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xx Small Business Leader Offers Insights To Building A Successful Franchise
May 05, 2013, 04:54:57 AM by Isaac Adeniran
Small Business Leader Offers Insights To Building A Successful Franchise

Many small business leaders think about franchising their offerings.

Many are daunted by the many hurdles to success.

One small business leader created a franchising success story and shares her approach here.

Noemi Grupenmager, CEO and founder of Uni K Wax  identified a need and created a concept that she turned into a successful franchise.

Grupenmager came to her business model based on her own experiences.

“As a consumer, I was always dissatisfied with the expensive, slow and limited hair removal services available at nail and hair salons. Before I opened Uni K Wax Centers, these salons were the only places offering hair removal. The duty was often tacked on to employees who were already too busy with hair, nails and other services,” she says.

With this notion, she imagined something new: A center solely dedicated to waxing, with a welcoming atmosphere that offered clean, quick and professional services at affordable prices.

Her vision was to have a specialized hair removal center that offered waxing for both men and women, which would raise industry and marketplace standards.

One of the reasons was that she herself had sensitive skin and recognized the need for a wax that was all natural and pain-free, and would not aggravate the skin with harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients.

With all of this in mind, she  founded the first Uni K Wax Center in 1993 in Miami Beach, Florida, and became what she believes is the first person ever to open a center devoted exclusively to waxing.

What’s more, she developed her own proprietary elastic Uni K wax, made of natural beeswax, essential oils and a special pine tree resin, which took three years of in-depth laboratory research to create. Her unique selling proposition was that unlike hard wax, Uni K Wax is applied at body temperature and can be removed painlessly without irritation and without the use of paper strips.

This created Uni K Wax Center’s emphasis on the unique concept of pain-free elastic wax differentiated which differentiated her business from any other, and today, these same two characteristics she believes continues to separate the brand from other hair removal services on the market.

 “As my initial shop flourished, many franchise developers approached me with offers to expand. But before venturing into franchising, I wanted to expand on my own, proving to myself that Uni K Wax Centers could be successful in other markets,” she says.

“Opening two new locations on my own in 2000 enabled me to delegate daily managerial roles to other team members, so that I could focus on further growth and direction of the centers, paving the way for a well thought-out, successful franchise.,” she adds.

One marketing concept she says was her original ideas was driven by the growing popularity of Brazilian-cut bikinis.

“I coined the famous “Brazilian Wax,” and began offering women a waxing service that would leave them bare-skinned and smooth in all the right places while wearing their skimpy suits. This filled another niche in the small business marketplace,” she says.

Once she had perfected her business model, she opted to franchise the concept.

“By 2005, Uni K Wax Centers were an established concept with a recognized name and appeal, and a growing customer base. At this point, I realized franchising would be the right option for continued growth as I would be able to give other passionate entrepreneurs a well-defined framework and method for success, following the path that I had laid through my independent expansion. And so, I created UKW Franchising Company, LLC to take my brand to the next level,” she addss.

She sees franchising as an effective way of duplicating and expanding a business model.

But there are challenges.

“The most significant obstacle in franchising is finding the right franchisee that loves and understands our concept, and that is committed to following our standards, she says.

One other “minus” to franchising she believes is the risk we take of a franchisee not following our company standards – But that is a risk that all franchisors take.

For Grupenmager the rewards certainly outweigh the obstacles.

“My biggest reward in franchising is experiencing the growth of Uni K Wax, and seeing the centers multiply at a very rapid pace. It enables us to expand more quickly than I could on my own, and gives us the great benefit of being able to provide our services to more customers nationwide,” she adds.

To maintain uniformity and quality control, Grpenmager has established a corporate UKW Franchising team. Each franchisee owner is guided by the UKW Franchising team’s expertise and years of experience.  This team offers assistance for each aspect of a franchisee’s business, from decor and design to training and start-up assistance. We also maintain a thorough up-to-date operations manual, which thoroughly describes all aspects of the Uni K Wax business system and concept.

Under her direction, UKW Franchising Company LLC also works diligently to market the Uni K Wax brand on a national level, raising general consumer awareness to help build customers and traffic in each Uni K Wax Center.

“There is no disconnect between our corporate and franchised operations – We work in tandem to grow the company as a whole, “ she says.

Grpenmager looks for franchisees that are established and enthusiastic businesspeople that love the business concept and are committed to following Uni K Wax standards, which are very high in the industry.

During training, Grupenmager and her team also work with the franchisee to ensure they lean a basic understanding of hair removal technique.

Offering a high-quality wax is only one piece of the puzzle. There is a basic understanding of the body that a waxer needs to have for optimal, pain-free hair removal.

She likens this to a maître de who should understand his server’s obligations; the company works to ensure franchisees understand these techniques and can motivate their team to excel in them as well.

“I also look for franchisees somewhat like myself. Like me, my franchisees understand that by investing time and attention to detail into their business, the end product is fast, efficient and successful,” Grupenmager says.

She urges would be franchisers to “push yourself to think beyond existing boundaries, stereotypes and tired schools of thought. For example, in my field it is often assumed that only women are interested in services like bikini and facial waxes, while men stick to chest and back waxes. Uni K Wax Centers were the first centers to offer all of the services it offers for women to men.”

When asked what is her proudest accomplishment, she replies, “it is that I successfully turned my idea of an affordable yet luxurious waxing center into a reality. I am also proud of my company’s successful franchised expansion.”

Not content with her success so far, Grupenmager insures that  Uni K Wax Centers are continuing to grow with some of the locations unveiling a completely new look and feel.

“As always, we are approaching this transformation with sensibility and attention to detail, making changes in response to consumer need. Because of this organized approach, I know we will continue to be successful,” she says.
xx Companies Diving into Social Media Every Day Should Plan Before Acting
May 05, 2013, 04:52:32 AM by Isaac Adeniran
Companies Diving into Social Media Every Day Should Plan Before Acting

Traditional media such as TV, radio, and print are on the downslide and social media is the rapidly becoming the marketing vehicle of choice.

While it may be true that the way to market a business in 2013 is through social channels, business leaders need to make sure they aren’t buying into the hype instead of what’s going to work for their business and industry.

It’s easy to setup a Facebook page. A couple clicks are all a business owner needs to do and they are ready to start posting.

But according to BlueFinn Creative Group, as in all areas of business, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Small business leaders need to first understand their own business marketing goals and objectives. In order to make their strategies more effective, understanding the kind of content that their own organization can create is extremely beneficial. One important aspect for them to understand is that quality and quantity are both necessary.

BlueFinn argues while most of American consumers gravitate towards Facebook, business owners and marketers must evaluate if that’s where their focus needs to be.

Other social platforms may engage an audience better.  While some customers need to be focused on the social platforms involving the general public, others need a more specific audience.

Any small businesses can produce all kinds of content from text, images, and video to even slideshows that inform and entertain.

BlueFinn believes smaller enterprises must take an inventory of the kinds of content that can be produced by their own employees. Using resources already available is already an option.

In its experience, BlueFinn finds many smaller companies may be surprised that the transition to produce content doesn't happen overnight, but overtime, employees like having their own thoughts and opinions heard.

BlueFinn believes companies must use a social media platform that is beneficial to their organization; not just one that’s easy to post on.

BlueFinn says small businesses will be pleasantly surprised by the results that social media can offer but they need to learn to be consistent as well as providing quality content. Customers continue to show approval to businesses that take time to plan and focus on meaningful interactions.
xx Unusual Worker Incentive Drives Positive Results
May 05, 2013, 04:50:16 AM by Isaac Adeniran
Unusual Worker Incentive Drives Positive Results

Motivation can often become a waning practice in the modern workplace.

An employer can almost expect for some kind of resistance when it comes to completing the work at hand.

Incenting employees to meet or exceed goals is always a tricky experience.

Finding the right balance between company resources and employee expectations sometimes means going over the top..

This was the approach taken by one small firm.

In celebration of their 25th Anniversary, Nancy J Friedman Public Relations chose to take the next step in motivating the employees by offering a valuable incentive. If their employees completed their assigned, yet challenging quota, they would be rewarded with a dream vacation to anywhere they desired.

Nancy J Friedman the founder and CEO said her employees were excited to be offered such an opportunity.

Added Friedman, the idea of being able to experience something that might have only once have been a dream, motivated her employees to take action and finish their quota – even if it was “by the skin of their teeth.”

Friedman said she always believed in living a life with a sense of wonder and curiosity.

Before starting her public relations company, she worked at the famous nightclub Studio 54 owned by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager.

She says it was at this nightclub that she learned a great deal about the hospitality industry and its benefits.

Her sense of wanderlust took the experience of working at Studio 54 and motivated her to build her own company.

She believes in servicing people seven days a week by using social media to promote varying companies in the best light possible.

The employees Friedman hires for the most part share this motivation to work beyond what they believed achievable.

Friedman said one of the best ways to motivate an employee is to put yourself in their shoes.

Friedman and others say that although paying for a dream vacation for everyone in a company may not financially be logical in many small businesses, giving employees an incentive is worth the cost.

Businesses are always looking for a way to increase production and keep the enthusiasm of their employees, by promoting positive outcomes, employees are more likely to respond.

Whether it is a dream vacation or a chance to have causal Friday, incentives are vast but powerful tools in the workplace.
xx Small Business Borrowing, Spending Down
May 05, 2013, 04:48:18 AM by Isaac Adeniran
Small Business Borrowing, Spending Down

Researchers at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. and Pepperdine University released a survey showing that small business owner borrowing has remained flat from the first quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2012. According to the Private Capital Access Index (PCA) business owners are remaining cautious and demand for financing was flat, with 32 percent of businesses reporting that they had recently tried to obtain financing. This is the same percentage as the first quarter of this year, the last time that D&B conducted their survey.

The reading for American small business net capital spending intentions as measured by the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index for the fourth quarter of 2012 has tumbled to its lowest levels in 2 years. This suggests that capital investment will drop further in 2013 given the pessimistic attitude of small business owners.

"These most recent PCA results suggest that businesses and lending institutions alike see clouds on the economic horizon, with responses trending in a way that points to general economic weakness," said Dr. John Paglia, director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project and associate professor of finance at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management. "Our index data indicate that business owners are very cautious right now, and that their demand for financing, plans for growth, and expected hiring are all down."

"At the Lending Circle, our clients express these very doubts and fears," said Terry Robinson, President of Sunovis Financial and its division The Lending Circle. "I will add, however, that many businesses have tried and failed to get bank loans or credit since the 2008 crash. This has discouraged many, who have stopped trying to obtain needed capital, and that has hurt small business growth. The new Micro Loans are helping some small businesses address this problem."

Most results of the survey were little unchanged from the version conducted in the first quarter of 2012. Seventy six percent of the small business owners surveyed said it was difficult to obtain a loan in the third quarter. This is almost unchanged from the seventy seven percent who cited difficulties obtaining loans in the first quarter.

Growth was seen to be restricted by tight credit conditions by sixty three percent of those surveyed, virtually unchanged from the sixty four percent who made the same statement in the first quarter. Hiring is also being affected, with 53 percent responding that tight credit conditions were hampering their ability to hire, a slight drop from the fifty five percent who responded this way in the first quarter.

“Both small business owners and financial institutions seem to be looking at the landscape and feeling better times are just too far in the future to be supportive of plans for growth,” said Jeffrey Stibel, Chairman and CEO of D&B Credibility. “Until they have a greater sense of certainty about what to expect in terms of economic conditions, the economy may have to wait to get the jumpstart it needs.”

This survey is a confirmation of other recently released surveys showing a reluctance on the part of small business owners to borrow money, hire and expand. A combination of the weak economy, uncertainty about the presidential elections, and now uncertainty about the fiscal cliff issue in the U.S. continue to place pressure on small business optimism, growth plans and borrowing.
xx Want a BIG Success in 2013? Think BIG
May 05, 2013, 04:30:57 AM by Isaac Adeniran
Want a BIG Success in 2013? Think BIG!

With this Year 2013, many small business managers may whisper "good riddance" to 2014.

For those whose past year can be counted in the "Yuck!" category, motivational speaker and author, Shawn Anderson, shares a tongue-and-cheek message to guarantee that this year's limited success will continue in the new year.

1. Set less than spectacular goals: "Set your sights low. Who needs goals?" Anderson says tongue-and-cheek. "If you or your organization's imagination is dull for what you want in 2013...how can you expect to have an amazing year? Or, instead, we could 'go bold' in setting our goals, and create an exciting year."

2. Be afraid of taking risks: "Want more of the same limited success this year? Don't risk anything. Just keep walking the exact same status-quo road." Anderson continues, "My philosophy is much different, however. We get one life, so why not take a few big risks and give it a chance to be amazing?"

3. Act like a victim: Anderson says, "It's gotta' be somebody else's fault your organization is not where you want it to be...right? Blame them." Anderson adds, "Or an alternative option is to quit pointing fingers and, instead, set our sights on doing three things every day to expand our opportunities."

4. Give up: "If you're too broke, too inexperienced or too old to start over, then just quit and turn on the TV at night." Anderson continues, "Or we could get over past failures and take the most productive action we've ever taken in making 2013 our best year ever."

According to Anderson, the founder of Extra Mile Day which was recognized on November 1, 2012 by 362 U.S. cities, the biggest obstacle in creating more personal and professional success is simply ourselves.

 "If we don't change our expectations and our actions, we can't expect our results to change either," Anderson finishes.
xx Five Ways of Saving Money, Improving Products In 2013
May 05, 2013, 04:27:23 AM by Isaac Adeniran
Five Ways of Saving Money, Improving Products In 2013

As the new year 2013 begins, many small businesses are also looking for ways to cut back on spending and save money.

Consider using these five tips :

Track assets. Did you know that 64% of businesses conduct manual searches for assets every day? And each of those searches takes approximately 30 minutes or longer to locate an item. It often the case that the asset is never found, resulting in lost revenue. Take the opportunity before Q1 to make a list of all your assets – these can include items like, furniture (desk, chairs, conference tables, etc.), equipment (computers, printers, fax machines, telephones, machinery) and transportation (cars and fleets).
Once you’ve inventoried your business assets, add labels or codes so you can easily identify which have been tracked. Organizations that manage their assets properly will achieve 20% in cost savings per managed asset in just 9 months.

Have a backup plan. There are many disasters that can put a company out of business. Your company may need to obtain insurance for the business itself. As we’ve recently seen with Sandy, there is no telling when a disaster could strike. A company should consider data back up as a pre-emptive protection against data loss. And if back up was not achieved, look to company’s that provide data recovery to get back important documents.

Consider a work-at-home day. A company can save approximately $2,500 per employee annually by allowing one work at home day per week. Telecommuting is on the rise as evidenced by the 100 million Nigerians who telecommuted at least once per month last year. Not only can telecommunication save the company money on bills, adding a clause to contracts can save money on raises and salary negotiations. Purportedly, morale is boosted and productivity is increased both in the workspace and while the employee is at home.

Jump on the BYOD bandwagon. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a hot topic these days. Some businesses fear BYOD poses a security risk, however, done correctly, BYOD won’t pose a threat and can save your company money. With 81% of all employees using at least one device for business use, it’s no surprise that 74% of companies now allow some form of BYOD. The idea is that your company can save money on equipment costs, training (for new devices) cost and can provide an after-hours work option, while also enhancing employee flexibility.

Use free applications. VOIP calls (Google Voice), video chats (Skype), in-cloud document storage (DropBox), project management software (Evernote) and Instant Messenger (AIM) are all free options your business could, and should, use to cut costs. There are many other free applications besides Google Voice, Skype, DropBox, Evernote and AIM, this was just a list to get you started in the right direction. Choose the service that works the best for your company, but be sure to take advantage of all the add-ons and plugins offered. You’d be surprised how much money using these free applications can actually save you.
The five tips listed above are just a jumping off point. Implement one or two and evaluate how much money you saved from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014 in order to determine which options help you realize the greatest savings potential
xx Welcome to the Mobile Digest for Small Business.
May 05, 2013, 04:19:50 AM by Isaac Adeniran
Welcome to the Mobile Digest for Small Business.
Small Business mDigest
Helping small business and home based enterprises to generate additional sales and profits
Small business leaders are usually optimistic. 2013 is a year in which this this positive outlook continues to be sorely true. With the new year, many in the country are turning a new page. Hopefully, this will help many small businesses who are being hobbled by a poor economy.

Whatever readers' plans and expectations for the new year, this mDigest will continue to be in the forefront providing ways to earning more profits through improved operations and additional sales..
You can write articles and send it to [email protected] or ping it to BB 2310F7C8

Note: Summary of the paper form is available for free distribution to your customers. mDigest is published weekly on for mobile readers and quaterly in paper form
Thanks
Editor mDigest
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