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Staying Profitable as Your Spa Evolves

By: Patrick Vande Weg
Posted: September 28, 2012, from the October 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Develop a focused business plan. A business plan is your map and compass, and is something you can go back to when you feel off course and out of sync. It is your key to long-term success. Every business owner needs a business plan. Starting and managing a business takes motivation, desire and talent. It also takes research, planning and sound business practices. Success in business starts with decisive and correct decisions. Although initial mistakes are not fatal, it takes planning, discipline and hard work to stay the course and keep your advantage. To increase your chance for success, take the time to explore and evaluate your business and personal goals. Then use this information to build a comprehensive and well-thought out business plan that will provide you with a road map to help you reach these goals.

Track your time and understand what it is worth.Have you ever thought about how much your time is worth, and how much of it is spent on menial, unproductive or low-income activities? If you tracked your time throughout the day, you’d probably be surprised to find that 30% or more of your day is spent on activities that are worth very little to the value of your business. Make a conscious effort to become more productive throughout the day by not being distracted with small tasks or wasting time on unproductive activities.

Establish a business structure and hire right. In the early phases of your business, there are many hats to wear that can distract you from areas where your time is more valuable. As your business grows and becomes more successful, it is imperative that you begin handing off some of those hats so you can focus on what your business does really well. The key to doing this is having a solid business structure established and finding people who fit who culture and have the necessary skill sets to do the work you are hiring them for. By hiring people to wear some of your hats, you’ll find that your contribution to the business increases, revenue increases and your income increases.

The one common trait among entrepreneurs is that they all have an underlying positivity about the next day. If you follow the philosophy of focusing on continuous improvement each day, no matter how incremental, you will achieve your goals.

Patrick Vande Weg is a certified public accountant, and owner and CFO of the award-winning Stellar Spa in Corte Madera, California. He has been involved in the spa industry for 15 years as an owner, operator and business educator. Vande Weg’s Planning Equals Profitability: Strategic Spa Business Series is an advanced business education series developed and refined through years of practical hands-on experience and real-world challenges. He can be contacted at