The RISKS of Going Solo

Starting out SOLO -the RISKS
Christopher Brazy
going solo
Everyone dreams of owning their own spa. Some follow through on it, some don’t. The ones who don’t are the lucky ones. Most are only setting themselves up for failure and heartache because they don’t come prepared.

The Goal
First, you have to know what you want. And it’s not “to make others happy” …you could do that by volunteering. Ask yourself these questions:

1-What do YOU want?

2-Do you want the stress of running your own place and finding your own clients?

3-Do you want the responsibility of running a small business?

4-Do you have the funds to not only begin your business but support yourself AND your business until it gets off the ground (usually a few years)? Under funding is a major pitfall.

5-What kind of person are you? Can you handle running a business, it’s not an easy task.

6-Do you have the skill set to run a business?

7-Have you consulted with a pro on the feasibility of it all and proper setup for compensation, systems, design, etc.? People thinking they can do it all is another major pitfall. This step costs a few thousand and shouldn’t be skipped.

8-What’s your focus, USP and long term goals?

9-Could you make just as much working for someone else?

10-Fellow spa owners, post in our forum what I’ve missed!

We’re human, we work best when we focus on one thing. Have you paid your dues and learned the tools of your trade? If you’re just out of school you’ve got years of real world training to go through to master your craft. Most will drop out within two years. What if you decide it’s not for you after six months and you have a business you can’t leave?

If we’re successful, we lose. The goal should be to grow, which means if you’re busy with clients, who’s going to answer your phones, handle scheduling, take the countless hours to handle the daily grind of business duties, ring up clients, and much more when you’re in the room all day? You won’t even have time to do laundry! Then you get lucky and grow but can’t meet the demand so you take the plunge and hire staff. What then? Well, bad news, no one works unsupervised and no one cares about your business like you do. You HAVE to supervise them. That means putting on your management hat and giving up your treatments with your own clients. So the years you just spent building your client list is now handed over to your staff who won’t be able to treat them as you did. Training and motivating people is also a skill not easily acquired.

There’s a proper way to run a successful solo operation. It’s not by making a deal with the local chiro and renting an extra room. It’s not by renting a room in a busy salon and crossing your fingers. It’s by having a goal, a proper business plan, a large budget and lots of time on your hands. First learn your trade. Then make a plan with a specific goal. Then create a business plan. All this of course is dependant on money, LOTS of money. Even as a solo practitioner it’ll take most of your time, money and life so make sure you can commit to it. THEN most businesses will fail within 2 years and nearly all business will not be around 10 years later. Going about it blindly, you’ll be another statistic. Going in with knowledge and financing is the only way to stack the deck in your favor.

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