5 must-do steps to creating a successful vision
Our own nature shoots us in the foot. Yes it’s true. Being on the cutting edge of the spa lifestyle, knowing all that’s available and all the good that it can do and shooting for the stars …may just be what is causing so many of us to fail.
Write out your dream
Being holistic entrepreneurs, we tend to think BIG. Everything we’d like to do would be on the grand scale to say the least. So here’s your chance to go for it. Think of everything you’d like to do. Write it all down, “spa-city” with clients of 100,000 daily. Walls of gold. Rooftop spa parties and underground steam caves.
Keep in mind when you’re planning that you are doing just that, planning. This is ALL in the planning phases, so is open to change. Actually, life tends to never turn out as planned, so be PREPARED to change. Don’t be married to a single vision. BEGIN your vision here, and then grow it, let it ADAPT and change as the need arises.
OK, now that we’ve got our dream in place, let’s revisit it and see what’s practical. Will 10,000 residents in my town be able to fill up spa-city with vacancies of 100,000? Should I tone it down a bit? Would a 1,000 room hotel and resort spa on the coast be economically feasible without a board or directors and $100,000,000 invested? (we know of hotels that spent that much on their spas alone).
Take a look at what you REALLY want to be managing. Does overseeing 30 hairstylists or 3 massage therapists sound better to you? Do you think pedicures and wraps pay for the equipment needed to offer them? Will separate locker rooms, a meditation room, a couples room and a 20′ tall grand entry with waterfall be possible since you have to pay for all that space on a monthly basis at $24/square foot/year? Tone down and rewrite your vision. Take a look at what is most likely to produce the maximum sales with the minimum risk/investment.
Look at the Competition
Take a look around and see where you can fill a need. Is there anything you’re doing that not’s being done? What’s going to set you apart? And it’s not the “one stop shopping spa experience” that will do it, EVERYONE offers EVERYTHING, just look at the identical lists of services in the yellow pages. Find a specialty area, determine your market and see what’s possible.
Also, you have a distinct advantage over others for things that you are passionate about. Since opening a business means giving up your family, risking all your savings and/or home and working for free for many years, having a passion for what you do is crucial. Follow your heart and find your true passion that will allow you to forge ahead through the slow times, network, work the press, promote yourself and prevail.
Complete a Market Evaluation
I once had someone come up to me and ask about opening resale shop for used garden equipment. Sounds bizarre to me, but who knows, it could fly. Sending out mailers, to let’s say a 5 mile radius ASKING them what they’d like to see is always a good idea. You could find that there’s no need for massage, but a salon would be wonderful. Or they don’t’ want either, but a health club.
Find an expert at these type of inquiry type of mailings and have it done. Use the feedback to tweak your plan even further and make it even more marketable.
Create a budget
Now that you’ve got feedback and have your plan refined, you should have a decent picture of what’s going to be required to fulfill your dream. Find an accountant, or get a spreadsheet and some help from the SBA (small business administration) and crunch the numbers. I always say “multiply your expected expenses by 10, and divide your expected income by 10 to get the REAL picture.” People laugh at this, but it is TRUER than you’d think. People expect their minimum, worst-case scenario days to be $1,000.00 Well guess what, $1,000 isn’t your minimum day, ZERO is. And you’ll see zero dollar days more than you’d like to. As for expenses, they just pop up out of nowhere and tend to multiply like mad. And this is all BEFORE advertising, which is a huge expense that never ends.
Once you have a budget, pnl statement (profit and loss), etc. setup and in place, refer to them often. It’s hard to tell what’s going on if you don’t look at the numbers and see what is real.
Now your dream is well on its way to becoming a reality. It’s practical, based on reality and your passion. The competition has been checked out and your specialty niche should do well for you. You’ve gotten feedback on your areas needs and have created numbers to go with your refined dream. Since you’ve created a dream based in reality, you’ve got a huge head start on the competition and are ready to move on to making it happen.