Steve Ojeshina worked for 28 years in the automotive industry. In1989 he started at Nissan and moved to General Motors in 1995. While working as a mechanical engineer, Ojeshina lived all over the world in places like Japan, China, and Australia. Upon returning to the U.S. in 2004, Ojeshina settled in Michigan and worked for 13 more years until retiring in 2017.
Like many retired Americans, Ojeshina decided to move to South Florida and quickly became bored. Ojeshina wanted to do more with his life. When he was younger, he dreamed of owning his own business to impact the lives of others and pass it down to his children. With that idea in mind, Ojeshina explored franchising. He opened his first SmartStyle franchise in 2018, which quickly grew to 17 locations by 2019.
“I have a total of 17 beauty salons; they are all located inside Walmart,” Ojeshina told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“I took over the first six salons in April 2018, and I expanded by acquiring 11 more salons in September 2019. The Franchisor is Regis Corporation,” Ojeshina shared.
“Our locations are in the Tampa and Orlando markets and have good cash flow and revenues.”
The Power of the Franchise Model
Ojeshina was drawn to franchising and SmartStyle because it is an established business with a great reputation, excellent customer base, good brand awareness, and excellent management support.
“Franchises are proven concepts with most, if not all, their systems in place. In the case of SmartStyle, I had the freedom and ability to run the business as if it was an independent business with little to no restrictions—which was very attractive to me.”
With his success at SmartStyle, Ojeshina decided to diversify and invest in a different industry. He felt a strong passion for helping others live happy and healthy lifestyles. Ojeshina opened his first StretchLab Studio franchise in Wesley Chapel in November 2021. He opened a second location in March 2022. His third location is scheduled to open in July 2022 in Tampa, followed by two more. While there are several boutique fitness franchise opportunities, Ojeshina chose a one-on-one assisted stretching franchise because he saw it as a fresh wellness concept that didn’t exist in his community.
Ojeshina plans to pass his businesses to his son, daughter, and grandchildren. His advice for prospective business owners is to pick a business they love and are very passionate about, have a purpose and drive to help others, and be sure to research the viability of your chosen industry. Ojeshina also advises business owners to pay very close attention to profit and loss statements like revenue, expenses, and cash flow (which is your bottom line). He says it is important to create robust business and financial plans that include funding, marketing, and advertising funds.
“Study the local, state, and federal regulations, and if you’re investing in an established franchise, visit several locations in your area and talk with current owners to seek knowledge and advice.”
“Starting my own businesses has been an excellent way to pursue my dreams of becoming an entrepreneur while passing my legacy — skills, work ethics, knowledge, wisdom, and businesses to the next generation. It also keeps my mind active by learning new ideas from other businessmen and businesswomen that I am very fortunate to interact with. It helps to fulfill my social life.”