Jan 22: Dancing, Coaches, and StartUps

On January 22, 2019, Kasie and Shennice welcomed Renee Lally, proprietor of Midlands School of Cheer and Dance, into the studio. Here are the show notes:


Dr. Kasie Whitener, President Clemson Road Creative and Co-Founder of the Women’s Business Center of SC

Shennice Cleckley, Smart Cookie Coaching and WBC of SC business coach

Renee Lally, Owner of Midlands School of Cheer & Dance

Theme for the day:

Business model: Studio, learning environment, service-based

Agenda review:

  • Renee’s business 411 – why do this? What problem are you solving?
  • Business model: service-based studio, learning environment
  • Challenges in the first year of a service-based business
  • Opportunities for growth: franchise, multiple locations, etc.
monochrome photo of woman stretching her leg
Photo by Beto Franklin on Pexels.com

Segment 1:

Midlands Cheer & Dance is an Afro-Caribbean program located on the Upper East Side of Columbia. Check out this video about the school.

Renee Lally is the studio owner, artistic director, and lead cheer coach. She’s in the studio today because we’re cutting a commercial for her after the program and when we had coffee yesterday I said, “Why not come in an hour earlier and we’ll just talk about your business model for the whole episode?”

Give us the background: why did you start the studio? What problem are you solving? How did you think you were the right person to take this on?

Tell us about the company (students, teachers): what ages? What levels? What classes?

Tell us about the space: where are you located? What are the strengths and disadvantages of the location?

What has surprised you the most about owning the studio over the last year?

Segment 2

We think of business model at the Women’s Business Center as “How you plan to sell this solution you’ve created.”

The model includes your solution itself, in this case classes and a competition company. Then the streams of revenue — how you make money? And the marketing plans — how you find your customers and what you tell them to get them to buy from you.

No one expects you to share information like rates and salaries. But give us a basic understanding of the inflows and out; i.e. revenue is tuition, and what else? And expenses are space, utilities, staff, and what else?

What kind of customer validation did you do for the concept? Do you have a specific demographic? Age? Stage? Geography?

The tagline “diversity through dance” really gets at the mission of Midlands Cheer & Dance. What value do you hope you’re providing to your students? Your instructors? The community?

Segment 3

We have a business coaching open house this week at the Women’s Business Center. Anyone can come to our location at the McNair Center on the Columbia College campus and meet with Shennice and me and my Co-Founder, Katherine Swartz Hilton, and get some tips and advice on their businesses.

The idea of “coaching” is interesting to me because I think it’s a relatively “new” field in business and we’re seeing coaches in every aspect from wellness to business to confidence to life. I think it’s worth understanding what a “coach” can be expected to provide.

We’ll have a call from Sarah Mayle of Sarah Mayle Coaching, executive coaching services operating here in Columbia.

ColumbiaCollege_WomensBusinessCenter_RGB (4)
Start Something, Columbia! is brought to you by the Women’s Business Center of South Carolina headquartered at Columbia College.

Ready to support the Women’s Business Center of South Carolina? Click here to donate!

Start Something, Columbia! thanks the City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities for its support.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: