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Business Success Part 1: What Makes a Successful Company?

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: March 30, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Cygalle Healing Spa

Cygalle Healing Spa hasn't been very affected by the economy due to its location and focus on holistic wellness. "I'm in the right marketplace at the right time," says Dias.

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“Liquidity is always a problem,” agrees Pamela McNair-Wingate, owner of Gadabout SalonSpas, which has multiple locations in Arizona. “It’s important to fully realize how much it costs to do the things you want to do. You have to have enough cash flow to keep the business moving, pay bills and pay employees for at least the first year,” she says. “You have to make payments on time and stay on task.”

Competition. After figuring out where your money is coming from, it is crucial to get a realistic lay of the land. When Michael Wolfgeher, founder, president and CEO of California-based professional skin care supplier Sircuit Cosmeceuticals, considered entering the skin care market, he was concerned. “It was a challenge to go into this marketplace because it was very saturated. I saw an opportunity to provide a product that wasn’t available in the marketplace, and that was a huge in,” he says. “It’s important to figure out how you position your company; how you will stand out in a crowd. That should be a big part of your evaluation.”

Yet, even if your product is different, competition still exists. “Even though you create something different, there’s still a lot of competition, so you have to create a brand that stands out, and you have to provide the best services, best quality and have an innovative concept, and market that concept to the target audience,” explains Dias.

For Philippe Hennessy, co-founder of professional skin care company Pevonia International, one of the details that allowed his business to make a splash in the market was improving upon the status quo. “I started looking at our competitors and saw the big ones and what they were doing, good and not so good. I tried to do better at education, marketing and advertising. I listened to the problems our customers were having and tried to overcome them,” he says.

Jane Wurwand, founder of California-based professional skin care supplier Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute, offers a theory on how that can help you find your niche in an oversaturated arena. “If you can identify the greatest pain in an industry, you’ve also identified the greatest opportunity,” she explains.