Who doesn't enjoy a peaceful spa day? When people are allowed to rest and be pampered, it rejuvenates them in a way that few other things can do. Being able to provide those services for people is a substantial motivating factor for many spa owners. Few jobs might seem as rewarding and as fruitful as owning your own spa business.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Spa Ownership
Anyone who works in the spa business knows that long hours are required regardless of whether you work for yourself or not. Renting space for a studio or loft and buying all the equipment that you'll need (such as tables, lamps, oils and robes) requires a great deal of investment. That said, working for someone else means that you don't have the freedom to change services offered, music played or even the ambiance of your workplace.
That ambiance is one of the most important aspects of a spa. This vibe should embody your spa in a way that is welcoming and inviting. When you have to capitulate on the emotion behind your services and you know that long hours are already par for the course, you may consider beginning your own spa business.
Even for those who have a decent level of business acumen, the process of starting any type of company is daunting. You have to consider things such as location, prices, decor and many other small details.
How Do I Start a Spa Business?
Different states have different regulations surrounding the spa industry, and certain spa services can only be offered if specific certifications are displayed where patrons can see them. For example, hairstylists need to be licensed in every state in which they practice. Therefore, the most critical step to opening your own spa business is the first one: location. This is true both when it comes to compliance with local laws and determining where you will be the most successful.
Prime locations can be pricey unless you have enough capital to purchase anywhere. Ideally, your first step should be narrowing down no more than five sites with which you would be happy. Research each area extensively to make sure that you will not have tremendous competition and that foot traffic is decent.
Considerations When Beginning a Spa
Another critical consideration when beginning a spa business is cost. How much financial risk can you afford to take? Do you have a windfall or backers who are willing to help you get off the ground? Figure out exactly how much risk you can take and still maintain a reasonable quality of life.
Realize that you cannot assume that your business will be solvent right away. Only about two-thirds of businesses survive two years in business, half last for five years and a third last for 10 years. Be realistic when it comes to your business, but try your best not to get discouraged either.
Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to begin your own business. Once you’ve learned the basics for starting your own spa business as well as the critical legal and financial matters, it’s very possible to run a successful spa.
Setting Prices Based on Profit Goals
When it comes to profits, set a long-term goal but keep short-term steps in mind. You will need to set your prices based on the profit goals you establish. The equation to use when determining price is income - expenses = profit. Income tends to fluctuate based on seasons, the economy and trends.
So, what's the difference between a spike and an average increase? That can depend on myriad factors, and one of the biggest is luck. Pay attention to the trends in your location to educate your guesswork and, if possible, leave a cushion.
How quickly you grow your business (if you do at all) is contingent on your comfort level with risk. Trusted financial advisers could be invaluable not only in your starter phases but for the life of your business.
Choosing a Geographic Location
When choosing your location, you need to know the vibe of that area. Are you going to be next to businesses so that you can catch stressed office workers on their lunch breaks? Perhaps you're near a university. Even though students do not have as much disposable income as office workers, there are also professors and other university staff who would desire more expensive treatments.
The mood of your shop's neighborhood affects your advertising strategy and should also advise the services that you're going to offer. The more desirable the area for business, the more the rent will cost. If you live in a functional space for home practice and think that would suit you better, check your local laws to ensure that you won't hit an expensive legal or regulatory roadblock later.
Competition can help you narrow down locations, select what services to highlight and inform many other business choices. Your primary concern is going to be avoiding market saturation, the point at which there is no longer any new demand for a company’s products or services due to too many competitors offering the same services. It is extremely risky to enter markets that have a high rate of competition, as people tend to remain very loyal to a business until they run into poor service.
Choosing Services to Offer
Once you've settled on a good location, you should sit down and carefully consider your proposed services. If you're offering specialty treatments such as therapeutic massage or acupuncture, you may run into established competition in those areas. You can check public records to see the taxes paid by a business. This is an excellent way to know how well they are doing and can give you insight on what you can and can't reasonably offer.
Creating a Proposal for a Spa
A salon proposal sample can provide excellent guidance when creating a project proposal for your new spa business. When working on a proposal for a spa, keep in mind that one of the most effective ways to gain business capital is by wooing investors. These investors are going to be your audience when you write your business proposal.
Keep in mind while you are writing that you want the person reading your proposal to give you money for your business. While it isn't exactly an advertisement, this document will speak for you as the investors read it.
Fortunately, all business proposals should include the same basic format and have the same general information. Investors look at a variety of businesses, so tailor your proposal for them. If you aren't confident about your abilities, hiring someone to write your proposal or to proofread your drafts is an excellent idea. This single document is one of the most important documents you will ever write as a business owner.
Sections of a Business Proposal
There are several major sections in any business proposal. The first is the title page, which should be clear and easily scannable. There are countless ways to arrange this page as long as the key information is easy to see and read. Avoid too much "flash" on this page since investors may have limited time.
Also include your name, your company name (which should use the largest font on the page) and your contact information. One of the most common places for this is the top left corner or under your name. Some people also include a footer as a way to keep the information fresh in an investor's mind without a lot of distracting details.
Even if your submission is prepared online, a workable table of contents is imperative. If you catch an investor's interest, he likely needs to quickly navigate through your proposal.
Proposal Executive Summary
The executive summary is the first authentic glimpse of your proposal as well as the key to winning over investors. When working on your summary, you should hit on all of the major points in the body within a few sentences. For this reason, it may be best to write this section last and use the body of your proposal as a framework for it.
Here, you will include a statement that speaks to what problem your business is going to solve. When talking in business terms, the problem can be defined as a want or need that your customer is facing. Your business will be the solution to this problem. This is the place where you prove that you know your customer and can back it up with appendices and data.
With your methodology, you will outline how you intend to solve the problem and what steps you plan to take with your business. Break down the spa services that you are going to offer while keeping jargon to a minimum. Remember that investors may not be familiar with your industry, and they want to know that you have a concrete plan.
Qualifications for a Spa Owner
In your project proposal, you will also need to discuss your qualifications. You should carry readers through your career history and speak to why you have what it takes to make this sort of business run properly. You want to appear efficient and qualified, so avoid diving into too much storytelling.
Success Benchmarks for Spas
Your investors may not know how to run a spa business. They will rely on you to set up a pathway to success for you and for them. These are the expectations to which you are going to be held, so do not over-promise here. Be sure to detail your success benchmarks and keep them very reasonable.
Finance and Legalities for Spa Businesses
Issues of money and legal compliance will require a great deal of detail in your proposal. Your goal here will be to explain the market you're entering, what costs you envision, regulations with which you will need to comply and all of the other matters that you researched while coming up with your business idea. Because this is very heavy on data, make sure that it is easy to read by a layperson. This could mean using charts, spreadsheets or other ways to display data in an easy-to-scan format.
Conclusion of the Proposal
Wrap up your proposal by explaining how your company will benefit all involved parties. Discuss what services you will provide to your customers and why they will be well received. Provide brief insight on your aspirations for helping your clientele.
Wrap up the proposal on a positive note about what a prosperous business would provide for your investors, clients and yourself. Every industry is different, so be sure to target yours to investors wanting to earn from a successful business rather than those who have a great deal of experience in the spa industry.
Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She has been writing on business-related topics for nearly 10 years. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com) and she works with a number of small businesses to develop B2B content for their websites, social media accounts, and marketing materials. In addition to this content, she has written business-related articles for sites like Sweet Frivolity, Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Bloom Co and Spent.