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More Economic Influence

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

page 5 of 8

It is slowly picking back up because the season is coming back into play. Once Christmas is past, people are more easy to spend their money in the spas. We normally were slow, but we saw an increase in slowness. We use Web sites in our local areas. specials just for those days. If we see that tomorrow we’re slow, let’s go ahead and place an ad for a 60-minute massage for the price of 45. We would put specials outside of our spa board like all walkins get one service, get another half price. All our service providers are hourly.

Discounting, some people tend to react more to, we do add ons, like 60-minute massage, hot stone for $5. It was hard to get the word out about that, but we would call them and they would agree. That seemed to help, too, although our massage therapists didn’t really like it.

We are focusing more on our current clients. Since it’s the new year, our computer system creates points. So bringing a client in, you get points for that day, referrals receive service for half-price. Sending out e-mail blasts. It’s a way to reward them and still get someone new in through the door. Marketing through the holidays, we haven’t really pushed anything. We won’t push that much for Valentine's Day but will wait more for Mother’s Day we do more for gifts card sales. Valentine's Day is a one weekend thing and they want to book a couple’s massage.

The biggest change happened in June 2008 when we went from commission based pay to hourly based pay. We marketed the clients and gave them to the service providers. Now as hourly, they have more time on their hands to help out around the spa, send out welcome cards, miss you spas; going hourly helped the team focus more on helping out. Especially with the economy, a lot of them are thankful that they are on hourly pay.

We are in a week-by-week day-by-day process. We’re just trying to see; if something’s slow, we’ll call an online marketing company.