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Business Success, Part III: Strategies for Success

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: May 26, 2010, from the June 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Mii amo

"Fill in your gaps or enhance your offerings to match what the market demands," says Grenoble, president of Enchantment Group, the firm that manages Mii amo.

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Because of this, providing a valuable experience for clients is of the utmost importance. “The client is looking for value. If someone goes to a spa, it takes time from their day, as well as money from their pocket. The value proposition needs to be there, and that doesn’t always mean making it cheaper; you have to deliver services much better than before or package your programs so the client sees the value,” explains Grenoble.

And just as you have to worry about your clients’ pocketbooks, you have to keep an eye on your own, as well. “Guard your cash like a mother bear would guard her cubs. Focus on the must-haves and hang on to your cash. Anything that is unnecessary, lose it,” says Cortright, who sees marketing as a must-have during a down economy, even though it may seem like an easy thing to cut. “You can’t go dark and reappear when the sun comes back out and expect everyone to recognize you. When it’s been dark, and you’ve been that ray of light the whole time, you’ll rise above everyone else.”

Even if finance has never been your strong point, now is the time to learn. “A lot of spa owners aren’t good with numbers; it’s an industry-wide quirk,” says Andreas-Tuel. “You need to find a resource, maybe a family member or hire somebody, to help you understand your monthly profit/loss statement. She should be as patient as you need her to be and be willing to show you what she is doing.” Heathman agrees. “It’s very important that the money people and the estheticians begin to understand each other’s worlds,” she stresses. “You will have a more cohesive environment.”

An opportunity to be excellent

As 2010 reaches mid-year, now is a great time to start thinking about 2011, and the changes you are going to make to become an industry- and community-leading business in the years to come. As the business world changes, opportunities are coming a mile a minute. “Every exit has a new entry. In winter, you lose branches and in spring, new branches come up,” says Sarfati. “During these types of times, there is a great opportunity to do it right. It’s an opportunity to be excellent. Some lose, some win, but if you are smart and at the top of your game, this isn’t a losing proposition.”