Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Svetlana Bakalov, Founder and Co-Owner of Columbus DanceSport, located in Columbus, OH, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Columbus DanceSport is a Ballroom Dance Studio located in Columbus, Ohio. We're dedicated to teaching Ballroom, Latin American, and Night club dances to students of all ages.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Svetlana Bakalov; I am the founder, co-owner, and director of the Columbus DanceSport, one of the top professional Dancesport dancers in the United States and the world. I am a US representative to the world in professional 10-dance championships held in Japan on June 22, 2003. My titles include 3rd place finalist in the 2003 US professional 10-dance championships, 1999 Ohio Star Ball Professional Rising Star Latin-American Champion, Open Professional Northcoast and Cincinnati Dancesport Champion, etc. NDCA member, ISDT Certified Instructor.

I also have a very strong and broad academic background. I received BFA in dance from Ohio State University, completing the studies I did at the University of Culture in Moscow, USSA.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Svetlana travels extensively, coaching and performing nationally and worldwide. She performed the roles of the head coach of the OSU and Kenyon College Ballroom Teams. She is frequently invited to judge and do demonstrations at collegiate competitions around the country. Svetlana has been featured in numerous articles in Columbus Dispatch, New York Times, This Week, Columbus Alive, Gahanna News, etc.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest part of being a business owner is to be able to build and keep a dedicated team of employees to work with.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

First would be, don't let other people convince you that you should not be starting your own business. It is easier not to do it and be sorry you didn't have the rest of your life.

Second, build a dedicated team of employees to work with. Without the right group of people, it would be very difficult to build your business.

Third, "under promise and over deliver" and be professional all the way. Going the "extra mile" for your clients pays off in the long run.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Being a business owner is not an easy task. Your hours are not limited to 8 hours a day and require a lot of dedication, funds, and health. However, when you see the results of your doing, you will never regret that you did it.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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