Jennifer Tisdale learned early in her years as a consultant that creativity and business opportunity are imperative for a successful startup. Looking for a dance studio to express her own creative outlet, she explored the Denver region to see what dance studios existed and what they offered. The more she searched, the more she realized that a true business opportunity existed.
Her idea? Start a boutique fitness studio that provided daily dance classes for adults. To move that concept forward, Jennifer sought professional guidance to build a successful business.
Her first step was searching for educational opportunities in Denver’s startup community. She was thrilled when she found the LEADING EDGE™ NxLeveL for Entrepreneurs course offered through the Denver Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The 11-week course provided the structure for Jennifer to test the feasibility of her idea, analyze risk, determine her target market and build her business model.
“The Denver Metro SBDC’s course structure, content and process—including access to qualified consultants—helped me create a comprehensive business plan that secured $1.3 million in SBA 504 funding for the purchase of my studio,” Jennifer said.
Her studio, dance2b, opened in February 2014. Classes focus on classic and fusion dance styles for beginner, intermediate and advanced dancers. Dance2b offers a fun, relaxed environment where dancers of all skill levels can learn technique and choreography in hip hop, jazz, salsa, ballet, contemporary, modern and more.
Along her journey, Jennifer recognized the importance of her relationships with consultants at the Denver Metro SBDC and professionals at the Office of Economic Development and Colorado Lending Source. Their assistance helped with everything from her business name and tagline to the location and financing. She continues to maintain these relationships today and looks forward to growing dance2b with their support and guidance.
In talking with Jennifer about what she would recommend to other potential entrepreneurs, she says there are six key elements: “relevant education, genuine partnerships, useful intuition, determination, a playful attitude and flexibility.”