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More Economic Influence

Posted: February 26, 2009, from the March 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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We’re doing more addons as opposed to discounting, not taking away from the dollar amount we have coming into the spa. I’ve been spending a lot of time doing online classes; companies are doing more of that now which is really helpful about how to overcome the economic challenges we are facing. We want to offer value instead of discounting. We focus on increased value, so with a facial, we’ll do an LED hand treatment for free. It doesn’t cost us any money, it doesn’t cost the technician more to do and introduces them to a new element of hand care.

We’ve been looking to add a new service. Just this morning we decided to use Breakfast in Bed spa day where you offering facial, massage, manicure, pedicure with coffee scrubs, orange oils, egg whites, as a different type of promotion and we will put them in as a new intro to get people excited. We went to our clients and asked what they thought sounded really good this year. That’s adding a new service to what we’re doing. We’re working with our downtime with the staff working on DVDs and CDs from Eric Fisher, gleaning strategies.

We are being more progressive about cross-selling. For our facial clients, we are moving into hair a little bit more, with a facial client we will be offering a referral card to her friends and give 20% off on their color. Trying to work more efficiently on cross promoting. We’ve always done well between massage and facialists, but we’ve not done the hair area.

The economy is affecting us. Last year, sales were down about 3%. Michigan has been hit extremely bad. We are in a small nontourist area. The manufacturing companies we have have laid off a lot. Our clientele consists of professional working women, doctors, lawyers wives, so we’ve not felt it as much as some businesses. Our December sales were very good; we were up 2%. September, October and November. When things are tough, because of what we do, we focus on having a peaceful, serene environment. In stressful times, people need that. We try not to discuss downward things and think about the positive. When people come here, they are focusing on themselves. We picked up a new product, but they’ve sold like hot cakes. Within two weeks, we sold our inventory of 12. Things are tough, but there is still money there for things that are new that people are seeing results with. You have to be more creative and take a risk. And we definitely are doing more of personal referrals. Customer referrals. Our clients, we always give them a $10 Donovan buck to use as cash. We’re being more dedicated that we aren’t missing any referrals.

We are making our decisions more carefully. You know those business classes that you took, you are using those now. The tough economy is making people better stewards of their money. Their clients are being more careful. That’s the good thing. It has forced individuals and businesses to think about whether or not we really need.People trust what we say because we would never sell something we didn’t believe in.