Opening A Spa During A Shaky Economy

Skip Williams

Join the Discussion On the DSA Forum!!!

Why would anyone want to open a Spa in this shaky economy? Because “there’s gold in them thar hills”, and fortune favors the bold.

Clichés aside, traditionally Spas have been expensive to open, are unweildy to manage, and have been known to have low profit margins. They don’t have to be that way and this down economy presents new opportunities for savvy Owners when they unzip the silver lining of the bad financial cloud.

With housing stats down, you have more leverage to get favorable construction quotes for your facility. Likewise, if you are looking to buy a building or property, prices are down and oddly enough financing, while more difficult to obtain, is less expensive.

Staff is, and will be, more easily found and less likely to jump from employer to employer. And as I mentioned in the past post, as competitors close, poaching of their Clients becomes easier.

While on the subject of closing Spas, “want to be” Spa Owners should consider purchasing existing facilities. While problems are inherited with a failed Spa, the amount of time and money more than compensate for its pitfalls. You can find real bargains out there right now to purchase operating facilities for less than the value of the depreciated assets. One good source for finding Spas for sale is another is the Day Spa Association‘s own website. Rarely will you find a Spa for sale that precisely reflects your original vision, therefore, you must evaluate whether you can compromise your concept or would you rather build from scratch one that does match your dreams.

When assessing whether a Spa is a good candidate and a good value one must look at the value of those assets, outstanding accounts, outstanding gift certificates, and much more. Resources & Development does this and is an expert in helping potential owners perform their due diligence, and we will talk more about that in next week’s post. If you are considering the purchase or the opening of a spa please refer to these two pages for important information:

Spa Development

Spa Valuation

Closing competitors provide other opportunities as well, like purchasing some used equipment, client lists, software and computer systems, retail inventory, etc..

Keep in mind that great management and great marketing will be more important than ever in this economy, no matter which route you take towards opening your Spa. However, for those of you coming from another industry, this is an industry that is easy to get passionate about. Having said that, it is not a 9 – 5 job; be prepared to spend copious time in management and growing your business.

Much of the advice from the last post will eventually apply to you as well. Having the right compensation system, market differentiators, and creating high value for your Clienst all need to be developed in your vision and concept as well as belonging to important trade, educational, and networking organizations like the Day Spa Association.

Fortune does favor the bold, but being bold is never enough, hard work, savvy and professional business practices, tenacity, and a little luck are just as important.

When done right, a Spa can become an oasis for your Clientele that provides relief from the mad world that awaits outside. Loyalty can be earned in such a way that what you provide becomes looked at as a necessity and a respite, so that much of your business can become recession proof. Done wrong, the consumer will look at your offerings as a luxury and utilize only on occasion.

The Spa business may look simple from the lay person’s point of view, however, it has intricacies and complexities that make it important to obtain help in any area that you do not feel well versed. Be careful my friends, be cautious, but there is gold out there and more opportunity now than ever. Go find it, go develop it, be bold and savvy at the same time, okay?

I look forward to your feedback and questions and stand at the ready to assist in the navigation of the minefield.

Best Wishes & Healthy Profits,

Skip Williams


3 Responses

  1. This was posted 6 months ago. Has your opinion changed since ?

  2. fantastic post with a lot of good links. Great job!

  3. Dear Sandra,

    It was a long time ago that I wrote this and that is the reason I did not see your comment until now (I apoligize).

    If I was wrong about this it was mostly about “timing”. The closer we get to the economy turning around the better this opportunity becomes.

    Just as in the stock market, an investor that can find the bottom is the investor that should go “all in”.

    If you believe a new administration should begin the healing process then perhaps we have found the bottom. If not then you should wait a little longer.

    Best Wishes & Healthy Profits
    Skip Williams

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