It's hard to miss Jennifer Jacino-Gonce and her Yakety Yak franchise. Whether she's handing out her cards to everyone in sight or giving away gadgets at community events, Jacino-Gonce has made her business, which specializes in cell phones and accessories, a prominent fixture in Westhampton Beach, New York. And in the rare case she is overlooked, her bright yellow Hummer H2 decked out in Yakety Yak decals usually does the trick. She's known as the "Yakety Yak Girl" and has become so established as the go-to person for phones that the competition has even sent customers her way.
But Jacino-Gonce, 32, wasn't always this visible--or this knowledgeable. In fact, when she first started in August 2005, she was still sporting her 7-year-old phone and didn't know a thing about the latest models or accessories. However, making a trip to the franchisor's basic training, listening to her customers' requests and doing extensive research online helped her catch up with the times. She even replaced her outdated dinosaur with a Dolce & Gabbana Razr phone.
Jacino-Gonce expects more than $150,000 in year-end sales. And even though the hours can be long and life as a business owner is stressful, she's in clear range of what she wants: to open two more stores soon and retire early. She says, "My husband and I can't imagine working at 57."