, everyone was all doing the same thing. There was all this pent-up energy, and frankly, aggression, just ready to get out there and party. So when the events industry came back, it came back with a vengeance. And that is a mild way of putting things, so the demand was insane. So the fact that we basically had the mechanical pieces in place to create a second band, we just decided to go out on a limb and say, “Okay, well, we know how this works. We know how to make this go. We know how to throw an amazing party and have people just ranting and raving about how much fun they had.” So we took a leap of faith, and we formed that second band. So from there 2020 to 2022 where we are today where we have six bands in operation, I would never have expected to be where we are today. But the glory is now the Dat Band model is completely changed. And so we can now bring this awesome party experience, no matter where you are in the country, or the world for that matter. I mean, the plan is the plan, the script is the script, and the cast is the cast, we have those pieces in play, we can execute an awesome party every single time.
Chad Franzen 15:51
Are there kind of recruitment challenges for hiring people to perform with kind of a scalable business brand, rather than just a unique band? Are there recruitment challenges? Or are people just happy to have like jobs?
Chad Clements 16:06
Now, that’s a great question. I mean, as you can imagine, recruiting a band member is a little bit different than say, like a secretary or an HR manager. Because of the coaching that we’ve had with Luis, we now realize how important it is, for us to have that team in place. Because here’s the thing, I mean, we’re two people, right, and we’ve expanded to a point where there’s just no way that we can do everything that needs to get done in order to execute these events for our clients. So behind the scenes, we have a team with an HR manager, a band manager, a project manager, I’m an operations manager to make sure that at the end of the day, the client has nothing to worry about in terms of, is the band going to be there on time? Are they going to know the music that I want them to know? Are they going to have everything they need, all that stuff is taken care of. So our full-time HR manager does exactly that. He’s also a musician, which gives him a unique skill set to be able to audition musicians and say, “Okay, well, do you meet the bar performance number one?” They can’t do that, right. It’s not a good fit for the organization. But also step two, and I think this really has more of an impact on our clients. And the organization as a whole, without being said it’s a more of a behind-the-scenes thing. But making sure that the musicians are aligned with our mission, our vision and our core values. So for instance, one of the things that we need to say to the musicians in the onboarding process is, there’s basically a set of guidelines that we expect you to agree and to perform to. Things like attending rehearsals, and knowing music, and then little things that may not seem like they would make a whole lot of impact. But do for instance, like, we don’t drink alcohol on a job. That’s really important to us, because we want to make sure that everyone is in top working order. And we’re there to work, we’re there to drive the party, but we’re not there to be a guest at the party. So it’s little things like that, that really ensure that again, we’re coming back to that vision, and we’re delivering on every fun for everyone every time without fail or exception.
Chad Franzen 18:40
Okay, great. Hey, I have one more question for you. But first, how can people find out more about that band?
Chad Clements 18:45
Yeah, great question. So if you visit datband.com, we’ll get answers to most of your questions. And there’s a great Contact Us page there. So if you want to get in touch, through phone, text, email, we’re also on social media. Our handle is @DatBand. So hit us up there, DM or just give us a follow-up.
Chad Franzen 19:14
Final question, as you were growing up or getting into music, who were some inspirations or big influences for you?
Chad Clements 19:21
Well, that’s fantastic. So, I guess my period of cutting teeth in music is a little bit different because of my family’s history with music. So my grandfather back in the day, he was playing big band, swing music. So think of Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller Orchestra, that type of music. And so that was kind of passed down to my dad and then consequently passed down to me. So that’s really how I kind of cut my teeth. I was playing a little bit of rock and rolling here and there, which is pretty typical for musicians, but I really cut my teeth on that style of music. So being born and raised here in New Orleans, that style of music and then the Dixieland and jazz had a big foundation on just the way that I play music, the way that I listen to music and appreciate music, and I really have to shout out to my mom and dad for all the sacrifices that they made over the years to keep me in lessons and keep me engaged. They saw that music was something that I really latched on to and they were really the ones who gave me the opportunities to get where I am today.
Chad Franzen 20:38
That’s very nice, very good. Hey, Chad has been great to talk to you. I appreciate you sharing your stories and your insights. And thanks for joining us on The Guts and Glory Show.
Chad Clements 20:48
Thank you, Chad.
Chad Franzen 20:49
So long, everybody.
You’ve been listening to The Guts and Glory Show with Luis Scott. If you enjoyed the show, be sure to share. For more information on this episode, please see the show notes at www.gutsandgloryshow.com and join us next time as we talk to another leader in business that had the guts to overcome all odds for the glory of success.