Wrapping up the Mantras

In closing this blog post on my three personal mantas for the coming year I hope to share just a few thoughts on how to move from the “chanting” stage to the “acting” stage. The three mantras I have shared over the last blogs are: ABM-Always Be Marketing, DSD-Do Something Different, and RNBFF- Research is my New Best Friend Forever.


Do a new take on the open house theme

Let’s face it-day spas are not the most welcoming of environments for a new comer or a novice spa-goer. Trend research tells me that people like to try “spa-ing” in groups. It is less threatening, requires less of a commitment and has built in “support” when a group gets together. Rather than just inviting everyone you know or anyone who has ever visited your spa-try targeting an open house to a specific group-maybe a drop in spa open house after school if you are trying to target the high school prom market. Perhaps a daytime open house just for “Silver Spa-ers” if that is one of your new targets. You can tailor the entire event from timing, service demonstrations, invitations, and other details to the specific group.

I’ll be talking in depth on this topic at the upcoming Day Spa Business Forum & Expo in March and I hope you will take advantage of this excellent educational opportunity. You’ll get a chance to practice all three mantras at once if you attend!

Tailor your marketing plan to help you practice the mantras

When I mention marketing strategies in my classes-I frequently get a response such as “Oh, I used to do that when I first started in business”. In today’s economy doing something old-can be new again. This might include seeking out local groups that would welcome a speaker or lecture demonstration on the benefits of spa and wellness services, or volunteering at a local walk, bike, and golf or fitness event to promote your business. Research your local options-what are the best attended events? What kinds of activities are your current clients involved in? That is where you want to be.

Seek new partners who can help you as you help them

New potential partners are everywhere! Take a few moments to really read your local community paper. Small community newspapers are still widely read. Ask yourself who in this paper-either an individual or a group is targeting the same market you are? Call or e-mail them. You may discover the synergy of a partnership that re-energizes your marketing efforts and your business.

Best wishes for a successful and healthy year ahead. Practicing your new mantras will give you a fresh approach to the challenges and successes ahead!

Patti Biro
Patti Biro and Associates
EM: biroassociates@aol.com


RNBFF- Can you take a wild guess what this is?

Have you been practicing your new mantras for the coming year? Just to remind you, the first two mantras are ABM- Always Be Marketing and DSD-Do Something Different.  Because most of us can only remember three key thoughts at one time there is only one more mantra to share with you.

RNBFF- Can you take a wild guess what this is?  Research is my New Best Friend Forever!  By now you have probably seen dozens of “trend reports” for 2010 for everything from cosmetics, functional foods, fitness trends, and of course the day spa industry. But what can you really do with that information?

I believe that consumer trends and especially consumer research data on buying patterns and motivators can help us all make better marketing and business decisions. The benefit for you is that it may save you money, increase your customer base and perhaps even save you heart burn by preventing some bad decisions.

Here is my take on what I think just one of the trend reports is trying to tell us. If we take the time to listen.  Remember-these are just my opinions based on what I have read and researched.

Pampering has gone the way of the dinosaur.  Reading the data from the fitness, wellness, and nutritional world tells me that clients are looking for PREVENTION and wellness services and support.  One of the most significant trends noted this year is the AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) 2009 Consumer Report noting that 32% of Americans are seeking massage for medical or health reasons.  For the first time stress reduction tied with relaxation as the top two reasons why people get a massage.

So what does that mean?  Massage is an important “gateway” service to a day spa. It remains the most popular of all day spa services. The first thing I would do is take a look at my menu and description of services and promote the wellness aspects of stress reduction and relaxation through massage. Forget about pampering-potential clients are looking for prevention strategies to manage their stress, remain mentally alert and healthy!

What else can you do with this information?  If stress reduction is a prime driver in seeking massage-ask yourself what other services do you offer that address this stated need?  It might be aromatherapy, yoga, foot reflexology, just about any other service that you offer.  Link this service s with your massage services and create “stress buster” packages. Use massage to introduce these additional services to your clients with every tool you have at your disposal!

Anything else?  Ask yourself who in your target demographic or area is most stressed. It may be mothers of pre-school children, new retirees, persons coping with chronic diseases, or teenagers. The target groups will be different depending on your target market and client group. Each of these groups has multiple ways to reach out to them to share the benefits of your services!  One of my clients has gained a new group of clients by offering short spa services during the hours that the “Mother’s Day Out” group meets at a local church.  The moms drop off the kids, then hit the spa for a short R & R break. Finishing just in time to pick the kiddies up. Needless to say-they are in a better mood than when they dropped them off!

Those are just a few of the ways that listening to what the trends and research reports have to say can be translated into great marketing  and client development ideas for your spa! Remember to practice your new mantra-Research is my New Best Friend Forever!

Patti Biro
Patti Biro and Associates
EM: biroassociates@aol.com

Approach your marketing & business promotion in a different way

By now I hope that you are wondering what my other Mantras for the coming year are!  If you read the last blog you know that every morning I begin the day by consciously thinking about marketing.   My first Mantra of the Year is ABM- Always Be Marketing.   My second Mantra is DSD- Do Something Different.

Remember the days of “broadcast faxing” as a way of getting the word out? Just like that is so “90’s” to us today I will bet many of the marketing ideas or strategies you are using-have long outlived their effectiveness. The truth is that you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention-and we all respond to novelty.   Here are five tips to help get you thinking about approaching your marketing and business promotion in a different way.

    1.  Take a different route.  If you always drive to work and home the same way how will you see a new business, school or housing development where potential customers are? Vow to take a different route-even if you go slightly out of your way just to get a new perspective on things!

2.   Capitalize on your connections.  If you belong to a church, synagogue or social group ask yourself how you can develop this connection into a marketing opportunity. I recently read where the entire women’s ministry group held their retreat at a local day spa…with services of course!

 3.  Change your routine!  Are your clients working later and asking you to do the same? Changing your hours to meet your client’s needs first may help to ensure retaining those clients!  Ask your clients- they will tell you if they want earlier or later hours, shorter sessions or week-end appointments.  Consider offering short lunch hour sessions to encourage the working client!

4.   Not all marketing works all the time. Vow to try at least one new idea-an e-mail marketing campaign, host a “girls night out”, participate in a wedding or baby fair, host a “prom-prep” class at your spa, trying at least one new idea will lead to other great ideas!

5.   Benchmark!  How will you know if what you are doing is working? Yes I know this is hard-but if you take the effort to try a new strategy-you have to determine your measure of success from the beginning!  Before you begin-ask yourself “How will I know that this idea worked?”  Jot it down and refer to it daily while you are planning and practicing that new idea.

Go forth and practice those Mantras!  I recommend writing them on a sticky note and putting it on your bathroom mirror or the car dashboard so you see it frequently!

Patti Biro
Patti Biro and Associates
EM:  biroassociates@aol.com

A New Decade Awaits – Isn’t It Time to Bust Your Rut?

The last year has been difficult for many of us in many different ways. I know several people who were only too happy to host a “calendar burning” to symbolize the end of the year. I’d like to propose that we all take that thought one step further and begin the New Year and the New Decade by helping ourselves and others to banish the blues and bust out of our rut!

For myself- I am not making any resolutions, but I have given myself a few new Mantras to practice during the coming year. Most importantly I am going to take the time to look and reflect on “old habits” and replace them with new habits or behaviors. When our personal, emotional and financial resources are strained-we all have a tendency to just stay with these old systems, policies and ways of doing business.  So to get us off on the right foot for the next decade I am sharing some of the best ideas to bust out of a rut!

Mantra # 1- ABM- Always Be Marketing

5  New Marketing Strategies

1.  Attended a class? Send in a press release to your weekly or neighborhood newsletter. Local papers love to highlight local accomplishments and news items.  Send a picture too!

2.  Have you seen those “total vehicle” wraps which are a moving advertisement for a business? They are hard to miss!  If this is too dramatic for you-a couple of advertising car magnets will do. You will be surprised how many calls and questions from fellow drivers you will get! I recently got a new client while pumping my gas!

 3.   Contact your favorite local charity-ask to see the fundraising calendar for the year. One or more events will undoubtedly be a perfect match as partnership for your business. Whether it is the local animal shelter, food bank or health related group the potential for a mutually rewarding business opportunity is great.  If you volunteer- you will be exposed to a new group of potential clients. Think creative here-maybe you can offer your spa as a location for an event- or add value to an event already planned by providing on site chair massage, make overs or other services.  The possibilities are really endless and up to you!

4.  Reach out to a professional group or individual that you have “meant to call” this last year. This could be the local gym, Mothers of Pre-Schoolers Group, retired teachers group or a group that fits your target market. Make a contact; explore what you can offer each other.  At the worst you will have made one new contact-with the potential for many more and host of new referrals.

5.  New business cards??  Take a fresh look at your business cards…they are still one of the most effective and inexpensive marketing strategies!  Is the back of the card working too?  Has your message or focus changed?  Update that card and you will feel updated too!

Trying just one new strategy this week and saying the “Always Be Marketing” mantra will help you bust out of your rut and embrace the coming year!

Patti Biro
Patti Biro and Associates
EM:  biroassociates@aol.com