The recession may have battered the spa industry and shut down many facilities, but we’re finally seeing a resurgence in startups–many of whom aren’t even using the “S” word (that would be “spa”) to describe themselves. “Wellness” is a watchword for many of these next-generation businesses, but other trends inspiring spa entrepreneurs include co-working and organic lifestyles.
Few would-be spa owners understand just how much capital they’ll need to invest to get their new spa up and running–and to nurture it through its first 18 months, the critical make-or-break period. The pressure from competition is usually underestimated in new spa business plans, and these businesses can crash quickly if spa entrepreneurs are over-optimistic and under-funded.
At the high end of the market, spa guests are seeking a new approach to luxury that’s based on authentic experiences rather than over-the-top opulence. That doesn’t always translate into a strong demand for esoteric services, though. The services that guests say that they are interested in and the ones that they actually purchase (especially on a regular basis) can be very different. Creating an appealing but unique menu is a must. It’s expensive to educate the marketplace.
Whether they’re in an urban setting or a remote one, one of the biggest impediments to new spas’ growth is finding enough talented therapists. A solid in-house training program is critical to success in every market. Not only does it improve therapist quality, it aids in employee retention: spa workers value education very highly. Lower employee turnover pays off big in customer satisfaction and pure bottom-line profit.
While there are still spas for sale–a great way to fast track a startup and reduce project cost–many of them are not listed with business brokers and identifying them can take a special approach. Sometimes a would-be spa developer is too deeply in love with their particular vision to recognize a fabulous opportunity in a distressed business. Differentiating a “distressed” business from a “toxic” one is critical.
To help this wave of entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls of developing a spa or wellness business, a new one-day Spa Startup Workshop is being offered on Saturday, October 3, immediately prior to the Wynne Business Spa Director’s Management Intensive (October 4-6) in Philadelphia’s Historic District.
For more information about the seminars, visit our management seminars page or call 610.368.6660.
Tuition details, including earlybird and multiple registrant discounts.
This year’s Global Wellness Institute Summit in Mexico City will highlight Workplace Wellness as a key issue. Spas are all about wellness, right? We’re exemplars, right? The reality is, a spa is a mentally and physically demanding environment that is built on the profit-challenged business model of selling services. Right there, you know that employee well-being may…Continue Reading
Just in time for the Mother’s Day gift selling season, Lisa’s latest blog for Booker breaks down the basics of gift card money management. Don’t miss this quick but important read. Need help with your gift program? We’re here to help. Tell us what’s going on in your company by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Continue Reading
Most companies today recognize the need to articulate their core values. Core values provide the compass that guides the business. While business strategies should constantly be evolving, core values, like true North, don’t change. In stormy times of stress and change (hello!) Core Values provide a secure anchor. They can remind us of who we are when…Continue Reading
Spa directors speak the word “Groupon” with the same distaste that they once reserved for “Yelp.” I don’t think the barrage of social media discount ideas will stop anytime soon. And, as ever, there are great ideas to be gleaned from companies that we love to hate. First of all, the Groupon “concept” is much…Continue Reading
Join us on February 22 at 9am Pacific/ Noon Eastern for our next live webinar, Secrets of Retention and Retail for Treatment Professionals. Spa therapists are not always comfortable with recommending retail products, and even those that are sometimes strike the wrong note. This session will help service providers and their supervisors understand how to…Continue Reading
REGISTRATION CLOSED. Morag Currin of Health Challenged Esthetics literally wrote the textbook on Oncology Esthetics. A true industry pioneer and visionary, Morag is returning to California with her three day program for estheticians. We’ve already hosted this once and I believe any serious esthetician or spa owner needs to experience this education–whether you choose to…Continue Reading
That’s a direct quote from my friend Holly Stiel, who has been a guru in the world of hotel and spa concierges for years. Far from being just good advice for “hospitalitarians,” these are words to live by. In Santa Barbara last Sunday night, I arrived at a restaurant. The host was all smiles until…Continue Reading
“A vision without a plan is a hallucination.” Join us on Tuesday, January 18, for our first management webinar of the New Year, Spa Business Planning Made Easy. Planning is one of the most misunderstood business processes, and one of the most essential. Yet most plans don’t survive more than a few months. If your…Continue Reading
2011 is just a few days away. The happy delirium of gift card sales will be over, and the reality of the toughest quarter of the year will arrive. Most spa owners and spa directors that I know are moderately optimistic about 2011. Optimism is all relative, of course. I don’t know any spa that’s …Continue Reading