I recently spoke with Janet Ludwig, Allured Business Media’s president, about the importance of understanding a clientele’s current needs, and how to best deliver solutions that fit those needs in this economic environment.
More than ever, this seems to be a popular topic of conversation. What Ludwig had to say made a lot of sense—not just for the publishing industry or the spa profession—but really, for any industry.
“You need to find a way to reinvent your business,” she shares. “In the spa market, from destination spas to day spas, the key for the future is to reinvent. This economy is presenting opportunity. However, it will require you to be willing to do your job, and manage your business differently than you have before this downturn.”
How very true. For example, if the focus of your current spa is on offering services that have more of a relaxation slant, but you are struggling to bring in new business. Consider rethinking your service menu to place more emphasis on skin maintenance, prevention and health instead. Help your clients learn about healthy living, and how it can be adapted into their lifestyles … and budgets.
The experts at the International SPA Association (ISPA) also support the idea that a focus on well-being is a must during these times. “Spas are not about luxury; they’re about teaching healthy living. They’re a place where people can get tangible results and work on overall well-being,” says ISPA president, Lynne Walker McNees, in a recent statement released by the organization regarding stress. “So many spas are offering great ways to help manage stress that it’s easy to find a spa experience that fits into your budget.”
It’s not just spas that are having to reinvent themselves; it is every business. In the Feb. 9, 2009, issue of BusinessWeek, business power couple Jack and Suzy Welch state that, “No company, even a profitable one, should assume that it will come out of this period looking as it did when it went into it. The marketplace of the ‘revitalized’ future, whether it emerges in 2009, 2010 or beyond, will have a new set of realities. Customers, competitors and suppliers will have different expectations and behaviors. Companies must be ready for them by being different, too.”
I know that I am working on reinventing—both personally and professionally. At Allured Business Media, we are keeping a sharp focus on current projects, but are not actively looking to expand our ancillary projects at this point. We are asking ourselves what business at Allured is going to look like three to five years down the road.
Consider some of your slower days as gifts, and use them to think of new ways to reinvent your business.
“We can be sure only that change will come swiftly, and survival will require a great deal more agility and flexibility,” conclude the Welchs. Allow yourself the flexibility to come out of this recession on top.
Until next month,
Melinda Taschetta-Millane, Editor in Chief