Have you ever made a mistake with a customer? Of course you have!
THE HOLIDAYS CAN BE AN ABUNDANT TIME FOR THE SPA INDUSTRY, and despite current restrictions, we are conﬁdent that with hard work, ﬂexibility and creativity, you’ll navigate the busiest time of year and and—more importantly—increase sales at the spa.
Spas around the world spent a signiﬁcant portion of 2020 working to prepare for reopening. Grappling with the always-evolving challenges of the COVID-19 crisis meant implementing new sanitation protocols, rethinking budgets, streamlining the guest experience and, in many instances, simply ﬁnding a way to survive. Of course, the goal of all that hard work was to create the kind of safe, relaxing, rejuvenating environments that have led millions of people to make spa visits a core part of their wellness routines.
In the fast-paced lives of spa leaders, financial planning and budgeting is often viewed as a yearly burden reserved for management, with the financial aspects of a spa’s operations seldom shared with the team. However, there lies a missed opportunity to leverage finance as a tool to build team unity, foster talent retention and infuse even more meaning into the already important jobs of spa staff. By humanizing finance and creatively communicating financial goals and forecasts, spa directors can unite their teams in a shared commitment to the spa’s mission, transforming employees into stakeholders with a deeper understanding of the “why” behind what could easily become mundane daily operations with no goals in place.
Humanizing finance is easier said than done—but with these three steps to pave the way, spa leaders can take practical action toward igniting a hidden spark of motivation in their teams.
The spa industry is known to be a welcoming and inclusive community. To that end, an ISPA Town Hall in September explored anti-harassment and discrimination policies and training procedures to ensure our transgender and nonbinary guests and employees feel safe and comfortable within the spa. Panelists included Brennan Evans, senior vice-president of operations at Trilogy Spa Holdings; Jessica Swartley, spa director at The Spa at Spruce Peak; Catherine Warren, vice-president of strategic partnerships at Arch Amenities Group; Kristen Eber, owner of The Rosefinch Spa; and Heidi Smith-Mullen, director of Life in Balance Spa at Miraval Resorts. ISPA Chairman Patrick Huey joined as moderator.
The holiday season seems to begin earlier every year. To help ISPA members plan for the year-end rush, a Town Hall this summer focused on getting your spa “holiday-ready” with creative seasonal promotions and incentive ideas like gift cards and open houses. Panelists at the July Town Hall included Aaliya Bashir, owner of Warrior Body Spa; Charlotte Prescott, director of spa and fitness at Privai Spa at the Kimpton Epic, Arch Amenities Group; Ginger McLean, director of spa operations at Hard Rock Atlantic City; Justin Vanderpoel, assistant spa director at Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess; and Patrick Huey, ISPA chairman, as moderator.
The idea of “Christmas in July” is more than a marketing gimmick. By mid-summer, most spas are already beginning their planning for holiday sales and year-end promotions. “We started our holiday planning [in July] with preliminary meetings,” said Justin Vanderpoel. “It’s never too early to start planning. We like to include everyone in the leadership team at our meetings. The more minds, the better.”
Ginger McLean said, “We create a framework of our marketing calendar in September for the next year. We then meet quarterly with everyone and work hand-in-hand across the property to ensure everything is consistent.”
Aaliya Bashir shared, “Our spa plans our marketing four months out. Our biggest days for revenue are Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
STAFFING HAS LONG BEEN AN ISSUE IN THE SPA INDUSTRY before the pandemic began: for years, data from the ISPA U.S. Spa Industry showed that there were more open positions than there were qualified applicants to fill them.
Many people who enter the spa industry see themselves as healers by nature, whether they are working as a practitioner or creating products that are sold in a spa. That strong desire to help and take care of people is often the common thread between spa managers and vendors. When it comes to employees’ mental well-being, however, spa leaders must balance that impulse with a clear understanding of the limits of their role and the ability to recognize when employees may be best served by outside resources.
Topic of focus – Spa Gratuities and Service Fees
When asked whether their spas have automatic service fees/ charges, 45 percent of all spas responded yes; with only 15 percent of day spas saying yes; with only 15 percent of day spas saying yes compared to 56 percent of resort/hotel spas.
Topic of focus – Partnerships
More than half of all spa respondents (52 percent) have partnered with a local business in 2017. This number was more than two-thirds for day spa respondents at 70 percent, compared to just 41 percent of Resort/Hotel Spas. For resource partner respondents, just 39 percent partnered with a local business, while the largest segment (55 percent) partnered with a national non-profit organization.