Write the service package you will offer if you were the owner of a spa.
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With all the attention focused these days on holistic remedies, organic produce and botanical beauty products, its no surprise that interest in spa treatments is on the rise. Everyone from harried executives to soccer moms-and baby boomers in particular-is eager to try anything that keeps them looking younger and feeling better. That makes this the perfect time to take the plunge into one of the hottest personal-service businesses around: the day spa.
Day spas offer the same beauty and wellness services as pricier destination spas and resorts but dont require the same time commitment. According to the ISPA 2002 Spa Industry Study from the International SPA Association (ISPA), there were nearly 156 million spa visits in the United States in 2001, 68 percent of which were made to day spas. Revenues for the U.S. spa industry were nearly $11 billion in 2001, up from $5 billion two years earlier. Yet this spending occurred at fewer than 10,000 spa locations nationwide-75 percent of which are day spas-meaning the market is open for new spa owners.
There are two kinds of day spas. Standard day spas offer body treatments and lifestyle services. Medical spas offer traditional spa services as well as services that must be provided by a licensed medical practitioner, such as acupuncture or microdermabrasion. Although conventional wisdom holds that true day spas must offer hydrotherapies like Scotch hose treatments or underwater massage, many day spas do well with “dry” services alone.
“Not all clients are comfortable with water therapy,” says Hannelore R. Leavy, founder and executive director of The Day Spa Association in Union City, New Jersey. “Americans are shy about taking off their clothes and standing naked in front of a stranger who will perform unfamiliar therapies on them. Its better to open your spa without water therapy, especially if your funds are limited. But you can put it into your business plan so yore ready to expand when and if your clients are ready for it.”
Dennis Gullo, 47, used an easy formula for determining which services to offer in his spa. “I started with commonly known services, like massages,” he says. “I didnt want to spend energy trying to sell services no ones heard of.” The formulas worked: The spa portion of Gullos Moments Salon & Day Spa in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, generated 44 percent of the business total sales of $1.8 million in 2003.