Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in dance education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brian B., Founder of West Coast Swing Online / Dance Louisville INC., located in Louisville, KY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a dance business. Our goal is to change people's lives through dance. We have a physical studio. We run live events and dance cruises. We have two YouTube channels and a membership site teaching dance online. Basically, anyway, we can touch people's lives through the dance we do.
Tell us about yourself
I started dancing accidentally, and it turned out I was pretty good at it. After having the opportunity to travel the world as a professional, I decided to open a studio in my city of Louisville, KY, in 2005. In 2013 after undergoing back surgery, I really started working on the 'business' side of dance. I had nearly gone broke after the back surgery and some challenges in my market, but with the help of a consultant, I was able to pull the studio back from the brink. Within five years, we had expanded the business and were doing 1.2 million in revenue. Now, after the pandemic, the business is slightly restructured with less top-line revenue but more profit. We're reaching more people than ever and making a positive impact by bringing dance to more people than ever before.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Understanding the dance business. We're not just teaching dance steps. We're helping people and changing lives. Understanding that and implementing that approach into our lessons and business practices really skyrocketed our growth. I don't wanna sugarcoat it, though. It's challenging every day, and I never stopped the learning process, even as the owner of the company.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Choosing where I spend my time and saying no to things. We're in the people business, so when I say no to a lesson, travel opportunity, or project, I'm saying no to a person. That's challenging because I want to do everything, but I've learned that if I say yes to the right opportunities, I can have a bigger impact overall.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so do your best to be as prepared as possible when you open your doors for the first time.
- Find a mentor (or several mentors) to help you along the way.
- Set goals. You need long-term goals, say ten-year goals. You need medium-term goals like yearly goals. Then you need shorter-term goals like what you want to accomplish today, this week, or this quarter. There is something magical about goal setting.
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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