Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jake Bergeron, Owner of Littleton Drum Studio, located in Littleton, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is the Littleton Drum Studio, and we gear toward any student who is interested in learning as much as they can about drumming. Students range from 8 years old to adults, all of whom share a similar passion for bringing music into their lives.
Tell us about yourself
Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. After years of putting in the work to become the best drummer I could be, I began to want to share that joy with others. I have been teaching music in varying capacities for about 15 years, but focusing on the Littleton Drum Studio full time for the last 7 years.
I am extremely fortunate to have a full roster of amazing students who, while each unique and individual, all share a common desire to progress and excel on this instrument. Seeing the passion and excitement that my students have always inspired my own curiosity and creativity to reach even higher heights.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
While my business may be small, it is mighty! After years of working towards it, I have a full roster of students who are accomplishing some great things with their music. I have students starting their own bands, playing in talent shows, and even learning how to record their own playing!
I will say that my favorite thing that we do are our student showcases, where interested students are able to get up on stage and share some of their achievements with their friends and families. The drummers are rarely in the spotlight, so giving my students this chance always makes me smile, and they rise to the occasion every single time!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I would say that one of the biggest challenges to being a business owner is the uncertainty, as well as, in my case, the lack of guidance. While I highly recommend that every business owner try to find a community of like-minded people, it can be very hard not to feel at least a little bit of competition which can make asking for concrete advice really tough.
When you add that to the fact that all of the decisions and accountability will fall onto you, it can be very stressful at times. I have been able to keep my customer base pretty consistent for the last few years, but at certain points, there will always be ebbs and flows, and when that happens, it can be very stressful.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
A few pieces of advice that I would give to budding entrepreneurs are:
- Be fully invested! Don't dive into a business that you're not convinced on the merits, because if you're not then no one else can (or should) be.
- You hear it all the time: you just have to start. It's true, but on the other side of that, try to put yourself in a good starting position as soon as you can. Little things like finding a name that is unique or making yourself stand out and easy to remember can go a very long way.
- Treat your customers how you would want to be treated. I am a firm believer that the biggest ingredient to my success has been how I treat every student and family that comes through my door. Having consistent and predictable practices and policies makes sure everyone is on the same page and ensures that we all feel heard and understood.
While you need to be firm in what you need to run your business, there is merit to taking a step back and viewing it from the customer's angle. Do they feel that they are valued as an individual or just another number?
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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