Posts by Hakimah Shah
The Julie Wilcox Method is an online, subscription-based program that integrates yoga, fitness and food.
Owner and namesake Julie Wilcox founded it in January after eight years as a yoga instructor. It hasn’t been in business long enough to be profitable, but she hoped to change that by signing up large companies and their employees.
“My biggest hurdle right now is to land some of the bigger fish, some of the bigger companies with thousands and thousands of clients,” she said. “I haven't nailed those yet.”
Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” said that in order for her to land these kinds of accounts, she would have to make some major sacrifices.
“The first thing I would do is find one or two companies, and I would make it so affordable to them, just to get somebody in the till,” he said. “It's going to be painful for you, because you're going to feel like, ‘I'm worth more than this.’ I think you have to get that out of your mind and say, ‘I'm just getting my foot in the door.’'
Longtime friends Khat Rabbani and Ashley Williams began selling hair extensions out of their cars in 2011, with no idea how far their initial $2,000 investment would take them. By the end of the year, it had turned into $70,000, and then $700,000 the year after that.
They opened Hair Are Us, their flagship store in Atlanta, which was joined a year later by a location in Miami. Revenue exceeded the $1 million mark, but not without sacrifice.
“In the beginning we put everything on the line,” Williams said. “We didn't do anything else but sleep and eat Hair Are Us.” Luckily, they knew who their future customers were, and they knew how to target them.
“We went to colleges, we went to all your different nightclubs, restaurants, the malls, anywhere you can think of,” she said. “We were there, leaving fliers. And we realized that it was working when the phone started to ring.” The phones haven’t stopped ringing ever since.
(Related: Time to drive out stubborn employees?)
Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” suggested that they focus on their online store. It’s their biggest revenue source and has the most growth potential.
When Sherri Heckenast bought Team Demolition in 2008, she had grand dreams of turning the Joliet, Illinois , derby series into a motorsports behemoth.
“My vision was to get it to the highest level we could,” she said. Think Monster Jam, and you’re on the right track.
Six years later, each race draws 10,000 adrenaline junkies to the Route 66 Raceway, where teams crash their way to a $7,500 prize. Yet , Team Demolition is hardly the household name she originally envisioned . S he told Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” that reaching a national platform is something only a new generation of drivers can accomplish.
“New blood would grow not only the competition side, but would grow the fan base,” she said.
Lemonis agreed, adding that new people are necessary where such a dangerous sport is concerned. Last season alone saw Team Demolition drivers rack up three broken backs and a multitude of broken fingers and elbows.
Flat Out of Heels sells rollable ballet flats for women. CEO Dawn Dickson launched the Miami-based company in 2012, and the product has been selling like crazy ever since. She even started a second company to build vending machines to sell them. Demand was high, but Dickson didn’t have the money to keep the shoes in stock. “I can sell out my product,” she said. “I just need to have it on hand all the time. That’s a tough pill to swallow, when the reason you’re not making money is because you don’t have the product.” After receiving several large orders, including one for 10,000 pairs, she began desperately searching for funding. Eventually, she received what seemed like an impressive offer -- a large retail company wanted to buy the brand. (RELATED: Looking to grow your business? Do this) Dickson would have stayed on as CEO for two years, as well as, retaining the vending machine company, and she still would have been able to sell her own shoes.
(RELATED: When raising prices is good business)
Sandy Marsico had a vision of a digital marketing agency that was creative, collaborative and fun when she founded Sandstorm Design in 1998. Six employees later, she seemed to be off to a great start.
“I remember taking a break to pick flowers down the street,” she said. “It was fine because there were only a handful of us and everybody knew what everyone was doing.”
But once six employees grew to 10, she lost control of what had been a dream company in the making.
Employees began arguing in the office, making a once-harmonious atmosphere combative and toxic. Coming to work was becoming an unpleasant grind, never a good position for the boss to be in.
(RELATED: Want to expand? Marcus says do this instead)
Eventually, she decided that enough was enough. She took back the company’s reins and laid down the ground rules for employee conduct, which Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit” said were essential to a healthy work environment.
“It’s really about building a box,” he said. “You tell them, ‘Have as much fun in the box as you want, but you can’t leave the box.’ These are the rules of engagement.”