How can spa operators perk up their client loyalty through retail programs? We asked five experts.
Is your spa looking tired? Do you have circles under the welcome mat? It may be time for a spa makeover. A well executed renovation can translate into more business, but before you start swinging that sledgehammer, here are some things to consider.
To renovate or not to renovate, that is the question
1. It can get costly, so be sure you know exactly why you want to renovate and how much you can afford. Be realistic about the outcome. If you are thinking of adding more services, you’ll probably need more space. Like a good makeover, any planned changes should enhance your brand and improve how you deliver your services.
2. Take a good look at the competition – have a clear vision of what’s contemporary and popular, whether it’s a treatment or a design trend. Clients tend to reaffirm their loyalty if a spa is seen as innovative and upscale.
3. Ask your employees for input. They’re working in the space and probably will have some interesting observations for you to consider. Also, they can share what they’ve heard from clients.
4. Working in a dynamic and fresh environment can make employees happier and more productive – and here’s the bonus: It has been shown that satisfied employees actually impact your bottom line. Consider improvements that will also benefit your employees.
5. Make sure it’s a wise investment by doing your homework. Plenty of data suggests that spa renovations will draw in new business. Consider weighing the cost of remodelling against a possible growth in sales.
Timing is everything
6. Look for signals that tell you it’s time for a change – such as dwindling client numbers. Some salon and spa experts advise planning for a remodel every four to five years, to align with changes in fashion trends; they also suggest a touch-up every two years. Consumer health and wellness trends also can indicate it’s time to upgrade your image, to satisfy a greater demand for natural spa treatments or alternative therapies, for example.
Put your plans on paper
7. Planning in advance will mean less of a headache from project delays or added costs down the road. Before you start, put all of the critical details into a clear plan to determine what the “must do” and “optional” tasks will be.
8. Let customers know well in advance about your plans and what to expect. Plan your clients’ appointments around work schedules, whenever possible.
9. No one wants to see costs climbing. The best antidote for uncontrolled spending is a thorough and well-conceived budget that includes a 15 percent contingency fund (at least) to cover any unexpected surprises or changes.
10. There’s help on the horizon. You might be eligible for a business loan through the Canada Small Business Financing Program, which works with banks to share the risks of lending to small businesses. The loans can be used to finance, purchase or improve land or buildings used for commercial purposes, or for a tenant’s renovations to a leased property.
Work with an expert
11. You’ve thumbed through design and spa magazines to get ideas for your look. Sure, it’s easy to add a fresh coat of paint or a few strategically placed potted plants, but for loftier plans, there’s more at stake. Lighting and ergonomics, workflow, storage and access to power sources all play a role, but these need expert advice. Do you need building permits, rewired electrical or new pipes? Hiring professionals – including contractors, plumbers, electricians or a retail design specialist – is often your safest bet to get the job done properly.
Green is ‘in’
12. When renovating, consider the savings you might get by boosting your spa’s energy efficiency. Simple green upgrades like programmable thermostats, double-pane windows and automated faucets could substantially reduce your annual energy bill. It also sends a message to your clients that you are environmentally responsible, and according to a Nielsen study, today’s consumers prefer companies that care about their eco-impact.
Create some industry buzz
13. Show off your new makeover, but not just on social media. Remodelling is a fantastic excuse for a party – to celebrate and promote your business, build excitement and attract new customers. Consider incentives such as door prizes. Hosting a successful event sends a strong signal that you are successful and here to stay, and it builds confidence in your services.