Always Let Them See You Sweat, According to These Entrepreneurs
In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who are you and what’s your business?
Lee Braun: I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Perspire Sauna Studio.
Ken Arsenian: I am one of the founding partners. Perspire is the first infrared (IR) sauna studio concept that delivers IR sauna therapy to consumers at an affordable rate. Infrared technology works to heat the core directly and produces a deep sweat in comparison to a traditional sauna that provides a surface-level sweat. We've seen that deep sweat results in detoxification, weight loss and relaxation.
What inspired you to create this product?
Braun: We were both huge fans of the benefits of IR and there wasn’t anywhere you could go pop in for a session after a workout or after a long day of work, and then be on your way. We decided to fill that gap.
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How is it different from other like it?
Arsenian: We are the original sauna studio. There is always a major risk of being the first of a new concept, especially in the wellness space, but we don’t focus on other companies who have popped up in the last 8 years. We work hard to continually adapt, evolve, research and improve. Our goal is that from the moment you enter to the moment you leave, you'll have an experience that is unlike any other.
What does the word “entrepreneur” mean to you?
Braun: To be an entrepreneur you have to put something on the line and make a wager that this thing you believe in will resonate with other people and grow.
Arsenian: Fewer rules and more flexibility. It's the ability to be nimble and change on the fly. You truly are your own boss, which means you have to be 100 percent accountable.
What's been your toughest challenge?
Arsenian: Our toughest challenge has been educating our customers about the benefits of IR. The common misconception is everyone thinks a sauna is a sauna when in reality our saunas are seven times more detoxifying than a traditional gym sauna. Developing marketing and sales campaigns that focus on our benefits has been key to our success.
What trait do you depend on most when making decisions?
Braun: We both really depend on our collaborative thinking to arrive at decisions. At the base of all our decisions we use data and always ask ourselves, “Is this going to be a net gain in value for our clients, employees, and owners?” Everything we do must be a win-win-win.
When did the idea to franchise enter the picture?
Braun: We've had the idea of franchising since our inception but it wasn’t until we opened a second location that we learned we had something valuable that we could sell to franchisees. There is something about having multiple locations that forces you to be efficient and systematic. It is very exciting to streamline and perfect your model.
What are you looking for in potential franchise owners?
Arsenian: Franchisees that have previous experience and that have a goal of wellness, healing and helping others. Obviously, profitability is key for all involved but in our business, you have to love what you do and believe in the product. We encourage all of our employees to use our saunas as often as possible so they can exude passion.
Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?
Braun: An African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Arsenian: I played sports growing up and Vince Lombardi's saying “Hope is not a strategy” has always stuck with me. I do believe good things happen to good people but at the end of the day, it is usually tied to hard work and having a solid game plan.