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Making Money in Any Economy

By: Bryan Durocher
Posted: December 5, 2008

Hearing about the slowing economy is nothing new. When turning on the evening news, it is inevitable for this topic to be covered in the first five minutes of the broadcast. It is important to be mindful of how you run your business no matter what type of economy is occurring. There are smart business practices that are universal no matter if times are good or otherwise. It should not take the media to remind you and shake you up in regard to what you need to do to grow and prosper within your business. What you know has brought you to where you are now. It perhaps is what you don’t know that will take your business to a new level, one that can thrive even during a slow-down.

The slowing economy is affecting the productivity and profitability of spas everywhere. With clients watching their pocketbooks closely, it is imperative for spa owners to do the same. This is the time to be aggressive in your marketing, and detailed in your education and client-service experiences. Invest in retail, networking and sales dialogue training. These are the tools that can empower and alter your bottom line; however, it is not the time to switch out entire product lines or spend additional resources on untraceable advertising.

Connect with clients

Now is a good time to take a good hard look at your business structure and systems to ensure that every opportunity is being maximized. It is time to get back to the basics by connecting and networking with new clients and business associates. Dedicate effort toward effective networking, and you will set your spa up properly to remain profitable through these economically lean time. How many members of your team belong to a productive networking group such as BNI or LeTip and actually go on a regular basis? People who belong to at least one group make a good deal more money more than their counterparts who don’t.

The services you offer your clients are a part of their wellness experience. Get them to consider services that will not only help them look and feel better, but also help them reduce stress and be able to give more to their work and the important people in their lives. On average, during a downturn in the economy, the first things to be excluded from an individual’s budget are perceived luxury services and products, such as massages, esthetic services and hair care. It should be your goal to persuede most clients to consider your services a necessity, not a luxury. However, clients are currently pushing appointments out further than normal, attempting to maximize their dollar. Instead of visiting the spa every four to five weeks, clients are returning six to eight weeks, which translates into one less visit per year per client. When you do the math, this can add up to a considerable drop in profitability at the end of the year, not only for the overall business as a whole, but also to the practitioners and technicians. You can counteract this with the right type of training. Having a discussion around this reality early in the year allows opportunities to be maximized. Now is the time to plan and brainstorm with your team.

Guerilla marketing

Everyone is affected by the economic slowdown, so it is everyone’s responsibility to come up with solutions. The truth is everyone needs to do more. Everyone needs to market more. Everyone needs to network more. It needs to be a collaborative effort working toward the common goal of procuring more business for everyone. There is no magic bus of clients that will drive into your parking lot for services.