I fully subscribe to our nationwide thrust to push entrepreneurship in our country. The Go Negosyo program, for instance, has been the guiding light of many upstarts through the ups and downs, the many challenges that they face as they start a new business. I also laud the government's full support as evidenced by the many Go Negosyo Centers across the land through the efforts of the Dept. of Trade & Industry and the initiative of Sen. Bam Aquino. These centers are virtual one-stop shops meant to serve the registration, documentation and other help needed by would-be entrepreneurs.
We here at Business & Leisure have a portion at the B&L TV show known as Strictly Business where we feature successful Filipino ventures, whether micro, small or medium, our small way of showing our kababayans the limitless potentials of entrepreneurship. We ourselves are amazed at the plethora of stories that we have come across in our features and how these ventures have flourished with "sipag" and "tiyaga". Some have risen from the ashes, others were sparks of bright ideas given life through a business venture.
What is more interesting, though, is those that have departed from the ordinary or common and went for the less beaten path and in the process have spawned a new sector in business. In the beauty industry for instance, there are unlimited options for new products, new services. Here at home, waxing has been around for some time but only as one of the many services offered in salons and parlors. A young lady, Monique Hilario and her sister were waiting in line at a salon to have this service. As she waited patiently in line, she realized that there is a strong demand for waxing services among Filipinos. A dedicated waxing salon could be a viable business because of this strong demand.
The sisters did their homework including research on the raw materials to be used and the market. They opened their first waxing salon at the ground floor of their condominium building in the outskirts of Makati, in Palanan where students pass through going to the universities among many others using this busy road. The sisters lived in the same building, so transportation and traffic were not a problem and they could monitor the business closely, a big plus for them. The small salon could easily handle the volume of business that was steadily growing in the immediate area. This was the first Lay Bare Waxing Salon, and many more were soon to follow.
With an initial capital of less than P500,000.00, Monique opened the door to many possibilities. Through word of mouth, her loyal base of clients was built, and soon it was time to open another branch. After a while, there were serious inquiries for franchises from their own customers, all waxing enthusiasts, and this was another facet of the business that Monique began to seriously consider.
Franchising is another vehicle for growth that many Filipino entrepreneurs have discovered. It is with great pride that we acknowledge the Philippines' leadership in the ASEAN region as far as franchising is concerned. It is regarded as the franchising hub of Asia, and the very successful franchising trade shows and fairs that we have hosted here over the years are proof of this. Many small businesses grew exponentially because of franchising. With the right business model and the machinery that goes with professional franchising, this is the way to go. In the Philippines, we have two franchising associations, the umbrella organizations that have provided the key to the success of many top corporations from Jollibee and the 7-Eleven franchise to Binalot, Fruit Magic and Potato Corner which has gone global.
Because of franchising, Lay Bare Waxing Salon now has over eighty branches scattered from Luzon to Mindanao, and more are in the offing. The expansion plans of Monique are now focused more in the provincial areas.
The B&L staff visited one of Monique's waxing salons and she gladly gave them a tour. The salon was modern, smart and chic and the epitome of cleanliness, the criteria that cannot be missed out by anyone in the beauty business. They created a very relaxing atmosphere and ambience in all their salons, and they have even developed their signature scent that is used in all their branches. All these contribute to a total Lay Bare experience, according to Monique.
Yes, they have mostly female clients but one will be surprised to know that they have their fair share of male clients as well. In fact, they even have regulars who are male athletes; apparently, many males do not appreciate hairy faces and bodies. We watched as they waxed and threaded off the stubble on the face of one of the salon's regular male customers. In a few minutes, the face was fresh-looking, neat and of course hairless.
There is a full range of services here, from full body waxing that can take up to three hours if one is a first-timer and cost P1,750.00 per session, to eyebrow threading which can only take ten minutes and cost an affordable P110.00. Different body parts have different rates of hair growth, Monique said, but generally one can expect regrowth within three to six weeks.
They also have their own brand of beauty products from facial and body wash to different kinds of creams and lotions, exfoliators, deodorants, sun blocks and lightening gels. They continuously think of promotions and lately, they have come up with their own Loyalty Rewards Cards. Constant innovation is key to one's long-lasting success and this is true for many businesses that we have encountered. For those who have an aversion to the slightest pain or discomfort often associated with hot wax treatments, the salon now offers cold wax treatments as well, another innovation in their services.
With over eighty branches all over the archipelago and still counting, Lay Bare Salon has developed a dependable and reliable brand that has been embraced nationally by waxing enthusiasts in the country and believe me, there are many in the country.
Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.
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