Although most of us are more than happy to bid adieu to 2009, it’s important to reflect on the good things that happened this year, despite some of its turmoil.
I, for one, feel grateful for a tremendous team that stuck together through some trying times. Skin Inc. magazine is still going strong as it heads into its 22nd year, we’ve reorganized the Chicago location of our trade show and rebranded it as Face & Body Midwest® to make it an even stronger show for our attendees, and we’ve launched Merge® magazine, a new publication for medical aesthetic practitioners. Not a bad outcome considering this economic climate.
Reinvent your business
If you are reading this, chances are good that your spa also has survived this roller coaster. From what I’ve been hearing during many conversations with your colleagues, business is steady, and many of you have discovered new ways to reinvent yourselves. Following are only a few of the great concepts I’ve been seeing:
- Offering mini treatments in the reception area to introduce clients to services they might not have tried;
- Going back to the basics—this was the year of the human touch;
- Changing up your treatment menu—less sometimes can be more;
- Cross-training staff—even sending team members back to school—to learn additional service modalities in order to keep the team size to a more economical number;
- Reducing ... and increasing spa hours;
- Becoming more involved with the community—viral marketing at its best;
- Retailing more boutiquelike items at reasonable prices for client impulse buys; and
- Educating clients about the importance of at-home regimens to help stretch the spa experience for a few weeks longer.
Of course, these are only a few of the initatives that you savvy spa owners are doing. The bottom line is that you’re reinventing the way that you do business to make your spa stand stronger as we pull out of this economic challenge.
Keep clients close
In a recent Vocal Point online survey question (www.SkinInc.com/survey), Melody Valdez, owner of La Bella Piel in San Antonio, Texas, says, “Any free time I have is spent doing research and trying to get ahead of the game. I daydream about what I want my business to be and put those thoughts into action. If I keep them in the forefront, I will always remind myself of what I am striving for and need to get where I am setting my mind and heart to be and become. There is absolute importance in researching and constantly expanding your knowledge about products, services and ways to not only self-improve, but also become business savvy.”
Anything that you have done or continue to do to build your business will only make it stronger as we head into 2010. Yes, it has been a difficult year, but you’ve survived it, and grown from it! And that has made your spa, and you, a lot stronger. Always keep in mind that your clients are the purpose of your business, and one of the main reasons you chose this highly personalized service industry.
Perhaps Mary Lou Roach, a facial rejuvenation/laser services registered nurse at AJM Aesthetic and Medical Services in Morgan Hills, California, says it best: “During difficult economic times, the retention of existing clients is vital. We believe in providing personal attention and taking the time to listen to what our clients are feeling as a result of the recession. We also utilize available time to provide acts of kindness for our clients by giving complimentary customized extras whenever possible, clearly communicating that each client is special and deserves extra pampering. You would be amazed what a few extra units of Botox, a mask, a hand treatment, or another service that the client values will do to reinforce our relationship. By building and nurturing our relationships, we are able to promote our services from the inside out and maintain client retention.”
Until next month,
Melinda Taschetta-Millane, Editor in Chief