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Profitability--Proven Steps to Ensuring a Healthy Bottom Line

By: Melinda Minton
Posted: March 26, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Other small cutbacks can include using less expensive bags for retail, turning off lights, being cognizant of hot water usage, stretching out the life of testers, rationing sundry usage for waxing and similar services, and so on. Instead of allowing staff to experience free services, encourage a trade day to exchange services with each another. Cut down on office materials use, such as paper, cards, stationary and other seemingly inexpensive materials. Those costs can quickly add up.

Also, consider simplifying your menu brochures. Think about how much each menu costs and how many you go through. That parchment cover, ribbon-tied binding and cardstock inside could all go with little to no impact on the client’s experience. Similarly, four-color can become two-color at a dramatic reduction in cost with little change in the spa’s image, and another option is to create a mini-menu as a supplement to your full menu, outlining only services and prices. Oftentimes regular clients will grab a menu when they really just need a cheat sheet as a reminder of services offered. Cutting brochure costs can significantly cut your overhead with few to no side effects.

Get focused

Niche equals rich, and if your spa isn’t therapeutically and thematically focused, you are missing out on a great deal of opportunity. With the spa market saturated as it is, presenting a standard spa menu can be a death sentence. The typical Swedish massage and European facial may be staples, but your spa must be different—it has to stand out. What does your spa do particularly well? Do you have a strong esthetic team, a strong massage staff? Are you known for body contouring? Are you in a unique location, or do you have products or treatments that are proprietary by nature?

Once you focus in on your spa’s strengths, give some thought to chopping down your menu items. Get rid of any services that aren’t performed on a regular basis. Create a spa menu of only your best-selling treatments, and then make a few of your services real standouts, such as your an anti-aging facial, energy-enhancing massage or the contouring series that really does the job. The more you specialize your spa treatments, the more your clients will find your spa special.

All about advertising

Advertising is a necessary evil that often comes at a great expense. How then do you maximize its effects? Simply paying for a four-color, half-page ad in your local newspaper will likely have some impact, but at what cost? Sure, potential clients will see it, acknowledge it and tuck a bit of the knowledge it provides in the back of their minds, but with all of the competition for consumer attention in this day and age, how far does that really go? Advertising must be a repetitive act of triggering the mind toward one simple message.