“The reason I decided to launch Tampa Music School was because I just really enjoyed music,” he said. “I loved teaching music, loved working with the kids, and as a public school teacher, I just felt really restricted.”
Maines sought out Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County and business consultant Janette Blanco to assist with overall business growth and knowledge soon after the initial business launch.
“The information I’ve received from the SBDC has been invaluable,” Maines said. “I dare say there would not be a Tampa Music School without the Florida SBDC. My first year we were nose-diving bad and I immediately started going to all the classes and met Janette.”
Since meeting Blanco, Maines has continued consulting with her on a regular basis to assist in the continued growth of Tampa Music School.
“She’s been holding me by the hand for the past three years…and I continue to take classes even after three years,” he said.
Throughout Tampa Music School’s three years in business, they have grown from teaching 20 students to 200 students.
“We’re continuing to look down the line of continuing to double and quadruple and grow by leaps and bounds every year from here on out through the training we’ve received from the SBDC,” Maines said.
One of Maine’s recent successes has been moving the business from a 900 square foot space to a 1,400 square foot space.
The music school also had a 17-minute feature on Fox 13’s Good Day Tampa Bay with Charley Belcher last summer.
While learning more about owning a business, Maines has had to learn how to spend his money efficiently in order to create more growth and less debt.
“One of the biggest struggles for me, especially being a musician, is the finances and the budget,” Maines said. “As a musician I’m very impulsive and I just want to spend. There’s a lot of gurus out there that will tell you [that] you need to spend as much as you can and grab every advertising opportunity. Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked out for me because there were no limits, no barriers. It has gotten me in a lot of trouble.”
The Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County has helped Maines jump his budgeting hurdles and he now knows more about how he can spend his money more efficiently.
“Going back to the SBDC, continuing to take classes on budgeting and Profit Mastery; that has really helped me to restructure and rethink how I’m marketing, how I’m spending my dollars and make sure to direct those in the right direction and stay within a framework so that we have margin and not just continue to snowball into debt with no profit,” Maines added.
Now that Tampa Music School is in a more established position, moving forward Maines plans to continue using the services at the FSBDC at Hillsborough County to receive regular consulting and to attend classes.
“In the beginning, it was just about how to survive, how to come up with a business plan,” he said. “Now it’s talking about building acquisition and how to franchise. So it’s really nice that the relationship matures as we continue to have success and grow.”