Your DSA Marketing Consultant: Weekly Tips from your Mentor

Our industry is changing rapidly and becoming a serious player in the economy- with approximately 15 billions in sales it is larger than the ski industry. Consolidations and mergers will reshape how business is run. In this economic downturn, staying profitable is challenging. Were do you turn to come up with fresh perspective?

Why not start here at the DSA;

Spa and wellness executives are challenged by every day activities giving little time to reflect, network and discuss common challenges others in similar businesses encounter as well. Spa owners in a same town rarely get together because of the competitive nature of the relationship. The taxing schedule of the entrepreneur combined with the secrecy kept in small spa businesses makes it hard to see the forest from the trees.

How will an entrepreneur grow business – in this economic climate you may be content maintaining revenues and controlling expenses; get access to the type of tools large companies have? (wide experience, access to comparables, systems, employees with outstanding skills and attitude, and consultants educated in the best schools).

In this blog we will cover the questions raised above. I invite you to join me in looking at your business as your own business consultant- from the outside:

As a first step I recommend you analyze your revenues and expenses and evaluate where 80% of your revenues come from?

Second where do 80% of your profits come from?

You may find out the ad-on services and the more expensive services, especially those that take little staff time are the most profitable.

What % of your employees’ time generates revenues?

What is your revenue per square foot in the treatment rooms, in the retail area?

What if any revenue is generated by your website? (shopping cart)

Ideas about cutting costs: on-line appointments, staff training through webinars and hands- on via Skype to name a few?

Bad ways to cut cost: cutting corners will back fire! If you cut on the quality and quantity of product used, steps of a service, you run the risk of loosing customers; they are savvy and will pay for quality and value. They will not be taken for a ride.

More on that and other subjects next week.

Please give us your feedback, share your experience on the subjects we touched–on today and:

Gift certificate marketing

Create differential advantage

Simplify your marketing message and your menu

Leadership: built loyalty from clients and staff

Catherine Atzen, MBA
Cidesco Diplomat, NCEA
Business Consultant
Ph: 408 353 2605 PST
Fax: 408 353 8517
Em: catherineatzen@flash.net

The Power of Online Gifts

Seth_Prof_PhotoAccording to Forrester Research, online retail sales are expected to reach $44.7 billion during the months of November and December 2009, an 8% increase over 2008.  This means that consumers are continuing to shift to the web for their holiday shopping.  Online shopping offers the hassle-free convenience that malls just can’t deliver to consumers. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to increase revenue at your spa and provide clients with the online purchasing option they demand during the holiday.

Offer online instant gift certificates.

Online gift certificates don’t require your spa to manage inventory.  The more gift certificates that are purchased from your spa website means appointments for treatments in 2010.  Many of these customers will be new, a referral of sorts from existing clients who want to share the amazing spa experiences they have at your spa. A gift giver who purchases an online instant gift certificate from your spa may never walk through its threshold because he is buying a spa gift for someone else.

Offer ease and simplicity.

Consumers are avoiding the lines, the crowds and the painful last-minute shopping at the Mall.  They are conducting their holiday shopping from the comfort and tranquility of their couch.  Giving clients and gift givers the option to purchase instant gift certificates from your spa website eliminates all the hassle associated with holiday shopping.  Make shopping at your spa website as easy as the big retail online experience. It will give them the perfect excuse to make a purchase from your spa instead.

Offer an instant gift option up to the very last moment.

The US postal service has declared December 21st as the very last date consumers, sending packages using the hyper-expensive express mail service, can expect their gifts to arrive on Christmas Day. 

Meanwhile, research shows that online instant spa gift purchases are still revving up to satisfy all the last-minute gift needs.  Consumers often send instant spa gifts on Christmas day and the recipients will never know the difference.  It is the ultimate last-minute gift option to promote in your spa during the holiday.

Promote online gifts in your spa.

The most successful spas promote their online gift certificates all year.  They clearly promote online instant gift certificates and remind existing clients that they have the best holiday shopping solutions. 

Utilizing email marketing to promote online gifts to existing clients is very successful during the holidays.  It puts your spa top of mind and gives clients a great gift solution, and all just a click away.

The best gifts in life become treasured memories.  It is that gift we receive that has an unexpected benefit to our life right now, for a moment, an hour or a day.  These gifts linger and stay with us long after it has been used and even motivate us to change our lives for the better.  This year offer spa gifts that make the recipient feel that they do indeed live charmed lives and offer the convenience to the gift giver who might not ever enter your spa.

Seth Gardenswartz/StephanyToman/Spa Kat
SpaBoom
317 Commerical Street NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
800-940-0458 Ext. 803
Em: Seth.Gardenswartz@spaboom.com
www.spaboom.com

Increase Your Spa’s Holiday Revenue

Seth_Prof_PhotoIt is time to rev up your spa for the holidays. Plan well by preparing effectively right now before it is too late.  This can increase revenue and make your spa more successful leading into the New Year.

Update your website.

  • Make sure all your basic spa information is online and up to date.  It will decrease calls to the spa before they visit and it will give your clients more control.
  • Add fresh content and photos before the holiday.
  • Check your online reputation.  Conduct an online search of your spa and make sure the information on the web is up-to-date and that your spa reviews are fair.
  • Go to: www.getlisted.org to make sure all your current website information is listed on Yahoo, Google, Bing and other search engines.  It will take you 10 minutes and will help consumers find you online.

Get your front desk ready.

  • The front desk must focus on the guests in your spa to obtain increased revenue for the holiday.
  • Prioritize rebooking while the client is in your spa. This should be the focus of every employee from technician to the front desk.
  • Deliver service and tranquility by reducing distraction for clients and the front desk.  If you can move inbound calls away from the front desk it will improve your rebooking rates right away.
  • Decrease calls to the front desk by making sure all relevant information is on the spa website including hours, map, events etc.
  • Use online booking.  It gives the client control during the busy holiday and it frees up staff.

Be predictability to enhance your spa brand.

Being consistent with your brand means that clients receive the service they have come to expect, even during the hectic holidays. Remember that your clients’ expectations are high and they don’t want to hear excuses.

Scripts are key to success for your spa.

  • Technicians, front desk and receptionists must guide clients toward product, instant gifts and rebooking. 
  • Make sure you have a script for employees that guides clients toward your sales goal.  The staff must be accountable for using scripts because it will affect your bottom line.
  • Don’t let unknowledgeable personnel cost you business this holiday.  Provide them with scripts and training so they are confident when using the information you provide.
  • Anticipate your clients’ needs and let them know what they can expect from the spa experience.
  • Make sure all employees know about your current spa and online promotions.

A daily meeting during the holiday is key.

  • Frequency = urgency.  A daily meeting, even 5 minutes communicates verbally and symbolically that holiday sales are very important to the spa.
  • Use the meetings to keep information flowing from you to the staff.
  • Update your staff on schedule shifts and goals by category. It is important to let them know where they stand every day and give them a plan to meet those goals.

Refresh, Renew and Reorganize the spa’s physical space.

  • Approximately 40% of your revenue is coming this holiday.  Make sure the existing product layout is going to work for the holiday season. 
  • Customers will be coming in to shop for friends and family so make sure items you want to highlight are easy to spot. 
  • Use signage in your spa and salon.  Make sure clients know you have gift packages, and promote online booking and instant gift certificates in the spa.

Use Email marketing.

Collect emails at the front desk and through your website. Add  fresh email addresses to your existing list and send out a holiday promotion.  Email marketing is one of the most efficient and cost- effective methods for communicating with clients.

Own your traffic and take all opportunities to set yourself up for a successful holiday season.  The time to act is now so get excited and find it within yourself to make this the best holiday on record.

Seth Gardenswartz/StephanyToman/Spa Kat
SpaBoom
317 Commerical Street NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
800-940-0458 Ext. 803
Em: Seth.Gardenswartz@spaboom.com
www.spaboom.com

8 Simple Rules for mastering online tools to grow your spa business.

Seth_Prof_PhotoIt is an amazing time for small and medium sized spa businesses today.  Spas that take advantage of technology and online tools will make their businesses more successful and profitable.  Finding and using technology that suits your business needs will streamline business practices, increase conversion rates and give your clients more control and convenience online.  It is really a matter of deciding that you are going to take advantage of these online tools and then get started.  Often, they are free to use when you sign up for other online services or can be utilized for a small monthly fee.

Rule #1:  Build a dynamic website you control, adapt and change, not your web developer.

Don’t be fooled by flashy promises from web developers guaranteeing an over the top website that you can’t possibly manage yourself.  It will be a waste of time and money.  Spa websites don’t need to cost a lot of money and the best ones allow for easy updates to ensure that the most up-to-date information is always available to your spa clients. 

Rule #2: Start with Email Marketing.

Why?  It is the easiest, cheapest and most effective marketing tool for spas.  Its effectiveness flows naturally from the intimate relationship you develop with your clients every day.  Existing clients will make up the bulk of your list and will respond favorably if you are doing your job right in the spa.  It is a communication vehicle that complements the service industry. 

Give your front desk an incentive for adding email addresses to the list and make sure you double opt-in all new addresses to sidestep spam filters and to get your communication to those that really want to hear from you.

Rule #3: Use Online Booking.

Online reservation booking absolutely revolutionized the travel industry and it is transforming the way spas offer services to consumers.  If you are not using an online reservation program then you need to get started.  Many of these programs are FREE if you are using other services like instant gift certificates so take advantage of the opportunity to integrate it into your spa business.

It will increase conversions, track and manage your reservations in real time and can liberate your front desk to focus on rebooking clients who are “real-time” in your spa.

It also transfers control to the consumer, providing them with 24/7 access to your spa reservations.

Rule #4:  Sell Spa Services Online to Increase Revenue.

The capacity to sell spa services online serves your clients and increases revenue for the spa.  It is an ideal way to acquire new clients through gift certificates.  Every client with a sister, brother or friend is a potential consumer of your online gift certificates.  Make sure your clients know that you sell online gift certificates.

Rule #5: Use Social Media.

Social marketing is an easy and cost effective way to communicate with clients and potential customers. Encourage clients to check out your Facebook page by clicking directly from your spa website’s home page.  Commit to adding content regularly and offer specials for those who find themselves on your Facebook page. 

Twitter is a great social media tool to answer spa questions and establish a dialog with clients.  If you have unexpected openings in your treatment schedule just provide a valuable incentive via Twitter for clients who respond quickly to fill the spots.  If you are consistent, you will find that clients will be looking for your spa tweets every day.

Blogging on your spa website is a fantastic way to add new content and provide value to your clients and potential customers.  When you write about relevant spa topics you position yourself as the knowledge leader within your spa community.  Building new and relevant content also helps increase your search ranking online.  Each time you add content about spa, Google takes notice and over time it will improve your rank for specific spa searches.  If other websites begin to link to your blog as a spa resource it will also help to improve your ranking over time.

Rule #6:  Treat your spa email list like Gold, and use it wisely.

The key to effective email marketing campaigns begins with your existing list of email addresses.  If time and care have not been taken with the list beforehand you will end up with a mediocre result.  Build a quality list by taking time to add only relevant email addresses, clients and potential clients, who actually want to hear from you. 

Rule #7: Take advantage of these online tools to get noticed.

Take advantage of all the free services out there to promote your business.  That means you need to get your website added to Google Map, Yahoo Local and Bing Local.  Check out www.getlisted.org , to find out how you are currently listed on search engines and for information on local search and news. In addition, make sure you are on every relevant spa directory, www.joyofspa.com,  so consumers can find you easily.

Rule #8:  Get to know SEO and watch your online rank climb.

It is extremely important to focus on improving your spa website’s SEO(search engine optimization) because it has the potential to draw new customers to your website and spa business.  Consumers perform millions of “local searches” every day and that number is growing.  If your website is optimized for search, it creates the opportunity for potential clients to see your business first when they perform a relevant, local spa search online.  For more information you can go to http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291.

Seth Gardenswartz/StephanyToman/Spa Kat
SpaBoom
317 Commerical Street NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
800-940-0458 Ext. 803
Em: Seth.Gardenswartz@spaboom.com
www.spaboom.com