Many Romanian start-ups came about when an entrepreneur spotted an available niche. And it is well known that businesspeople often choose what type of business to start based on aspects of their personal life. The entrepreneurs whose vision led them to choose an industry with high potential are now reaping the fruits of their decision. Denisa Stanciu, general manager of Onyx Spa, decided to start her own business in the local beauty industry in 2007. She invested EUR 150,000 in a company that targeted a very competitive and crowded market. Now she is counting on its competitive advantages and expects to grow both the number of customers and the market share in the months to come.”The idea to set up my company came after extensive research of spas and beauty salons in order to help me to shape my lines. I didn't find any salon that combined three main aspects: highly qualified specialists, the personal comfort of privacy and decent prices,” remembers Stanciu. With a background in economics, she faced no difficulties both in thinking up the first steps of her enterprise and drawing up a detailed and in-depth business plan. “I had had some experience in the insurance industry and when I noticed that no offer on the market matched my personal objectives regarding my appearance, I decided to start a business from scratch,” Stanciu says.The availability of financial resources has been one of the most important elements in running the Onyx Spa project. But the beauty industry is no cake walk, being one of the most difficult fields to set up in business as an entrepreneur. The powerful competition is one of the reasons, with Bucharest having hundreds of spa salons at the moment. “I think it is one of the fields where the competition can't be measured,” says Stanciu. The entrepreneur believes that high-performing equipment, top quality and certificated products for different treatments are some of the elements that make the difference between the players active on this market. But the team of specialists that creates customized package services for each client is one of the most important elements in succeeding, according to Stanciu. In her opinion, Onyx Spa distinguishes itself from the market through some competitive advantages: “All our special equipment is up-to-date one and I work with kinetoterapists (a type of complementary therapist) and nutritionists that monitor each customer's weight loss and maintenance program,” says Stanciu. She adds that it is impossible for her to estimate the company's current market share due to the increasing number of players active on the market. One thing is for sure: the providers of spa services have felt the current crisis. “I believe that next year will be a better one for this industry, with changes in customer demand,” says Stanciu.Any entrepreneur that decides to set up a business knows all too well that she will face both challenges and difficulties. According to Stanciu, building brand awareness for her company was one of the biggest. “You need to build a customer portfolio, to please your customers and to make your working results visible,” she adds. “When you are interacting with people and your services are directly linked with every customer's ‘business card' it is crucial to succeed,” says Stanciu. Her business motto is always to succeed and to touch as many people as possible with her beauty services. The young entrepreneur says she has no regrets about the decisions she has needed to make since beginning her business. Moreover, she sees opportunity rather than a tough time in the current crisis. “Many people see the crisis as a downtime for businesses, with high levels of unemployment. But I can say that I have seen a different approach from other players. I have changed neither the team nor the services, only the prices.” She adds that she has recently tried to pay more attention to the promotion of her business, with the intention of boosting it over the months to come. “I am really convinced that advertising will distinguish the survivor spas and salons from the others.” If Stanciu started another business, she would probably change nothing, except the manner in which she promoted the salon. As for the future, she intends to make Onyx Spa into a brand on the crowded Romanian beauty market. “My objective is to increase the number of our subscribers and to educate people that body and facial treatments need to be part of our life,” concluded the businesswoman.