Posts

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 610.368.6660.

Tuition details, including earlybird and multiple registrant discounts.

 

 

 

Front Desk Training Webinar: Checkout that Maximizes Rescheduling and Retail

Monday, August 9

9 a.m. Pacific/Noon Eastern

About 70 minutes; a live encore presentation

$99

Your biggest moment of truth in a spa or salon takes place, not in a treatment room or at an employee’s station, but when a client is checking out. This is the moment you must ascertain whether a guest is satisfied, when your guest is invited to reschedule, and when they are invited to make home care purchases. Your challenge? To do all this while checking out guests as quickly and as accurately as possible.

Because your reschedule/retention rate is the most critical metric in business success, this “moment” must consistently ensure the best possible outcome. Being friendly and efficient is important, but it’s only the beginning.

Join us for this webinar, the third in our series for front desk employees and their managers. Presenters Lisa M. Starr and Peggy Wynne Borgman of Wynne business, veteran spa consultants and educators, pack the hour of instruction full of use-it-tomorrow, down to earth content. Jessica Zike of Coyle Hospitality Group, the premier mystery shopping company for the hospitality industry, will kick off the session by providing eye opening real-world performance data from their Mystery Shoppers, as well as anecdotes about front-desk experiences that missed the mark.

Participants will learn:

– The importance of the front desk team in building the business
– The hidden opportunities of checkout
– Who is supposed to do what? Understanding roles and responsibilities in this transitional zone
– Recognizing the guest at checkout; what to do when you don’t know their name
– Creating a smooth “handoff” from a service provider to the front desk
– Creating a smooth transition from the locker room to the front desk
– How to effectively gauge guest satisfaction at checkout
– The most inspiring home care recommendation strategies
– What to do when you’re asked a question you can’t answer!
– How to respond to “objections” such as “I already have something like this at home”
– Building the sale with “bumps”
– The recipe for persuasive invitations to return
– What to say when the guest says, “I need to check my calendar”
– The most neglected step in the checkout process

The webinar includes an hour long presentation and concludes with a Q & A session.

$99

Visit our Webex site to register and click on the “upcoming” tab.

Can’t make it live? Download an archived version of this webinar. On our Webex Training Center, click “Recorded Sessions” in the menu on the left of the screen. You’ll be prompted with instructions for purchasing the webinar. Once downloaded, you can use your webinar perpetually.

The Spa Director’s Management Intensive: summer session August 22-25, 2010

August 22-25, 2010, San Francisco Bay Area

If you own, manage, or plan to invest in a spa, this program is a must!

Co-taught by Peggy Wynne Borgman and Lisa M. Starr of Wynne Business Spa Consulting

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First time in China: Advanced Spa Management Techniques with Lisa Starr


A one day class with Lisa M. Starr of Wynne Business Spa Consulting
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Sponsored in part by


The Banyan Tree, Hainan

Competition is increasing! Are you ready?

The rapid growth of the spa industry in China requires managers to be at the top of their game. Attention to detail in every aspect of the spa operation is essential to its success. A beautifully designed spa is just the beginning. Making sure that your spa can attract customers, make a profit, and operate smoothly is the truly challenging part.
If you are a spa director, manager or owner, you can’t afford to miss this outstanding program, which emphasizes practical and proven methods for improving spa performance. International spa consultant Lisa Starr, a former GM of a group of spas herself, will share advanced techniques for mastering the four pillars of spa growth and success:
  • Advanced financial management skills
  • Spa Marketing Strategies and Tactics
  • Selecting, training and retaining the top employees
  • Building an efficient operating infrastructure
This outstanding professional education will be presented at the luxurious Banyan Tree Resort. Admission includes lunch and tea breaks as well as your course text. Attendees will also receive a certificate of completion. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the class begins at 9:30 a.m., ending at 5 p.m.
Tuition discounts are available for attendees of the SpaChina Summit, and members of the China Spa Association.
Register now with credit card or PayPal.
Questions? Prefer bank transfer payment? Contact us at seminars@wynnebusiness.com
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Wynne Business Senior Consultant Lisa M. Starr has almost 30 years of experience in the spa industry. An accomplished instructor, Lisa leads Wynne Business educational seminars for spa owners and managers. Her consulting clients throughout the U.S. and in Asia include day spa start-ups and turnarounds, medi-spas and hotel spas, hospitals, fitness clubs, and salons offering spa services. She is a popular speaker at industry events, including IECSC, ISPA, Spa & Resort Expo, and the Spa Asia Wellness Summit. Lisa is a regular columnist at American Spa Magazine and is Director of Community for SpaTrade.com, a top spa business portal.

“The Brave New World of Spa PR,” a webinar with Kim Marshall, Principal of the Marshall Plan Public Relations, and David Victor of Boomcycle Online Marketing

Monday, May 24th: 11:30 a.m. Pacific/2:30 p.m. Eastern

Did you miss our 5/17 webinar? Register for this live encore presentation.

FREE with advance registration. If you can’t attend live, you can still register to receive a copy of the webinar recording via e mail.

A great public relations program is more important than ever, and there are more outlets for public relations than ever before–including online review sites, Facebook and Twitter! But which modalities are working best for spas in the era of social media?  Which are a waste of time? Are you in control of your brand’s reputation, or is it careening out of control? Kim Marshall, a veteran public relations professional who specializes in spa, hospitality and wellness businesses, takes you on a journey through this fast-changing, sometimes hair-raising, and highly competitive landscape.

This fun, fast-paced webinar, designed to help you separate urban myth from reality, will help you to focus on the marketing tools that “move the needle” and to avoid wasteful experiments. Find out what editors really want–including the topics that travel and beauty editors are interested (and not interested) in right now. Kim has the ear of a diverse array of media professionals, and will share with us exactly what they’re telling her! Gain a valuable understanding of the key components of a compelling public relations campaign–and an insider’s perspective on how public relations actually works–from one of the pioneers of the spa industry.

Moderated by Peggy Wynne Borgman

The Front Desk Must Die!

Spas are working harder than ever to be innovative in their designs, but there’s one convention that just won’t seem to die: the monolithic front desk. Once upon a time, we had big fat computer monitors and hulking CPUs to hide in those enormous desks. So why, in this age of flat screens and cloud computing, are we still confronted with these intimidating beasts when we enter a “state of the art” spa?

Front desks create a barrier between guest and client. In restauranteur Danny Meyer’s parlance, it’s hard to convince a guest you’re “on their side” when you literally are not. Check-in, a simple enough transaction, can be accomplished with about two keystrokes–and for that matter, on a handheld. Why use up valuable square footage that you could use for retail merchandising? Because architects and interior designers think we want these things.

Instead, guests could be welcomed by a friendly host who is visible from head to toe, whose full-frontal greeting will feel much more sincere. He or she checks guests in with his or her handheld, or at a simple podium. (Seeing staff engulfed by giant desks reminds me of those little old ladies you see piloting massive cars.) Perhaps we could even stop calling our spa concierges “front desk staff.” (It’s a bit like calling massage therapists “massage table staff,” isn’t it?)

In the new spas Wynne Business designs, we include a comfortable “checkout lounge” that encourages lingering, with tables where home care recommendations can be reviewed over a cup of tea and some conversation with a Home Care Advisor. This salesflow strategy separates the departing spa-mellowed guest from the frantic incoming one, who often induces the departing guest to unconsciously “giddyup.” Not good for retail or rescheduling. Even when there isn’t room for a checkout lounge, we include in the design a “checkout bar” with stools. “If you perch, you purchase,” we like to say.

The front desk is one part of the spa business that has never undergone a serious rethink, which is very strange. Yes, we store things in those massive desks, we conceal trash cans and we hide our Starbucks cups (heaven forbid.) But our front desks carry tremendous symbolism. They are the physical manifestation of the intimidation that so many guests still feel when they enter a spa. I have no idea why they are so often front and center, like some sort of altar. Talk about scary.

They also function as a sort of fort, from which your staff defends the spa from the clients. Visit a new spa and try to get a spa concierge out from behind their desk. It’s like prying off a barnacle. Behind a desk, it’s easy to look busy as long as you’re not leaning on it, chin in hands. Imagine what happens when there is no longer a desk to hide behind. Shelves get dusted, products are straightened, guests are interacted with, refreshments proffered, doors are opened.

So why not do away with them altogether? Handhelds make it possible for the “point of sale” to be anywhere the client is–another way to encourage more natural interaction with staff, better customer care, more spontaneity, and oh yes, larger purchases.

As we look for new ways to draw the ellusive Millenials into our spas, rethinking the front desk may be a very good place to start.

Moments of Truth: Guest Checkout that Maximizes Retail and Retention

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR
About 70 minutes
$99 (unlimited use)

Your biggest moment of truth in a spa or salon takes place, not in a treatment room or at an employee’s station, but when a client is checking out. This is the moment you must ascertain whether a guest is satisfied, when your guest is invited to reschedule, and when they are invited to make home care purchases. Your challenge? To do all this while checking out guests as quickly and as accurately as possible.

Because your reschedule/retention rate is the most critical metric in business success, this “moment” must consistently ensure the best possible outcome. Being friendly and efficient is important, but it’s only the beginning.

Join us for this webinar, the third in our series for front desk employees and their managers. Presenters Lisa M. Starr and Peggy Wynne Borgman of Wynne business, veteran spa consultants and educators, pack the hour of instruction full of use-it-tomorrow, down to earth content. Jessica Zike of Coyle Hospitality Group, the premier mystery shopping company for the hospitality industry, will kick off the session by providing eye opening real-world performance data from their Mystery Shoppers, as well as anecdotes about front-desk experiences that missed the mark.

Participants will learn:

– The importance of the front desk team in building the business
– The hidden opportunities of checkout
– Who is supposed to do what? Understanding roles and responsibilities in this transitional zone
– Recognizing the guest at checkout; what to do when you don’t know their name
– Creating a smooth “handoff” from a service provider to the front desk
– Creating a smooth transition from the locker room to the front desk
– How to effectively gauge guest satisfaction at checkout
– The most inspiring home care recommendation strategies
– What to do when you’re asked a question you can’t answer!
– How to respond to “objections” such as “I already have something like this at home”
– Building the sale with “bumps”
– The recipe for persuasive invitations to return
– What to say when the guest says, “I need to check my calendar”
– The most neglected step in the checkout process

The webinar includes an hour long presentation and concludes with a Q & A session.

$99