A Dakota Business Lending Success Story
Nov 7, 2019
From the Sian’s garage to its own fully equipped, multi-faceted fitness facility, the story of Spectrum Fitness is unlike any other.
It all began when Rachelle and Michael Sian moved to Minot in search of a place to settle down. Michael, a retired veteran, had trained in martial arts for over 35 years and wanted to continue training for many years. This is when he and his wife started a “garage group” – a martial arts training class that took place right in Sian’s garage. The group continued to grow and grow until the Sian’s garage reached its full capacity. And the rest is history…
It was at this time that Michael and Rachelle began looking at commercial spaces to start a professional karate school in Minot. When the Sian’s saw the old Starlight Lounge was for sale, they knew this could be the perfect place to begin this business venture.
“We didn’t have any room in our garage any more to house all of the people who joined our ‘garage group’, so we knew the next step was to get a building of our own. The Starlight Lounge building was old and would take a lot of work, but we knew we could make it our own.”
The Sians were just missing one key thing: financing.
It wasn’t until Michael and Rachelle reached out to their network for help that they came across Dakota Business Lending and the SBA 504 loan program. Through this small business loan, Dakota Business Lending partnered with United Community Bank in Minot to help the Sians attain the financing they needed with a lower down-payment and a fixed interest rate that they could afford. They used this loan to purchase and renovate the building into “Spectrum Fitness” – a brand new martial arts school in Minot.
“The SBA 504 small business loan was a lifesaver. We didn’t really ask for it - it just kind of came to us – but it was just what we needed to take this next step. We feel like we got really lucky in the fact that we found Dakota Business Lending and Dakota Business Lending found us.”
In addition, the Sians also utilized a Kiva loan – a crowdfunding loan program that offers up to $10,000 with 0% interest – to finance some of their equipment costs.
From there, Spectrum Fitness skyrocketed. It became more than just a martial arts school – it became a multi-faceted fitness center where there is something for everyone. The facility prides itself in being a family and group-based center where no one is ever alone. From Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and karate, to massage therapy, nutrition, and kickboxing, Spectrum Fitness offers classes only and always has trained professionals there to assist people of all body shapes, fitness levels, and age groups.
“At Spectrum Fitness, you’re never alone. We’ve established a family environment where people can come in, feel safe, and get a good workout no matter what level you are,” Rachelle explained. “You don’t have to feel like you have to be an athlete to work out with us. We are here for you – that’s who we are and that’s what we do.” All and all, the Sians wants everyone to feel welcome to come and join them on their fitness journey. And the success they have had with this has been far more than they both ever imagined.
“What we opened is beyond my dream…WAY beyond my dream. The building accommodated for so much more than we originally figured so we were able to really grow this into a dream facility. It’s more than I ever imagined it could be.”
Since its opening, Spectrum Fitness has had nothing but success and support from their community…so much so that the couple plans to add on to their facility sometime within the next two years to better accommodate for their clients. The Sians believe that this is due to their family-orientated mission. As Spectrum Fitness to continues to evolve and support the community, the community of Minot does the same. And this community has become Rachelle’s favorite part. “It’s the people. 100% Absolutely. My Spectrum Family. They are what keep me going and help me love what I do.”
For those who are looking to open their own business like the Sians, Rachelle has just one piece of advice: let your passion overpower your struggles. This, she believes, is the key to overcoming obstacles and reaching success.
“You have to love what you’re doing so much that the struggles you’re going to go through will overshadow the immense amount of work it’s going to take to make it happen. Never in my life have I worked so hard, but what I’ve gained from this experience and this community far exceeds it and I would do it all again.”