Ms. Brown

Spas, Health & Wellness

Evaluating Spa Trends for Profitability and Longevity

By Ann Brown, Founder, Saltability

In the midst of managing the day-to-day operations, hotel and spa owners and managers must constantly look forward and evaluate how to increase efficiency and profitability. As you balance overseeing current business and forecasting for the future, you are faced with the challenge of considering what changes will bring the most benefit to your organization. For spas, keeping watch of the latest trends in the spa industry and making relevant changes to your facility, treatment menu and customer service practices are important for success. But how do you know which trends and latest innovations will bring that success, and which ones may not be worth their return on investment?

As a former spa director of one of the largest resort spas in the Midwest, I know how important it is to evaluate new products and services in order to determine which ones offer true potential for wellness for the client and profitability for the business. As a property manager or owner, your phone rings constantly with vendors who want you to consider their products and services. Below, here are a few questions to help you decide if a trend is right for your property.

How does the trend create an improvement over how we are currently working and providing service to our clientele? As an entrepreneur in the spa industry, I created my business because I saw the need to create a more eco-friendly delivery of stone massage and an opportunity to provide more health benefits for clients through Himalayan salt. When you see depth in the benefits provided by a trend, it is likely to be longer lasting and more positively impactful upon your business. How long has the trend really been around? Rarely will you find something that is truly new. Part of the beauty of the spa industry is spa therapy's roots in centuries-old healing treatments and natural remedies. Delve into the science and history of the treatment or products being offered as part of the trend. Take confidence where you see ties to proven or long-standing history.

Is the trend sustainable? What is the impact on the environment in general and at your spa property in particular? You should always evaluate any new product or service with an eye on environmental impact.

What safety precautions exist, if any? Does the trend pose any risks for your clientele? Thoroughly research and consider any counter-indications to protect your business, your therapists and your clientele.

When evaluating specific products and treatments, how long has the company that you are considering been around? Don't be afraid of start-ups, but do look at the principal players' history. Does the owner have experience in the spa industry? Is he or she reputable? Who do you know who is connected to the main people involved? Look for word-of-mouth feedback on the company and the treatments and/or products you are considering offering.

What is your expected ROI, and how long will it take to recoup your investment? Do the math. For any treatment you add to your menu, detail the cost and your anticipated revenue per room, per day, per week, per month, per year. Compare that anticipated revenue to your cost to implement and to the revenue generated by other treatments at your spa. Are the numbers favorable?

What kind of retail opportunities exist? With any new treatment you bring to your spa, retail sales need to be an important consideration. Not only do you increase opportunities for revenue, you also serve your clientele by helping them extend their spa experience by their visit.

Does the trend fit your spa? Does the trend fit in with your mission and spa environment? Not every great idea is great for your particular business, so consider what makes sense for you and authentically adds value - beyond simply being new and exciting.

Once you've done your homework to evaluate a trend, product or new treatment offering, don't make a decision before trying it out yourself. See the product or treatment in action. Evaluating new products and treatments at conferences and expos are a great way to get hands-on and experience what your clientele will experience.

Implementing New Services

To account for these changes in demand, some spas are now offering services that come with a variety of benefits so clients can get faster, more affordable treatments with better results. One example of a new service that is packed with benefits is the Himalayan Salt Stone Massage. Through the use of Himalayan salt stones clients are getting more than just what a typical hot stone massage has to offer. Hot stone massage has been popular for many years. The heat from the stone helps relax the muscles, but the Himalayan Salt Stone massage accomplishes that and much more. The pressure, motion, friction and thermal effect during a Himalayan Salt Stone massage will encourage cleansing and deep relaxation.

Himalayan salt has 84 trace minerals which when applied internally or externally has a detoxifying effect. It is safe for all skin types. The salt is an antibacterial, anitfungal and antimicrobial. It is the purest form of salt available and has a wide range of health benefits including supporting thyroid and adrenal function, reduces blood pressure, improves sinus problems, improves sleep, and balances the body's alkaline levels. Thanks to our poor eating habits and polluted environments, our bodies store toxins and are often depleted of the minerals that are needed to expel toxins.

Another service that incorporates these salts is the Himalayan Salt Exfoliation & Wrap. The use of the salt as an exfoliant can unclog pores, promote skin cell turnover, balance oil production, purify the pores of toxins and dirt, and smooth skin tone. This service includes the application of a salt and oil mixture to the skin through massage. Once the massage is complete, clients are wrapped in an infrared blanket. The warming blanket allows the client to sweat, absorbing the salt into the skin and helping along the detoxification process. The absorption of minerals promotes circulation, reduces the inflammatory response and acts as a detoxifying agent.

These are only two examples of treatments that will give clients a better way to target their overall wellness and provides a number of benefits in just one service.

Educating Your Clients

Any new service will require you to educate your clients. Consider this the perfect opportunity to encourage them to try new things. Clients want to make better lifestyle choices, but just like the rest of us, get overwhelmed with the amount of information and offerings available. It is important for them to branch out and try new things in order to improve their health. You can't make progress if you are stuck in a rut. Show them how easy it is to incorporate products at home. For example, the Himalayan salt has many uses at home. It can be used as a detoxifying bath, drinking sole (a mixture of Himalayan salt and water) daily balances the body's PH and adds minerals, and changing from iodized or traditional table salt to "pink salt" significantly reduces the amount of sodium intake. It's an easy and affordable daily lifestyle change that anyone could do.

Wellness is a lifestyle and you have to help clients make better choices. You have to educate them about what they can do and what is available to them. Even small changes can make a big difference.

Look for the value that new trends, products and treatments offer in keeping your spa at the cutting edge and keeping your clientele impressed with the services you offer. The best trends are the ones that are more substance than flash - and with a smart investment, your new offering may become one of your top sellers.

Ann Brown is an industry veteran whose expertise extends from licensed cosmetologist, esthetician, nail technician and massage therapist to accomplished spa director and business manager. In 2014, she founded Saltability to answer the need for a better treatment in the spa industry and conceived a line of Himalayan salt products that benefit clients as well as their therapists. By keeping products and services chemical free and eco-friendly, Saltability offers multiple therapeutic benefits in a single treatment, helping client and practitioner alike. Today, Saltability is a spa industry partner that provides quality Himalayan salt stone treatments and products for resort, day, medical and destination spas. Ms. Brown can be contacted at 888-210-9918 or ann@saltability.com Please visit http://www.saltability.com for more information. Extended Bio...

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