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Opus faculty Alec Johnson shares his insights on entrepreneurship with Twin Cities Business podcast host Allison Kaplan

The Challenges Facing Start-Ups

By Alec Johnson, associate professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business

We hear a lot about the initial journey of getting a new business off the ground, but what about the challenges that come after? Kristin Shane, founder and CEO of Fly Feet Running, is a great example. In the competitive field of fitness, she’s ready to level-up her company and go national.

Fly Feet Running is a group fitness workout with two studios in the Twin Cities. Launched in 2016, the company is thriving in an increasingly crowded field. It’s among the two percent of women-owned businesses to make it over the $1 million mark in annual revenue.

The good news is that she's in a growing industry. The bad news is that she’s in a growing industry. So the question is: when you’re building a business to scale, what do you do after its early success? 

Expanding into other markets presents entirely new challenges. You’re often making decisions with little or uncertain information. So like Kristin, you need to make choices on where and how you’ll take your business. Otherwise you’ll find yourself at an immediate competitive disadvantage with rising costs in marketing spend.

The journey of an entrepreneur isn’t a straight line. You’ll be thrown challenges and hurdles to get over. But if you have the backbone and the willpower to push on through, you’ll go a long way. 

Interested in hearing Kristin’s story about her experiences leading up to Fly Feet? Check out the full episode on the “By All Means” podcast with host Allison Kaplan.