Yeah, they're everywhere now. New day spas are springing up like toadstools after a rain. Seems that all you need to get in on parade is a water spigot, some paint, and a stencil to add the overused title to your business's sign. Voila! You're a day spa! Before you spend too much energy circling the wagons to defend your spa business, let me share with you the surest way to keep your customers, your employees, and your cash flow healthy and happy. If you follow my advice, you will avoid wasting time and money reacting to perceived danger while building a better and more competitive business.
Lesson #1: Keep Your Cool
It started with a rumor. But now you have the news; a big luxurious day spa is under construction uncomfortably close to your own. Details pour in: they'll have more treatment rooms, more locker facilities, that juice bar you couldn't afford when you were building and, dread of dreads, are offering a higher pay scale than you! And it gets worse: they'll have a meditation lounge, more wet rooms, and even a day care facility.
Do you borrow money to remodel, give suicidal raises to employees, drastically lower your prices? Or give up? Hang on. Instead of panicing, it's time to take stock of where your company stands in the crucial areas of genuine performance quality.
Lesson #2: Be Consistent
How would you rate your spa's service and hospitality quality compared to o around you? If you believe you're the hands-down winner you will be blind to performance deficiencies customers and competitors will find easy to spot. How often do you or someone you appoint shop your own business for a quality check? How else can you know if the reception staff is following the proper procedures or if therapists are short-cutting on services without it coming from a client complaint first? Are your employees thoroughly and uniformly trained on all spa service and sales procedures, or customer service techniques? Are you absolutely sure?
Lesson #3: Price Yourself Higher Than Your Competitors
Okay, you think, now he's lost it! But I'm dead serious here. The best spa must also be the most expensive—how else do you afford all that quality? If you plan to be different, hopefully meaning different in a better way than everyone else, you must also demonstrate that difference in your prices. Market realities dictate that quality isn't free, and that you cannot and should not desire to be both the quality and low-cost leader. However, if you do elect to be in the upper end of the spa market you must be in the upper end of quality, period. It's quite useless to seek the business distinction of being the same as but different than everyone else. It just won't sell.
Lesson#4: Love Your Customers and Your Employees Shamelessly! The one thing your competitors can't duplicate regardless of their startup budgets is the unique and rewarding relationships you forge between yourself, your customers, and your team. I know I'm repeating myself but this point seems to need it in our business. If you want your loyal following to stick around then you must give them what they value most: attention, appreciation, and inspiration. This is something you won't find on most drafting tables or business plans, and it's also something all-too-often taken for granted.
Lesson #5: Love Thy Enemy Nothing gives more power to your competitor than outright hostility from you. Your exposed anxiety weakens everyone's confidence that you have faith in the strength of your spa, and this perception can put into motion the idea, no matter how unfounded, that the pasture just might be greener over there. Retain all of your ethical fortitude. Don't denigrate the new spa. Don't raid their employees or pay too much to keep your own in place (let them go bankrupt first!). Avoid lowering your prices to undercut the new spa or throwing in more expensive customer perks when you don't need to. In other words stick to what has worked well for you and then do it even better. In all likelihood the competitor will try not to be the same as you are which will make your uniqueness more appreciable.
Following this formula you'll probably find that not only will your business continue to grow and prosper but you'll save yourself a lot counter-productive worry and expense. New spas are risky ventures at best that come without any guarantees of success. You, on the other hand, have already passed the initial test of business survival. You have experience and operating wisdom that the new spa will have to struggle hard to gain in an even more competitive market than you did. Just be glad it isn't you, and get some sleep!
About Preston, Inc.
Preston Private Label offers over 100 outstanding, results-oriented skin and body care products for both retail and professional use. We offer an excellent—-and free—-regional technical and career-building education program, affordable minimums, and fully custom labels, pre-applied. Choose from two packaging options and get the look that best suits your branding strategy. Generous margins that allow for markup from 150-700% mean you gain maximum benefit from retailing. From cleansers and toners to cosmeceutical serums, pro enzyme, glycolic and lactic peels to body contouring wraps, gift kits to aromatherapy oil blends and more, we have everything you need to create a highy effective, full range product line. Visit our website at www.prestoninc.net for more information!