Today we’re joined by a special guest: our administrative assistant, Katya!
Years ago, Katya opened and closed a Latin dance studio because, like many new business owners, she overlooked a lot of steps required in starting a business. One of the mistakes they made right off the bat was overpaying for a space in a prime location in Virginia Beach when in retrospect she knows they should have built up their clientele first or renting space from an established dance studio.
Second, they didn’t have a plan in place for covering expenses in the beginning. They underestimated the costs of starting up the business and operating it on a daily basis but they also relied on credit instead of cash to cover those expenses. Those first few months were all about getting the business up and running and there were a lot of startup costs. Looking back, Katya knows that they should have had a better plan in place for covering operating expenses for at least the first 6 months or until they became profitable.
And they should’ve minimized startup costs like waiting to fully furnish the studio till they had the funds to do so instead of doing it from the very beginning. And the light-up sign they got for the front of the studio, an expensive $2500 unnecessary but pretty purchase.
Advertising was another major expense and they weren’t aware of what channels to use. They had no idea what channels their target audience would see and would get them the most bang for their buck.
They closed down 7 years ago and Katya only just now got rid of the last of the T-shirts. This experience taught Katya that doing something you love and owning a business doing something you love are two very different things. Running a business is a full- and part-time job put together and it doesn’t always leave time to do the thing you love anymore.
Katya’s advice to someone starting a business, though, is go for it. You will likely have to commit more time and money to it than you expect so be ready for it. Have a plan in place for maintaining the business until it can maintain itself. And when in doubt, get a mentor or hire professionals who can see you through it.