[Entrepreneur of the Week] How a Side Hobby Became a Multi-Location Business
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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Fracassi Lashes logoWhat are your best 3 tips to stand out in a saturated market?

  1. Recognize who your target market is, and who it isn’t. Don’t try to be everything to everybody.
  2. Be an expert at your business. You should know your product or service inside and out. Take the time to do your research and hone your skills before adding a new product or service to your business. If you own a hair salon and you aren’t highly skilled at applying makeup, don’t offer makeup applications until you are, or you’ve hired someone who is.
  3. Don’t be afraid to be different. A lot of times, businesses try to compete with other business by trying to be just like them. You can’t stand out if you’re just like everyone else. Look at what competitors aren’t offering and find a way to offer that. Consider what other options customers might want. If all the shoe stores offer multiple black shoes, but nothing in brown, be the store that offers shoes in black and brown.

What was your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
Mastering balance. Having multiple locations, someone always needs something. Something always needs to be done: a new product we’re launching, new lash development, training new employees, or retraining current employees, or polishing up the brand.

Over the years, I’ve learned to delegate and set boundaries so I don’t bring work home. It can be very tempting, but I’ve learned to create layers within the company’s structure so this does not happen. If this isn’t implemented, you will get burnt out.

I recommend reading E-Myth Revisted: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber. It’s a great book for entrepreneurs who are trying to organize their company. I always go back to the book when I feel myself becoming unbalanced. Also, I use prayer…ha-ha, lots of prayers.

What have you discovered you would do your own way?
Everyone told me that I couldn’t have more than one store. They told me to focus on one store, but I have always thought big, and felt, ‘Why limit myself to just one store?’ There were ladies that were coming to Fracassi Lashes from other cities–just to experience the brand. So I kept hearing these ladies say that they wanted me to open one in their city, so I did. It’s very important to listen to the customers and not just the people around you, who can’t see or think big. Your vision is your vision. Do what works for you, and what you feel comfortable and capable of doing.

The traditional career or business rule you’re glad you didn’t follow:
The traditional career or business rule I’m glad I didn’t follow was attempting to do too many services in our beauty lounge. Over the past several years, we have had so many people tell us we should add this service or that service. But I stayed true to what I originally felt Fracassi Lashes was about: All things for the face. Eyelashes are such a small niche. No one thought we would survive for 6 months, let alone one year. But we have been in business since 2009; mainly doing lashes and other light services. We have always devoted our services to mastering eyelashes.

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