Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in training & education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Flik Swan, Founder of Sleek Technique, located in London, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Sleek Technique is a ballet-based fitness company that operates solely online and has done since its launch ten years ago. We are a British company, but our clients (known as Sleekers) are 95% female, based mainly in the US, UK, Europe, and across the World, and span a wide age range from 18-70+.
Tell us about yourself
Sleek is founded by myself, Flik Swan, and my lifelong friend and fellow professional dancer, Victoria Marr. We were both at the top of our professional careers as dancers and looking for the 'what next' when Sleek was born.
We knew we wanted to work together and create an innovative and exciting ballet fitness brand based around our wealth of experience, attainable for any woman, no matter their level of fitness, time constraints, budget, and goals. I had a lightbulb moment that doing it online would mean far greater reach for our method. We spent a year researching, creating, and launching our first streaming ballet workouts and live classes.
We successfully launched these online in 2013, way ahead of Covid and the emergence of online training. Since then, we have built a global community of Sleekers who work out with us daily from across the globe and who feel and see the incredible benefits our ballet fitness methods bring - this alone is the motivation we need to do what we do each day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Having a great idea, seeing a future, weighing the risks, and jumping. Ten years ago, we were explaining to tech and web companies our vision to build a website that would allow people to join our classes from anywhere, 24/7, and interact with us as they worked out - that was so unheard of! We never gave up. As two dancers with little business experience, we took the advice but followed our instincts too and built a successful brand that we are proud of and that is nearly a decade young!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
We feel so grateful that there are two of us in the business. We have been friends since we were 11 years old at ballet school, so we are very in tune with one another (we even had our first babies within a month of each other). We have to make time to listen to our different viewpoints too.
But when things are tough, one of us is always there to keep the motivation and momentum going if the other is feeling the weight of running a business. With the rise of social media, all companies have had to adapt, so on the days when fresh ideas and marketing strategies are low, we're grateful we have each other to bounce off.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Listen to your instincts. If you love and believe in your idea, you can make it happen.
- Use your peers and mentors. Learning from others' experiences is a great way to ensure you don't make big mistakes (but remember, mistakes are alright, provided you can learn something from them).
- Be prepared for blood, sweat, and tears. Getting to where you want your business will take effort and time, but if you know the highs and lows of building a business, it will be worth 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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