What Is the Best Way to Start a Spa Business?
So you’ve decided to start a spa business (and now is a great time to do so!). If you’re familiar with the industry, you’re aware of its benefits and drawbacks.
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Nothing compares to sending a happy client out into the world after a day at the spa. There are also stumbling blocks to overcome before opening, such as finding the right location in the right market, obtaining business licenses, and hiring qualified employees.
We’ll assist you in figuring it out.
Make a business strategy.
Writing a business plan is extremely important. If your day spa is going to be a journey, consider this the first step. It will direct you to your desired location and assist you in organizing your plans and priorities.
Make a name for yourself.
Start with the enjoyable part—just don’t expect it to be simple.
The first steps in starting a business are naming it and developing a brand. You’ll decide what you want to be called, how you want to interact, and how you want to appear—think of it as a way to tell your customers about the personality of your company.
Choose a name for your spa.
Your brand, the quality of your people and customer experience, and the range of services you’ll provide should all be reflected in your name. It could also contain references to your hometown or surname. Isn’t it just that easy to come up with a name? Don’t worry if you don’t know where to begin. To assist you with this step, we’ve created a checklist on how to choose the perfect name for your spa or salon.
Make a name for yourself.
Your company’s identity is reflected in your brand. It’s how you communicate with customers and prospects, as well as how you present yourself visually.
Choose the spa services you’ll provide.
According to the International Spa Association (ISPA), a business qualifies as a spa if it provides at least two of the following services to spa patrons:
Cosmetics for the skin (includes makeup)
Treatments for the body (includes salon services and hair removal)
It’s possible that you already know how to do one or more of these, which is fantastic. If you’re providing a service you’re unfamiliar with, you’ll either need to hire someone or bring in a partner who is. Alternatively, you’ll have to educate yourself.
Also, look into any state or local licenses you’ll need to get and keep in order to provide the services you want. For more information, check out our guide to creating the ideal spa menu, which should help you increase revenue. For important service menu considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic, watch a video from industry expert Lisa Starr.
Determine what spa equipment you’ll require.
Before you begin, determine the equipment you’ll need based on the size of your location and the services you provide.
If you plan to offer relaxing massages, day spas may include showers and lockers for guests, as well as soundproof rooms. Other things to consider are:
- Massage tables and chairs are available.
- For linens, there are washers and dryers.
- Warming towel racks
- Masks for the eyes and the face
- Supplies for the shower (soap, shampoo, conditioners)
- Massage oils, incense, candles, and essential oils are just a few of the products available.
- A front desk, chairs, and point-of-sale devices are examples of office equipment.
- Furniture for the reception area
- Ottoman for pedicure
- The stool of an esthetician
- Warmers for wax
- Lasers for hair removal
- Pumice stones/exfoliating devices
- A hydrotherapy tub or shower, such as a Jacuzzi.
Extensive research into your industry’s specific niche is required. Determine what equipment you’ll need to buy before your business opens, as well as what you’ll be able to buy later if space and funds allow.
Choose a target audience.
You may have an idea of who you want to serve with your new business, but give it some thought and write it down.
Sales and experience in retail
Starting a retail business means you’re willing to sell things at your day spa, such as hair and skin products, equipment, merchandise, and, most importantly, gift cards.
Retail sales can be challenging—you’ll need to hire or train staff to sell products and keep track of inventory—but the payoff can boost your spa’s revenue by 10% or more. In a pandemic, retail can be a valuable revenue source.
Consider the experience as well. What method will a customer use to make a retail purchase?
Your front-desk staff could sell them a product or merchandise. Service providers can easily upsell and recommend the perfect product during a service with the right spa software. If you’re going to sell products and merchandise online, it’s critical that the process is simple to use.
Consider how you’ll make a sale—will you offer both cash and cashless options? Because retail can help you boost your profits, make sure it’s a simple and painless process for your customers and employees.
Think about how you’ll keep track of your inventory, replenish it as needed, and store it. If you need more information, we’ve put together a helpful guide on how to make money off retail at your spa.
Gift cards can be sold.
Gift cards play an important role in the retail industry. You’re making a year-round product, and gift card recipients are known to spend more than the value of their gift.
It’s now time to introduce your spa to new customers.
Consider the most appropriate type of marketing for your target customers in your area. Marketing is a catch-all term with many facets.
Customers can be reached in a variety of ways, including:
Digital marketing: You might think of social media first, and it’s a great way to spread the word. Running promotions on Facebook and Instagram, such as offering grand opening discount services or referral codes, draws attention to your business and encourages people to share it.
To get started, download our step-by-step guide to Facebook marketing and our guide to Instagram marketing.
You’ll eventually want to incorporate email campaigns that offer incentives to both existing clients and new prospects to get them in the door.
Our email marketing primer will walk you through the fundamentals.
You could also print flyers to distribute in your neighborhood to let people know about your day spa.
All of this costs money and time, so factor marketing costs into your business plan. Check out our guide on how to create a marketing plan and budget, as well as the accompanying template, to get a handle on your expected marketing costs.
You should have a good idea of how much money you’ll need to run your day spa by now.
Include the cost of rent (more on choosing a location soon), as well as the people you’ll need to hire, as well as everything else you’ll need to pay to get your business off the ground and keep it running.
Don’t worry if it all sounds a little intimidating. We’ve written a helpful blog about how much it costs to open a spa.
It’s all about the location.
It’s exciting to select the ideal location for your company. The location of your spa—what kind of neighborhood you’ll fit into in terms of budget and lifestyle—sets the tone for the rest of your business.
- The following are some things to think about:
Passengers on foot
- Parking is available.
- Businesses in the area
- Do they have the kind of clients you’re looking for?
Some cities and towns will not allow you to open a business in a residential area, while others will. While getting your driver’s license, do some research to see what the rules are in the area you want to go.
You’re almost ready to open your own spa. You’ve chosen a location, drafted a business plan, and have a passion for making people happy.
Now it’s time to find the money to make your dream a reality.
There are numerous options for raising funds to start a business. To help themselves get started, some people self-finance and/or take out personal loans from friends and family. Others look for a small business loan right away.
You’ll also need to open a business bank account to help you find funding and keep your personal and business finances separate.
Select a spa management program.
Staff and client scheduling, marketing, payroll management, and reporting… Running a successful spa is a never-ending task for a small business owner.
This is where a good spa software system can come in handy. Look for one that can handle your requirements and automates as many tasks as possible so you can focus on your clients and employees. That’s that about “What Is the Best Way to Start a Spa Business?”
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