Sharlene Loveless - CEO of Enlighten Laser

Date: JUN 1st, 2012

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Sharlene Loveless is a Newfoundland native with business savvy and a vision to provide Canadians with superior laser treatments at an affordable price. Sharlene founded Enlighten Laser with her twin sister Jolene Reid. Sharlene manages the esthetics end of the business while Jolene oversees the numbers and marketing. In a short time, the business has grown to 9 locations. Together, these beautiful ambitious women plan to take Canada by storm.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the Enlighten Laser concept.

Sharlene Loveless: Enlighten Laser is a new choice in laser treatments. We deliver a luxury service at an affordable price. We specialize in the latest and greatest in laser cosmetic technology, so our clients always look and feel their best.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Enlighten Laser?

SL: I have been fascinated by the idea of laser hair removal for a long time. From there, we have added many different services included cellulite removal, vein treatments, photo rejuvenation, and more. Several years ago I wanted these treatments for myself. I walked into a clinic in my local mall, and was told my hair was too light, and that I wasn't a good candidate for laser hair removal. I knew this simply could not be true because I had read about new technology to treat light hair. In addition to this, the staff was very impolite. I just knew there was an opportunity here. I had to offer great technology and superior customer service. My passion for this was not at all based capitalizing on the ever growing laser industry as much as it was to fill the void in the industry. I knew there must be many people like me who did not want to live with embarrassing unwanted hair. From there, I have had great satisfaction in changing people's perspective on their appearance. There is nothing more rewarding than a client who says you have changed their life from treating their acne, or that they can't believe they are now fitting into their skinny jeans! The success stories are too many to count.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Enlighten Laser?

SL: I have had management experience with a franchised chain of fitness clubs, and also in a jewellery store chain. I saw first hand the benefits of the franchise for the franchisee owners, who were my bosses at the time. I was doing the business management, ensuring sales, and the owners had the luxury of benefitting from a proven business model. I knew early on I would own many franchises, however I did not expect to create my own. Of course, I am so glad I did.

BTB: What are some of the advantages of being a Enlighten Laser franchisee?

SL: Most of our franchisees tell me that their biggest reward is helping people. Most go into it as a business opportunity to generate income and be happily and successfully self employed. They are often surprised to find out how satisfying it is to be able to make someone feel better about themselves. We have great communication between all of our franchisees, which is really beneficial for helping clients. If one of them has a unique situation with a client, chances are they can call on one of the others who have had success in solving some of those problems. The inroads into the laser industry can be expensive and time consuming. Enlighten Laser offers a fast track into maximizing the benefits of the laser industry, without making costly mistakes.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

SL: All of our franchisees are so unique, and each one is now learning from the other. In that regard, our ideal franchisee would have a unique background that we wouldn't yet have on board! Of course, there are many things they have in common for being successful. Those things include a passion for the health and beauty industry, and the desire to be on the leading edge of the technological advancements of the industry.

Tell us a little about the Enlighten Laser market?

SL: Even though the cosmetic laser industry is more well known thanks to shows such as Dr. Oz and the Doctors, there are still many misconceptions about lasers. Also, there are many people still using old technologies. We have a long way to go in regards to client education. Most people by now are aware that it is possible to permanently remove hair, however they do not know about all the anti aging benefits of laser services. So, our market is in a constant state of flux, and Enlighten Laser has become the trustworthy source for the leading advancements.

What are some of the greatest lessons you've learned in growing this franchise?

SL: We have learned that our a large majority of our franchisees are previous clients. They receive the treatments, are very pleased and enthusiastic, and become enthusiastic franchise owners! I consider this a success in our customer service policies.

Do you have a mentor or is there someone you use for inspiration?

SL: Yes, having worked for Curves for Women in the past, I have always admired the way they built their successful franchise. I think I take much of what I learned while working for them into the values and strategies of Enlighten Laser.

What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a franchise?

SL: I would say that if you are considering the idea, to speak to some of our current franchisees, experience some of the treatments, and ask many questions. Also, don't think that a lot of background experience is required. That is the beauty of owning a franchise. You learn and grow from many years of experience, while getting total ongoing support.

In your opinion, why do you think Enlighten Laser would be a great opportunity for someone?

SL: If Enlighten Laser had been a franchise when I was getting started I would have jumped on board immediately! I created this for people who have a desire to become an entrepreneur while helping people feel their best. To start from scratch in this industry can be so expensive and time consuming. Owning an Enlighten Laser Franchise ensures success from day one!