Spa Finder, the nation's largest spa travel, marketing and publishing company, hosted its Spa Finder Partner Program attended by Day Spa owners/managers nationwide. The retreat, held recently at Green Valley Spa in St. George, Utah, brought together many of the leaders in the Day Spa industry to 'reinvent the day spa profit model' while introducing them to the benefits of a Stay Spa experience.

Green Valley Spa is considered one of the premiere luxury spa experiences anywhere in the world, featuring world-class spa treatments and indigenous customer products. 'This is way more luxury than we are used to,' said spa owner Mimi Barre of International Skin and Body Care in Redlands, CA. 'This retreat has been a gift from Spa Finder and Green Valley.'

Special guest Peggy Wynne Borgman of Preston Wynne Enterprises moderated the education, which focused on profitability. Specifically, techniques were discussed to redefine the day spa profit model through strategic business design. Issues discussed in detail included managing costs, building effective compensation strategies, developing a successful private label product line, and increasing retail sales. Day Spa owners and managers defined the challenges of operating spas, and brainstormed solutions.

Challenges to Profitability Defined at the Partner Retreat:

• Ease of entry into the spa industry; increasing competition from the medical, hospitality, beauty, and fitness industries

• Inherited beauty industry traditions, such as extensive use of independent contractors (booth rental tradition)

• Out of control compensation costs that create ever-increasing losses

• Low margins; similar to restaurant, spas have traditionally low margins (2-7% ROI common, vary rarely see higher than 15%.)

• Poor retailing skills and high commissions on services and retail (10% in the spa industry versus 2% to 3% commissions in a department store cosmetic counter)

• Escalating treatment costs

• Not rebooking clients before they leave the spa

Strategies to overcome these obstacles include helping day spa owners become comfortable with business management, making re-booking a priority, focusing on human capital, and controlling Costs of Goods Sold (COGS).

For information on becoming a Spa Finder Partner and attending the Partner Retreats, call Anjeli Sharma, Spa Finder Day Spa Account Exec, at 212.924.6800, ext 223.