resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
August, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 08
By Steve Capellini, LMT
Author's note: The Spa Letters column features news, personality profiles, trends and plenty of professional possibilities for LMTs in the spa industry. The style is epistolary, meaning the articles are letters to a fictional massage therapist friend of the author.
The Spa House is open! It's unbelievable, or at least it must seem so to you.Finally, after years of dreaming and working toward your goal, and months of frantic preparations, you are now officially the owner of your own operating day spa. Congratulations! Take a deep breath. Give yourself a pat on the back. And now... get ready for the real work. It's the day-to-day operational grind that is the true test of any spa.
So, what's next? Of course, the tendency in these early weeks and months is to have a myopic view about what needs to be done, focusing on fires to put out, customers to serve, employees to deal with and so on. No doubt, you'll also anxiously think about those who are NOT your spa customers yet, the hours on the clock NOT yet booked, and the treatment rooms that remain empty. At this stage, though, I would advise you not to fret too much about these obvious matters. Instead, put some energy into an area that, at least in the long run, will play a vital role in the Spa House's success - your bread and butter, so to speak. Namely, retail.
Sales, Sales, Sales
As you go through the inevitable slow periods at the beginning of your business, take advantage of your free time and spend it making some important decisions about your retail program, tweaking and fine-tuning it as you get feedback from your customers.
Remember, retail success (or lack of success) can often make or break a spa. Most spas have profit margins in the 10 percent to 15 percent range, if they're profitable at all. Without retail, many of them would see their profits dwindle to nothing. So, in planning for your spa's longevity, you've got to include retail as a big part of that vision. In these first months of operation, retail sales can make up for an initial lack of customers.
Just think: if you sell home-care products at a 50 percent service-to-sales ratio, it will be like having 50 percent more customers in your spa. During this early phase, 25 customers a day at $100 each would add an extra $1,250 to your bottom line. Granted, that would paint a rosy picture about the salesmanship ability of your staff, but even at half that level you'd be doing well, at least in the beginning. Later, you can expect much more as your clientele expands.
Training & Commissions
So, how are you going to get all these sales rolling in? Since it will be your staff making the sales, it only makes sense to spend the time and even a little money getting them adequately trained for the job. Often, the vendor who supplies the product will also supply sales training since it is to your mutual advantage; I suggest taking this a step further and investing in some stand-alone sales training, either by a hired expert or by your partner, Barbara, who is an expert business person.
Sales trainers are not cheap - expect to pay at least several thousand for a two-day course - but the good ones are worth it. You can find them via the National Speaker's Association (www.nsaspeaker.org) or visit your local bookstore for sales books you like and see if the author is available for trainings (many are). Training your staff is not enough, though. You must also motivate them. When it comes to sales, nothing motivates like money. Typically, commissions are paid on sliding scale.
For example, you can pay your staff 5 percent commission on the first $500 of product and merchandise they sell in a calendar month; 10 percent on $501- $1,000; and 15 percent above that. You have to come up with your own numbers based on realistic expectations. Also, estheticians are far more likely to sell than therapists due to the nature of their services, so you might want to adjust for that, making it easier for therapists to get to the next level. If no service person makes the sale, the commission can go to the front desk person who rings it up. The front desk people should be trained in sales, too, as should the receptionists. Everyone in the Spa House should be trained to sell.
Private Label Time?
You've already chosen top-quality organic product lines for your retail section; now you just have to back it up with the sales know-how of your staff. I'm sure you'll do great with your retail program as it stands, but you can take it even further through private labeling, which means that you take an existing product and put the Spa House label on it.
I suggest you monitor which items sell the most during the first few months of operation, then approach the companies who sell them and ask if they offer private labeling. You'd be surprised how many do. Several companies specialize in private labeling. You can contact them directly to get the best deal, but you'll want to try each line first to make sure it lives up to your standards. Just do an Internet search (I prefer Google) for "private label spa products" and you'll come up with hundreds of possibilities.
A Final Word About Sales
You can, quite literally, sell anything in your spa store. Well, maybe not cars, alcohol, tobacco or firearms, but most other items are fair game. Now that you have an outlet, take advantage of it. Poll your customers for their needs and desires, and give them what they want. As long as it fits in with your spa's overall vision, you can go wild. Think of your resale tax ID number as your ticket to creativity. How about books? Candles? CDs? Sunglasses? Watches? Clothing? Ceramics? Gifts? And on and on...
Lou, I'm wishing you the best of luck. Somehow, I can tell that you and Barbara are more than up to the task of making the Spa House work. I feel as though you're about ready to make a go of it on your own and you probably don't need my advice as much as you have over the past few years, but I'll write a few more times just to make sure you're up and running, and that everything is OK.
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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