How You Can Make Hundreds of Hundreds a Year Helping Cancer Survivors

 

I rushed back to work as soon as my treatment was over. Everything was the same, but I was different. My colleagues are all upset about the minutiae of marketing stuff, and I think: “Wow, that was me.” I felt that I could make a big contribution, but I wasn’t sure how.

People often asked me to talk to their family members or friends who had cancer. One of the first questions people asked was: “What about my hair?” I was worried about that too, and I wondered if that made me stupid and worthless. But when you’re healthy, hair is just hair. When you’re sick, it’s something else entirely. It’s a time when you take on a very private struggle in public.

I warned people about it wig I share my experience, which was bad. The sellers rushed, tried to push me, and did not want me to bring a friend to get advice. I started my company so others wouldn’t go through that.

I sunk in wig business. I met with wholesalers, retailers, and stylists in Brooklyn wig of the region and spoke to women who dress wigs. I hired four part-time specialists, each of whom was connected to someone with cancer. They deliver wig samples in people’s homes and make them the way the client likes. My prices — anywhere from $50 to $5,000 a wig depending on the hair — are comparable to wig shops because I don’t have much money.

My three oncologists put my brochures in their offices on December 17, 2003. I got my first client on the 23rd. I had helped 100 clients when my business was fully operational in October, 2004. Now, I am making deals with other women to expand to several states.

This is not the type of business that people write their name down in case they need it. You never know about a company until you need it. I rely on word of mouth from doctors and service providers. I knew I would come this November, when my business was listed as a preferred provider by Oxford Health Plan.

Soon I started getting calls from my area — women in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and West Virginia — which led to a new service called Look Just Like You. Women send us pre-chemotherapy photos with their hair styled the way they like it, and we recreate that style and color a wig.

Part of my philosophy is that any franchise should give back to the medical community. All of our business expenses are charged to credit cards that reimburse 2% of the charge to St. Jude’s for Cancer Research. And I intend that one day we will be able to contribute to cancer research tests.

My business is about service. I will not hire a franchisee who cannot treat customers with the same level of compassion and care that we provide at our existing locations. That’s a lot of our work — interviewing prospective franchisees and their character references and career references in general. We have to make sure they are excited about the impact they can have on others, not just the business.

In fact, far and away the biggest thing is increasing awareness, letting people know that this type of service exists. I often say that the client won’t know about us until they have to. You don’t put the name Girl on the Go in order to have it one day when you need it.

Most of our clients find us online and some find us on the American Cancer Society website — the New York City chapter lists. When people find out about us, they say they feel very lucky to have found that. I wish I had the money to do advertising that would minimize the role that luck plays in finding us.

 

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