SBDC Helps Entrepreneur Start a New Franchise and Play all the Right Chords

ROTSSThanks to the Long Beach Small Business Development Center this musician is passing his rock n’ roll talent to a new generation.

Rockstars of Tomorrow is a rock school franchise concept that teaches children and adults the joy of music via group and one-on-one lessons in guitar, drums, bass, keyboard and vocals. The company launched its first franchise in 2014 in Norco, California.

Challenges
As a professional musician for over 40 years, Brad Cummings has always been his own boss. Brad played bass with Sting, The Doobie Brothers, and Cheryl Crowe to name a few famous artists; yet after seeing the Rockstars of Tomorrow concept first hand, he decided to begin a new career teaching music. In November 2013, a friend referred Brad to the Small Business Development Center hosted by Long Beach City College to receive assistance with opening his franchise.

Best Advice
SBDC Business Advisors Mike Daniel and Nate Jemison helped Cummings and his wife Stephanie, prepare financial projections, financial statements and a loan application as well as connected them with potential lenders. The advisors guided Brad and Stephanie through obtaining permits and licenses from the city of Long Beach and assisted them with creating a strategy for attracting new customers.

Client Impact
Rockstars of Tomorrow opened in March 2014 and was profitable within a year. Today the company has more than 60 students and eight to 10 independent contractors teaching music at any given time.

Cummings’ immediate plans are to upgrade the company’s website, grow the business and continue booking live performances for his students at local events and venues. These performances not only give the students a chance to hone their chops, but also attract new customers. To reach his target markets, he is creating a “Mommy and me” class for infants and children up to age 5 that will teach beginning articulation, hand-eye coordination and motor skills. He plans on using a daily deal to attract mothers looking to advance their children’s skills as well.

“I’ve been self-employed all my life,” Cummings says. “When you’re self-employed, you get up every day and you’ve got to make something happen. If you make it happen, the sky’s the limit.”

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