Small business, big success

Keeping a small business in business can be a big challenge especially in an area where the population is declining.

We’ve reported several businesses closing in the north Iowa area in recent months, but there are small businesses that are thriving in the area.

“We began out of my garage.”

It’s a business that started small and has grown rapidly in a very short amount of time.

CrossFit Chiron opened it’s doors about 6 months ago and owner Derek Saltou says it’s been a huge success across the board.

“Not only with membership but also with the members, each and every member has not only grown physically but also mentally and you can tell a difference in them when you talk to them now compared to back when they started.”

Saturday, the box (gym) is hosting more than 100 athletes from all across Minnesota and Iowa.

“We’ve got people from Rochester, Hastings, MN, St. Cloud, West Des Moines, Waukee, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Quad Cities, all over the place,” says Saltou.

They’re here for a CrossFit competition called the Festivus Games.

Saltou says one of the keys to his success so far has been providing the Mason City area with something they didn’t have before.

“Gyms are gyms, but nothing can truly compare to the atmosphere and the empowerment of really what CrossFit is.”

While providing that in-demand service or product is important to ensure a thriving business, so is location.

“We’re so much busier, people just know about us more here since it’s centrally located.”

Danielle Swann opened her business “Real Deals on Home Décor two years ago south of town but just recently moved to downtown Mason City.

“Just to get more people through the door every week it’s really helped and I feel like it’s going to take off,” says Swann.

She has a unique business model; the store is only open Thursday-Saturday to keep prices low for her customers.

As a native, Swann has seen business come and go in the Mason City area.

Just this week it was announced that several Pizza Hut locations will be closing down and this weekend is the last days the Mason City Kmart will be open.

Companies moving out of the area might scare some entrepreneurs away but Swann says, she’s up for the challenge.

“I think it’s always hard to get started, I heard that it takes 5 years to become a household name once you start a business in town so it’s a little rough in the beginning but you just have to stick with it.”

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