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Shaping Your Spa Program

By: Mindy Terry
Posted: December 31, 2009, from the January 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

The treatment rooms at The Spa at The Jefferson reflect the clientele’s wish for luxury that is informal yet elegant, sophisticated and effortless.

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Don’t be overwhelmed and feel as if you need a degree in statistics to conduct this research. The easiest way to figure out your consumer is through observation. Take a look at the stores around your spa’s future or current location. Who do they attract? What types of cars are in the parking lot? Are there lots of moms with strollers, businesspeople, or those in their 20s who are single and just beginning their careers? This information is critical in shaping your key messages and treatment offerings.

During this research, look at the customers and compare them to people you know. Then, go to those friends and find out what they like, what urges them to spend, what makes them tick. You’ll walk away with invaluable information.

For example, there may be a lot of stores around your spa’s location that target those interested in vegan and eco-friendly lifestyles. Those who frequent the area want to make a difference and are interested in modern items that are made using sustainable processes, as well as considering animal rights and environmental protection. These politics and causes that are important to this type of consumer can be considered to build your spa program to match those interests.

It’s also smart to forge relationships with other small-business owners in the area by asking them about their clientele. You’ll often find that other entrepreneurs are more than happy to share this information and can become trusted partners once your business is established.

Concept and program creation

As you gain a clear understanding of your future clients, your spa concept and program will begin to materialize. They should be unique, inviting and marketable, as well as operationally efficient. Consider the following challenges.