What are you doing to make your spa stand out? If you are hesitant to invest in marketing or promotion during times of economic uncertainty, now is definitely not the time to shy away from putting your best foot forward. Consumers are still spending, but they are demanding excellence and education when it comes to buying skin care. In fact, About.com’s “Beauty My Way” survey cites these key consumer trends:
- More than 80% are spending more or the same this year on skin, male grooming and cosmetic products.
- 47% say price is not a factor if the beauty products meet their needs or solve a problem.
- 55% consider recommendations from experts to be very important.
- 72% of consumers prefer well-established skin care brands instead of generic brands.
- 44% are willing to pay more for a recognized beauty brand or products recommended by experts and users.
The numbers are clear—the market is very viable for established skin care and spa brands that offer effective products and expert education. As a leader, how do you grab this market and move your team toward business success? Whether you are an esthetician who rents one room or the manager of a multistore spa chain, the following time-tested rules for success may be adjusted to your specific needs and goals.
1. Be truly sensitive to continuous improvement
Don’t only seek input from within. Your clients, community and vendors are your ears and eyes to continuous improvement. Ask for feedback. Ask the tough questions. Respond quickly. By taking the time to understand the needs of clients and consumers, and personalizing the service experience to meet their unique desires, you build a sense of value in your products and services. When relationships are built on trust, consumers feel your desire to earn their business and will make an investment in your brand.
2. Make it measurable
If you can’t measure it, don’t do it. The best way to fine tune your balance sheet and workload is to define what is measurable. When you know the desired outcome before you step into a project, you make better choices. Social media is a fuzzy area when it comes to measurement. Once you figure out the best ways to engage your social media communities, the ability to measure will become more clear. According to social media management firm Syncapse, Facebook fans spend, on average, an extra $71.84 they would not otherwise spend on products they describe themselves as fans of, compared to those who are not fans.
3. Engage employees
If your team is not engaged, no one else will be. Your staff members are on the front lines with clients, and when they need new service tools, it’s important to work quickly to arm them for success. Do you have some Gen Y team members? Engage them in contributing ideas for driving traffic to your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. Baby boomers on board? Engage them in teaching younger generations the power of handwritten thank-you notes. Success is a team effort.
4. Look for the right partnerships
Again, you can’t work in a silo. Engage like-minded groups to reach your target markets. Want to reach women? Speak in front of your local Junior League and offer members a special rate for first-time guests. Want to reach brides? Form alliances with area wedding planners and bridal stores to offer skin care advice and incentives to brides, grooms and bridal parties. Join your local chamber of commerce or apply to be on a charitable board—the partnership opportunities are endless when you step outside of your box.
With more than 18 years in the beauty and wellness industries, Celeste Hilling is the founder and CEO of Skin Authority. As a respected expert and speaker on skin care, beauty, self-esteem and business, she is a resource for leading media outlets and is a recurring skin care expert for Fox News iMag, Spa magazine and inwithskin.com.