In 5 brief years, Milena Canta has grown Vela Academy of Movement from an concept on a serviette, to a thriving dance studio and neighborhood in stunning Port Moody.
Achieved by way of an inclusive and supportive atmosphere, Milena’s purpose is to supply college students brimming with confidence and self-expression who’re as assured of their dancing expertise, as they’re standing up for a pal within the playground.
With Vela Academy persevering with to go from energy to energy, we caught up with Milena to listen to the story behind her superior small enterprise.
What made you curious about beginning your individual enterprise?
I suppose it began with a want to be totally different, to seek out my very own path. I’ve at all times been fascinated about dance and motion, and I believed I may supply a novel expertise on this trade whereas constructing a neighborhood that aligned with that imaginative and prescient. Like lots of different entrepreneurs, I’ve a ardour for self-expression and management and operating a enterprise was a approach to discover these passions.
What’s the startup story behind Vela Academy?
Authentically talking, it began from realizing working within the trade that I didn’t align with lots of the businesses I used to be working for, and I had this sense I wanted to make a change. A shopper of mine recommended I am going out by myself and begin my very own location, and that was the catalyst for the change.
I visited Small Business BC in individual searching for steerage they usually enrolled me within the Business Plan Advisory providers working with an advisor to refine my marketing strategy. I used to be in a position to make use of this plan to method VanCity for a microloan, alongside partnering with an investor. Within two months of creating my marketing strategy, I had opened my location and was in enterprise.
Are there any ideas you possibly can share for on the brink of method a lender?
The single largest piece of recommendation I can provide is to know your numbers and know your why. Lenders need to see that confidence from you that you just consider within the enterprise, and you recognize your plans inside out.
Go in there figuring out why you’re out to create this enterprise, why you consider in it, and stand confidently behind these beliefs. That confidence could make all of the distinction.
What was your expertise like with the Business Plan Advisory Service?
The expertise was so worthwhile for me, and really helpful for my enterprise. I felt very supported at each step of the best way. Being a dance trainer on the time, I didn’t have lots of enterprise information. My advisor gave me so many instruments, methods and strategies to actually assist me perceive what it might take to open and run a profitable enterprise.
I’d advise anybody uncertain of what to do subsequent to go to Small Business BC.
After 5 years in enterprise, what sort of classes have you ever discovered alongside the best way?
We’re about to move into our sixth season at Vela Academy and the training by no means stops! Over the years I’ve actually gained an appreciation for the significance of programs and constructions – you possibly can’t go away issues as much as likelihood as a enterprise proprietor.
I’ve needed to find out about staffing, funds, and the significance of teamwork for reaching targets. Even my management fashion has developed and have become extra grounded. Personal improvement is big as a enterprise proprietor too. You must embrace skilled and private improvement. Seek out as many assets as attainable, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendation, and at all times be prepared to be taught. That course of of studying is one thing that continues to today.
What are your plans for the enterprise going ahead?
Currently, we now have our one location in Port Moody and the previous couple of years have been spent rising our neighborhood there. In two years, we plan to open a second location in Port Moody because the neighbourhood right here is rising quick with so many thrilling developments coming down the road.
I even have plans to promote the corporate down the road. I need to spend time inspiring leaders to rise to their desires, whereas additionally working to assist the neighborhood we’ve constructed right here at Vela Academy.
As a small enterprise proprietor, why is it vital individuals assist companies like yours?
I consider small companies maintain our economic system alive. When you assist a small enterprise, you’re supporting the passions and ambitions of others. Your selection makes it attainable for individuals to dwell out their desires, whereas additionally giving again to your individual neighborhood.
Here to Help
No matter what stage of your small business journey you’re at, Small Business BC has the assets it is advisable to succeed. Check out our vary of enterprise webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our choice of enterprise articles.