Entrepreneur goes from backyard to ballroom

Lawn-care business helped fuel launch of entertainment company

Klock Entertainment production manager Joe Cooper, left, also joins forces with owner Jason Klock in business development efforts to boost the appeal and expand services of the Dauphin County-based event entertainment company. - (Photo / Creative Intrepratations Photography)

How do you go from making a couple hundred bucks as a weekend DJ to running one of the largest event entertainment businesses in the Harrisburg area?

For some people, it starts in the backyard. That’s where 28-year-old Jason Klock, owner of Susquehanna Township-based Klock Entertainment, got his first taste of the business world.

When he was 12 or 13, Klock asked his dad about getting a job. They ended up at Home Depot and left with a lawnmower.

The catch: He had to pay back the lawnmower’s $250 cost.

During summer vacation, Klock cut grass for his neighbors. He used the money to pay back his dad and build his music collection.

“At the end of the summer, my dad handed me an envelope with every payment,” he said.

Instead of spending the money on hobbies, Klock went back to Home Depot. He added a leaf blower and a trimmer to his outdoor arsenal.

NOT JUST A DJ

Klock Entertainment has evolved into a full-service event entertainment and production company in recent years, with capabilities in sound, lighting and multimedia. They allow the company to offer broader packages or value-added services to events it’s not directly running.

Owner Jason Klock sees a lot of potential in the corporate business because of its boutique options.

About 70 percent of Klock Entertainment’s business comes from weddings and other social events. The rest are corporate functions.

He figured the additional equipment would enable him to charge more for his lawn services, which it did. In turn, he would have more money to pursue his musical interests.

Through high school, he ran the neighborhood lawn business and used the profits to slowly add DJ equipment.

If he didn’t have enough to cover high-priced speakers or sound-mixing equipment that he wanted, his parents would help out with “loans,” he said. “I could get whatever I wanted, but I had to pay for it.”

Understanding the value of a dollar and learning how to diversify are lessons he would later apply to his entertainment business, which became a full-time gig in 2011.

Jason Scott
Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com.

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