×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 31566
Tuesday, 26 December 2006 08:48

Checklist for Expanding Your Spa

Written by  

Every business owner that survives the critical early years in operation will arrive at a point where the physical expansion or remodeling of the original location seems like a reasonable idea. Client growth beyond your ability to serve as currently built, cramped working space for a larger spa team and the desire to add new treatment options, all may foster the desire to redesign your spa's layout and look. Besides, that once-vogue Tuscan theme with its faux finishes and terra cotta accents may now seem ancient indeed to your regular and newer customers.

We've all seen older businesses that allowed their sign paint to peel and décor age as the owners, long used to the daily grind of working there, overlook what customers clearly see. For my part I've been amazed at how an entire restaurant staff will not hear the skipping CD, hotel housekeeping will miss a large spider web day after day, or a spa will tolerate an embarrassing menu typo for years. But these are small details when compared to a major business remodel-do we tear down the building when a new sign will satisfy a problem?
I've worked with many consulting clients that have called me to help them plan the running of an expanded business after construction was already underway. Isn't it reasonable to plan for that before committing to a costly overhaul? One must ask what the driving motive was for such a project in the first place. Was that remodel really needed? What was the expected financial result? Did one consider an alternate plan? Is the risk worth the potential reward?
To help those that might be considering a future expansion or rebuild of a spa business I have created a checklist of key considerations you can use to better evaluate the idea. As much as you may be emotionally sold on your plan you'll do well to slow down and think hard about the real cost/benefit of it. Desire has a mean way of luring honest people into some serious cash and management trouble. Better safe than sorry, as they say, so do the homework here and see how it all adds up afterward.

Plan Expected Benefit Worst Case Stop or Go?

Relocate the spa to a more visible space in the shopping center, while enlarging it at the same time.

The newly improved visibility will increase business, the extra patronage requiring additional service and retail area

Overhead increases but business doesn't grow as hoped for. Extra management duties creates hard-ship for owner.

STOP! Are we really suffering from poor visibility or is our own marketing faulty? It's far, far cheaper to promote than to build!

Enlarge spa into new adjacent space. Our service quality is suffering under the current cramped conditions

 

Increased comfort and privacy will slow employee and client loss, create additional retail space and give an office to manager

Interrupting business with loud construction will further hurt sales. Some customers like the spa just as it is now. Will they leave?

Cautious GO! Loss of clients and staff is a serious business expense. Don't over-build! Allow room to grow but not too much! Be wise here.

Redecorate the spa as our look is getting dated and the trend is toward modern, clean lines, not our tired old French country theme

The change will boost client excitement in the spa and help to keep us competitive. We don't want to fall behind the times!

Worst case? How could a beautiful new interior be a bad idea? Everyone says to go for it! We'll spend money but you have to maintain your facility, right?

STOP! Do we know our current look is harming business or are we just bored with it? Change the feel of the spa and you can alienate happy clients at a high cost to you!

The business has been successful and we can buy our own building. It'll need remodeling but it's in our present area and is in better shape than the rented space

The more modern building eliminates the hassles of asking our cheap landlord to fix things he's slow to do. The whole center has declined and our customers tell us so.

It's always scary to buy property! What if business suddenly drops or the price of real estate declines? We'll have to pay or do our own repairs when we need them.

Enthusiastic GO! If you've done well enough to invest in a building you can have an asset to own and a great tax write-off. Just make sure you're not buying a decaying money pit!

A competing spa went out of business and we got a great deal on their used equipment, but we need more room to accommodate it.

How can you pass up a deal like this? Plus, we'll probably get all of their old clients now that they're out. I got that mini sauna for a third of list price!

There's no way this will fail! Those guys didn't have a clue how to run a spa, that's why they went under. I love the idea of making money off of their stuff!

STOP! STOP! STOP!

Your puffed-up over-confidence is going to sink you sooner or later. This victor's dance is leading you to make a bad move!

But, you'll show them!

The nail area has never proven to be profitable and you're turning valuable facial business away daily. You want to convert the nail area into two new facial rooms.

More service and retail income from the new facial treatments we can now provide. Easier to manage one enlarged service team that two smaller and diverse ones.

We could lose some clients that liked having their nails done here. Could be hard to find more qualified aestheticians.

GO! Better to do more of what you do best, especially in such easy-to-upgrade treatments with their rich retail potential. The lost nail business may be easily offset by aesthetics sales.

I read how many spas are now offering yoga, meditation, and prenatal classes. We need to build a large classroom so we can do that, too.

If it's working for other spas why not us then? We need to keep up with service trends and it sounds like fun to offer these!

It may not make much money but the PR will be good and we can use the room for lots of new things or whatever.

STOP! Bad idea. Do you actually know if those services are "working" for the spas you read about? What does "working"

mean? You're caught up in a costly dream.

We've been doing great for years but now a big new spa is going to open near here so we're going to enlarge ours to keep up!

We're afraid that all of our customers are going to run over there when they see just how big, new and gorgeous it is! We can't afford that!

The worst thing is to sit around and wait until it's too late to do anything! The whole thing is just freaking me out!

STOP! Please... Fear is the worst reason of all to get into needless debt. If you believe that sight and size alone will win your clients it's time to take a class in customer service.

When you can truly justify the expense of a remodel, you will still have to pay for the investment over time, and this added expense may just set back your business profit longer than you expect. Many business owners expand right at the point where the company is getting out from debt and can yield a little real income for them. Plunging it right back into borrowed money may seem like the ticket to a fatter future, but chances are that the opposite will prove true. Before spending a bundle on that remodel or expansion enjoy the moment of relative financial freedom (assuming you have any) while taking careful study of the need to invest further. Vendors and builders will be happy to write your orders but the payments are yours alone! Get help from a qualified expert to help you evaluate your plan and even then wait until the emotional high has run its course. Good luck in your business success!

Want to read more?

Subscribe to one of our monthly plans to continue reading this article.

Related items

  • Successful Upselling Foreward Successful Upselling Foreward
     
     


    Upselling and add-ons – a challenging subject to talk about even in the best of times. But here we are in the middle of an economic crisis, so you must be asking yourself how we could possibly consider this a reasonable topic when you are just happy you are able to sustain your clientele. Many of you are probably thinking there is no way you would jeopardize that relationship by asking the client to spend more money. All of which are perfectly reasonable thoughts and questions. However, I will ask you to put them in a box briefly, clear your mind, and be open to consideration for just a moment.

    Let me give you an example of an effective suggestion that happens millions of times, everyday, all around the world. You go to your favorite restaurant; you sit down, and look over the menu. Your server comes to the table and takes your order, you tell him what you would like and he confirms your order then says, “Would you like a salad with that tonight, or can I interest you in a glass of wine?” A perfectly harmless question, that was neither painful nor offensive. At worst you say “No, thank you.” At best, he just enhanced your dining experience, increased your bill, and ultimately his tip. Job well done!

  • Creating the Ideal Retail Mix - December 2008 Creating the Ideal Retail Mix - December 2008
    by Melinda Minton

    Selling retail is an essential part of a well run spa. This is true not only because the additional revenue is so crucial to a spa's bottom line, but also because prescriptive home care is the necessary second step to the professional care given to a client in the spa. While mastering the retail sale can be difficult from a team or individual perspective, there are methods for making your spa’s retail routine hum.

     

     

    Your Spa's Style

    Oftentimes spas try to sell a bit of everything in an attempt to accommodate everyone. This can be a fatal error. The more fragmented your retail mix the more clients and staff will be confused. There must be a driving force behind your spa philosophy. Are you primarily a spa focused in on medical skin care, contouring services, water therapies, or all organic non-ablative therapies? Before you can determine the best retail mix for your spa, you really need to dig deep and understand your theme, focus, and primary therapeutic offerings. Moreover, remember that if you can’t get the product on them in the treatment room—there is a much smaller chance that the client will be taking the product home with them for further use when not at the spa. Integrating the treatment experience with the retail experience is crucial. When determining your retail mix, be cognizant of your client. Do you primarily offer clinical services or is your treatment mix somewhat more “fluffy” or gift-oriented?

  • Deal or No Deal Deal or No Deal

    When Sarah Hughes skated off with the gold medal, she pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history. Her surprisingly simple secret? “I didn’t skate for a gold medal. I went out and had a great time.”

    Athletes say it all the time: “I just went out there and had fun.” And, admittedly, they do look like they’re having a great time.

    Fortunately, fun isn’t the sole province of superstar athletes. It can work for the rest of us in the skin care industry, too. The link between having fun and business success has been proven in countless studies. When we’re having fun on the job, we are more creative and more productive.

     

  • Sugar... Not Just for Coffee Anymore Sugar... Not Just for Coffee Anymore

    by Lina Kennedy

    A couple of decades ago, offering cream and sugar for anything other than coffee or tea would have sounded quite ridiculous! But in today’s realm of aesthetics and cosmetics promoting coffee and chocolate to soothe even the jitteriest skin, or offering sugar as a real hair removal solution to an age-old problem is very realistic. And as post treatment, applying a good trans-dermal cream to hydrate and moisturize the skin is simply a great, soothing and natural way to complete your sugaring service.

  • Jan Marini - August 2010: A Legend in Aesthetics
    By
    Jan Marini - August 2010: A Legend in Aesthetics
    Jan Marinin

     

    Those who know Jan Marini refer to her as a visionary. While Jan might agree in principle, she sees this characterization as both a strength and a weakness. She envies those who are able to savor the moment. Where others view life in snapshots that capture real time, Jan sees broad borderless landscapes and endless possibilities. She does not see a product, she sees a business and in that same instance her mind is flooded with the business plan and all the accompanying details. Even when she is not envisioning empires, she is never satisfied with the status quo.
    Given her background, perhaps this is an understandable if not necessary survival tool. Jan’s mother, Florence, was a single mom of three boys in an era when divorce carried a major stigma. Florence remarried and unexpectedly gave birth to Jan late in life. The family struggled to live a very meager existence. Her father died when she was eight years old and the family was thrust into poverty. Florence worked only menial jobs and food was often scarce. It was no wonder that Jan viewed her world not as it was, but as it might be, and that she softened the bleak reality by envisioning a larger and more optimistic scenario brimming with potential. Because of her early circumstances, Jan is adamant that in order to succeed you must be tenacious, doggedly determined, and completely focused on the ultimate goal.
    Jan describes herself as a product researcher. “Back in the early days I was considered a product ingredient expert. I lectured to medical professionals, skin care professionals, and consumers about how ingredients really performed and what they could realistically expect to provide.” She also did talk radio and T.V., because as she puts it, “consumers love to hear about ingredients and whether their products really work. It is a popular topic that lends itself to talk shows.”
Login to post comments

February 2024

Business Blogs

Brands of the Month

  • Eminence Organic Skin Care
  • Celluma by Biophotas, Inc
  • DMK Skin Revision Center

Client Care

body { overflow-y: auto; } html, body { min-width: unset; }