- Stay true to your core spa focus. While it is important to keep abreast on the latest trends in the industry, trying to incorporate them into your menu can be disastrous. Your spa menu will read like a stew of mediocrity
- Attend Conferences. Spa conferences as well as related life style conferences are a great way to augment your professional reading. Information can be gained from the vendors on the floor as well and in lectures and during networking sessions. You never know where the next hit of inspiration will come from. Consider medical conferences, new age, travel, investment and recreation conferences to help become familiar with trends that are impacting the spa industry.
- Fashion not fad. Do not get swayed by show casing treatment fads in your spa. They seldom work and will erode your credibility over the long haul.
- Credibility of culture. There is a reason why most wine is made of grapes and not grapefruit, it's been tried but the best fruit for wine making by far is grapes. If a treatment has been used by a population and had decades (or centuries) of credibility this is a good sign that it or a slight variation of it is probably a sure bet. Personal as well as professional experience can enhance your perspective on this. When you travel try products and services. Research, visit and experience spas and related facilities. You may be surprised what ideas you come home with.
- Empirical vs. Emotional. Feeling good is good, but if you promise a result to a client, be sure it is "real" and re-creatable. The emotional hype that surrounds a spa service is just that. Over time your clients will realize this and search for their fountain of youth somewhere else.
- Create synergy with related professionals and industries. As with conferences take time to network with other professionals with whom you can share ideas and experience. Synergy happens when complimentary skill sets collide.
- Pampering is ok don't make it more than it is. As previously stated, feeling good, is good and this has been proven experientially and empirically to be beneficial to a senesce of well being and relaxation. This should be a given in your spa, not a selling feature.
- Service Standards independent treatments. Ensure that the quality of your treatments is independent of your therapists. Your spa clientele expect that no matter which they are assigned the treatment will be flawless and consistent with the standards of your spa.
- Under promise and over deliver. Works every time!
In general, following lifestyle issues is a sure-fire way to help stay current with what is or will be happening in the spa industry. Look to your life and life style, your friend, parents, and children. The keys to enhancing your spa practice lie in understanding their needs.
By Peter Anderson, Principal, Anderson and Associates--excerpted from Hotel Executive www.hotelexecutive.com
Peter Anderson is a principal of Anderson and Associates, consulting firm that focuses on the issues of spa development and wellness programming for full-service hotels and destination resorts. In this capacity, Mr. Anderson consults to a variety of clients for the inclusion of spa programs and wellness therapies. Mr. Anderson's firm conducts engagements in market and financial analysis by tracking and evaluating spa and wellness trends in the context of industry trends which include emerging healing modalities in the allopathic and alternative medical disciplines. Mr. Anderson holds a Masters of Professional Studies from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and a Bachelors of Arts in PsychologicalBasis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Anderson can be contacted at 310-392-9368 or [email protected]