This week’s post by Erin Marano (Skin Inc. magazine contributor), focuses on 5 key areas you can implement to get (or keep) your spa business on a strong and successful track this fall and into the holiday season.
When it comes to running a successful spa, you have to ask yourself, “What can I do for my business right now to help overcome current challenges and result in overall growth?” Let’s look at some key focus areas that can set your business and your team on a stronger track. If you can implement some of these simple tips, I am confident they will expand your path to enhanced success beyond this year.
1: Build Client Loyalty
Even with staffing issues, you can still inspire loyalty and keep clients engaged while increasing revenue. The key is to be creative and have a little fun doing it while not having to invest a ton of your valuable time. Below are a few examples of how you can start to build your client loyalty:
Reach out to your vendors to see what kind of programs they offer to help you create fun specials that will entice your guests. Ask about anything your vendor can supply from samples, trial sizes or merchandise, so you do not have to use your own operating budget while increasing your profits.
Check to see if your vendor will help you design a fun e-blast to send out to your database and help promote your specials.
See if your vendors can help with social media images and content, or even a display visual.
The more you post and get the special out there, the more buzz you will generate within your community to help make your promotion successful. Having a vendor that will design and supply professional looking marketing tools is a huge bonus, which can save you thousands of dollars while you are bringing in thousands.
2. Pair Retail with Intent
Another fantastic way to move inventory is to retail with purposeful intel. One way to do this is to pair two products together and offer a special price when guests purchase the dynamic duo. Pair a hero product with one that is underselling but correlates well for either great results or a really fun experience. In this way, you are introducing an under-performer along with a strong moving and loved product.
Take it a step further and pair two great products together that go with a service. Bundle the price into the service so that your guest gets more for their investment. Include two to three free samples, so that they can try new products prior to making a retail commitment.
The best part of pairing with purposeful intent is that it allows your guests to see remarkable results from the perfectly matched self-care products and come back to buy them again. By having sampling tied to the service, hesitant-to-purchase guests are able to fall in love with a product and then return to purchase it, giving you yet another opportunity to position your business as their beauty and wellness go-to source.
3. Host Creative Events
Events are another wonderful way to generate revenue, but you can create a different format from those of the past. This helps to not only keep guests safe, but it also ensures a better return on investment (ROI). One method to doing this would be by creating a “spacation” passport for your clients.
The key to this creative event model is to move guests out of their comfort zone by getting them to experience multiple spa services and opening them up to your many offerings. This way, they book more than just their favorite treatment in the future. Plus, the fun of getting their passport stamped generates excitement and guests really love the overall experience.
4. Strategically Plan Inventory
There have been great ebbs and flows these last few years, but the one thing we have all learned is that our industry, and those blessed to be a part of it, are resilient and resourceful. Uncertainty can cause us not to invest in revenue generating merchandise and keep stock at lower levels. Although sticking to a budget is the best way to go, we also need to look to the future and make sure we have the merchandise available to offer specials during slower times. Here are some tips to strategic inventory planning.
Specials and discounts. Most vendors offer monthly specials where you save when you purchase certain items. Take advantage of these exclusive offers, even if it means stocking up. Special offer discounts provided by your vendor will either help you profit more or give you the ability to offer a special to your clients to keep the sale within your business, instead of the guest seeking a deal online or elsewhere.
Drop ship and affiliate programs. In some cases, if taking advantage of those special offers doesn’t work for your business at that moment, there are other ways to overcome stock challenges without disrupting your operational costs. Affiliate or drop ship programs are still being give you the ability to recommend and sell products you may not normally stock or cannot purchase at that moment. Depending on the program, your profit margins will stay the same or you will receive commission on the sale. Either way it is an uncomplicated way for you to overcome stock issues, but still increase profits and open yourself up to offering more retail solutions for your guests.
Affiliate or drop ship programs are also an excellent way to capture retail sales from guests who may only visit your spa a limited time each year because they live elsewhere. Since your vendor is the one shipping directly to the guest’s door, you not only earn revenue from that guest once, but each time they order year-round. This type of program also ensures guests stay connected with your spa, remain loyal and come back when in the area.
5. Invest in Education
Education is vital to the ongoing success of your business and team. The more time you invest in education, the more confident your team will be with the brands you carry. With that being said, not all education is created equal. Having a vendor with a seasoned educator that masters the art of teaching for true comprehension and easy execution and goes beyond product knowledge, captivates your team, ensuring an ROI as they apply and practice what they have learned. Here are a few tips for the best impact:
When you set time aside for your team’s growth, make sure to collaborate with your vendor educator first to ensure all topics are covered.
Role playing should always be a part of the class, especially to work on your team’s retail conversation.
Since recommending retail also goes beyond product knowledge, having an opportunity to practice key phrases and overcome objections will only further strengthen your team.
The time you invest in your team’s education should be fun and immersive, to create excitement and help them to take away more from each class.
Once the class is over, it’s time to put your team to the test and see who took away the most and who is applying the tips to their everyday routine. The best way to do this is to create an incentive for selling retail. Come up with a goal and if each team member reaches the goal, they get a choice of their favorite retail product. Some vendors offer retail incentive programs to help motivate your team without you using operating costs. Your success equals the brand’s success, so helping to motivate becomes a win-win situation.
Bonus Tip: Educate Your Client
Another challenge education can help us overcome is giving your therapists a different view on other beloved products. It is easy to get stuck in a constant cycle of facials and home care. But the skin will eventually stop showing huge improvements if you keep everything the same all the time.
Make sure your vendor is training your team on how to walk your guests through their skin care journey. This will not only impact the results they achieve, but it will positively impact your bottom line. Clients should be changing their skin care routine seasonally or every three to four months. This helps them address seasonal concerns, as well as changes in lifestyle, nutrition, medication, exercise, etc., and it helps them achieve their desired results with cumulative benefits.
Educating the customer on their skin care builds trust, as the therapist suggests new treatments or retail products that will help them address their concerns. Once they see the difference, they will be much more open to additional suggestions. This customized strategy helps you cycle through your inventory and expand your offerings because you know your team will sell through with purposeful intent.
Change is Good
At the end of the day, it is the ideal time to think creatively, mix things up a bit and implement different takes on the standard ways of doing business. More than ever your skin care vendors should be serving as a true partner and not just another trendy product line. They should be collaborating with you and helping your business capitalize and implement greater opportunities to increased profitability.
Erin Marano has worked in the spa industry for over a decade, consulting high-end spas towards unique points of service and retail distinction, team empowerment and sales strategies for enhanced success. Marano is currently the national director of sales for Pevonia Natural Skincare, and she works directly with the Executive Team on innovative strategies for market and revenue growth.