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The Startup Junkies Podcast

The Startup Junkies podcast is hosted by Jeff Amerine and the team at Startup Junkie. We’ll cover topics ranging from getting started, planning, growing your business, proving your concept, leadership, marketing, exit strategies and so much more. We’ll interview business owners, entrepreneurs, experts and people we think will bring value to our audience. Subscribe, and together we'll take your business to the next level.
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This is the Startup Junkies Podcast. These are the stories of the people that are afflicted with creating the next great products and services that are going to change lives - not just in America, but worldwide. We're going to tell the stories of the next great beer producer, products and apparel makers, and the stories of people that don't accept the status quo and that want to make things better. 

Welcome to the Startup Junkies Podcast.

Aug 7, 2023

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Jeff Amerine and Grace Gill sit down with Justin and Mailena Urso, founders and owners of Big Box Karaoke. Big Box Karaoke is a combination bar, restaurant, and karaoke hotspot located in the heart of downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas. Throughout the episode, Justin and Mailena discuss the importance of continuous growth, the entrepreneurial mindset, the struggles they faced through the Covid-19 pandemic, and their shared love for karaoke.

 

Show Notes

(0:52) Introducing Justin and Mailena Urso and the Big Box Karaoke Origin Story

(14:17) Finding the Right Location

(17:49) The Pandemic’s Effects on Big Box Karaoke

(25:18) Re-Opening after the Pandemic

(28:17) Balancing Feedback

(31:11) The Core Customer Base

(34:12) Longterm Projections and Hopes

(38:01) Advice to the Younger Self

(40:48) Closing Thoughts

 

Links

Jeff Amerine

Grace Gill

Justin Urso

Mailena Urso

Big Box Karaoke   

 

Quotes

March 15th I think is the date everybody remembers. I always tell this story: On the Saturday before the shutdown, in an eight-hour timeframe, we did as much revenue as [we did] in the next six months combined. In eight hours. And it was one of our busiest nights ever, but it took six months to make that same amount of revenue that [had only taken] eight hours.” - Justin Urso, (19:23) 

We averaged fifty reservations a week before the pandemic, and then you go to zero. And 80% of our business was based on reservations, so the math just doesn’t add up.” - Justin Urso, (23:05)

Our business is expensive to build out. It’s not just opening a coffee shop or an ice cream parlor or something. There’s a lot of costs that go into building out those rooms and the technology involved. And so [expansion] is a little bit more difficult.” - Justin Urso, (27:25)

We were like, if we build it, they will come. That was our mindset. But we did do a lot of testing. We personally experienced this concept a lot and had a great time and took our takeaways from that…and there were other businesses in other markets like ours that were popping up. So it wasn’t like this was a brand new thing.” - Mailena Urso, (30:12)

The advice we would give to people in that situation is just believe in what you’re doing and have some backup for it. And if you can’t find the backup, then that’s maybe where you’re like, okay maybe let’s change it a little bit.” - Mailena Urso, (33:49)