SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — During the pandemic, a lot of people started their own businesses. According to one report, almost twice as many as before the pandemic started.
But it takes a lot of work, time, and money.
KELOLAND News caught up with one woman who started her own business and despite a slow start, right now she believes it’s the right fit.
A dusty road is a long way from Main Street, but that never stopped Kirsten Dahl, even though she might be on a road less traveled.
“Even going back to 8th grade, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and own my own business,” Kirsten Dahl owner of BeAlete said.
That dream started last year.
“I said I’m going to start a boutique that is tailored around athletic wear,” Dahl said.
Dahl, who lives in the country on a small acreage near Colman, South Dakota, is the brains behind BeAlete.
The wife, mother of two and entrepreneur, uses her family room as her studio; lights, camera, and action.
Dahl is a fitness enthusiast and has always worn some of the same types of clothing she now sells online with her company.
“Literally the next day I went to a website and created my own website through trial and error,” Dahl said.
Dahl says she did tons of research on the products that she wanted to sell.
“I pride myself on quality yet affordable price, because the top brands are all out there and we all know about them but nobody wants to spend $100 on leggings and I knew I could do something about it and all of my leggings average around $44,” Dahl said.
Dahl has enlisted the help of a couple of close friends to model some of her products when she goes live on Facebook or Instagram.
She even developed her own interactive app.
“That was another way to take my business to the next level is to have my own app where I can go live on and view products and view videos of products so you’re just not looking at a picture when you’re purchasing online,” Dahl said.
Online sales have skyrocketed for a lot of companies since the start of the pandemic.
“The first thing I would advise someone is to have a sound business plan,” Vice President of Business Banking at Security National Bank Joel Christopherson.
Christopherson says there’s a lot to consider when starting your own business and one of those considerations is a business plan.
“Some elements of a business plan is how are you going to manage your business, how are you going to market your product how are you going to identify your product the money aspect, how are you going to finance your business and how do your projections look over one, two and three years, it’s very important that you understand where your money is going so you can be successful,” Christopherson said.
He also suggests you get your business registered with the State.
But he warns, owning your own company isn’t always a glamorous job.
He says you better be ready to put in the hours and babysit your business.
“Business owners need to be hands-on so they understand all aspects of what’s going on within their business,” Christopherson said.
That’s not a concern for Dahl. Besides having another full-time job, she loves what she’s doing with BeAlete and has made the investment.
“Going all in was a big leap for me, but I knew that I just needed to keep pushing and keep pursuing if you want to make this successful,” Dahl said.
And if you want your business to be elite, Dahl offers this advice.
“Don’t hold back you know, it’s going to cost you money upfront but it’s going to be humbling at times but you just have to have that go-getter attitude and just continue to pursue and continue to prevail and just know it takes time and you have to be patient,” Dahl said.
If you’re considering starting your own business, the Small Business Administration and the Small Business Development Center are two resources to use to get some good advice and background for a business plan.