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Category Archives: Blog

Spa Startups: They’re ba-aack!

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 (831) 293-7099.

Tuition details, including earlybird and multiple registrant discounts

 

 

 

6 Ways Spas Don’t Practice Workplace Wellness

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

The Second Ingredient of World Class CX: Structure

We’ve been talking about Core Values, the nutrients that “feed” your company’s customer experience. Now it’s time to move up and actually construct a system that can consistently deliver great experiences. We’ve all heard about the road to hell and what it’s paved with. If your organization is all about the core values but you have no systems…Continue Reading

World Class CX: The Roots

We believe that there’s a formula for great Customer Experience, or CX. There are three key ingredients. Like any deceptively simple recipe, it’s highly dependent on the “cook.” Like whipped cream, it may have just a couple of ingredients, but it’s still possible to get it completely wrong. The three ingredients we’ll be cooking with…Continue Reading

CXperts Wanted: #1 In a Series

Customer experience, or “CX” in industry parlance, is the real-world outgrowth of UX, User Experience. While this seems ironic, if not absolutely bass-ackward, the big players in the consumer space figured that if online user experiences were so important, maybe offline user experiences might matter, too. For decades big business has been paying lip service…Continue Reading

Making Art, Creating Delight: The Top Tier of CX

It’s time to talk about the final component of World Class CX: Art. The dessert. The frills. The fun stuff. You can’t have a successful business without these first two ingredients: 1. Core Values: the “soul” of the business, what you stand for, your commitment to your customers 2. Structure: the “body” of the business:…Continue Reading

Discovering the heartbeat of your small business

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

Groupon, Groupoff

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

“Being Right is the Booby Prize”

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