The 5-step Competition Formula

The 5-step Competition Formula
Douglas Preston
competition formula
Yeah they’re everywhere now. New day spas are springing up like toadstools after a rain. Seems that all you need to get in on parade is a water spigot, some paint, and a stencil to add the overused title to your business’s sign. Voila! You’re a day spa!

The sudden profusion of plush or “me too” spa facilities has produced sentiments among the more established players that range from annoyance to panic. Spa owners find themselves jealously sizing up the threat that each new operation seems to present, looking for their flaws and faults–any way to discredit the legitimacy of a claim to the day spa distinction. And to make matters worse these “unscrupulous” competitors sniffed out your business while planning their own, and even managed to lure away a few of your formerly loyal employees! How could people be so sneaky and unethical? Forget about it.

Look, you don’t have to love your new neighbors but wasting time fretting about the effect they might have on your own operation won’t help you address the real issue at hand, that is, how to be the best on the block. And despite the coming competition the good news is that it’s easy to shine in the crowd–you just have to be willing to focus on the parts of your business most others will often choose to under-develop or ignore altogether. It’s not the spa that has the deepest pockets that’ll prevail over the others but rather the one that knows what spa customers want most, and then delivers it to them consistently. Now you really have something!

Before you spend too much energy circling the wagons to defend your spa business let me share with you the surest way to keep your customers, your employees, and your cash flow healthy and happy. If you follow my advice you’ll avoid wasting time and money reacting to perceived danger while building a better and more competitive business.

Lesson #1: Keep your cool.
It started with a rumor but now you have the news; a big luxurious day spa is under construction uncomfortably close to your own. Details pour in: they’ll have more treatment rooms, more locker facilities, that juice bar you couldn’t afford when you were building and, dread of dreads, are offering a higher pay scale than you! And it gets worse: they’ll have a meditation lounge, more wet rooms, and even a day care facility. You’re dead, right? Customers and employees will be flocking to the new spa faster than day traders to the next IPO, won’t they? You can see it now, appointments canceling, checks bouncing, all because your spa is suddenly out of fashion with the local market. Do you borrow money to remodel, give suicidal raises to employees, drastically lower your prices? Or give up? Hang on.

If you’ve done a good job pleasing your customers and staff, that is, really understanding what’s important to them and investing in the quality of these values you will have little to worry about. I’m talking about the things your business can and should provide that they look for most in patronizing and working for you. For customers it’s overwhelmingly consistent service quality and personalized attention. They want to be received and served by a genuinely friendly staff who makes them feel at home and appreciated. They don’t want uneven quality, self-centered spa professionals, or anonymity. Clients want to belong–to feel safe, cared for, and valued.

Employees have very similar values as customers do. Poll after poll demonstrates that employees value education, growth, recognition and appreciation far more than their income potential. They want an ethical and understanding boss who is both consistent and forthcoming with positive feedback about the good work of their staff–something so inexpensive to supply and yet typically spooned out on rare occasions. And while most spa owners and managers I meet rate their performance in these areas as excellent, interviews with employees and a sampling of the service programs regularly paint a strikingly different picture. I’m talking about the communication problems, uneven treatment procedures and timing, heavy-handed or weak management styles, and poor staff training if any meaningful training exists at all. It’s time to take stock of where your company stands in the crucial areas of genuine performance quality and see to it that you stand head and shoulders about everyone else in your local spa market.

Lesson #2: Be the most consistent in everything you do.
How would you rate your spa’s service and hospitality quality compared to o around you? If you believe you’re the hands-down winner you will be blind to performance deficiencies customers and competitors will find easy to spot. How often do you or someone you appoint shop your own business for a quality check? How else can you know if the reception staff is following the proper procedures or if therapists are short-cutting on services without it coming from a client complaint first? Are your employees thoroughly and uniformly trained on all spa service and sales procedures, or customer service techniques? Are you absolutely sure?

In order to be #1 in these critical quality areas you will need to put the following key steps into place:

• Know what you want. If your spa were a play production you would expect everyone on stage to know their lines, their places, the timing of their delivery, be in the proper costume, and to omit every emotion, attitude, and display of conflict not written into the script. A spa is in fact a play, that is, a place where customers are treated to a temporary escape from the real world, and where they are willing to pay for experience. Nothing else should be included. Begin by knowing exactly what this experience is supposed to be at your spa.

• Train everyone– again and again. Sure your performers know the script but it’s the frequent rehearsals that keep the performance crisp and consistent. Never expect that an infrequent training will suffice to prevent your service quality from drifting into undesirable “interpretations” over time. The effects of training are diminished by the day and must be repeated routinely in order to produce the results you want. This is the tedious but essential nature of business management–any business!

• Measure the performance for quality. Take a seat and watch the show. Look for weaknesses such as uneven sales between staff members, and client complaints about specific policies, procedures, or certain individuals. Spot-check the service schedule for efficiency or unapproved “line outs” by poorly motivated employees. And send in an anonymous agent to sample your services to look for the quality compliance you as manager cannot see. If your sleuth emerges from the facial cabin having learned more about relationships than skin care it is a sure sign that your team has gotten out of step! Only you can fix the problem.

Lesson #3: Price yourself higher than your competitors.
Okay, you think, now he’s lost it! But I’m dead serious here. The best spa must also be the most expensive–how else do you afford all that quality? If you plan to be different, hopefully meaning different in a better way than everyone else, you must also demonstrate that difference in your prices. Market realities dictate that quality isn’t free, and that you cannot and should not desire to be both the quality and low-cost leader. However, if you do elect to be in the upper end of the spa market you must be in the upper end of quality, period. It’s quite useless to seek the business distinction of being the same as but different than everyone else. It just won’t sell.

Lesson#4: Love your customers and your employees shamelessly!
I know I’m repeating myself but this point seems to need it in our business. If you want your loyal following to stick around then you must give them what they value most: attention, appreciation, and inspiration. This is something you won’t find on most drafting tables or business plans, and it’s also something all-too-often taken for granted. But the one thing your competitors can’t duplicate regardless of their startup budgets is the unique and rewarding relationships you forge between yourself, your customers, and your team. Business managers who truly take care of their people (those who value a structured and well-integrated environment, at least) will find them firmly disinclined to leave for the prospect of finding it elsewhere. And while a pie-in-the-sky promise may lure some away from you it will never be the ones who prove to be the most valuable as employees or customers.

In times of change the weak are frightened away but the steady will remain. You’ll discover in most cases relief in having lost certain employees who were never the most productive or cooperative among your team. We’ve seen competitors gloat over having stripped away some of our employees without knowing the productive quality or management compliance of these people, and this false confidence has even prevented them from conducting proper employee background checks. We have a saying at our spa that the easiest fruit to steal from a neighbor’s tree is that which hangs lowest to the ground. Just put it out of your mind.

Lesson #5: Love thy enemy.
Nothing gives more power to your competitor than outright hostility from you. Your exposed anxiety weakens everyone’s confidence that you have faith in the strength of your spa, and this perception can put into motion the idea, no matter how unfounded, that the pasture just might be greener over there. Retain all of your ethical fortitude. Don’t denigrate the new spa. Don’t raid their employees or pay too much to keep your own in place (let them go bankrupt first!). Avoid lowering your prices to undercut the new spa or throwing in more expensive customer perks when you don’t need to. In other words stick to what has worked well for you and then do it even better. In all likelihood the competitor will try not to be the same as you are which will make your uniqueness more appreciable.

Following this formula you’ll probably find that not only will your business continue to grow and prosper but you’ll save yourself a lot counter-productive worry and expense. New spas are risky ventures at best that come without any guarantees of success. You, on the other hand, have already passed the initial test of business survival.

You have experience and operating wisdom that the new spa will have to struggle hard to gain in an even more competitive market than you did. Just be glad it isn’t you, and get some sleep!

Best of luck to you!

A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee
1,000 marbles
When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions–and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else–the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first–the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.”

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

1,000 marbles

1,000 marbles
1,000 marbles
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday morning. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it: I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about a thousand marbles. I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital, he continued; Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities. And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a thousand marbles.

You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail, he went on, and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.

Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.

There’s nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.

Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.

It was nice to meet you Tom. I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 year old man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.

What brought this on? she asked with a smile. Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.

Overcoming Self Doubt & Fear: The Gateway to Success.

Overcoming Self Doubt & Fear: The Gateway to Success.
Douglas Preston
salon spa mastermind
In his insightful book Before You Quit Your Job, (Warner Business Books, 2005), accomplished author and entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki states, “The fear of failing is the primary reason why so many people do not succeed in life or are not as successful as they would like to be.”

Human potential guru Anthony Robbins describes personal “wealth wounds” as the negative inner beliefs that many people have about money and one’s worthiness of it. Spiritual educator Dr. Wayne Dyer explains that when it comes to personal success “you’ll see it when you believe it” rather than the reverse of this common dictum.

The late Mary Kay Ashe’s “fake it ’til you make it!” mantra encourages the doubtful to forge ahead until competence and confidence finally join up in fruitful harmony. And the great movie mogul Louis B. Mayer lived by this credo: never be discouraged!

Successful entrepreneurs and career professionals routinely note that overcoming self-doubt and fear is one of the greatest challenges and benefits in their quest to achieve. Do you recognize this obstacle in your own career development? Let’s look at some examples from our spa and esthetic colleagues to see how they overcame confidence hurdles and grew into personal and industry successes.

Nina Mrakuzic, Esthetician, Owner/La Therapie Day Spa, Cary, NC

Transitioning from a role as a practicing esthetician working for a day spa to the owner and manager of my own spa was a huge leap for me. I knew that I wasn’t a so-called businesswoman yet and didn’t know how I was going to handle all of the responsibilities of day-to-day management–a pretty frightening situation for someone about to risk a lot of time and money on a new venture! Help came from my husband who has a business background, and from hiring a spa business consultant. They set up systems and management tools that I badly needed for the spa to succeed but couldn’t create alone. Funny thing is that the consultant I hired was also a consultant with the last spa for which I’d worked as an employee. I was so annoyed with the changes he was introducing there that I decided to quit and go out on my own. A year later guess who I hired to help me with mine?

Aleks Vranicic, Esthetician, Spa Director, Yelka Day Spa, Los Altos, CA
I was pretty much thrown into my career, helping my esthetician mother to manage a business I knew almost nothing about. And while Mom was useful in introducing me to this industry, it was a little hard (frustrating, actually) to be coached by her, particularly later when I wanted to make changes in the business that she didn’t like. I met a spa business mentor who encouraged me to go to beauty school and get an esthetician’s license so I’d have some working knowledge and credibility in the services we sold at the spa. That was a BIG struggle for me as, having long been a soccer coach, the idea of beauty school wasn’t exactly fitting with my self-image, and I was worried about what my friends would think! But, being a guy that likes a challenge, I went to school, found that I loved the experience, and then went on to try the things my mentor had suggested. To my surprise everything seemed to click. What was particularly helpful was discover that clients appreciated my communication and hospitality skills more than my technical abilities–a good thing, too, since I had so little hands-on experience! Trial and error– and not quitting–really saved the day for me. Now I have a facial that sells for $795 and have had a few $2,000.00 revenue days in my first year of practice! This is a great profession for a former macho guy.

Gabi Meise, Esthetician, Owner, Gabi Meise Skin Studio, West Hollywood, CA

I’ve always been a fairly confident person, and believe in my strengths and ability to overcome things that look like they might pose a problem for me. But, one day, I took a spa management business course where the instructor began to test our individual confidence levels when it came to making money. He asked me how much I charged for my facial services, and I proudly announced “$150.00 minimum per treatment.” Imagine my annoyance when he laughed and called me a loser right in front of the entire class! I was really angry and told him that I was not a loser, that I was very good at what I did and my many loyal customers proved it. Then the instructor asked me just how good I thought I was. I told him that I was very good, the best. He said, “If you’re the best, why don’t you charge $200.00 per treatment?” That question startled me and made me feel defensive. I rattled off something about wanting to be fair price-wise but he countered by saying that if I wanted to be fair why didn’t I charge $75.00 per treatment so that less privileged customers could afford my treatment, too? Now I was really irritated but also knew that, in some way, he had me. The instructor then calmed me down by saying that he didn’t mean to be offensive but wanted to illustrate how people arbitrarily assign value to what they do rather than understanding what the market will, in fact, actually pay for top services. He then invited some of us to join him after class for further discussions on the subject. When we met he told me that he had reconsidered his price challenge, and now agreed that $150.00 was all I could get for my services so I had better keep them where they were. That did it! I told him that I was going back to my studio and raising my prices to $200.00 immediately. I’d show him who wasn’t worth it! Then he winked at us and congratulated me. And you know what, while I was terribly nervous about that increase, I never lost a single client because of it and have made a lot more money performing the same work. The guy was right and I’ll never need that lesson again.

The message appears to be clear:
Recognize your doubts and fears, seek some professional business help or the assistance of a volunteer mentor, and take a leap of faith. Our fears are often more potent when imagined than realized, and hindsight leaves the successful professional grateful that they didn’t succumb to doubt. A reporter once asked a 105 year-old man what the secret was to his long life; “The secret is that I haven’t died yet!” he replied. So, what’s the secret to overcoming fear and succeeding in life? Never giving up! Fear and doubt are ideas that only seem like locked gates–everything beyond is pure potential and opportunity!

Put Your Competition To Shame

Put your competition to shame
Christopher Brazy
salon spa competition
We had two (2) AMAZING experiences from local businesses recently that know their stuff! Learn the lessons here and your competition won’t even know what hit them.

Below are two stories. Both have created referrals from us to their businesses and kept them at the top of our mind for weeks now because of how they made us feel. This is the desired response you want from clients that will boost your business to the next level.

Story 1 – Drew the waiter
Right next to our new spa are a dozen restaurants (great location btw, which is key!). One is a car wash and diner. We stopped in for lunch and the waiter blew us away. He didn’t entertain. He didn’t give us free food. He didn’t even provide exceptional service. What he did do was to create our attitude and experience for us.

First, he acknowledged us and pointed out some fantastic items. He not only pointed out what was popular, but his personal favorite (it’s what he orders when he eats there …which is what we ended up getting!). The power of suggestion is strong and works well with gift certificate sales in day spas as well.

He also suggested what a great time we were going to have and how much fun it was looking over the menu and it was obvious we were enjoying ourselves. This blew us away! We have NEVER had anyone implant suggestions as to what a great experience we were having before. It seemed a little strange hearing it, but it worked!

Lastly he reaffirmed how much we were enjoying his food suggestion and what a great time we were having, often. He literally created the whole mood of our meal for us. We came back and told our builder what a great meal we just had and he said “with Drew? Yeah, he’s great.” Can you believe that!?

Story 2 – Excellent marketing and service
We stopped by a place we haven’t been to in years. Great place, we used to go weekly, but we somehow drifted away. First off the service was superb. They accomodated all of our requests, no problems, no extra charges and no questions asked. It made me think that as “high maintenance” as we were, there had to be training or a directive from management that said “whatever the customer wants, do it.”

Then what really blew me away was their effort to get a return visit (and we all know how important RESCHEDULING is in the salon/day spa business!). With the check came a $5 off coupon (from any $15 breakfast check) AND a little plastic “to-go key ring card” (like you get from grocery stores once you “join”) with their name and number.

My jaw dropped further to the floor when the waitress walked up with four (4) huge muffins in a to-go box saying “here, we give these out to all new customers and you sounded new.” Discount coupons, key ring cards and now free food. These guys want me back!

So what are you doing?
Business managers/owners are savvy. They’re jobs, profits and possibly their livelihoods are at stake. Either they’re lucky to have outstanding staff (like Drew) or they’re making customers feel outstanding with their marketing and service. Either way, because of their ACTIONS they are reaping the benefits.

On a side note, we went to a high dollar steak hourse a friend manages and got nothing. We actually felt slighted because we didn’t get outstanding service or were made to feel appreciated, even though what we are now expecting is definately out of the norm. Someone just told me that the Broadmoor (five star hotel) spa no longer gives them free fruit on plates, but on a napkin. They now make their own clients feel unappreciated (what a mistake).

Put your medspa, salon or day spa competition to shame. Take action today to make your spa experience the talk of the town. Make your clients feel like gold. Your competition, who is doing the same typical thing over and over, the “expected,” won’t know what hit them.

“Take Action”

How To Price Your Salon Spa Services When You Have No Competition

How To Price Your Salon Spa Services When You Have No CompetitionChristopher Brazy

Business is slow, what should you do? Lower your price! Right? Or wrong? Think you can win over more clients from your competition by being cheaper? Or are you worried they’re less than you? Price, price, price. Live by price, die by price. We think it’s the only thing clients want, right? It’s the first thing that comes to mind when working on your business.

Let’s begin with a question. Who wins in a price war? No one really, not even the client. You may get more short term business, but then someone will come in lower than you and you’ll have to go even lower …then it’s just a downward spiral.

When we make a commodity of ourselves (like gasoline) we’ve just doomed ourselves. People will then shop by price, since we’re all the same anyway. Then we have to lower our price to compete, then the competition lowers theirs, then a third spa comes in lower than both of you. They can’t afford to pay for anything so use wet-wipes for facials and don’t change sheets for massages. They lose, you lose, the other guy went under and the client loses too. Clients end up with the worst possible service from underpaid staff. It’s a lose-lose situation.

There are factors other than price that determine our worth. Price is only the determining factor if you are a commodity. When we’re all identical then there is no other way to differentiate ourselves. BUT as long as we are different, then price isn’t a factor.

Look at any industry. Fashion, department stores, automobiles. Any brand within an industry does essentially the same thing as the others, but then why is a Mercedes so much more than a Kia? Why does Neiman Marcus command more than Wal Mart? Because of perceived differences. Because they aren’t a commodity, they aren’t the same. They are unique.

When we are all the same, that is when there’s a problem. When our ads have the same ol’ laundry list of services with a picture of a candle …how do clients differentiate us? We look identical. We sound the same. We must be the same. So what will clients do? Well, they’ll compare the way the compare any commodity, by price.

Then someone comes along and does something just WOW. They pick you up, drop you off, serve you wine and chocolate and don’t accept tips. They are DIFFERENT. They are no longer a commodity. Price isn’t an issue since they have no competition. People don’t think you’re expensive since there’s nothing similar to compare you to. It’s a Win-Win situation.

Avoid the downward spiral of a price war at all costs. The laser clinics in our town have yet to learn this. One does sales constantly, the other comes back and offers 50% off. They feel they do the same thing and the only way to get new clients is by price. All they are doing is bringing the entire market down.

Differentiate yourself. Promote your USP, accentuate your differences. DON’T WORRY ABOUT PRICE. Worry about how you can DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF.

Take time NOW to look at how your clients see you and what you’re putting out there for them to see. Is it different or the same as all the other spas out there. How can you make it even MORE UNIQUE? How can you better cater to YOUR clients? YOU have no competition. This is crucial in your future. Plan it out, take action and implement it!

How to Make MORE As A Salon Spa Owner

STOP being the lowest paid person in your spa.
Christopher Brazy

Do you know many spa owners are not making it? Most are barely seeing a profit, and of those who say they are do so by working for free. Realistically, if we’re not all losing money, we’re certainly not making what we could be. Does our staff sympathize with us? NO. Actually, if they know of your worries they’d be gone that same day.

How did this happen? I feel it’s because of salons. The first spas started in salons, and a stylist most often makes 50%. When they added on a massage room they offered the same pay. What they forgot to notice was that the therapist (compared to the stylist) does NOT have a following of a few hundred people that would bring new business to the spa.

Instead of an asset, therapists are liabilities. They often don’t reschedule their clients, are scared to death of retail sales, their room takes up 10x the space of a hair chair AND there are product costs, yet they get the same pay.

The more spa you have, the higher your expenses are. There are also expectations with a spa. You need to provide an experience. Staff must be more thoroughly trained. You need ROOMS. You need tea. You have laundry. With all the extras (including a WOW factor) needed for a spa, with salon style pay, you’re already in the negative doomed to bankruptcy.

It’s not you, it’s the model. Drop the salon model. Start a spa model. Equate the expenses involved in running a spa into a business plan. You’ll find a very high percentage of your sales income will be already eaten up BEFORE you even get to staff pay.

Let’s say you’ve got 60% in expenses before you pay for staff and yourself. Well, that leaves 40% for you and your staff to split. Obviously if you paid 50% you’d be losing money. If you paid 40% you’d be working for free. How much do you want to make? Investors of hard money (cash) expect a HIGH (30+%) return within 30 days. A cash advance from your credit card company expects over 60% back within half a year. What are you making for your investment? Are you even making payments, paying back your investment? (I bet not). You should be, and with interest. That’s before you even lift a finger working. How much would it take you to hire a manager to fill your shoes? What about health insurance or God forbid, retirement/profit?

Treat it like a business. Pay yourself like you should be. Then see what there is for staff. We’ve seen franchise places promise 50% and end up paying $8/hour, $5/hour (below min. wage), even $3/hour (yes, literally). They have requirements and loopholes and if you figured out their pay hourly (i.e. $300 for 100 hours) you’d see how low it is.

So don’t be scared to change staff pay. Be scared of going out of business. How can you care for your staff if you’re not around? How can you care for your family if you’re working 80 hours/week? How can you care for your clients when you’re filled to the brim with stress? Setup a pay plan that is fair to staff ($20+/hour AFTER tips seems MORE than fair to me!) and allow yourself to be fairly compensated for your time AND investment.

Holiday Day Spa Promotion Makes $75,000.00 in 2 Hours

Holiday Day Spa Promotion Makes $75,000.00 in 2 Hours

Ok, many of you who have been on our list for a long while have emailed asking if we truly believe that we’ll actually make our NYEve resolution of doubling our numbers this year, with the recession/depression in full swing for salons, day spas and medispas. And, honestly, I have to answer YES. One of our members made $75k in 2 hours this year, and he’s up 20% over last year (more on that shortly).

How will we double our numbers? Well, with systems and EDUCATION. We take our own advice. To quickly recap, we have set our goals. We’ve written them down. And we’ve, most importantly, stated how we’re going to do it. Then we’ve gone one step further to keep you, faithful reader, as an accountability partner for us. We’ll state it again now.

We take time DAILY to work ON our business instead of IN it.
We’ve written down our goals and HOW we’re going to achieve them.
We’ll attract new customers using our “tv goldmine” system (we’re having our busiest January ever!).
We keep our customers by using our resources mentioned online (particularly the autoresponder and card emergency).
…and NOW we’re going to turn all of our Gift Certificate sales/future clients into REGULARS by EDUCATING OURSELVES AND OUR STAFF.

It never fails. You setup systems, establish protocols, do everything possible for your staff to wow your clients and grow their income, and they fail to do so. It just seems human nature to take the easy way, even though it will hurt us, and we forget to do things. That extra treatment step gets skipped. The thank you cards fall behind. Calls the next day don’t get made until next week. So to fix this we have to train and RETRAIN. Retrain them on the basics, a refresher is always good. Check up on them to make sure the steps are being followed. Go over subjects again and again until their masters at what they do and it’s second nature to them.

THEN take time to educate yourselves as well. We have 3 excellent opportunities for you this week.

FIRST – Douglas Preston is speaking Monday, the 19th (TODAY!) on Boosting your retail sales, at 12pm pacific time, 3pm eastern time.

SECOND – Nicolay Kreidler is speaking on how to design Eco-Centric spa treatments to set yourself apart from the competition on Wednesday, the 21st at 10am pacific time or 1pm eastern time.

THIRD – Our members-only mastermind call is now online. We go over marketing strategies for Valentines day (or any holiday) and speak with Skin, Inc’s “Marketer of the Year” Scott of Esspa and find out how he made $75,000 in 2 hours on Black Friday (and made another $12,000 on Christmas eve AFTER he closed his spa and went home).