Summer Reading for Spa Professionals

Everywhere you turn in summertime, you encounter the annual "summer reading list."  I've been on the road a lot this summer, and it seems to me that everyone is reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo!"  I think that summer is a great time to do some recreational reading; get lost in a great novel, or even pick up one of the classics.

On the other hand, in my travels this week, I visited with staff members at a spa whose reading lists did not include either classic fiction or current non-fiction.  And it got me thinking about how often, in our industry, I find that spa professionals are always up on the latest issue of American Spa, DaySpa, or Pulse Magazine, but the typical reading list may end there.

It is so difficult today to stay on top of current information, given the abundance of printed monthlies, and of course the plethora of information available on the web.  But we've got to try!  Of course we need to be up on what is happening within the beauty industry, and hopefully that's a reason you're a member of this site.  But in order to stay on top of business today, it's crucial to have a sense of what is going on in the world at large; trends in politics, business, travel and the economy all have an effect on the spa industry.

There are too many industry publications for me to remember them all, so apologies to those I've overlooked, but I hope that spa managers are reading the aforementioned publications, as well as Spa Business and Salon Today.  On the technical side, there are Dermascope, Le Nouvelle Esthetique, Skin Inc., Nail Pro, Massage Magazine, Massage Today, Massage and Bodywork, American Salon, and Modern Salon, among others.

Stepping away from the beauty industry-oriented publications, you can't go wrong reading the Wall Street Journal.  Reading just the first page will give you the latest snippets on U.S. and world news and events, and the Marketplace section provides lots of interesting information on consumer-oriented business developments and trends, often very relevant to our industry.  Other magazines I love to regularly review are Fast Company, Wired, Hotels, Harvard Business Review, and Restaurants & Hospitality.  Women's Wear Daily, especially the Friday, beauty-oriented edition, is a great source of information.  Consumer magazines such as Spa, Allure, Glamour, Vogue, In Style, Vanity Fair, Bazaar and Elle are important to keep up with, so that you know what your clients are seeing and reading about, especially concerning spa services and beauty products.  And the list goes on; architecture and design magazines give you ideas for spa design and decor, travel magazines review spas and travel retail, and even cooking magazines can give you ideas for spa treats and beverages.  Regular visits to web sites such as SpaTrade and SpaClique will keep you up to date on spa industry news and events.

You're probably thinking you'd never actually get any work done if you followed all of these suggestions, and you're right.  I just hope to inspire you to pick up one or two new ideas from a new source every week.  Knowledge makes your business stronger and hones your leadership skills.  Let me know what you read that I haven't mentioned, and happy summer reading!