Stress! Stress! Strrrrreeeeessss! Have you listened to the radio today? Turned on CNN or MSNBC? Stress! Terror Alert Orange! Imminent war... terrorist weapons... suspicious packages... and do you have your duct tape and plastic sheeting yet? In the midst of all this anxious noise, we are trying to run spa businesses. Believe me, more than ever before, now is not the time to be marketing your services as "beauty treatments" or "indulgences". When you look at the heart of your offerings, you sell what people need now, more than ever: you are in the stress relief business.

Do you think that doesn't apply to you? Then perhaps you need to take a look at your customer service levels, and make sure you really are satisfying your customers as completely as they expect. A massage studio in Seattle, WA I used to patronize had a great neon sign in their window: "Limp In, Leap Out" — I thought it perfectly captured the élan of the place. Face it; if you're operating a successful spa, you're giving people a transformation while they're in your care. When you turn them back out onto the street, they should be more relaxed, more calm, and more able to deal with the challenges of their daily life. Would it be going too far to say that, as spa professionals, you have a patriotic duty to help people de-stress in perilous times?

When you look at how you're positioned to your current clients and prospects — make sure you're letting them know that they don't need to feel guilty for taking the time for good quality self-care. It is essential to their health and well-being. The Centers for Disease Control unequivocally states that 80% of illnesses are caused by stress. Make sure your spa is an "oasis of calm" for your clients, more so now than ever — soothing music, aromatherapy, soft lighting. Make it easier for them to schedule last-minute appointments for when they're just too frazzled to handle the stress any longer.

We'd love to hear how you are marketing your business during these scary, tough times. If you're doing something to market your spa that you think works particularly well, in light of the current stressful "impending-war" situation we are in, drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know about it. If we get any interesting Best Practices from our readers, we'll run them in our next newsletter.