Hot opportunities for young entrepreneurs

A combination of smart ideas and popular market trends will make these enterprises sizzle in 2006

a flat retainer, Isiadinso, along with two part-time consultants, works to help clients discover their personal brand and gain an edge over the competition. Drawing from her psychology degree, Isiadinso listens to life stories and identifies meaningful points worth marketing. Recently, she says, a woman who looked perfect on paper lacked the confidence to get through the M.B.A. application process. “We had to build her up,” she says. “She had a compelling story, but people told her she wouldn’t amount to anything.” After talking to Isiadinso, the client learned her personal brand was a desire to uplift women. “But she didn’t see the power in that. She applied to five schools and got admitted to four. She’s now in a top M.B.A. program.”

Success stories like these are how EXPARTUS earned more than $100,000 this year, and Isiadinso expects an additional 50% growth in revenues for 2006. Most of the company’s clients are high school students aiming to gain acceptance into Ivy League colleges as well as young professionals looking to get into graduate school. Strong referrals and strategic marketing to alumni associations and specialized e-groups keep the client roster full.

For those passionate about education, an admissions consulting business is a rewarding way to go, says Isiadinso. Startup costs are low and learning the application process, while not rocket science, requires in-depth coaching skills. However, a key ingredient is having a knack for empowering people to realize their dreams.

CLEANING UP IN THE PERSONA
L LAUNDRY INDUSTRY
New York City’s celebrities, fashionistas, attorneys, and other professionals whose polished appearances take time and money to maintain have helped a pair of entrepreneurs find success in a crowded market of dry cleaning and laundry companies.

Two years ago, Green and Mwangaguhunga jumped on the opportunity to provide a unique solution for schedule-challenged New Yorkers who are often too busy to do their laundry. Now, The Laundry Spa is one of a growing number of lifestyle-management services dedicated to helping individuals with frantic schedules. The company will pick up your laundry, wash it, and deliver it with care — beautifully wrapped and scented — within 48 hours.

“In an industry dominated by mom and pop shops, we saw a need for a company that could provide better quality services on a consistent basis,” says Green, partner and director of marketing. “There was an opportunity to create a regional, branded company that will hopefully turn into a national brand.”

With eight employees and $450,000 in sales for 2004, The Laundry Spa (www.laundryspa.com) caters to “brand conscious” women and men aged 25 to 45. “They’re pretty finicky, and they care about their clothes and who is cleaning them,” says Green, who worked as a matrimonial attorney before becoming a business owner.

Touting its services as “a spa for your clothing,” the company’s prices are roughly triple that of its competitors. The firm charges $2.25 per pound of laundry, $4 per pressed shirt, and $8 per piece for dry cleaning. Green says being at the high end of the scale isn’t easy but adds that

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