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What you need for effective spa business
1. How to select services
Deciding on a service menu can be a huge decision when putting together your spa menu. The first thing to consider is what is your core mission to help your clients? Followed by what are your core beliefs for the type of spa you want to be. Typically, every business owner has a vision of what type of business you want to create before you even begin the process. For example, I knew I wanted to create a spa that was in between a day spa and a plastic surgery office.
So, I knew the ambiance of the spa was important and so were the client’s results. I also knew having great skin or being happy with what you see in the mirror can be an inside out job, so we had to ensure our clients left the spa feeling different and the better version of themselves. So, it made sense to have elements of spa relaxation combined with clinical treatments. This would require looking into treatment elements that produced results with very little downtime and that can be combined in different ways so we could create a wide variety of treatments. Ultimately, we wanted our clients to feel that our spa could be a long-term plan for the health and wellness of their skin.
2. What equipment is needed to start
Once you know your treatments you want to offer then it is time to shop for equipment that will help execute each treatment. Equipment is a huge decision and not something you want to randomly buy from an untrusted source. I made so many mistakes during the first 3 years of my spa because I was too trusting and so overwhelmed with running the business, I did not have enough time to do adequate research. I was in survival mode.
Many pieces of equipment did not make it a year, other pieces had constant issues and I did not have a reliable contact to remedy problems. You want to find an equipment company that offers plenty of support and one that you can have a long-term relationship with for future purchases. Equipment companies should be cutting edge and offer education for you and your spa team so you can support each other in the years to come.
Consider choosing equipment that can have multi-functions or the technology can be combined to create a bigger variety of treatments or more customization for their client.
3. How to find a target audience
When you consider who you want to attract to your business, you need to think through who your target client is from their demographics to their lifestyle. How old is your ideal client, what is the income of your ideal client, where do they live, do they spend money on their health, where do they shop, do they work or are they retired? Consider creating an ideal client avatar in which you identify every attribute that you think your ideal client possesses such as goals and values, hobbies, interests, challenges and pain points, possible objections, or what role do they want in interacting with your business. Be even as detailed as identifying their age, gender, marital status, age of children, location, occupation level of education, annual income and of course name your Avatar!
This can be quite interesting and what you can do over time is continually refine this avatar. Don’t be surprised if who you think you were targeting changes over time. I know we all start out wanting to help everyone and you shouldn’t necessarily limit yourself to only your target market. However, you have to start with a target market in mind, so you know you are marketing to. Aiming your arrow towards a bullseye is more effective then shooting aimless arrows.
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4. Steps of marketing
Now that you have created your target market, how do you get them to know you exist? CYou need to dive in depth to where your target audience shops, where do they grab coffee, where do they spend time, do they go to a gym, what is their favorite social media? Your business must possess elements that attract the right type of clients. The key to targeting your audience and letting them know you are wanting their business is to make yourself known through opportunities that you can engage with your client.
For example, I speak at local women’s groups, country clubs or book clubs that they attend. I share with them beauty tips and topics of interest. This is great exposure to my spa. Getting involved in non-profit events or dedicate time to a local event by doing mini makeovers or contributing sample products or raffling off a gift card to your spa is great way for people to get to know you. Also, partner with local businesses that you can create a referral program with or do joint events. This has been one of the best ways we have built our spas. Of course, social media has been a major player in all business marketing plans. You need to consider starting with a main social media platform and what posts are going to engage with your clients before you hop on all of them. Effectiveness is the key and so is measuring what is working and what is not working.
5. How to build up the clientele
The ideal thinking in building up your clientele is thinking is realizing you want like-minded people. For example, your current client’s friends most likely have a similar lifestyle or habits and would probably be a great client for your spa. How do you get them in the door? We created a “happy hour for beauty” to have clients invite their friends and spend from 4-6 at our spa sampling our services. Next, create a referral program offering your clients a gift card reward for anyone they refer to you for a service.
Make sure you are consistent with your marketing strategy and take care of your existing clients by show them gratitude and care. This above all else will give you the reputation that will attract and build the right kind of clients.
6. What equipment to add to increase profit
Consider thinking of equipment in 3 categories: exfoliating, treating, and nourishing. You want to make sure you have equipment in each category. Most businesses may overlook some of these categories, but it is important to build towards meeting all these categories, so you are able to treat each type of skin condition and also combine them to create the ultimate treatment.
I might choose a hydra-microderm for my exfoliating modality then a radio frequency modality for the treating category then a oxygen modality for the soothing category. Better yet, try to find equipment that can offer multiple skin therapies so you can offer more and do more add on services to increase each ticket. Also, consider each year investing in new equipment to show your clients that you are continually innovative and the top spa. We always invest in new equipment in January, so clients are looking forward to what we are launching at the beginning of the new year.
7. How important is to invest in business, not a spending - but investment.
Re-investing in your business is essential to staying competitive. Businesses that don’t change, evolve, or reinvent themselves ultimately will be overtaken by competition or just slowly die off. In a competitive beauty market, you must make smart investments and smart buying decisions. Which basically means, you need to consider what you are purchasing and how it will affect your business in the long term. This means researching your purchase, purchasing it from a reliable source, and understanding what this is going to add to your business in additional revenue, increase productivity and stability of your business, and of course over time, increase your bottom line.
The investment may be scary at first but once you have done your research you should feel confident in the decision. Now spending is purchasing things that really have no impact on your business. I find business owners or skincare practitioners making these mistakes all the time. They get in what I call “the moment” and just buy it because it is pretty, shiny, and is more things to play with. This is sometimes what can happen at trade shows or beauty supply stores! Trust me, we have all been there and made these mistakes. Keep your business mind grounded and put your money towards something substantial.
8. How important is to invest in constant education for yourself and for your staff.
In order to keep a good moral, connection and excitement within your team, education is the key! Keeping good and long-term employees is crucial to keeping a happy, productive team. Education is a way that everyone connects. Each team member may be very different in the way their home responsibilities, hobbies or interests, but education is a common factor in which the entire team finds common ground. They all want to learn more and no one feels they know enough. So prioritize education in your company by offering an performance program in order to earn courses and offer group education such as a guest speaker, trade show, or go on a trip to an advanced education program in which your team can connect, share common ideals, and learn together.
It truly is a bonding experience and will keep your team close knit. The more united the team, the more successful your business will be. If you are a solopreneur than investing in your education is paramount to staying competitive in the industry. You are the main resource for your client’s skin health and education. Sharing with them your investment and time in your education will only excite your clients and keep them coming to you as they trust your passion and commitment to be the best in the field.