Advice from Seasoned Spa Consultants
By Susie Ellis, SpaFinder Insider
Judy Singer and Patti Monteson are spa consultants who I have known for almost 20 years. In fact, they were the first spa consultants I ever met. Their company HFD, Heath Fitness Dynamics
, is based in Florida. (Sometimes I wonder if they would select the same name were they starting their consulting company today. Interesting how the term fitness has taken a back seat to the word spa. However, it matters not. They are so successful and have created so many spas that they can use any name they want!)
I met them at one of the early ISPA conferences where they shared some of their research data. It was one of the first times I had ever seen any research from the spa world. It was generous of them to share information they had learned from their years of consulting. Just think, today they have had 20 more than years of consulting experience and have completed literally hundreds of projects! So whenever either of them writes an article or gives a speech, I become a sponge – learning a lot.
A while ago they sent me a link to an article Judy had written called Profitable Spas: Be On-Trend Rather than Trendy. Since we find ourselves in turbulent economic times these days, it seemed like a good time to re-read it and share it with you in case some of their wisdom might apply to your situation. Here is the link so you can read the entire article
(which I would recommend).
If you don’t have time for that, here is Judy’s list of 18 trends she feels can help your spa be more marketable and profitable (I’ve added a quick summary):
- Resort-Based “Hybrid” Spa: Diversify by welcoming resort and day guests, and club members
- Spas are a Business: Expect and plan for profits
- Lifestyle, Workstyle and Medical Real Estate: People want to really “live the spa life”
- Spas are Places of Celebration and Connection: Include spaces for these elements
- Spa Spot Specialty Areas: Think about creating a “spa on the spot”
- Spa Anywhere/Everywhere: Add spa-like touches to guest rooms, lobby, pool area, etc.
- Spa Playgrounds: Go beyond steam, sauna, and whirlpool. Provide interactive elements
- Spas Need to Offer Service and Not Just Services: Think “Experience makers” and “memory makers” versus order taking
- Spas Will Go Mainstream: More affordable, more accessible and gender-friendly
- Male-Friendly Spas: Change the things that make your spa seem less female-oriented
- Wellness and Completeness: Add education and personal enrichment opportunities
- Spas Need to be Experience-Driven: Customize and personalize spa treatments to touch all five senses
- Customize & Personalize: (obvious)
- Green is Good: Guests want this but don’t inconvenience them
- Minimize Stress…Keep Things Simple: Shorten menus, be careful about up-charging
- Welcome the “Spa Virgin”: Help people overcome unknowns like nudity, tipping and guilt
- Spas as Theater: Think as if you were producing a play
- Design for a Profitable Experience: Have flexible treatment rooms and a good flow
Today I feel inspired by #15. Minimize Stress…Keep Things Simple. Not only is this a good idea in spa menus, but in many other aspects of life.
Hmmm, am thinking a simple baked potato with some toppings tonight for dinner.
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