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Important Ways Day Spas Can Increase Revenue


Guest post by Kristine Huffman, General Manager, Austin, Brand Experiences Director for Travaasa Experiential Resorts.

I’ve been in the Spa/Wellness/Resort industry for over 25 years and have always felt that day spas have a unique opportunity to provide meaningful (and profitable) programming in this arena.  First of all, your clients can visit you often, as they are members of your community, as contrasted to the resort spa, which the clients may visit only once or twice a year.  Research has shown that behavioral changes that lead to health and wellness are more likely to be successful if there is regular accountability to a person or organization.  I’ve seen a failure scenario too many times, where a wellness resort guest gets a great start on a program, only to go home and be unable to continue sustained progress towards their goal.

Second of all, day spas are much more integrated into the local community resource base and can form important partnerships with like-minded organizations in order co-market to a particular demographic group.  These collaborative partnerships can help defray expenses and create win-win scenarios. Imagine your spa partnering with a successful yoga studio to provide organic skin care services, or with a local vegetarian restaurateur to offer nutritional coaching and food supplements to their loyal customers.

In a recent spa survey, 85.9% of spa-goers believed that services have a positive impact on their overall health and wellness, while only 47.3% of non-spa-goers shared this belief.  This indicates to me that we have an incredible opportunity to get more customers and better serve existing customers by directly offering and promoting health and wellness services.  However, finding a way to tap into the wellness market that doesn’t sap your resources can be a challenge.

One of the first challenges, defining what you mean by Wellness, can be difficult, since it means so many things to people.  A recent visit to Wikipedia yielded the following:

Wellness may mean:

  • Wellness (alternative medicine)Wellness (medicine) - The scientific meaning: health, freedom from disease.
  • Wellness (pet food), a brand of dog and cat food used by the company WellPet
  • Well-being (population)
  • Workplace wellness

And the list can go on and on.

In the work I’ve done with resorts and spas, I always recommend that the leaders define the wellness mission as the critical first step to successfully increasing menu offerings.  This provides the launching point for developing programming and marketing initiatives that will build your bottom line and ensure success.  Otherwise you can end up with a hodge-podge of half-baked programs that aren’t backed by the owners or staff.

It is also critical to look at what I refer to as: Kristine’s Rule of Pie.  That is– you always want to get a bigger pie, versus slicing a pie in thinner and thinner slices.  I have often seen spa owners make the mistake of increasing the number of spa menu offerings with services that compete for the same client dollar.  Instead, you need to look at adding services that will add to your client base, or get your client to spend more, because you are providing a benefit that they’re not getting elsewhere, or that you’re providing it in a more convenient, economical or superior fashion.

In my ESI Presentation: Use Wellness to Get a Healthy Bottom Line, we’ll work with the 6T’s of Success to look at Wellness Trends, Techniques and Treatments to help you decide how you define your wellness program.  We’ll explore the Technology and Training you’ll need to launch your health and wellness programming and work on tips for building ongoing, Trusting relationships with your clients through successful implementation of focused programs with clearly defined benefit outcomes.

Kristine Huffman

Kristine executes the dual role of General Manager of Travaasa Austin, and Brand Experiences Director to create programs and packages for the entire line of hotels. For 16 years Kristine worked at the exclusive Canyon Ranch Resort in Lenox, MA, as an executive director and psychotherapist. As the Health and Healing Director she brought together and worked with the finest multidisciplinary health and healing team in the world. During her tenure the resort won many awards including Best Spa in the World as rated by discriminating Conde Nast readers. Using innovative methods of team development, mentoring, creative and care-full communication, Kristine was able to create a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among a diverse group of healers including Medical Doctors, Acupuncturists, Nurses, Nutritionists, Psychotherapists, Exercise Physiologists, Physical Therapists, Dance and Movement Therapists, Massage Therapists and Aestheticians.

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