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STARTUP/BIZ

S1 ep.5 - K-pop Dance Studio

Introduction

There's a lot of things in NOVA (NOrthern VirginiA) area that troubles me. First is a lack of really good Korean restaurants. There are quite a few places that sell foods, but I would say about 30% are good at best. And especially after realizing what it is like in L.A, I can only say the taste here is sub-par in general.

Another thing is that there's no Kpop dance studio. There are, of course, multiple taekwondo dojos/places and there are a few dance studios, but I wasn't able to find any dance studio that teaches K-pop dance covers.

Problem

According to a quick Wiki search, NOVA is number 3 in terms of korean population out of all major U.S cities. First is L.A with 300k, followed by NY Metropolitan area with 200k, and NOVA is about 100k. You know what? that was actually 2000 census data and we all know that human beings like to reproduce, so let's say there's a 25% increase. We now assume 125,000 Koreans living in NOVA.

So we know that there's quite a lot of Koreans living in this area. We also know that Kpop is constantly on the rise to the point that non-Asians know a few songs and a few famous artists. It's not a minority thing now, and not a thing to be ashamed of. People enjoy Kpop and they are willing to learn. One good example is a youtube channel called 1Million studio where they upload Kpop dance covers (as well as billboard songs).

This channel is actually based in Korea, but it has 6 million subscribers world wide. People from all over the world are leaving comments about the video. They LOVE this!

Solution

So, it was natural for me to think opening a kpop dance studio would be a great idea. It may not be the best idea out there, but it feels like it's going to be a steady hit. Even if you don't strictly teach kpop, you could start teaching popular songs. If you start doing that, your addressable market becomes even bigger. There are a few dance studios in this region, but they teach ballet and salsa (or things like this). There's no place that teaches contemporary pop music. I find this insane! There's so much demand out there, but there's absolutely no supply! So many people regardless of their race, ethnicity are trying to learn, but nobody is teaching!!! This could be a perfect monopoly situation!

And to start a dance studio, you don't need that much. Maybe you can make a classroom that looks like taekwondo dojos or yoga studio. You need wooden floors and one side of wall fully covered by mirrors and a nice speaker. Finding great instructors is another important matter, but in terms of infrastructure, it's not the world's most challenging project. 

If I were a very good dancer, I would start with the following. I'm going to make a flyer saying I'll be teaching [insert a very popular kpop song by either jay park or bigbang] at 24 hour fitness. They have a great GX room that's exactly needed for dance lessons. Then I'd know how many people would come. I'd repeat this a few times and get an idea of how big the demand is. If there's steady supply of people, it means starting a studio would be a great business idea. 

And if I were to actually start a studio, it would be in this plaza. There'a taekwondo place, Korean bbq place and two nail salons. They have vacant office spaces and it's center of business districts/shops and residential places for Koreans. I actually sent an email to the real estate agent out of curiosity. He replied with 8NNN sort of number which I had no clue. I even googled it, but I didn't get any meaningful answer and he never replied back to my follow on questions...

Anyways, I haven't had so much of an initiative to hire teachers from other locations and start a studio. But I have at least two teachers, I think starting a studio might be a very good idea. If anybody reads my post and knows instructors... slide into my dms... we'll make K-pop great again, together!

P.S. It turns out that there's a K-pop dance studio in L.A, They have 1200 likes on Facebook and have good ratings on yelp. They open 3 days a week for total 6.5 hours. Maybe it's due to lack of constant supply? Or it's more of a hobby? I don't know the details, but "my" studio could also operate similar to this where there are only a few schedules held a few days out of the week.

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Taeyang You