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Business Ideas – Business Lessons from Jenny Craig (food & service entrepreneur)
Today we’re going to look at how a gym manager mortgaged her house to start a business because she saw a need, moved to Australia, and later sold her business for $600 million. This is the story of Jenny Craig and the top three lessons you can learn from her success.
Action Item #1: Promote, Promote, Promote!
Building a better mousetrap is not enough anymore to get a company off the ground. You need to aggressively promote your business to make sure your customers know that you exist. From advertising and public relations to search engine optimization and social media marketing, you have many opportunities to spread the word about your company and you should never take your foot off the gas!
In the company’s early years, Craig made sure that exactly ten percent of sales was directed back into commercial advertising each and every year. Individual franchises were also expected to spend ten percent of sales, or at least $1,000 a week, on local advertising for their own centres.
They used traditional advertising on television programs, leveraged celebrity endorsements, and created direct mail campaigns. But they also tried many offbeat approaches. As one example, Sid got the company a lot of publicity during one televised international cricket match, where cameras picked up on a sign in the crowd directed at the captain of the English team that read: “See Jenny Craig. Quick.”
Action Item #2: Offer Products and Services
I believe the best way to build a business is to start a service – it’s low cost and gets you close to your customers. Your chances of survival are much higher and you learn what future services and products your clients need. Once you’ve established a base of customers and know exactly what’s missing in the marketplace, you can create your products. You’ve got cashflow from your service business to keep the company running and you’ve got a loyal group of clients who are ready to buy!
Jenny Craig had the same philosophy. Her business started with Jenny Craig centres where they would help clients establish a workout program, offer nutritional guidance, and also give motivational services. Her business grew every year as she added more centres and people to her team. It was a very successful service based business.
Jenny Craig’s big break came when she started offering prepared food products as a part of her offering. She brought on board a highly qualified staff of dieticians, psychologists, and physicians to help her create a menu that was healthy and nutritional. In doing so, Jenny’s Cuisine became a central component to her program. All of her clients were required to purchase these portion and calorie controlled foods, which included over sixty different breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack options. Jenny’s Cuisine proved so popular that the company’s gross revenues from food sales increased to 91 percent by 1993.
Action Item #3: Never Give Up!
Just like I discussed in my last post, it’s important as an entrepreneur to never give up on your idea. Every business owner will face a moment of crisis which forces you to think whether it’s all worth it – the long hours, the mounting debt, the personal sacrifices. These moments will help define you as an entrepreneur. It’s the founders who stare those moments square in the face and keep on building who go on to be the ultra-successful entrepreneurs.
From losing weight, to starting her own business, to not being able to run her business in America, Craig has proven that with perseverance anything is possible. When the Craigs first sold their chain of Body Contour gyms, they did so in agreement to a non-compete clause. They were not allowed to set up shop again anywhere in the U.S. for two years.
And so, refusing to wait two years before they made their next move, the couple went on a search for their next destination. Where could they begin their new line of fitness centres? What country was similar to the U.S. in terms of diet and fitness levels but presented no language barrier? The Craigs decided on Australia. Their friends thought they were “nuts” but the couple never gave up and turned their new business into a company that sold for $600 million.
Scientists look to the ocean as fuel of the future
July 10 – If the rising price of oil is hurting your budget, don’t worry. Scientists in Australia have found a way to turn seawater into fuel.
Living Without Fear: Dr Jee Hyun Kim
Dr Kim currently leads a research team working on memory aspects of early-onset anxiety disorders and drug addiction in the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne. Her research suggests cognitive-behavioural therapies have different effectiveness depending on one’s age, and advocates treatment of mental disorders during childhood. Her research in memory across development began when she received Bachelor of Psychology with 1st Class Honours and the University Medal in 2004 from the University of New South Wales, Australia. She then received a Ph.D. in 2008 for research in memory retrieval, forgetting, inhibition and erasure from UNSW. While she was at Michigan University for her postdoctoral training, UNSW gave her U-committee Award for Research Excellence in Science in 2010. Dr Kim has recently been honoured with the Australian Psychological Society’s Early Career Research Award in 2012. She has featured regularly on ABC radio, including ‘Radio Australia’, and has recently featured on Channel Ten’s ‘The Project’.
Paul Pholeros: How to reduce poverty? Fix homes
In 1985, architect Paul Pholeros was challenged by the director of an Aboriginal-controlled health service to “stop people getting sick” in a small indigenous community in south Australia. The key insights: think beyond medicine and fix the local environment. In this sparky, interactive talk, Pholeros describes projects undertaken by Healthabitat, the organization he now runs to help reduce poverty–through practical design fixes–in Australia and beyond.
Paul Pholeros is a director of Healthabitat, a longstanding effort to improve the health of indigenous people by fixing their living environment and housing.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
“Change comes slowly,” says architect Paul Pholeros. He should know; he has spent the last 30 years working on urban, rural, and remote architectural projects throughout his native Australia and beyond. In particular, he is focused on improving the living environments of the poor, understanding that environment plays a key and often overlooked role in health.
An architect himself, Pholeros met his two co-directors in the organization Healthabitat in 1985, when the three were challenged by Yami Lester, the director of a Aboriginal-controlled health service in the Anangu Pitjatjantjara Lands in northwest South Australia, to “stop people getting sick.” The findings from that project have guided their thinking ever since, as Pholeros and his partners work to improve sanitation, connect electricity, and provide washing and water facilities to indigenous communities. Above all, the teams focus on engaging these local communities to help themselves–and to pass on their skills to others. In this way, a virtuous circle of fighting poverty is born.
Since 2007, Healthabitat has expanded its work beyond Australia, working on similar projects in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. In 2011, the firm was awarded the international UN Habitat and Building and Social Housing Foundation’s World Habitat Award, and a Leadership in Sustainability prize from the Australian Institute of Architects. In 2012, Healthabitat was one of the six Australian representatives at the Venice International Architectural Biennale.
“Paul Pholeros is an architect specifically honoured for his 30 years’ work in indigenous housing. His firm, Healthabitat, set up in 1987 with the medic Paul Torzillo and the public health officer Stephan Rainow, does not build new houses but simply “fixes” ones that are not working. They have developed a testing kit that fits in a suitcase, a preferred list of robust, low-maintenance appliances and a standard set of tools, so that local people can be trained in the work. In the past decade they have fixed 6500 houses across remote Australia and a new two-year contract covers 600 more. So you’d have to say he’s across the issue.” Elizabeth Farrelly, the Sydney Morning Herald
A Q&A Audience With Bill Gates
Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, joins ABC’s Q&A to face questions from the audience. He answers across a range of topics including global health, corporate tax evasion, robot warfare, philanthropy and social media.
Continuous disclosure — what do listed companies have to tell the market and when?
ASX Investment talks with Kevin Lewis, Group Executive and Chief Compliance Officer, ASX
Continuous disclosure, trading halts and speeding tickets. It may seem like another language but it is all about making sure that listed companies release information to the market promptly so that investors have equal access to information. Kevin Lewis of ASX is the person responsible for listed company reporting at ASX. He talks to Tony Featherstone.
Speaker Biography – Kevin Lewis SJD (Harvard), MBA (U Sydney), LLB (Hons)/BJuris (Hons) (UWA)
Group Executive and Chief Compliance Officer, ASX Compliance Pty Limited
Recovering from Trauma Series: Part 1 – Children and Trauma
This is Part 1 of the Recovering from Trauma Series. The Recovering from Trauma Series is a conversation between Petrea King from the Quest for Life Foundation, and Georgie Somerset from the Queensland Rural Womens Network.
This series focuses on practical tools and techniques for recovering from trauma, for children, adults and communities.
Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!
When most well-intentioned aid workers hear of a problem they think they can fix, they go to work. This, Ernesto Sirolli suggests, is naïve. In this funny and impassioned talk, he proposes that the first step is to listen to the people you’re trying to help, and tap into their own entrepreneurial spirit. His advice on what works will help any entrepreneur.
Ernesto Sirolli got his start doing aid work in Africa in the 70′s — and quickly realised how ineffective it was.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM:
Ernesto Sirolli is a noted authority in the field of sustainable economic development and is the Founder of the Sirolli Institute, an international non-profit organization that teaches community leaders how to establish and maintain Enterprise Facilitation projects in their community. The Institute is now training communities in the USA, Canada, Australia, England and Scotland.
In 1985, he pioneered in Esperance, a small rural community in Western Australia, a unique economic development approach based on harnessing the passion, determination, intelligence, and resourcefulness of the local people. The striking results of “The Esperance Experience” have prompted more than 250 communities around the world to adopt responsive, person-centered approaches to local economic development similar to the Enterprise Facilitation® model pioneered in Esperance.
Completing the Circle: Healing Words About End of Life Spoken to Aboriginal Families
Saskatchewan Elders share their experiences and beliefs about death and dying in the Aboriginal World. They send comforting words to Aboriginal families to help with the healing process in their time of need. We welcome you into the circle to join the journey through the end of life process.