Dance & Circus Arts of Tampa Bay
As a dancer with a background in theatre arts, Beth Brier decided to open her own dance studio 23 years ago in hopes of helping children find themselves through the art of dance. By the time her daughter reached the age of 10, Brier expanded the dance studio to include circus arts in response to her daughter’s desire to become a contortionist, thus Dance & Circus Arts of Tampa Bay came to be. As business continued to grow, Brier would later find out that reaching her demographic was a bit harder than expected.
During the pandemic, Brier decided to, “take this downtime to improve myself. I’m going to help my business and I’m going to figure out my weak points and get educated,” she said.
During that downtime, Brier discovered that she needed help promoting her business correctly, and she knew exactly where to begin. “I am not very good at social media and my website sucks,” she said. “So I researched this whole thing; what is SBDC Florida? And I found out, it’s actually a national program and the state of Florida was one of the first states to become part of this program and I’m like, this is pretty much a no brainer.”
Brier quickly realized that she needed to take advantage of the no-cost business resource as it was readily accessible.
Brier was then paired with Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at University of South Florida (USF) business consultant, Scott Carpenter, who advised her on new ways to reach her audience through marketing efforts.
“Scott took a deep dive into my website and he spent a lot of time compiling information and comparisons and he took three other area schools and then compiled all the information on how they compare to us,” Brier explained. “I thought I knew my demographic, but he pointed out other things that other people were doing better for the same demographic. So, it was super helpful.”
Since working with the Florida SBDC at USF, Brier says the dance and circus programs have grown in in terms of attendance, even leading to having to cap classes. Business revenue has also increased. “This year, 2023, our revenue is now the highest it’s ever been since we opened 23 years ago, so that’s very satisfying,” she said.
Moving forward Dance & Circus Arts of Tampa Bay will continue utilizing the Florida SBDC at USF for marketing services including website consulting, Google analytics, and help with social media platforms. “The Google analytics [webinar] was way over my head but I have to continue to do more webinars on that to fully grasp that,” she added.
Regardless of what the future holds, Brier says she is constantly telling other business owners about the resources at Florida SBDC at USF. “Why are all small businesses not using this tool? I mean, it has been mind-blowing for me and it has educated me so much in understanding how to present my business,” she said. “It’s been really great for us as a school, and for me to [be able to] help many children.”