Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Susan Maryn, Director and Owner of Fox Studio of Dance & Gymnastics, located in San Fernando, CA, USA.

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

We are a dance and gymnastics teaching facility that offers ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and gymnastics classes for children ages 2-17.

Tell us about yourself

I started in this business over 40 years ago as I was a professional dancer and wanted to share my love of dance with kids of all ages. What started out as primarily a dance-focused business soon evolved into gymnastics as well. I'm motivated every day by watching all our students' happy faces as they walk through the doors for their classes. It's especially rewarding to see their excitement in mastering a skill they've been working on and the self-confidence they gain from their efforts!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One accomplishment I'm especially proud of is the growth and evolution that has transformed the business into what it is today. What started as more of a "hobby" (which was typical of this type of business 40 years ago) has grown into a solid business with procedures and protocols that have enabled us to weather many storms! Such as having to shut down for a year due to Covid, the L.A. riots back in 1992, Recession in 2008, to name a few!

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

On a personal note, one of the hardest things is also one of the most rewarding, which is when a long-term student grows up and leaves us! But in terms of business, it's so important to keep up with all the new state laws, taxes, legal stuff, payroll, etc. I've never enjoyed math, so for me, that's a challenge!

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

  1. Learn everything you can about business and management.
  2. Do your research about your particular business and other similar businesses in your area. Make sure the market is not oversaturated-not that it can't work, but know what you're getting into!
  3. Learning never stops! Make sure you are up on all the latest products, newest ideas, marketing effectiveness, and anything that's going to make your business stand out and shine bright!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Sometimes owning a business can really bog you down if you let it. Make sure to make time for yourself! You deserve 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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