On the Upswing

Fourth quarter reports from the Professional Beauty Association’s Salon/Spa Performance Index (SSPI) are showing a positive industry upswing, which is just the boost we need to keep the ball rolling in 2011.

The SSPI was created to help measure the health of the spa industry, and is based on the responses to the association’s national survey, which is fielded quarterly. Following are some of its key findings.

  • Driven by stronger service and retail sales in the fourth quarter, the index bounced back from its third quarter decline.
  • The Current Situation Index, which measures five industry indicators—service sales, retail sales, customer traffic, employees/hours and capital expenditures—rose 3%, gaining back some of the decline it saw during third quarter.
  • The Expectations Index—which measures service sales, retail sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions—rose 1%.

Although this is not huge growth, it is a start.

Add new clients

Think about ways you can grow your own spa. Dinah Alcon, owner of Dinah Alcon Skincare Studio in Manhattan Beach, California, offered some tips in a recent Vocal Point online discussion. (Editor’s note: Check out our monthly Vocal Point question at www.SkinInc.com/survey.) “One of the things that I’ve done to introduce my services to new audiences is to partner with complementary businesses. By hosting free sponsored events with yoga studios, reflexologists and other local businesses, I am able to provide an added value to my existing clientele, while also introducing my business to my partners’ clientele in a fun atmosphere.

“In tough economic times, it is even more important to create opportunities and, by partnering with local businesses, we are all able to utilize our own strengths and services, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved: Our clients get to sample new services, my partners and I increase our exposure within the community and our businesses ultimately benefit from the partnership,” Alcon emphasizes.

Tina Gauthier, owner of Skin and Wax Studio in Springfield, Virginia, suggests, “Host an event; almost like a happy hour that talks about your services, and invite clients and have them bring a friend. Offer drinks and food, and maybe even have a drawing to win a free service.”

Spa Business Solutions

Several articles in this month’s Spa Business Solutions section can also help guide you down this path to increased business success. In the Marketing column, Ido Kadman discusses how Facebook and Twitter can make a difference for your business. Rhana Pytell talks about how the role of gift cards has changed in this month’s retail column, and Patricia Fripp’s business column details how today’s consumer demands great service.

Keep that industry upswing going. Reaching out to consumers—as well as your existing clients—is a great way to start.

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