Securing space and employees for your spa are important foundations for your business, but it’s also incredibly important to monitor and improve the less tangible elements of your company’s operations. Many spas harm their success by ignoring the nuances of presentation and service that can make them special. Here are four mistakes to avoid if you want your spa to be successful:
Mistake #1: Not putting enough energy into making your spa business stand out
Without effort on your part, your spa could end up blending in with the competition. There are over 20,000 spas in the US, so it’s important to figure out what makes your company special and promote that.
Furthermore, according to American Spa, many spas become “facial factories”, resulting in no differentiation from other spas and reliance on a service that doesn’t usually offer a lot of time for sales. American Spa suggest that, to remedy this, you can weave your pitch into the treatment by explaining what you’re doing and what products would help with at-home maintenance, as well as provide targeted treatments, which require focussed communication with clients about what they want to get out of a facial. Ultimately, you also want to offer more than just facials. Do you offer any unusual or speciality treatments? Let your target market know.
Mistake #2: Skipping out on market research
Speaking of target markets, spas also make the mistake of getting lazy with marketing. It’s easy to think: who doesn’t want to relax at the spa? But remember how many businesses you are competing with. American Spa explains, “Your business is not cutting hair or doing facials or massage, it’s marketing the business that cuts hair or does facials or massage.” While the services you provide are appealing to many people, you have to determine who you need to be marketing to and how best to appeal to them. Are you in an affluent neighbourhood, where clients will want to feel like they’re getting the royal treatment, or are your customers going to care more about the value-to-cost ratio? Are your prices reasonable given the state of the economy where you are? Do some research.
Don’t be the one to do all the work, either. Like in the example above about fixing facial factory woes, well-trained staff can do some of the heavy lifting for you. Marketing should be part of your entire business, not just an afterthought at the end of a treatment. This can help make it feel natural and increase the chances that they message will sink in.
Spas are also highly aesthetic businesses. By this, I mean that the atmosphere they provide is important to client’s sense of well being (key to a spa’s success), not just the quality of the treatments. The importance of aesthetics extends to your marketing materials: your website, your business card, et cetera. As Entrepreneur states, “Spas come off particularly well in a cyber tour.” You can help clients tell if yours is the spa for them by creating attractive, consistent marketing materials that genuinely reflect what you’re offering.
Mistake #3: Forgetting the impact of word-of-mouth
Underestimating the power of referrals can also have a huge negative impact on your business. As Smart Simple Marketing explains, “a word-of-mouth campaign is the least expensive, most profitable sales tool you have.” The site goes on to detail the three big mistakes spas make with referrals: shyness (resulting in a lack of promotion), not thanking those who refer them (thereby reducing the incentive for clients to do you the favour), and vagueness when actually asking for referrals (not targeting a specific demographic can leave your client with too much work to do). Make sure you give your clients reasons to refer you and make it easier for them to do so. Give out business cards. Create reward programs (“bring a friend and save” and the like). And help jog your client’s memory by asking about the value of a specific service to others they know.. This way, while you are pushing your brand, you’re also reminding your client of what you can offer.
Mistake #4: Lack of web presence
Your employees are super stars–after all, you trained them! That doesn’t mean that you should rely solely on your receptionist to schedule appointments. This can create a bottleneck and result in the loss of some valuable business.
Take advantage of modern social media marketing strategies (like facebook and twitter) or using online booking to help you automate a task and keep yourself and your business organized. These tools also allow you to more easily receive customer suggestions: free advice that can assist in the growth of your business.
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