As one business closes, does another open? For Lindsay Beyer the answer was, “Yes.”
In 2013 Lindsay Beyer noticed the local tanning salon was closing in Burlington, Kansas. She decided to purchase the business and open what would become Bella Rose Boutique and Tanning Salon LLC.
Lindsay knew that sales that were purely dependent upon the customers in a town of 2,600 would be challenging. So when she began developing her business model, she knew it would be critical to generate sales outside of the area. This would require a strong online store as well as a solid on the-ground store in Burlington.
To make this happen, Lindsay did her homework. “I knew that I wanted to run a business, but I also knew that it wouldn’t be easy for me, and that in order to do so, I needed to do my research and learn as much as I possibly could.” To get the ball rolling Lindsay attended a ‘SBDC Start Your Own Business Workshop’ taught by Lisa Brumbaugh, regional director for the Kansas SBDC at Emporia State University (ESU) and began meeting monthly with Tom Byler, who was at that time working as a business advisor with the Kansas SBDC at ESU. Tom is now the regional director for Kansas SBDC at Pittsburg State University (PSU).
At the workshop, Lindsay shared that she received a ton of information and admitted that she felt slightly overwhelmed. “I made a checklist, and completed the tasks I knew how to do. Tom helped me tremendously with the tasks I didn’t know how to do. He pointed me to the proper resources and made sure I got the information I needed to write an impressive business plan. I gathered information from bankers, insurance agents, accountants, and other helpful business owners. I learned how to research the market demographics, and one of the most important tools that I still use is the breakeven analysis.”
Along with Tom Byler, Lindsay now has support from Lisa Brumbaugh, regional director at the Kansas SBDC at ESU. “I can’t imagine opening a business without their assistance. We wouldn’t have made it very long.” Lindsay still uses breakeven analysis to make decisions on what she can spend and if/when/how she can pay herself.
Her experience with the Kansas SBDC put her in a position to succeed from the start. “You can’t start a business overnight. I was not prepared for how much research/ planning went in to opening our doors.”
What would Lindsay share with other businesses? “It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and tasks were much more manageable with the help of the Kansas SBDC. I felt like I had direction and always knew what needed to be done next in our planning period.”
With customers from across the U.S. from the online store, Bella Rose has found a model that works in small town Kansas and keeps the doors open.
In 2014 Lindsay opened Bella Rose. In October of 2016 she was recognized at the Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Kansas Department of Commerce at the 32nd Annual Minority and Women Business Awards.
More About Bella Rose Boutique and Tanning Salon
Kansas SBDC Advisors
Lisa Brumbaugh, ESU
Tom Byler, PSU