Nikos Kouremenos, education and project manager for Raison d’Etre’s online education provider Spa Business Education, is crafting world-class spa managers across the globe through the medium of online lectures, tutorials, one-to-ones and assignments. When spa therapists or other spa professionals are considering making the jump to the spa manager role, as well as new students are considering it as a career choice, Kouremenos believes there are five key skills they will need to consider and develop to master the role. Here, discover what Kouremenos feels are the five signs someone will make a brilliant spa manager:
1. People Skills
"Having great personal skills is a crucial part of being a good spa manager, and although the skills can be taught, someone with a natural feel for personnel is already half way there to being a fantastic leader. A spa manager will need to recruit a team of good therapists, handling their different personalities (quite often a multi-cultural team) to get the most out of them and help them work together as a unit. They may need to effectively resolve conflicts within the team, so clear communication is essential. But your team are not the only personalities you’ll be dealing with. Spa managers will also learn to juggle customer-facing communication as the most senior person on site at the spa, as well as the corporate demands from business partners and head office. Above all, we help our students understand that spa managers are required to have a paradoxical mixture of personal humility and professional will. The role needs somebody who can help the business run efficiently like a piece of machinery, whilst maintaining a real sense of human nature and approachability."
2. High Standards and a Keen Eye for Detail
"Great managers are often required to be big picture people, enabling them to see general strategies and patterns emerging, but having a keen eye for detail is extremely important too. The finer details of a spa experience are what guests often remember, and team members who recognize these often missed elements are more likely to improve on them. These team members often have high standards which is an important pairing—they value first-rate customer service and see which areas of the business can be improved, even with just the slightest of tweaks."
3. Leader Confidence
"Leadership takes confidence—a good leader will have to believe in themselves enough to delegate tasks and give advice to junior members of the team, and may need to stick with their gut feeling even if questioned. Confidence in one’s own leadership also gains the respect of the team. Confident leaders are typically happier with a can-do attitude, who recognize success and accept feedback. At Spa Business Education we feel that we can teach all the key skills needed to be the leader of a spa, but confidence is the cornerstone of leadership and it is harder to be taught. True confidence arises when someone feels that they have all the fundamental skills for their role, even if they haven’t experienced every possible challenge or situation."
4. Understanding the Importance of Marketing
"Great spa managers will know that perfecting the spa experience is only half of the task at hand. Effectively marketing the spa (both internally and externally) may mean developing unique offerings that cannot be found elsewhere to ensure that the business has a rightful position in the marketplace. Great spa managers will understand that the business needs to be communicating with audiences outside of the spa just as it communicates to guests within the hotel or resort and the spa itself. The spa market is constantly changing, so it’s important that we equip spa managers of the future with the right skills to ensure they can stay ahead of the curve, whatever movements or trends the spa industry may bring."
5. The Ability to Stick to a Budget
"The role of spa manager means you’ll be trusted with the responsibility of managing budgets and overseeing the financial running of the spa on a day-to-day basis. Therapists considering spa management roles should first consider their attitudes to budgets and if they have been able to stick to them in the past, as great spa managers are often those who are naturally cautious when it comes to finances. The Spa Management Program at Spa Business Education dedicates a whole module to finance, covering everything a spa manager needs to know including scheduling, revenue fundamentals, and profit and loss statements. However, therapists need not fear the financial elements of a management role. It certainly takes some getting used to, but we find that Spa Business Education students enjoy the finance module much more than they expected."