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Surviving the Economic Crisis

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: January 7, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Many spas are also adjusting their menus in order to account for how the economy is affecting their clients’ pocketbooks. Fusion Med Spa in Lake Worth, Florida, recently introduced its Beauty Basics Menu, which offers the parts of the procedures that address client concerns and removes the extras. Changes is also offering something similar with its mini services. “The way we position it, the services are less time, but they have the same quality technical service, high-quality products and offer access to amenities. We are trying to help people who are feeling the crunch more than others to enjoy their services without as much fluff,” explains Waters. All of the services at Changes include a foot soak that is being eliminated for the shorter massage, pedicure and express peel.

Even industry legend Lydia Sarfati is getting in on the act, introducing The Facial Bar Concept, which features shorter, express treatments to allow clients to experience more of the services offered at a spa. Clients sit upright and are draped with a cape, similar to a hair service, and receive a quick conditioning or deep pore cleansing facial treatment in 30 minutes.

Survival of the fittest

There is no minimizing the affect your attitude as a spa leader has on your team and your spa’s success. “Do not talk about the gloomy stuff and the problems—be very optimistic. If the owner has worries, the employees have worries. You need to be very positive; it will all pass,” says Friedman.

Both Morrell-Dean and Friedman see this as a time of survival of the fittest in the spa industry. “Times like this are necessary. It is times like this that the spas that just went into business to make money … you aren’t going to see them anymore,” says Friedman.

There is no sugar-coating it—2009 promises to be a challenging year for small businesses. But by actively educating yourself about your business, exceeding your clients’ needs and expectations, and maintaining a positive attitude, your spa will survive to see a brighter day.