Flourishing in the Industry

With so much emphasis on treatments and relaxation, it's easy to forget that a large part of operating a successful spa lies in implementing sound business principles. This month's selections reveal key steps necessary to build a profitable spa business.

Running the Business

Calling upon her years of experience in the beauty industry, Sandra Alexcae Moren, owner of Kyron Spa and Salon Consulting, has written Spa & Salon Alchemy: The Ultimate Guide to Spa & Salon Ownership (Thomson Learning, 2005). In this how-to guide to owning and operating a successful spa, Moren gives readers tips on running a profitable business. Advice includes guidelines on implementing successful financial, operating, and personnel systems, as well as marketing, research, and development. Moren guides readers through issues spa owners confront when first opening a spa and later on a daily basis. Chapters explore spa equipment, the latest spa services and therapies, and information on Ayurvedic techniques.

Sweating the Small Stuff

Lydia Sarfati, president and CEO of Repêchage, imparts knowledge gained from more than 30 years in the skincare business as an esthetician and spa owner in her book Success at Your Fingertips: How to Succeed in the Skin Care Business (Allured, 2005). Sarfati gives a step-by-step plan on how to take a spa business from a vision to a working, successful reality. Sarfati emphasizes the need for a defined business plan and a target market. She also stresses the importance of developing a strong marketing strategy and creating and sticking to a budget. Sarfati advises readers on how to create a spa menu, choose and successfully sell a product line, and serve spa-goers by analyzing what each generation and type is looking for in their spa experience. Throughout the guide, Sarfati stresses the need to ignore the adage: Don't sweat the small stuff. To Sarfati, a spa's success lies in its attention to the smallest of details.

Unifying Finances

In 2003, the International Spa Association (ISPA) Foundation put together a commission of representatives from the spa and financial industries to develop a uniform system of financial reporting and standardized accounting for spas. The report is chronicled in Uniform System of Financial Reporting for Spas (Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 2005). According to the ISPA Foundation and the commission, this uniform system is flexible enough to accommodate spas of varying types and sizes. The goal in developing the uniform financial reporting structure is to create a standardized accounting system that will facilitate comparisons between spas and analysis of the industry. The book is divided into three parts. Part one provides an in-depth look at the financial statements all spas need to prepare, including the balance sheet and the statement of income. Part two focuses on financial analysis, including budgeting, and part three details important financial tools.