- Player: Jennifer Glodik
- Company: The Diva Slimming and Aesthetics Centre
- Visit: divabeautystudio.com and www.divaglobal.net
Jennifer Glodik always planned to be an entrepreneur. She launched her first business after moving to South Africa from Russia in her early 20s. “There’s a lot of opportunity in South Africa,” she says. “It was just a case of choosing the industry I wanted to be in.”
For Glodik, there are three industries that people will always spend money in: Food, clothing and beauty. “I’ve never enjoyed cooking, and I didn’t think there was room for a new clothing brand in the South African retail space — it’s already a highly competitive market.”
Beauty was different. Coming from Eastern Europe, Glodik was used to a level of product and service that she didn’t believe was available in South Africa. This was an area where she saw both a need and an opportunity to bring something new to the market.
One of the areas she felt local salons were most lacking in was knowledge. “None of the beauty therapists I met could tell me how the various treatments they offered worked,” she says.
“If you don’t understand how a treatment works, you probably don’t understand the client’s needs either. I wanted to be able to analyse the client and the problems they were experiencing, and then offer the right solution to them.”
Finding the right channel
Glodik had already studied general medicine in Russia, and she returned to research the beauty industry. She quickly narrowed her focus to skin and body treatments, and concentrated on finding local experts.
“I found a cosmetologist who was running her own salon, but had started a training academy as well, Cosmetologists of Russia. Through her I did an advanced theoretical and practical cosmetology course and I was introduced to the equipment and products she used for her treatments.”
These included non-surgical ultrasound liposuction and 9 in 1 machines, and Spanish product companies Postquam Professional and Casmara. “The machines and the products are expensive, but they’re extremely good quality and they give great results.”
Returning to South Africa, Glodik used her new knowledge, skills, training and contacts to launch the Diva Slimming and Aesthetics Centre, her first salon located in Johannesburg. Before long she started gaining traction and a steady, solid client base, and opened a second salon in Menlyn.
“Cosmetology’s core focus is to eliminate, treat or hide a problem. The cosmetologist’s role is to determine which courses of action are possible, and to then discuss these with their client. Costs versus solution and what’s best for that particular client work together to choose the ultimate course of action.”
Through this process, Glodik and her team have discovered deeper medical issues in the past, referring clients to their doctors or specialists before any treatments are undertaken. They won’t treat serious skin conditions that require a dermatologist.
It’s then up to the equipment and products used to get results, which is why Glodik is fanatical about the brands she works with. “The success of the Diva brand lies in how well our treatments work, and the experience our clients receive. Knowledge, training and product understanding are key elements to the overall brand experience.”
With clients who travel from as far afield as Limpopo, Mafikeng and Witbank to Joburg for treatments, it’s clear that Glodik and her team see results — and that there’s a market for their beauty solutions.
Creating business opportunities
As the business grew and attracted more clients, Glodik started receiving enquiries: ‘Can you teach me how to do this? Your salons are incredibly busy – could I do this too?’
“I took stock of how we’d gotten to where we were, and I realised a few things: I was a professionally trained cosmetologist, which meant I had knowledge. I’d developed a business model through trial and error that worked, and I had joined the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, which was also honing my business skills. And I had the sole distribution rights to top-class equipment and beauty products.
“I had learnt my trade from a practising cosmetologist with her own salon and the same equipment and products. What was stopping me from doing the same in South Africa, with the added business training I could bring to the offering?”
With enquiries piling up, Glodik formalised the training she had already been giving to her beauty therapists, and developed business coursework.
To date, Diva has trained 54 salons. Each salon operates under its own brand; these are not Diva Beauty franchises. Instead, they receive a business in a box, complete with training and equipment. They can choose to purchase the products that Glodik offers at cost, or other products compatible with the machines.
Related: Finding The Perfect Franchise Fit
“This is a really great way to grow the business for me, but it’s also very rewarding. We’ve assisted women to build their businesses or start from scratch by giving them a solid foundation in both cosmetology and business as well as excellent equipment.
“90% of our clients come from corporate backgrounds. They want to do something new, but they don’t know anything about running their own businesses. The decision to offer a cosmetology course alongside a business course is what has really made this opportunity a success.”
Current market trends show that people are investing more heavily in their appearance and slimming products. Starting a salon that addresses this innate need of the target market to fulfil the desire to be the best looking version of themselves will undoubtedly endure the test of time, even in this economic climate.
Maximise Your Social Media Reach This Holiday Season
Quick and cost-effective, social media is your best tool to reach target markets when it matters most – during the holidays.
It’s not just the end of the year that can be lucrative for businesses. School holidays and other major breaks during the year present consumers with more time to spend shopping. Why not ensure money is spent at your franchise by capitalising on the minimal cost and maximum exposure of social media?
You don’t have to create entirely new deals or promotions from what you may already have running on your store, but find a way to make it special for your social media followers, suggests Kelly Mason, marketer at Customer Paradigm.
Holiday campaigns on Twitter, benefitting from popular hashtags, streaming live content, and receiving information instead of just distributing it via social media are just some of the ways to stay ahead of the competition.
Know your customers well
The first step to attracting customers and getting them to complete a sale is understanding their customer journey.
“Being able to document where they spend their time online, which social channels they use most, and what they’re reading or watching on those channels is a huge plus. Finding that crucial information is fairly easy to do, thanks to modern-day marketing tools and resources,” advises Paul Herman, VP: Product and Solutions Enablement Group, at Sprinklr, a unified customer experience management platform for enterprises.
The better you understand your customers, the easier it is to reach them through a campaign optimised for their interests.
Master social listening
You could be using social media all wrong in the run up to all your holiday campaigns. Perhaps it’s time you used this platform to listen to your customers?
“Through social listening, marketers can identify major trends and product keywords in their industries,” says Herman. “For instance, knowing those keywords can help marketers identify which social platforms are more popular for a target audience. With that information, they can make smarter decisions about where to spend their money and which products or services to promote on each platform.”
Related: 10 Laws Of Social Media Marketing
Use the information gathered to determine what customers like about your product, what they dislike about it, and how you can improve upon it so they can buy more of it. The more of this data you collect, the better and more effective your interactions with customers will be.
Try something new
50% of consumers look for a video of the product they want to buy before going to an ecommerce store to buy it, according to a 2016 Google survey. “Video can be an extremely effective way to get your customers to take action – in this case, to make a purchase with your store,” adds Mason.
Video adverts are often used as an experimental tool in social marketing and switching it up on platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Instagram Stories, or Snapchat – depending on your brand’s activity and your audiences’ interests – can help attract customers during seasonal periods.
Selling Your First Franchise? Consider These Key Pointers
You’re ready to franchise your business, but who do you sell to and how? Your first few franchisees may be the hardest to acquire, but the process will be smoother if you get some basics right.
Business experience gained running your independent brand will come in handy, but looking for franchisees is a different ballgame. “We have to attract the right people in enough numbers to make the difference; and, the key to more leads is to have a multi-prong strategy to marketing,” says franchise strategist and expansion expert Lizette Pirtle.
Using media (social, or otherwise), trained experts in franchise sales, and keeping in mind that whoever you sell to will become an extension of your brand, are important considerations before selling your to first franchisee:
1. Use (all) media wisely
Website marketing, print advertising and social media are just some of the many different ways to attract potential owners to your franchise. But the most cost-effect of the three may be a ‘tweet’ or ‘post’ away, says former Director of Marketing at the International Franchise Association and owner of Burris Branding and Marketing, Jack Burris.
“Three out of four people using the Internet are either on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter or all of them. Take advantage of social media,” he says.
“There’s typically no cost to play in the space except for the time that you need to invest to build your brand with a social media presence.”
2. Seek out franchise coaches or brokers
While this is a more traditional method of making reliable franchise sales, it’s a great way to form lasting associations that will take you beyond your first few sales. “Using broker networks is a great way to supplement your own efforts. However, you must spend time developing relationships with these people if you want to get results,” advises Pirtle. “Don’t think that just listing your opportunity with them is sufficient.”
Franchise coaches and brokers have multiple options for potential franchisees, so to put yourself high on their list of consideration when prospects enquire, you have to form memorable relationships.
3. Always consider the bigger picture
Out of all the people your marketing efforts attract, always keep in mind that few will check all the boxes and compromising could cost you in the long run.
“The franchise relationship is a long-term one. If you’re going to be successful as a franchisor, you should start with the attitude that every franchisee will be someone who you’ll have to live with for years to come. And nowhere is this philosophy more important than when awarding your first franchise,” says Mark Siebert, CEO of the iFranchise Group, a franchise consulting organisation.
3 Factors To Focus On When Opening Your First Franchise
To become a successful franchisee, there’s lots more to learn. Take notes and this will be an adventure still with its challenges, but less stress.
Experts and those who’ve gone through the launching, managing and successful running of a franchise will tell you that owning a franchise can be just as risky as owning an independent small business – and it doesn’t get easier after signing on the dotted line. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth giving franchising a shot.
“The hardest part of being a franchisee is learning and adopting all the processes that exist in the brand you’re buying into. But it’s important that a customer can walk into any franchisee’s property across the country and have the exact same experience,” says Jeff Chew, Pizza Factory franchisee.
With that in mind, remember the financial, emotional and physical investment you’ve made in this new venture and let it fuel your success, from before you even serve your first customer
1. Financial and intellectual wealth
Don’t buy into a franchise where you might be undercapitalised, advises Paul Durant, a Junk King franchisee.
Keep in mind that running a new business isn’t challenging only mentally strenuous, but financially too, because you’re not always immediately profitable. Ensure you have enough runway for a few years at a loss or minimal profit.
“I did not do a thorough job in my initial research and discovery calls. I used a lot of my own assumptions and luckily they were fairly close,” recalls Durant.
“I would, however, suggest that you ask very detailed questions during the discovery process and listen carefully to the responses. Often what is not said is equally as important as what is said.”
2. Remember the purpose of the manual
The point of buying into the concept you’ve chosen is to ensure success based on a roadmap that’s already been drawn out for you. Straying from this plan unnecessarily is a shortcut to failure. This doesn’t mean you cannot make changes, but always ensure your growth is where it needs to be by following the system completely.
Franchisee Mark Arduino thought he was taking the advice he’d been given countless times: Just follow the system. But he quickly realised he wasn’t when all the franchise-specific training he’d been through was forgotten in favour of easier shortcuts.
“Then I realised my mistake. I came to see that it’s very user friendly. I’m sorry I didn’t use it from the start!” he says.
If you think you have a better way of doing something detailed in the franchisee manual, do your research. Your decision should follow a discussion with your franchisor, then align to the business plan.
3. Learn at every opportunity
It’s great that you have previous experience in business. It’s a huge bonus that could put you ahead of other franchisees in your network. But, always be willing to learn and put your hand up or open a book if you’re not sure. A vast business background doesn’t guarantee automatic success as a franchisee, so be open to learning from others.
“I have learned more from two of the franchisees in my area than I could ever have imagined and I owe my early success in large part to their willingness to help,” says Jeff Steele, a CMIT Solutions franchisee.
It may sometimes seem like you can do it all on your own, but even when you feel you can do anything, you cannot do everything. That’s why you joined a franchise that (hopefully) offers good support structure.
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