Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal grooming, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rocco Rago, the managing partner and owner of UPPR MGMT Barbershops. Rocco has two branches located in Park Lawn and Streetsville, Canada.

Tell us all about your business...

A hairstyle is a first impression and a closing statement. It speaks volumes about who you’ve been, who you are, and who you aspire to be, and every element of UPPR MGMT has been built around this core belief. Deciding to cater to the city’s diverse array of styles, the shop was created with the idea that great barbering should go beyond the simplified standard of a quick cut. Our goal has been to bring to life a shop that caters to the modern gentleman, understanding that this has become more quality of character and is no longer encompassed by one singular style. UPPR MGMT is a barbershop that delivers a high-quality barbering experience no matter the style. Whether you’re in for a quick fade or an intricate cut, your attention to detail is recognized with a fresh espresso, a welcoming lounge, and a passionate barber whose priority is ensuring that you leave looking and feeling your best.

What's your background and motivation to grow as a business owner?

UPPR MGMT is based on the notion of working with family and developing relationships with staff and clients alike, to where our family circle grows naturally. My background is in athletics, soccer to be specific, and finance. My brother and business partner Roberto Rago is the engine of our company and a barber by trade who is motivated, like me, to see a smile on the face of every client serviced. Every co-worker we have the pleasure of working with every day. Since Roberto and I combine our opposite backgrounds with our shared love and passion, we've been serving the GTA for nearly a decade, and we will continue to do so for years to come.

As an entrepreneur, what does success ultimately mean to you?

Our biggest accomplishment is developing a business to work with family, succeed with family, and win. Who doesn't want to win with family?

What's one of the hardest things that come with being an entrepreneur?

The most challenging thing about business ownership is the uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring from a financial standpoint. In addition, being a business owner with a family is the most challenging and emotional rollercoaster one would ever have to go through, but it's also very rewarding.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?

If I could give three tips to any aspiring or new entrepreneur, it would be the following:

  1. Do what you love, and love what you do: if you love what you do, it will make the inevitable obstacles throughout that much easier to overcome.
  2. Plan accordingly: The basis for a successful company is having a solid foundation and being set up for success. Plan your structure, plan your budget and projections. Plan everything. Develop a savings emergency account before you commit 100% to start your business because you should never let money motivate the initial growth phase of your business.
  3. Set short-term and long-term goals and be obsessed with achieving them.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

"Do what others are not willing to do, and you will have what others will not have."

Where can people find you online?



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