Taking the leap: Young entrep opens salon for franchise

CEBU. Entrepreneur Jude Gabato is one of the big winners during the 2019 World Class Philippines Awards Night held in Cebu City on June 1, 2019. (Foto Grabbed from Jude Gabato’s Facebook account)

STARTUP business owner Jude Gabato is now dipping his toes in franchising.

After successfully starting his own Jude Gabato Salon three years ago, Gabato decided to open his beauty salon business to franchising to help aspiring entrepreneurs kick off their plans to be in the business.

“This could now be their option,” said Gabato, who recently opened his first franchised beauty salon on Colon St. Cebu City.

His first franchisee is Joma Leovent Dosdos, one of his avid customers.

Gabato admitted he was a bit hesitant to open the business to franchising because he felt he wasn’t fully prepared.

But he later accepted the challenge, finding confidence in the good track record of his beauty salon business and his mission, which is to inspire more Cebuanos to become entrepreneurs.

“Like what successful people used to say, you will never know unless you try,” said Gabato.

He invested his time not only in overseeing the operations of his two branches, but also in setting up the business’ franchise system.

He assured his would-be franchise partners that he will handhold them in running the business and in rendering the same quality of service to their growing clients.

Besides expanding in Cebu, Gabato is eyeing to open locations in other cities in the country on the back of the rising self-pampering market.

He said he is looking at Siargao, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod and even Metro Manila as potential expansion sites, which will be realized through franchising.

“I already recieved inquiries and continue to entertain queries from interested franchisees here and outside of Cebu. But I am also careful in choosing the sites, to see to it that the market is feasible too,” he said.

Gabato’s salon business is offered for franchise at P400,000. This already includes P50,000 worth of products, salon equipment and personnel training.

Humble beginnings

Gabato’s journey in business started in childhood.

At the age of 14, he knew he was different.

Instead of playing cars like most young boys did, he was more fascinated in girly stuff—making girls more beautiful and confident.

At a young age, Gabato took make-up and hairstyling seriously, knowing one day it would lead him to business, take him to places and help in the family’s daily living expenses.

“I charged my clients that time P150 for hair and make-up. I also gained gay friends who encouraged me to do good in this profession,” said Gabato, adding that he used his earnings to buy makeup.

Over the years, Gabato honed his makeup and hairstyling skills being one of Ramil Solis’ assistant for five years. He leveraged on this experience to gain his own network of clients.

While Gabato’s work as an assistant makeup artist already led him to more opportunities, this young entrepreneur wanted to build something he could call his own.

He opened Jude Gabato Salon in Banilad in 2016 as a venue to help people like him thrive in the beauty industry.

“I know I am blessed so I wanted to be a blessing to other people,” he said.

Gabato used his P600,000 earnings he saved for two years to set up the business.

“I believe that this is one of the businesses that will never run out of money. People, especially women, would always want to feel and be beautiful all the time,” he said.

In 2017, Gabato opened his second salon branch along V. Rama Ave.

“You will grow big in this industry if you remain patient, humble and hardworking,” he said.

Gabato’s salon business was recently recognized during the 2019 World Class Philippines Awards. This award-giving body recognizes the achievements of brands, companies and individuals in the journey towards world-class excellence.

Meanwhile, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said there really is no guarantee for success in business but one can improve the probability to become successful.

He encouraged entrepreneurs to keep a positive and winning mindset.

“You don’t have to be a graduate of a big school to succeed in business. You just have to have a positive and winning mindset,” said Lopez during his talk at the Entrepreneurs’ Summit on June 13, 2019.

Lopez advised business owners to differentiate the services and products they offer, maximize the use of technology, embrace innovation and financial management to win big in business.


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