The Silicon Review
Just making the cross-globe trek from Siberia to America at the age of 15 would, in itself, be enough to change any child’s trajectory and mindset, instilling a perspective that is perhaps fraught with uncertainty, trepidation and an overwhelming sense of disconnect. But for Beverly Hills-based Oksana Kolesnikova, a businesswoman extraordinaire and professional pianist with a plethora of accolades and accomplishments to her credit, this move was the quintessential catalyst for a fully-fledged American success story – one which she herself never could have remotely envisioned growing up in Siberia during those early years.
As a descendant of two generations of academic educators, it was perhaps already in Oksana’s blood and a foregone conclusion that she would become the multitalented educator and entertainment superstar she is today. Much like Mozart to the harpsichord, Oksana began mastering the art of piano playing at the tender age of five, winning her first competition at nine and attaining a degree in Music from the prestigious Florida State University (following the aforementioned emigration from Siberia to the States years earlier).
From that particular moment in time onward, Oksana would fulfill her destiny to become a tour de force in the music and education world, being the first Russian-American female pianist to travel overseas and entertain US military personnel, getting invited to perform for United Nations officials in New York City, evolving to be regarded as one of Los Angeles’ premier performers and composers – even going on to land an in-house gig at the legendary Polo Lounge in the famed Beverly Hills Hotel – and recording eight full-length albums on CD of original, classical and popular music that continues to inspire other recording artists to this day.
Oksana’s name is now synonymous amongst Los Angeles scholastic experts in-the-know with respect, authority and achievement, having taken her Oksana Management Group, Inc. business to dizzying new heights by way of dynamically different branches and endeavors. What began as a music lesson studio to teach the children of Beverly Hills area parents and celebrities an array of instruments and vocal approaches has now evolved to encompass an almost empire-esque landscape of foreign language study, academic tutoring, franchise opportunities, after-school enrichment programs, social mixer events, Italian enrichment programs and much more.
We recently interviewed the brilliant multi-talented leader. In the interview, she told us about her plans for the future and gave us some great pointers on how to assemble a proficient team while starting a company or running it and much more. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
Q. What motivated you to start Oksana Enrichment Franchise?
Growing up amidst a second generation, in a family of teachers, education runs in my blood, and I am passionate about this sector. I have been in education and performing arts for over 20 years, established my first company (www.OksanaManagementGroup.com) in 2010. The business model born out of our mother company proved to be successful, withstanding the test of time in addition to a myriad of challenges – up to and including the recent pandemic. We decided to apply the success of our business model to create a national franchise system, which proved to be a natural evolution with regard to scaling and expanding our brand; it also provided other entrepreneurs the opportunity to flourish in this exciting field by way of joining our franchise network.
Q. Could you tell us about the services your company provides?
Oksana Enrichment (www.OksanaEnrichment.com) offers franchising opportunities to entrepreneurs looking to work in the exciting fields of education, tutoring, after-school enrichment, local youth-oriented community classes/programs, adults/seniors activities and the online community. What’s more, we offer a myriad of programs – not only for students preferring private, one-on-one tutoring, but also for public, private and charter schools, districts, municipalities and counties.
These programs include, but are not limited to, music (piano, voice, guitar, singing and more); foreign languages (Spanish, Italian, French, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Hebrew, Farsi and beyond); academic tutoring and test prep in all subjects for K through 12 as well as art (drawing and painting), acting and drama, fitness, yoga, cooking classes, martial arts, summer camps, STEAM initiatives and more.
Q. How do you monitor the performance of your team? What kind of guidance and direction you offer?
I’m a “hands-on” type of business owner. My team and I offer ongoing support and intense training to our franchisees. Furthermore, I take our franchisees “under my wing” and guide them through anything related to building their business so that they can be as successful as possible. Since I’ve been in this industry for so long, and I have encountered - and was able to - overcome most obstacles, challenges and issues, I am in an advantageous position to guide new franchisees so that they can avoid, prevent and resolve most issues that may arise. I pave the path for them, so to speak, which allows for a diminished learning curve; indeed. In just a few weeks, they are learning what would usually take them decades of trial-and-error as a new startup. I am greatly invested in the success of our franchisees. After all, if they succeed, we succeed.
Q. In your experience, what is the key to developing a good team?
In my opinion, the team is what makes or breaks the company. When assembling a proficient team, the qualities I often look for include an ability to share the company’s vision and philosophy while working toward a mutual goal, possession of a solid work ethic, exhibiting a willingness to learn and improve, being able to work well with other team members and customers and an ability to bring honesty and integrity to the table. If all team members possess these admirable characteristics, you’ve basically made it.
Q. What is Oksana Enrichment Franchise philosophy or mission?
Our company’s mission is all about that middle word – “enrichment.” Offering private one-on-one lessons for students and our after-school enrichment programs for public, private and charter schools as well as for districts, counties and municipalities, we are the consummate “one-stop-shop” for modern-day scholastic and arts solutions.
In looking to further this mission, Oksana® Enrichment Programs offers franchising opportunities to entrepreneurs in the private education sector, and in doing so – we provide a thoroughly-developed program of training, materials and personal support that aligns with our exceptional brand.
Q. You have a plethora of services to offer. How do you select quality individuals to provide exceptional services?
For the most part, these individuals must share the same aforementioned qualities and characteristics with regard to developing a good team; our tutors, instructors, coaches and educators are all instrumental in the company’s success, and as such must exhibit the same qualities in order to remain valued members of the team.
Q. How do you market your services?
In a phrase? Word-of-mouth has been the most successful marketing tactic. I have worked hard for the past two decades having my finger on the pulse of the entertainment, education and business sectors – first as a performing music artist and educator to the stars, and then as an entrepreneur. When you are in the public eye for so long, there is a track record that showcases not only what you have done as an individual, but one which also leaves the trail of reputation, ethics and trust. I’m proud to say that the quality I’ve worked hard to achieve in the past – and continue to strive for – is evidenced just by doing a quick Google search; these search results reflect our brand’s integrity, responsibility and success, and in turn transforms into trust and respect from people who choose to do business with us.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
Indeed, I do. Being that my husband/ business partner hails from Italy (and because he’s equally vested in the day-to-day operations), he recently made his dream of creating a very special bridge between Italy and the United States a reality by partnering up with Like Italians Do (www.likeitaliansdo.com) to offer the opportunity to experience Italy in the most authentic of ways. Whether by remote cooking shows broadcast “Live all the way from Sicily” or other regions to the most sensational Dream Vacations, this new endeavor is proving to be another huge success within our circles, with the first 14-day, by-invitation-only Italy vacation currently being organized for July 2022.
Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers?
At Oksana Enrichment Franchise, we are always excited about scaling and growing our venture. We are currently selling our franchises in 35 states, but expect to expand into all 50 states in the next five to seven years, at which point we will also embark on expanding our offering to international markets. We are blessed to be in a billion-dollar industry, and the demand for educational services is great all over the world – truth be told, not even the pandemic has negatively affected this niche.
As we tell every one of our valued customers and friends: Please stay tuned for some exciting developments that are currently in the works!