Challenge #1: Client Expectations
Clients are looking for efficient, effective, value driven results - the baby boomers are demanding a wealth of experience accompanied by good practices; while the new up and coming echo generations want a casual, fun environment that is savvy, afforadable and popular. Solution: Know your market position, stay focused and have good disciplines. Make proper feedback options readily available to your clients, and be sure to act upon what the results are telling you; constantly question the status quo to ensure your offerings are relevent to demands; know the perceived and actual position of your business in the community. Stay educated.
Challenge #2: Faster Innovation
To remain competitive, you must innovate first - even a 24 hour edge over your competition will put you miles ahead, but you must be the innovator! Solution: Constantly review and refresh your products, services and methods; know what's coming down the pipes and act fast when you site an opportunity; understand local initiatives; identify sectors and potentials for growth; get staff to participate - this means keeping yourself and your clients up to date and educated through innovative; multi-faceted research initiatives (podcasts; webinars; eNews, etc).
Challenge #3: Public Consciousness
It's all about green science: water and energy security and conservation; carbon footprints; sustainable living and so on. Solution: Upgrade your businesses appeal by showing green initiatives; blow your horn, let them know you care. Go2 www.lohas.com. Do this by educating yourself and staff on options and related benefits.
Challenge #4: Staffing
Unemployment is at historic lows - we have an aging population and a shortage of young, entry level employees - who will you hire to relax? heal? lead? your business into the future? Solution: Know the quality of your business employment opporunities and then constantly improve upon them - recruit with these opportunities. Understand your staff demographic - there may be three or even four generations working with you, and they all have different priorities. Depending on your source and allowing for 3 years transition, ranges look something like this: Baby Boomers-1946-1964 (self-righteous, passionate; involved in world progress and future optimism); GenX-1965-1979 (alternative viewpoints, lower optimism; rebellious); GenY-1977-1994 (tech savvy and live for the moment). So, installing a measurable staff retention program to cater to each group is critical. Have peer reviews; management reviews; create stronger staff buy-in; refresh work opportunities; mega-train hopefuls. Remain at the head of the table with these demanding individuals by continually educating yourself.
Challenge #5: Spa Consolidations
Spas are looking to boost productivity, reduce costs and increase margins. Some are taking over competitors or amalgamating to form larger enterprises. How will you survive? thrive? Solution: Strive to build client relationships and loyalty through personalization; customization; one-on-one goal setting; and self-care education, while still concentrating on meeting the above 4 challenges. "Ensure your clients are always able to get a cut of the action and feel they are a part of your brand." - Carolyn Holdsworth, Nurture Spa, New Hope, PA. "If they can't afford the $95 massage this month, introduce them to your new fall colors and sell them a $25. lipstick". Stay tapped in through ongoing leadership and managerial educational pusuits.
By Leslie Lyon, Spas2b www.spas2b.com