GUEST BLOG POST BY: “Miss Kim” Golliday
Meet Kim Golliday, a lover and teacher of dance…
Kim Golliday, known by most as Miss Kim, is the owner of Taneytown Dance Studio at the square in Taneytown, Maryland. You may recall an earlier post in 2019 about her lovely young women, the principle dancers of TDC… most of whom have been life-long students, and now some are dance instructors at TDC too.
I loved my photo segment of time with Kim. Once her principle dancer’s portraits were complete, Kim and I had the dance studio to ourselves. Kim’s portraits are almost as radiant as Kim herself. I don’t think there is a sweeter more caring person on this Earth.
Earlier this Spring, Kim celebrated their “Sweet 16″… 16 years in business at Taneytown Dance Center (enroll for in-studio or virtual dance HERE). That is a HUGE thing to have accomplished! As Kim was approaching 15 years in business, I asked her to share her thoughts on how to succeeded so many years in business in a small agricultural community. Her response has sat a little while, but it’s all the more true today. She replied…
When asked many times how I survived 15 (now 16) years, my first response is always that I just worked really hard. When I opened my studio I was a mom of two boys one preparing for high school and one preparing for 1st grade. I worked at Morgan Stanley part-time, taught dance in Owings Mills and Eldersburg. But I had this vision and I failed if I didn’t try. Following is my advice to many that want to open a business in a small town:
You have to self motivate.
Do not depend on the town to do it for you. They can help of course, but as a biz owner I knew it was my job to make my business flourish. You are your business. Only you can know what’s best for your business and your marketing! Be the brand, embrace the brand, work the brand.
I never ever stop marketing – everyday.
Even if it’s just a casual conversation in line at the grocery store: “I teach dance”. I have gained a number of students this way, by just saying, “I own a dance studio in Taneytown”.
Always speak positively of the community that your business resides in.
You want to build a positive aura both about yourself and your city / town. Positive-speak aids in the growth of not just your business, but the economy around you. As small business owners, we all need that support system.
Network outside of your own town.
Let’s look at the word networking:
The action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
“the skills of networking, bargaining, and negotiation”
The linking of computers to allow them to operate interactively.
“the demand for wireless networking is increasing rapidly”
Let’s look deeper at the word “linking” You must “link” outside your community to be able to bring others to the community. Currently, Taneytown Dance Center has dance students flooding in from not just Taneytown, but from all our surrounding communities including: Westminster, New Windsor, Union Bridge, Littlestown, Fairfield, Emmitsburg… even as far as Glen Burnie. You have to work outside of your geographic area. And the positive effects of your efforts trickle down to the local businesses around you.
You will have up years and down years.
That is how business goes. In those down years, I would dive into why, while in the up years, I would dive into how.
- How did I make the business grow?
- What did I do that worked?
- In the down years I would research what happened to make my business not do as well?
You HAVE to know what worked and what didn’t work so you do not make the same mistakes. And there will be MANY mistakes. That’s ok because that’s how you grow. If you consistently do the same thing all the time you will get the same results, so you must always re-invent yourself.
Promoting other business owners promotes you.
The more traffic through the town, the more businesses will grow and develop word of mouth. Do not depend strictly on a social media post a day to get you business. You must be a voice of encouragement for you and your community.
You must constantly educate yourself more and more to keep you business alive. Learn everything you can about your field.
Be kind, always.
This may sound odd, but simply stated kindness. Kindness goes a long way in developing a lifelong business that people will want to come back again and again. Do not be afraid to talk and share your story with them.
Today, after all my efforts, I can say I have built a community.
16 YEARS IN BUSINESS: SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS IN A SMALL TOWN