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Designing for Dollars

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: January 30, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
drawing of a dollar bill

In a perfect world, money wouldn’t matter, and this article would consist of pages and pages of expensive up-to-the-minute spa design trends that would make your heart race and inspire you to begin that next round of incredible high-end enhancements and additions to your spa. Unfortunately, it has become very clear lately that money does indeed matter, which makes it more crucial than ever to make your spa an enticing sanctuary that keeps your clients coming back, ensuring that your business will make it through the current economic crunch.

It is difficult to make a sweeping statement about how spas are faring during this downturn because every business’ experience is different. Some spas, for a multitude of different reasons, may be weathering the storm well. Some owners may have saved conservatively, paid off all existing debt and operated within their means. Those who’ve played it safe may not have reaped the benefits of wowing their clients with amazing, trendy offerings, but they are currently feeling pretty secure and are resting on fat savings accounts that are just waiting to be spent.

Other spas—perhaps most spas—are somewhere in the middle and are breaking even on their revenue and expenses. They aren’t ready to close their doors, but they also won’t be adding a new nonrevenue-producing space anytime soon.

And then there are some spas that have had the bad luck and bad timing to invest in a huge, ornate relaxation area or six new water treatment rooms before the economic crisis became a reality, and now they are stuck with their decisions—and the monthly bills—for years to come.

Each of these situations can benefit from spa design during the recession; perhaps not in the same way, but the results could help a business not only stay in the black, but perhaps even add to the bottom line.

Feeling $ecure