If you’re getting married in Israel, Haponpon (for English, go here) has all you will need to decorate your car. If you’re located elsewhere, then maybe you’ll be interested in one of their franchises instead!
Yochai, the founder of Haponpon, found himself unemployed and down on his luck when he was struck with inspiration. With absolutely no prior knowledge on the wedding industry, he taught himself what he needed to know and launched into the industry feet first, successfully.
As Haponpon continues to grow, Yochai continues to think ahead. This time he has franchising on his mind. Although you can’t quite purchase a franchise yet, it is an opportunity that will hopefully become available soon.
Tell us about Haponpon.
Haponpon (same as pompon or pom-pom ) was established before three months ago in order to give a good solution to grooms and brides that wants to decorate their wedding car and not pay a lot of money.
In fact, until about eight months ago, when I was 47 years old (married + 2 kids), I worked as salesperson at an israeli high tech company, than I was fired. At that moment I decided that I will never have been fired again. In my age, it is almost impossible to find a job, so I was thinking a lot about my future and I got an idea to invent a new nich and create my new job.
I thought about number of business ideas and after a lot of examination, I decided to build a business which will design, produce, create, manufacture and marketing wedding car decorating kits, and will give a wedding car services on site. Www.haponpon.com . I also manufacture a gift car decorating kits.
Today, after three months of working, Haponpon receives orders every day.
Haponpon use high-quality raw materials to produce god products with a reasonable price and comfortable.
I want to emphasize that Haponpon contributes 10% of his earnings for the benefit of charitable institutions. for customers who can not pay because they do not have money, Haponpon give them a free of charge wedding car decorating kit.
What inspired you to launch your business?
After I was fired from my work, I did not know what to do. I started thinking about kinds of ideas in order to establish my own business. My wife bought me a book from “Rich dad poor dad” series, and I got a lot of motivation to establish my successful business. because I am an artist painting, I was looking for a business that will be related to creativity, aesthetics, design, colors, and of course money. I wanted to run a business that receives cash from customers and pay with credit to suppliers. in this way I can control my cash flow better.
One day I woke up early in the morning with the idea – to establish Haponpon. I wrote immediately the idea in my notebook. From that moment I developed the idea of what is today. It took about one month to find a name to my new business. As far as I know there is no Israeli business like Haponpon and it is a big advantage for quick market penetration. After I decided to establish a businesses that will create a wedding car decorating kits, I decided to manufacture also a gift car decorating kits. Today I offer 7 kits of wedding cars and 2 gift car kits. Haponpon also provides an option to order a Kit where the client component itself the elements that he wanted, and we prepare it especially for him.
How many car decoration sets do you have available for purchase?
Regularly I have in stock about 10 kits ready, so I can supply instantly receiving invitations from day today. My ambition is to reach orders month in advance, so I can organize the production according to supply, and without pressure. Haponpon allows customers to order the kit with his favored colors, so not always the kit in stock fitting and match the requirements of the client. I think that there is no economic justification to hold larger inventories. Haponpon based on production per invitation in order to decrease inventory cost.
Because I have 7 styles and each style usually consists of two colors, and I got 10-12 colored films, the options are very many. In order to satisfy the customers, I really try to give solution to customers which make order from day today.
Because I do not want to hold in stock many pompons that takes up much space, I create a work plans which allow me to prepare in advance half production process. as soon as I receive an invitation to the manufacturing, the manufacture process is very short.
How long did it take you to build your business from idea to launch?
From the moment I got the decision that Haponpon will be the business I will establish, until I launched it, there is three of hard work months passed. during this period I learned well the matter, I created the designs, I’ve built by myself Haponpon website, I have written texts and I did a lot of promoting work in order to be first in Google (hebrew).
I checked with many weddings couples which prices will be friendly and attractive for them, and I made my prices accordingly.
I must note that just two days passed since Haponpon website was launched, Haponpon was take place at the first page on Google in most relevant search words. Today, Haponpon website located at the first places of many search words. My most referrals I’m getting comes from Google.
I spend a lot of time to promote Haponpon website in Google. Haponpon located at first places in many connected words relevant to wedding car decoration.
Google responsible about 80% of my visitors.
What previous knowledge did you have that you were able to bring with you into the business?
In fact, I did not have any knowledge and experience in wedding car decoration. On the last 16 years I worked as salesperson in the israeli high tech and computing field, and as you know, wedding car is not high tech. Haponpon is my start up, but it is certainly not high tech. Since I was painting for my enjoyment, I think I have a natural talent for creating hand feel design. This was also the reason it’s easy for me to choose the field of wedding cars decoration.
The process of acquisition of knowledge was long. I spend thousand hours to collecting photos and information from the Internet. There are many sources of information available that allow each one to learn to do things himself. However, not everything can be learn on the Internet and it took me a long time and many attempts to find solutions for serious problems in the process of development and manufacture.
What lessons has your business taught you?
Because most of my life I was a salaried employee who was getting a regular salary once a month, I would not need to worry too much. Today, my income comes only from what I manufacture and marketing, I am more aware that the business should recruit a new customers every day. If an hour passes and I did not get a phone, I check if my phone is active. Wedding car decorating kit is a product that usually people buy once in life, and therefore, there is no permanent customers, unless you did a deal with limousine companies to sell Kits for their limo. I make efforts that customers will be satisfied from my products and services, so they will recommend to their friends, which it is indeed happens. The fact that I am self-employed now, force me to learn how to manage a business, how pay taxes, filling forms, work with bank, do marketing and advertising, do negotiation with suppliers and management my cash flow.
What goals do you hope to accomplish over the next year?
During the coming year I want to base Haponpon As a leader in the wedding car decorate area in Israel. I also want start selling franchises all over the world. Haponpon is not complicated business and it is suitable for creative people which do not want to be Employees or looking for more income. The economic crisis caused many people to lose their jobs, and in order to make money themselves, I think they should have their own business. I want to sell Haponpon franchises only to serious people, people with commitment. Haponpon will provide all the knowledge required to establish the business, including support in the first months. Haponpon will teach the franchises how to build the business, how to operate it, how to set up a Web site to place high on Google, which materials using to create decorations, and how to succeed as I do.
These days, I started to build a unique program to train franchises that will be wedding car decorators, and I assume that on September – October I will I start marketing Haponpon franchise.
Meanwhile, I begin to register candidates.
The plan is to recruit 1,000 candidates all over the world, and choose 100 people that will establish it own Haponpon . Any such franchise will calls ponponier (the person who make pompon).
If I could succeed- anyone can.
I believe that every person with a creative talent and good hands can succeed in establishing a business as Haponpon.
You mentioned that you were thinking about expanding your business into other countries. What are you looking for in someone that might help you do that?
As I mentioned, in order to expand Haponpon activities to other countries, I plan to sell franchises. This week I start the registration for franchises candidates. I want to get 1000 candidates, so I have to publish Haponpon in many places. Today, when there lot of Social Networks it is more easy to reach almost every person in the world which using the Internet. I should publish the idea of Haponpon around the world so I can recruit much more candidates. Haponpon will not sell two to franchises in the same geographic area.I do not want that Haponpon will compete Haponpon. It is important to give the franchisers the ability to be unique, in order they can earn money within a short time and return there investment.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with those who are thinking about starting their own business?
In the 70’s, an American rock band called Boston, sang a song called “Don’t look back”.
This is the most important advice I can give. Don’t look back. Always look forward to the mountain you not climb yet. Don’t look what you had in the past. Whether success or fail. Do not Look for the money you earned while you was laborer, looked ahead for tomorrow. You should always be optimistic and enjoy from now on, enjoy from the moment. Learn from the past, but don’t cry about making your mistakes. This is the life school. Once you on top and once you in the bottom. Even you have been fired like me, take this opportunity to make a lemonade from the lemon. Look at the current situation as an opportunity to build your business, so that nobody will fire you anymore.