Laura Lee Crandall and her husband, Matt, found themselves at a career transition in the spring of 2013. Both graduates of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, they’ve taught privately and in school settings, so they picked up a few students. “We often talked about starting a music school that would teach private music lessons,” Crandall said, alongside organized bands where students could be matched with complementary instruments and learn to work as a team.
Soon they were teaching more than a dozen students out of their home, but with little business background to set them up for growth and long-term success.
“The first year of opening the KCRB was a crash course in business management,” Crandall recalls. “I read every business book I could get my hands on.” She says she enjoyed working on the business in its early days, but was overwhelmed by “all the things I didn’t know.” Crandall found direction with SCORE.
KC Rock Band & Guitar Music School (KCRB) is a music school that focuses on the instruments of a typical modern rock band.
“Knowing I had no business training, I needed someone with real experience to run ideas by and get their wisdom and input,” Crandall says.
She attended a Start Up Basics class hosted by her local chapter and attended live webinars on advertising, social media, and finances.
Crandall began meeting with volunteer mentor Ann Whitty. “She helped coach me through the hiring process of my first additional teachers, how to best serve customers, and countless other issues that came up,” Crandall says. Whitty referred Crandall to mentor Tracy Enos for additional guidance regarding advertising and social media; she also arranged a meeting with mentor Joel Resnick, who provided advice on commercial real estate considerations.
“The depth of expertise SCORE offers is unbeatable,” Crandall says.
“We have gradually grown by word of mouth, our website, and other advertising,” Crandall explains. “After one year, we added additional teachers, teaching times, and group classes as well.”
Crandall reports, “We’ve continued to add clients every month, have added additional teachers, and developed a marketing plan that is workable and working for us.”