Hot! Mindy Black, Inner Beauty Skincare

Inner Beauty Skincare, launched in 2006 in Lake Mary, Fla., offers clinical facials that provide nutrition for your skin with immediate results.

‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching this business: I was a square peg in a round hole. Pink slip after pink slip in the work place, plus years of being bullied and being told I was never going to be successful. I had to take control of my own destiny. If you tell me no, I do it 10 times harder. Even with no college degree, I knew I could and would be successful. I knew it was up to me to share my gifts with the world.

Ideal customer/target market: A woman who has had a bad experience with a facial or who has never had one, and doesn’t understand the major benefits. Also a “product junkie” – a woman who likes to spend money getting Botox and other enhancements. Age range is 32-65 plus.

How did you secure your very first client? Networking.

Measuring success: When my bank account gets bigger and when my clients call crying because they are finally so happy with their skin.

Biggest struggle: Time management. I hired a business coach to hold myself accountable.

Surprise!: How important time management is and how much it can cost you.

Promoting business: I do it through smart networking and being a leader and a resource in my community.

Two things you wish you would’ve known: There is no need to give services away for free or barter, and knowing how many hours I would really need to put in to get results.

What keeps you up at night (business-wise!)?
Coming up with unique ways to explain how what I do is different from what women get at a department store or day spa.

Ever tempted to throw in the towel and just get a job?
Hell no. Been there, done that. No one ever said owning your own business is easy, but the reward at the end of the day — knowing you’ve empowered, pleased, impacted and made a difference — is priceless. Oh, and not being abused and bullied ever- not even from clients. Not having to fire clients at the end of the day makes me beam with confidence and joy.

Biggest business goal over the next year: To lease the space next to me, busting out the wall and adding in another esthetician. I have already started. I have hired a part-time esthetician to bring in business on the weekends. With those additional funds, I should be able to finance the next space. Leveraging my local media exposure and being an eHow contributor has increased my exposure and revenue.

Pricing/advice on getting it right: Don’t undercut, discount yourself and your service or product. Believe in yourself and in the value of what you offer. Know why you are different and what keeps clients coming back.

Funding/advice on pursuing it: I self funded, and took advantage of a credit line with a business card. I charged $10,000 six years ago on a business credit card to purchase all of my product and equipment.

A few tips specific to your industry: My best promo I ever did was at the end of the year when I offered a $100 gift certificate for $75. I never discount my services, so when I offered this promo, people jumped at this great special. It brought in a ton of new clients.

Must-read online resource in your industry: Skin Inc., SUCCESS and entrepreneur.com all keep me up to date with specific industry-related trends as well as continuing my education with regards to being an entrepreneur.

The absolute best part of owning my business is:
being able to provide a service that meets my high standards.

If I had to start over again, I would have: grasped the concept of what it takes to make a paycheck as a business owner.

I never imagined:
holding myself accountable would be so difficult.

If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring or struggling small business owners, I would shout:
“Just believe in yourself.”

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