Spa Profits?

The million-dollar question… what should my profit margin be? Here we are in December, about to close out another year and welcome a new one!  How was 2011 for you?  Did you achieve double digit profits?  I get asked all the time what should my profit line be?

Profit margins vary tremendously; it depends on which business model you have. It’s different for resort, medi and day spas. In resort spas, the spa normally has no major expenses.

The hotel or resort operates the spa and, in most cases, it is not a standalone business model. Therefore, the spa does not pay rent, laundry, electricity, maintenance, etc. The main cost the resort spa has is product cost and human capital payroll. The reality is it’s easy to earn 40% in profit when you don’t have to pay for major operating expenses!

Medi spas connected to a dermatology center or operated by plastic surgeons are in a similar situation as with resorts.  Again, in most cases, the practice pays the bills, so the profit margin should be around 40% to 50%. Medi spas and day spas that operate as stand-alone businesses are responsible for all operational expenses, compensation, product cost, and marketing.  Therefore, the profit margin is significantly smaller. Depending on your spa’s operating expenses, payroll rate, and overhead, an acceptable profit margin is 10% to 15%.

"What are your financial ratios?"  

The other main differential is spa marketing.  With most resort spas and medi spas, clients are on location already, so all you have to do is motivate them to visit the spa. Stand-alone spas have a broader challenge.  They have to be very creative in driving traffic into their spa and generally have larger marketing expenses. The day spa business model is the most challenging. The biggest challenge facing day spa owners is compensation rate.  This is the number one concern we hear about all the time. Most day spas are running 50% and higher compensation rates, leading to minimal or no profits. Reality check: if you operate a stand-alone spa business, it’s time for a financial check-up. You need to identify your financial ratios and set a goal to trim your compensation, while increasing capacity and volume, in order to improve your profit margin. 

Do you know your financial ratios? To know your ratios, you need a budget to use as a financial blueprint to guide you. You can’t maximize your business without a budget.  A day spa financial ratio should be: 


We have a complimentary financial assessment you can take to see how healthy your business is, click here to take it! And, if you need further help, we have a spa budget template to help you create a budget.  It’s pre-calculated, so all you have to do is insert your numbers and, voila, you have a budget! Have a financial question?  Ask a coach - write [email protected] or leave your comments.