This entrepreneur’s motto is “It’s all about the relationship!” Read on to find out how she built a booming business in a small town and how her focus on building relationships with customers keeps them coming back for more.
Nestled between the Gunnison and Uncompaghre rivers in Colorado, the small town of Delta boasts less than 10,000 residents. But Kayln Bruington, a musical theater and dance instructor, recognized an opportunity in her family-filled, close-knit community: The nearest studio was over 30 minutes away, yet there was still plenty of interest in dance and music. So, she took the plunge and opened Starbeam Studios.
“I love inspiring the spark of the performing arts in others and being able to fan the flames of their passion. Delta is a growing community with the need for a performing arts studio. There are tons of passionate people in the Delta area and all they need is a spark,” she says.
With a performance and instruction resume a mile long, Bruington is well-qualified in addition to being passionate about her craft. But getting the word out about her studio—and getting students in the doors—still took work. She explains, “I knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy process, but I didn’t foresee the hurdles before me. The Delta County Chamber of Commerce has been a huge tool and supporter of me from the beginning. They are all awesome and have been so helpful with every step.”
She also leveraged her relationship with her community and the internet to fill class rosters: “I advertise in as many community places as possible at this point. Additionally, Wix has been an amazing product in helping me get my business started. They have step-by-step processes as well as video tutorials and have helped me get in contact with many programs and advertising opportunities that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.”
But, getting students was just one hurdle. Bruington also has to focus on keeping those students. She shares her philosophy and methods, saying, “We are a professional studio with an intent to give professional, high-quality instruction. However, our focus is on relationships and not just the technical side of what we do. So many people only focus on giving a top-notch product but they have forgotten the one thing that all of us desire: a relationship. I spend my time focusing on my customers and getting to know them as more than just people who pay for my product. Because that’s not all they are.”
She expounds on the subject passionately: “We are all people with complex feelings and different emotions. Someone who takes the time to get to know you and who you are will be better at serving your product needs as well as being there as a friend/mentor.”
For others considering taking the leap and opening their own business, Bruington offers simple yet sage advice, “Make sure that it is really what you want—that you will be willing to fight for it day and night!
Interested in learning more about Bruington and her studio? Check out her website at starbeamstudiosdelta.com.