When is the last time your spa management to-do list said “plan for tomorrow?”
I don’t know about you, but I’m a list-maker. I keep piles of pads near my desk, and every day I make a list and date it. I place the high priority at the top, low at the bottom. Every other week I take the pile of notes with half-scratched-off items and start over. It’s an old-fashioned system but it works for me.
Spa Directors and managers never need to sit down and make a list of what they will do each day, in fact, they rarely get the chance. Spa operations are very fluid and in-the-moment, and it’s easy to just go with the flow. Chatting with clients, listening to an idea or complaint from a staff member, meeting with a vendor who stops by unannounced (so annoying!), taking a call from the media, and maybe you get a chance to review yesterday’s numbers somewhere in the mix. Spa management is definitely not a desk job, although sometimes you may long for a few minutes alone in your office.
Is this a good thing?
It’s certainly essential that spa management is readily available, and up-to-speed on everything that is happening in the spa on a daily basis. But this focus on the here-and-now can result in a lack of focus on the future. Thinking about the future feels like a luxury to many spa managers. However, it is no luxury for the health of the business; it is essential that someone is thinking about tomorrow.
So where is the balance?
Finding balance is a different trick for everyone, and there is no quick or obvious solution. But one key is to notice that you need it and to start looking for ways to create it. Yes, the everyday details of the business need to be dealt with, but very quickly you will find yourself immersed in today (and sometimes yesterday) and leaving the “plan for next week, month, year” entry unticked on your to-do list. Spa business managers often operate from a reactive, rather than proactive, approach, because of the non-stop demands on their time. The only way to stop this is to carve out a period each day, or even a few days per week, to have some quality alone-time; this may be more readily accomplished out of the spa, in fact.
Start small – an uninterrupted 30 minutes can do wonders and can be a springboard to more regular time-outs in the near future. Make some rules for yourself; this is not review time, it is forward-thinking time. Whether you use it to catch up on ideas from the spa trade magazines or to read the latest in business management trends and new concepts from Inc, Wired or HBR Magazines, or you just wander the local shopping mall and observe the stores and the people in them, you will open your mind to ideas and possibilities.
The hugely popular Mindful Magazine has many tips and methods to help you find some balance between high levels of activity and mindful pursuits. We can’t turn away completely from the demands of our daily schedule, but we do need to ensure that we create a plan to move the business forward, not just put out fires all day.
Help is only a few finger taps away; the Wynne Business Spa Director’s Management Intensive is now available as a self-paced online course. We offer an entire module dedicated to spa leadership essentials. Make 2018 your year to advance and register today.