The Cost of Doing Business


Successful spa owners know their numbers and what they represent in order to operate their businesses each day. For those wanting to expand—evaluate where you are with your finances and be realistic. Often, enthusiasm gains momentum over sound business structure and advice, which can be problematic.

Incorporating new elements

Does the newest trend match the core beliefs of your spa? Will your team support new products or treatments? Kaffee Keldie, licensed esthetician and owner of Kaffee’s Garden Spa in West Palm Beach, Florida, reminds spa owners that it is important to continually refresh spa menus to keep clients and the team engaged.

“Many times, new protocols are offered within your dedicated product lines, and this is an easy way to add to the existing treatment selection. But, when considering a new service, product line, modality or tool, I use the following questions to keep me in check,” says Keldie.

  • Does it work in harmony with natural processes of clients’ health and wellness?
  • Are there any known side effects that could be potentially detrimental?
  • Does this new treatment complement the existing service selection?

“After asking myself all these questions and factoring in initial costs and expense to provide, I decide whether or not to bring in the new modality,” says Keldie.

Multiple locations require multiple solutions

Scott and Eva Kerschbaumer, owners of ESSpa Komzetika day spa with two locations in Pittsburgh, crunched the numbers and decided to expand their business with a third location in Delray Beach, Florida, in April 2014. The highest costs of the expansion were the time required to open and the stress involved with ensuring its prosperity. Part of the immediate success they experienced was due to their pre-opening marketing strategy.

Personalized gift cards. The Kerschbaumers sent personalized gift cards to 8,000 high-income residents who were having birthdays during the spa’s opening month. The gift was for a free manicure or $50 off a signature facial.

Joining the local chamber of commerce. More than 60 local business leaders and news outlets were in attendance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted at the spa by the chamber of commerce. The spa also sponsored the chamber of commerce’s Women’s Spring Luncheon, which included the ability to give a gift card to all 160 attendees, 10 minutes to speak to attendees, and the donation of a raffle prize for a year of free manicures. The winner has been in every week and keeps telling everyone how wonderful spa is—not a bad return for a marketing tactic that costs only $25 per week.

Partnering with local businesses. ESSpa offers special packages and complimentary gift cards to a nearby hotel’s guests. They also partnered with a local business that specializes in delivery food from high-end restaurants. The delivery service gives their VIP customers a complimentary gift card to the spa.

Targeting the top 20 local bloggers.The owners invited top bloggers in the area to come in for complimentary Hungarian Facials. The bloggers posted rave reviews, encouraging their readers and followers—more than 140,000 individuals—to visit the spa.

Community outreach. The team always has complimentary gift cards to give to people when they are out and about.

Each business decision determines whether or not your spa will stay in the black or go into the red—research and choose wisely. Bringing new elements into your business can and will usher in new energy, but be sure you have all the facts to guarantee your investment will pay off.

Denise+FullerDenise R. Fuller is the former editor-in-chief of Les Nouvelles Esthétiques & Spa magazine. She is a certified beauty therapist, and licensed esthetician and nail technician. Fuller founded the National Aesthetic Spa Network in 2004, and she is passionate about building relationships, developing partnerships, mentoring and networking to create a stronger industry. She can be reached at [email protected].


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