When to Hire a Consultant – Part I

For most new owners, the opening of a day spa is a surprising introduction to the intricacies of business. Employee challenges, small to no profits, accounting headaches, and day-to-day management rapidly replace the pleasant experience your spa promised to deliver. And if that wasn’t enough, the hours are long and draining.

No one sets out to open a day spa with the goal of failing. That would be ludicrous. Why would anyone invest money into a project that was sure to fail? According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50% of small businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail within the first five years. “Are you truly ready?”

Why hire a consultant?

When your spa is faced with problems that won’t go away, a consultant may be your answer. In the long run, you can save time and money by funding the right assistance to help you overcome a current obstacle or avoid costly mistakes in the future.

A good consultant, looking at your situation objectively, should be able to identify and implement the solution to the problem more quickly and efficiently than you or your staff. The trick is knowing what types of problems warrant a consultant’s services. Here are basic guidelines:

  • When you need an objective point of view.
  • When the problem or situation is short-term, such as public relations around a special event
  • When the problem requires special expertise, such as knowing how to buy a computer system, manage accounting or address legal issues
  • When your spa’s financial situation is not favorable
  • When your spa is facing a major crisis, or when it seems to be operating in a crisis-management mode
  • When you are having high employee turn over
  • When you feel like you are putting in long hours with no return
  • When your goals are not being met

If your situation fits into any or all of these categories, a consultant’s services are probably a worthwhile investment.

Having a consultant can curve this statistic in the business owners’ favor. Many of the most successful spas have consultants. This is due to the fact that they know they can’t handle every decision by themselves with accuracy. There are many factors that go into owning and operating a spa; with new situations arriving daily and some you may not be prepared for. Don’t let yourself become one of the 95% that fail within the first five years of operation. Be smart and take advantage of the opportunities that surround you by speaking with a consultant.

Ana Loiselle-Donahue
President: theSECRET Salon & Spa by Design



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