- 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.
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“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.
The Future Of Franchising Looks Smaller (And Fancier)
Franchises are adding smaller locations and reduced menu options, as niche markets emerge, to attract the customer of the future.
As the owner of a thriving franchise, you’re well aware of the fact that fluctuations in the world economy has both negative and positive effects on business. When it comes to your successful franchise, tough times could mean adopting new trends or seizing gaps, potentially resulting in a new franchise concept you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.
“The buzz word in global franchising is ‘flexibility and adaptability’,” according to the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA). “Whether a result of a need to inject some life into stagnant franchise brands or as a result of the new world order brought about by the recession, franchising is embracing alternative and options in a big way.”
You can do this by either devising innovative areas to franchise or allowing more flexible ways for franchisees to operate to help with their bottom line. FASA has earmarked these as some of the biggest franchising trends in 2018 and beyond:
Smaller, more cost-effective franchise models
When franchisees don’t have high franchise fees and start-up costs to worry about, they can focus more on what customers want, and deliver. The added benefit of smaller spaces include having fewer employees and reasonable rental.
Among the new frontiers in franchising are the food court losing its legacy as the preferred setting for food franchises, as service stations increase in popularity in the industry. A number of brands – like Steers, Debonairs and Mugg & Bean On-the-Go outlets – are co-locating with major fuel retailers to create fully-integrated accessible centres.
Niche markets are offering one-of-a-kind franchises
“The opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new franchise trend is also on the rise,” notes FASA. This could be offering a unique gourmet food experience in your outlets or a ‘green’ space of energy saving technology in your operations.
“Consumers have gained control of what they want,” says Morné Cronjé, head of franchising at FNB Business. “It is no longer about what you have on the menu, but how your product or service can be tailor-made to what a customer really wants.”
Founded just five years ago (2013), RocoMamas boasts over 60 franchise outlets, clearly responding to the essence of this trend –allowing consumers to build their own burgers without having to pay for items they’d rather leave out.
Stay ahead of the game
For long-term success, franchisors who want to expand their business should start exploring beyond present circumstances and current predictions.
“2018 will no doubt bring its challenges, however for every challenge there is a window of opportunity to explore. We are advising franchisors to scrutinise these trends carefully, it can definitely give them a boost for 2018,” says Cronjé.
As Consumers’ Tastes Change Can Your Franchise Keep Up?
More of your customers are eating in, and if you’re not packaging, portioning and pricing your food accordingly, they’re heading to a retailer that does.
It’s generally believed that it’s cheaper to cook your own breakfast, lunch or supper than to go out and pay a much higher price for the same food in your fridge at home. But today’s consumer’s live fast-paced lifestyles – so food is becoming more about convenience.
31% of 6 022 middle-to-high income South African earners surveyed by BusinessTech, put eating out and entertainment at the top of their list of things they’re most willing to cut their spending on in 2018 to save money. Research by supermarket giant Pick n Pay correlates, reporting an increase in customers buying quality convenience food, not just to entertain at home, but for dining at home.
Consumers are empowered by variety
You’ve heard about the ‘fast casual generation’, aka Millennials? They are demanding healthy, affordable eating experiences. But do you know how this affects the future of the food industry, and your business in particular – because they’re not the only ones adapting their lifestyles.
An increasing number of food brands and chefs are compelled to create complete ranges of new, convenient meal options that are not only packaged, portioned and precooked attractively, but affordable too.
The fastest growing sector of retail foodservice for the past four years has been the convenience store sector. Non-traditional avenues of distribution are growing, gobbling market share while establishing new patterns of consumption, price points, and customer loyalty.
Shoppers are becoming value-focused
A savvy franchise would acknowledge that although pre-packaged and pre-cooked convenience food isn’t a new trend among consumers and supermarkets, it is gaining popularity. “Some of the most notable trends in 2017 were an increasing shift to convenience foods as customers looked for both value and convenience,” says Pick ‘n Pay’s Head of Marketing, John Bradshaw.
Value for money and healthier food choices will continue to be top of the convenience food list for consumer in 2018, as more shoppers cut down on luxuries.
“We’ve seen significant growth in the number of customers looking for an easy way to enjoy a good meal without the cost of eating out,” says Bradshaw.
But he cautions that South African shoppers have always been value-focused, and while the most significant shift Pick ‘n Pay has seen is how all its shoppers, no matter what their income levels, are watching their budgets.
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.”
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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.
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