Do you want a career that leads to personal fulfillment? One way is to find a way to assist others. While there are many popular career choices that can help you reach this goal, like becoming a health care practitioner, there are other less obvious choices, like opening a small luxury spa designed to help people find peace, health, and a sense of well-being.
If you’re wondering if you should invest in salon and spa equipment, here are some statistics to reassure you:
During the 2008 recession, the spa industry enjoyed a booming business. 160 million people visited a spa, which represented a 16 percent increase in business over the year before. The industry recorded $12.8 billion in revenue. Things didn’t decline after this record year; instead, they continued to get better, and by 2013, the number of visitors was up by 164 million while the revenues were now $14.7 billion.
Still, the picture gets even better. While there are some well-known spa chains, most of these numbers came from spas owned by individuals.
So with that in mind, here are 5 suggestions on how to create your own spa business.
- Think of the value you will provide.
While opening a spa is lucrative, think about how much happiness you will be providing people. You will give them a place to relax, unwind, gather their thoughts, and heal their tired bodies and calm their anxious emotions. You will give them a chance to enjoy a heightened sense of well-being. When you think in this broader context, you will look for ways to provide the best customer service possible–and, of course, when you provide people excellent service, your business will prosper.
- Create a solid business plan.
While you should follow the general guidelines on how to set up a good business, here are two ideas specific to the spa industry:
- Decide what you can do to differentiate your business from other spa businesses in your local area. You might specialize in some services, have the best equipment, or create a stunning décor. You will have to do some market research to see if there is an unmet market need that you can fulfill.
- Research the best price point. (If you charge too little, people will assume that there must be something wrong with the spa and that’s why you’ve lowered your price; and if you charge too much, then they will go elsewhere.)
- Get clear on your types of spa services.
Decide on what types of services you’ll provide. Will you offer massage? What school of massage? Swedish? Shiatsu? Will you offer skin care? What product line will you carry? Will you offer body treatments? What type will you offer?
You need to think about services carefully to make the best choices. When people go to a spa, they often look for help with skin and body care, for hair removal, and for beauty treatment. For instance, for skin and body care, you could provide mud body masks, enzyme peels, and body polish. Then, for massages, you could provide hand-and-foot massage or facial massage or full body massage. Other options include wraps, hydrotherapy treatments, and body tanning.
- Decide on your ideal customers.
While the main clientele for spas has been women, there are now spas that offer services for men and for couples. Men’s spas are becoming more popular. According to Dermascope, the publication of Aesthetics International Association, “Men’s health and fitness publications, travel magazines, and lifestyle television shows are routinely pitching the spa ritual to the male client, encouraging him to upgrade his level of personal care. Some spas dedicate specific time to men’s treatments, and new spas are emerging that are designed to cater to men.” The trick is to label the treatments in a masculine way. For instance, call a full body massage a “sports massage,” or a pedicure a “sports pedicure.”
- Other things to consider.
Here are five other important things you need to think about:
- Hours of business. You may want to choose the best hours that fit into work schedules.
- Products. Besides offering a variety of services, customers will look for products that will help them continue the treatment at home.
- Employees. Who do you need to hire to fulfill the services that you’ve decided on? You will need a number of specialists for each type of personal care service and also arrange training for other more general services.
- Location. Naturally, you want to find the best location, a place where you will get the type of clients who are interested in going to a spa. Choosing the wrong location could spell disaster.
- Marketing. For your spa to be successful, you should have an online and offline marketing strategy in place to remain busy. Don’t assume that you will simply get walk-in traffic.
If the idea of opening up your own spa appeals to you, now would be the perfect time to start. A new year has started, and while the spa business can be challenging, it can also be highly rewarding. Besides helping people experience a higher quality of life, it’s also an excellent business. In fact, it can even be called a recession-proof business, because the more stressful times become, the more people seek a way to relieve their stress and anxiety.
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