Wealth from a owning a business is not guaranteed.
Even in seemingly lucrative businesses like spas. If your spa makes use of your greatest talents, abilities, or strengths, and you really have control of yourself and your business, you have a great shot.
If things are not quite 100 percent awesome in those departments, then you still have some work to do. No big deal, just develop the necessary abilities, or skills as you go along.
The following are some suggestions that should help you get clear on how to grow wealth through owning a business such as a spa.
Wealth can be found in any occupation. The only limitation is the limit of your ability to think.
People are figuring out how to gain wealth in any line of business you can think of. Even a worker in a McDonald's has the keys to wealth if they just study the business they are working in closely. One of the wealthiest businesses on the planet is constantly right in front of their eyes.
Can they figure it out?
In your current or expected field of work there are probably an infinite number of ways to improve the business or process you currently are involved with.
Write down your 5 year goal for money in terms of income per year, and amount saved or invested.
This is important because most people do not do this. Write it down and put it somewhere where you will see it constantly. I have mine as the wallpaper of my computer.
Twice a day, spend a little time thinking about how you can help more people in whatever occupation you are doing, while looking at your goal.
In his brilliant course "Lead The Field", (find it on YouTube. It is solid gold and will blow your mind,) Earl Nightingale, states:
"Most people never learn to think".
When he talks about thinking, he means sitting down and actively brainstorming ideas while focusing on how to improve toward a goal you set.
This is an exercise many people refuse to do mainly because most people's attention is scattered and diffused. The problem is that they are either trying to do too much, or stuck being worried about things they can do nothing about.
But just like a child with a magnifying glass playing in the yard, if you focus your thoughts on a single point for long enough, this will start a fire that can wipe out any problem.
Your carefully aimed thoughts, positive attitude, and ability to take action on any ideas your mind delivers to you will make you as wealthy as you want to be.
It can do this using your business as the vehicle.
Many people who start a spa for skin care spend most of their time inside the business. Often, they obtain very little information about the competition in their area. Also, they don't attract new customers other than people walking by their shop.
However, one underutilized resource that spa business owners can used to expand their business is to regularly attend trade shows in their region.
Trade shows may seem like a waste of time to a busy owner but if you are running a business and not just managing a job that you created then trade shows allow you to very quickly ramp up your research.
Research is needed to grow your business, because this allows you to really understand the latest trends that customers want as well as what your most successful competitors are doing to grow their businesses.
Trade shows are also a great way to find partnerships and vendors that can help your business grow faster as well.
Even if you have attended trade shows in the past I want to encourage you to think about paying for booth space at a trade show. Having a booth at a trade show put you behind the curtain of The Great Oz. It allows you to really see the secrets of the businesses who are having the most success as well as make contact with vendors and dealers who can give you even better pricing than if you are just a random person walking around at the trade show.
Another benefit of having a booth at a trade show is that you have an opportunity to access potential sources of new prospects. You can do this by speaking with other booth managers who specialize in marketing. Often these people have inexpensive ways of providing you with prospect information you can contact to try to obtain their business.
The other good thing about going to a trade show is the incredible amount of competitive intelligence that you can obtain just by walking around and stuffing plastic bags with brochures from different competitors, suppliers, or software vendors. Once you go through all of the information that you receive it is almost assured that you will find something that can help your business.
Business owners are responsible for growing their businesses. If your business is not growing, then eventually it will probably die. One of the ways to keep your business is growing is to continually research new ways of doing what you are already doing. Being more efficient at the processes that you utilize to gained a new customer or serve that customer allows you to earn more money in the business. Earning more money allows you to grow the business. Growing the business will allow you to eventually cash in on selling the business if you choose to do so.
Another cool thing for those who are able to pull it off, is the ability to seek out the Press and get your business entity mentioned in a newspaper or magazine article.
In order to drive sales to your business in an automated way, you need to have a brand that has some authority.
In order to gain authority your brand must be generally recognizable at least in your local area. One of the best ways to become a strong brand in your area is to focus each month on providing some type of service that is noteworthy to your local area.
You could speak at the Chamber of Commerce, or with your local Kiwanis group, or perhaps to high schoolers who are thinking about going into business one day.
If you focus on providing some type of community service, which doesn't have to take a lot of your time, then when you have an opportunity at a trade show to meet someone from the press, you will have a wealth of information that you can share with them about how your business is truly making a difference in your local area.
Let's face it, no journalist wants to write a story about a mundane business that does a great job with its customers. That is what the ad department is for. Journalists are paid to write about news. If you can convince them that your business is helping create good karma throughout the community then you have a very good chance to get mentioned in any news articles that may talk about the trade show that you are also a part of.
If you can get your business mentioned in news articles or press releases a couple of times a year, you will build a very strong local brand that will help you grow your business.
And if your business is legitimately doing things to help others in the community, there is absolutely no reason that your business would not qualify as newsworthy when the opportunity arises.
So even though trade shows may only come around once or twice a year in your local area, if you are doing small things on a monthly basis to help your community out while learning more about what your customers want and need, then when a trade show does swing through your area you are able to take complete advantage of the opportunity.
So make a calendar of events that will be happening in your area for the next 12 months. Then try to figure out ways to tie your business and your community service into these events.
Once you are able to make your business a part of these events be sure to document or capture whatever recognition your business gets because of this activity.
Keep it in a folder. Once you have an opportunity to talk with journalists (or even bloggers) you will be ready to present your business in the best possible light which will make a good story for them.
So you want to start your own spa? Even in this pandemic?
Well, people still like to look good, and spas provide a valuable service. This article will help you think about the things you need to do to get ready to have your own business.
Small businesses like spas have plenty of challenges to stay afloat these days, especially with all the social distancing rules.
Many new business owners think that all they need is a product, or idea, and some passion, and the money will start rolling in. But if you have ever run a small business, even just a home-based business, you are quite aware that it takes a lot more than that.
In order to ensure that your business is going to be a success, the first thing that you must do is research. What do I mean when I say research? I mean that you must know the landscape that you will be competing in very intimately.
For example, let's say that you wanted to go out and hunt wild elephants. Please note that I am not a hunter nor do I endorse it. However, if you just walk out into the African Savanna with whatever weapon you think is the best choice, but have no idea about the terrain and other risks that you will face, it is very likely that you will not return from this hunting trip.
You must approach starting a new business in exactly the same way. There is an incredible amount of danger to your money or the person's whose money you will be borrowing to start this business. If you do not know the lay of the land nor understand the risks that the money will be facing in its quest to multiply, it is very likely that the money will not be returning from this adventure.
So one of the first things you must know is who wants the service you will be selling. If you are operating a spa then you need to have a good understanding of who will be buying from you.
Often, we gain this knowledge by working for other shops. But if you do not have this information you need to get it.
The next thing you need to understand is exactly how much it will cost to have the business of your vision. You need to understand the cost of rent, supplies, furniture, energy costs in the summer and winter, as well as other utilities. You also need to understand the payment structure that you will have for any people who will be working in your business with you.
By researching and understanding the cost structure of the business you will be able to understand exactly how many customers you will need to have in order to cover those costs on a monthly basis. If you do not know this information or only know a part of it or are guessing when you try to go into business, this is like taking a box of fishing lures with you on your trip to the African Savanna to hunt the elephant. Once again it is very likely that the trip will be a disaster.
Once you understand exactly how much the business will cost and what it will take to get the business to the point that it can pay for itself, then you will have the information you need to know exactly how much financing you need to be able to start the business.
Whether you are financing the business on a stack of credit cards, through a bank, or through your own hard-earned savings account, knowing exactly how much you need to get the business up and running successfully will also be a large part of your success.
Without fail, almost all new businesses cost more to get to the point of profitability than the owner realized. However, if you are working with an organization such as a bank to help you finance your dream, they will be able to help you assess whether your spreadsheet of costs will be enough to meet the goal.
So, let's say you really understand your customer, know where they live, how to reach them, and what will lure them into your business.
And let's also say that you have a well laid-out plan that tells you exactly how much it will cost you to build your business to the point that these customers help your business pay for itself.
And finally let's say that you have money or someone willing to drain their pockets to help fill your business with enough cash to get started. Now, what is left to do?
The very best thing that you can do to ensure that the money that you are spending on this adventure is not put into mortal danger is to hurry up and find as many prospective customers as you can. Then contact them early and often with offers that you think will get them to come visit your shop.
This involves creating a list from some source that will allow you to inexpensively put your message in front of the people you identify as prospects.
You can either do this in an online fashion by advertising with Google or Facebook or some other online entity, or you can do this by creating flyers and walking through the neighborhood posting them on doors, windows, or cars.
Either way, what you need to do to ensure the survival of this fledgling business is to figure out a way to generate leads. A lead is a person who is a potential customer who has raised their hand in some fashion and said I am interested in what you are offering.
If you focus more than 70% of your workday on ways to generate more leads to your business in your first 6 months of existence, you will be doing nearly the maximum amount possible to ensure your business’ survival.
The only thing that matters in the first three years of a business' existence is its ability to profitably generate a new customer.
Also, while your business is generating new customers you must also make those new customers that you have created come back to your business as often as possible.
In this way you will ensure that Mom, Local Banker, Mr. Venture Capitalist, or your savings account, will see the happy and safe return of the money that risked themselves on this quest to hunt the great elephant of success.
Spending 70-90% of your time on marketing and creating ways for new customers to come back is well worth it. There is no point in buying new furniture, hardware, software, or slick supplies if you do not have a growing number of clients to practice them on.
The activities you spend your time on in your first year of business will make or break your success.
Put your training and certifications on hold for a while and get out there figuring out how to meet people and make as many contacts as possible. Put them in an email or SMS list and try your darnedest to get them in the door, then blow their minds with your service.
This is how you can guarantee your business success.
Would you like to start your own spa?
Do you have an idea how it might work but are a little bit unsure how to go about it?
Are you currently working for a spa or are you in a school for estheticians but want to be your own boss?
I can help you figure out the answers to some of these questions and guide you to resources you can use to continue to help yourself.
I had a lot of help when I decided I wanted to open my own skin care clinic and now I'd like to continue to help others.
I started on my skin care clinic ourney back in 2015 and it has been quite a ride.
Previously, I had worked in a variety of small businesses in my city but I had a passion to be an entrepreneur, so I joined Mary Kay as a consultant. I learned a great deal about how to run a business from Mary Kay, but I also realized that I could probably do better in my own business.
However, there were quite a few things that neither school nor Mary Kay could have taught me about running a business. My background as an accountant along with some really solid information from books I read really helped me get through some confusing situations.
Like many business owners during this pandemic, I've had a lot of time to think about what made my business successful as well as what will make it more successful in the future. Now, I have added coaching other entrepreneurs on how to set their businesses up for long-term success as we come out of quarantine.
So, I'm going to list a few skills that I believe all entrepreneurs need to succeed going forward.
The first skill that you must develop is the ability to focus. Most people can be focused when they really, really want something. The problem is that most people don't know what they want in a detailed way. They might have a vague notion, but no micro-level details.
If you want to be successful, I mean really successful, then you will have to properly learn to set a goal.
Here is the methodology you should use to practice this skill. The goal should be an important item that you feel you can complete in less than a month or so.
Once you set the goal then you should try break it into 5 or so tasks that you need to complete to make the goal a reality.
When you have created the list of tasks that you need to complete, then you should order them from most important to least important in terms of how vital they are to accomplishing the goal.
Take the most important task on the list, and do everything in your power to complete that task, working only on that task. Minor distractions happen, but focus on completing this item. Try hard not to get distracted. Work on it until that task is complete.
Only when you have completed this task can you move on to the next task. It doesn't matter how long each task takes. Just keep attacking them nonstop on a daily basis.
Once you have completed the next task, look at your list then move on to the next.
Doing this exercise in a serious way you will work through the list and, voila, you will meet your goal. The real benefit of doing the exercise will be to show you the unbelievable power of focus.
Learning to focus on activities to the exclusion of all other distractions and working on the next logical step within your goal until it is complete is its own education.
Do this exercise and you will be utterly shocked at how much you can get done and how little time it actually takes to do it.
You will soon realize just how much time we waste by pretending we can "multi-task". You will now chuckle to yourself anytime you hear some go-getter talk about how great they are at multi-tasking.
The next skill I believe you should have is not really a skill, but more of a mindset.
Your mindset should be that no matter what happens you can have what you want in life. As long as you have your health, and you live in a free society, then you should be able to map out where you want to go in life and get there.
Some people call this a positive mental attitude and others think of it as Law of Attraction. Law of Attraction feels good as a concept but I like to be a little bit more realistic about things. I like control.
If you allow any and everything to make you feel negative throughout the day and do not take control of your mental attitude, then you might as well see yourself as a puppet of life. Puppets are not in control of their actions, something else is in control.
Some people may not believe it but you can have a positive attitude even when there is a storm of negativity all around you.
This means that you are in control of your reactions, thoughts, and end destination. The ability to stay calm in the face of an angry customer, or in the face of a pandemic recession that threatens to take your business under is usually the difference between success and failure.
Most people wake up and start the day in neutral. Then, they allow whatever environmental activities come their way and hit them in the face to affect their attitude for the day.
They don't realize that when a person cuts us off in traffic on the way to work and we begin to fume about how insensitive people are that we are going to carry this attitude into the rest of our day. It becomes a filter that only allows us to see other negative things while not allowing us to see neutral or positive things that also happen.
By the end of the day, we are a basket case, and will very likely want to continue the fight with our family, binge on our favorite vice of choice, or veg out in front of the TV.
An SBA study on small business failure rates called “Small Business Facts” found that the first few years of a small business' existence were critical to whether it would survive or not.
About two-thirds of businesses with 5 or fewer employees survive at least 2 years and about another third don't survive to year 5. This means that less than one half of small start-up companies (less than five employees) were still in business after five years.
There are many factors for why this is the case.
But very often, I believe that one of the main driving factors is that the owners of the businesses were not fully in control of themselves or their emotions, and therefore could not be fully in control of their businesses.
If you are not in control of yourself, you will have great difficulty setting and meeting goals, meeting deadlines, and gaining the trust of customers, employees, or vendors.
If you cannot do these things because your mind is constantly being pulled off course by circumstances, you will very likely crash the business whenever a really harsh situation presents itself.
Do you want to start a spa?
I run my own skin-care spa and I can tell you that an essential part of my business growth came from having a website that Google likes. I was also aware of the need to keep contacting new customers to get repeat business.
Some people thing that if they start their business, word of mouth advertising will take care of bringing in customers. They may assume that all they need is a FB page or and IG account and that should do it.
This is not correct if you actually want to create a business and not a just a job you control.
In order to build a business that can operate without your daily input you need a systematic way to drive customers in, service them, and keep them coming back in an ever-growing way.
There are two main ways to do this, and they are having a professional website and a customer relationship management system (CRM).
Email and CRM: In order to get customers you need to get prospects. In order to find a prospect you have a variety of methods available to you depending on your business. You could hand out business cards wherever you go. You could leave flyers in stores or mail them to homes in your area. Or you could drive online traffic to a website which then gives you the opportunity collect their contact information.
Only one of these options is not dependent on your will, ability, or energy level for that day. Also, only one keeps your business from looking desperate. If you are approached by someone on the street who gives you the feeling that they are desperate, what is your natural reaction?
A properly set up lead capture system on a nice looking website, combined with a coupon or some other type of offer sends a message that is the opposite of desperation. It is an invitation to do something special, like a giant welcome sign.
Give Away Useful Information: People like useful information. We all have a bottomless need to learn more about things we are interested in. You can create lots of short articles that can be posted on your website, FB page, IG account, or even in article directories. If you are not shy, you can substitute videos and podcasts that share information. The information must be of interest to your potential customer. If it is, and you successfully get the information in front of them, they will keep coming back for more until, soon enough, you have a customer.
Solid, helpful information will grow your authority positioning to your prospective customer.
As you gain their trust, you will build the relationship. You can then leverage this relationship to sell useful products and services to your customers over and over.
Consistently providing appealing content is the key to getting more customers and prospects. It is also the key to getting Google to notice you. If Google sees that people love what you are giving, Google will send even more people your way.
Contests: Face it. People like free stuff. If you have a small customer base and want to grow it, figure out how to motivate people to enter a contest. By making some valuable item available to potential prospect you make yourself far more likely to pick-up new customers.
By making sure that you "stuff" is valuable, you create excitement, buzz and interest around what you are doing. Don't think small just because your business is small. Give away something that you would say "WHOA, that is HUGE!". It might be something that costs $500 or $2,000, but it must be of sizzling interest to your perfect customer type.
If you set it up right your business will be overwhelmed with contact information and email addresses you can use to grow a relationship. Not only that, but you can also use this to get free publicity from your local news outlets, driving even more potential customers to give you their information.
Let's say that last part again: Do something that will get your business noticed by news outlets. If you think hard about it, you can do many things in your community that will draw attention to your brand like:
*Volunteer or donate time to a charity.
*Give speeches at your local chamber of commerce.
*Sponsor college activities such as a team.
Whatever you do, be sure to contact your local news outlets and let them know! It may lead to nothing, or it may lead to an interview or mention. If you do it consistently and build a relationship with a local news outlet, you can learn to get thousands of dollars of free promotion for your brand.
These techniques work together to build your brand both online and offline. It is your job to make your brand attractive to the public as well as your perfect prospect.
Your next best move is to set up your lead capture system so that you have the maximum opportunity to get a person's information if they visit your site.
Next, use your noggin to come up with ways to make your brand known in your local area. Do things that get attention from news sources or have the potential to light up social media virally.
Remember: This is your business, not your job. Don't approach it like other people approach jobs, giving the bare minimum effort.
If you want to grow the business to the point you could sell it, you have to have customers that are grown, serviced, and kept coming back in an automated, repeatable way.
Without this system in place, you have a job, not a business.
A job will not get done, or not be done well without your presence. Sure, this can pay the bills, but it will have a hard time making you wealthy.
So let's say you do choose to get serious about using online assets to build your business. (When I say build your business, I mean build your customer database so that you can contact them whenever you need more revenue.)
There are really only 2 things to think about here:
*Communicating What You Do Differently That Solves Your Customer's Need Better Than The Competition and
*Collecting Prospect Contact Information By Giving Them Ethical Bribes
Without properly communicating what you do in a way that speaks directly to your perfect customer, no one will know who you are, what you do, and who you do it for.
If you don't collect prospect information you have no chance to build a relationship, build a business, and convince them that you are the best option.
Remember: when people visit your site, you have a tiny window of opportunity to get a new customer, so make sure your site is able to deliver.
Now you've got to find a designer or do it yourself. Find some example sites to help you determine the styles you like. Then, go on Fiverr or Upwork and ask for samples from a variety of designers. This helps you determine how much your preferred style will cost if you want to pay someone to do it.
Befriend Google - This search engine is the world's most visited website, with multiple billions of searches each month. In order for YOUR site to benefit from it, though, you have to learn their rules. Then, your site will have to play by those rules if you want them to reward you with traffic and eyeballs.
No one can guarantee that you will get any traffic at all from Google. But if you play the game correctly you can reach potential customers nearly for free, and in droves. Learning to optimize your site for search engines can save you money, make you sales, and build your brand locally very effectively.
Are you thinking about starting or buying your own Spa?
Do you know the most important thing to focus on during your first year of ownership?
Well if you don't know, it is customers. You need to be thinking about how to acquire new customers and keep current customers happy.
Anyone who has been in business for more than 5 years will tell you that it is far easier and cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to obtain a new one.
So the most successful companies in the world integrate customer acquisition and satisfaction into their daily business routines. So what are some of the things that you can do that will help you get and keep customers?
I believe it all starts with having a solid customer database.
A database is a file that allows you to store information about whatever you may want to analyze at a later date. The best businesses are always combing through the information in their customer database in order to see where the trends are that can help them get in front of customer demand.
For example, if you go out to eat regularly you'll notice that the largest restaurant franchises want you to enter your information into a birthday club or a VIP Club. The reason they do this is to be able to reach out to you in the future to entice you to come in for your birthday or anniversary. This simple action adds additional revenue to their income without additional advertising spending.
A VIP Club also just makes customers feel better about the business which often increases loyalty and makes them want to come back more often.
You can use a customer database to find other ways to keep in touch with customers such as creating a monthly specials specifically tied to your previous customer's purchases.
If you have the customers telephone number and have the ability to text them, then you have yet another way that you can encourage them to come back to your business, perhaps with a coupon.
Another thing that you can do with a customer database is determine which of your customers are your cream-of-the-crop. Your cream-of-the-crop customers are the ones that have the ability to give you even more sales and are the ones most likely to respond to your deals pitches and coupons.
By focusing on your cream customers, you can spend time talking with them, give them surveys, or figure out other ways to analyze their behavior. With this information you are now armed with perfect data for advertising and marketing that will target, appeal to, and find even more versions of your perfect customers.
Imagine your life if your business was made up of close to 100% awesome customers. Do you think that your business would struggle even in a recession? Do you think it would be easy to sell this business in the future for multiples much higher than average?
This is the power of having a customer database and understanding exactly how it is supposed to be used.
There are plenty of solutions available for a small business owners to be able to capture customer information and also reach out to them. However it is up to the business owner to deem this activity important enough to put it high on the to do list and put it into action.
Technology today is very powerful, and now allows us to make each customer feel as if we are thinking about them on a weekly basis. If you can figure out a way to make your customers feel more special you are well on your way to having a crazy successful business that will grow based on word-of-mouth.
One of the best things that you can do when customers come into your establishment is to have a system that sends a text to them and captures their information in your database.
By doing this, your business can become a much more familiar brand to your customer and you will get to know the customers far better than you have in the past. And by knowing the customer better, you can serve them better.
One way to expand your knowledge of your customer and most efficiently build your relationship with them is to practice the ASK Method.
The ASK Method is a way of surveying custoemrs that is designed to draw out their most emotion driven wants and needs. The ASK Method was created by Ryan Leveque who used the method to start successful venture after successful venture.
He credits his success to being able to draw out the language that his best, most rabid customers used to describe what they wanted from their interactions with the business. Then, armed with that information he was able to create ads that attracted people just like his most enthusiastic, engaged customers, even though they had never been a customer previously.
Knowing exactly what they were needing and being able to talk their language through his ads was similar to a fragrant flower drawing honey bees in.
When you can connect with people like this through your marketing, you cannot help but grow your business larger and faster than you ever thought before.
Once again, the key is to be able to mine for the gold in their deepest needs and desires, then communicate it back to them. You can only do this if you keep and track your customers and take action to dig deeply through the information they provide you to find the gold.
It's a fact.
Only one in three businesses survive their first five years of existence.
This is during normal and prosperous times. The numbers are probably significantly worse when the economy is in a recession or a once-in-a-lifetime event like our current pandemic presents itself.
In good times and bad however success or failure of a business can be traced to some key components. If you, as a small business owner, are aware of these mistakes and prevent them, you increase the likelihood of your business surviving.
Here, in no particular order, is a list of items that contribute to business failures that we should guard against.
*Not Deeply Understanding Your Market
It is your job as a business owner to constantly update your knowledge with respect to the people that you serve. You need to be on top of any changes in preferences.
You should always plan to take surveys of, or at least talk to, your customers. By constantly trying to learn more about your customers wants and needs you do a few things.
First, you'll provide services or products that meet their demands right now.
Next, you'll create marketing and advertising that will easily attract other customers that are just like your best customers.
Finally, you'll be able to reach out to existing customers and keep them coming back more often. On to the next reason businesses fail.
*Not Knowing Your Numbers
It is important to be able to see your business at a high level and understand how it is progressing simply by looking at financial reports.
Proper financial reporting is necessary to ensure that you can generate a profit, pay your bills, save money, and keep your business on track to meet your financial goals.
There is plenty of software available to help you do accounting, bookkeeping, and budgeting. But if you do not understand how they work it is very likely that the numbers that come out of these products won't help you.
So you either need to buckle down and really start to understand the numbers, or you need to pay someone to do it for you. Either way, understanding the numbers will set you apart from most small-business owners.
When I talk about understanding the numbers, I do not mean just knowing how much revenue your business generated and how much money was spent.
You also need to understand the secret places that you are able to generate money from or that you are losing money on without realizing it.
You also need to understand how you can save money on taxes and use your business to create hidden wealth. Once again hiring an expert in this area will probably pay for itself.
A book that I highly recommend for anyone who wants to do it themselves or hire a person who really understands how to create a successful business is called “Profit First”.
Go through this book a couple of times so that you really understand what the author is trying to say. Then try to find an accountant or bookkeeper who either understands this methodology or is willing to learn it with you.
Having a professional who understands the Profit First method is a great way to keep you on track with your financial situation in your business.
Your Marketing Is Not A Money Making System
Marketing and sales go hand-in-hand. However many small business owners believe that having a Yellow Pages listing or a Facebook fan page is all that is needed to say they are “doing” marketing.
Others say that all they need is word of mouth advertising and referrals from existing customers in order to have the business they want.
I have a good hunch that if this is your thought process about marketing, then what you really have is a job and not a business. Sure, it's a job that you control, but it is still a job.
Someone in your organization needs to be responsible for sales. However, in order to grow sales and grow your business to the point where it does not need 100% of your input, it must have a marketing system that generates new prospects for your sales team to turn into new customers predictably and consistently.
If you know your current best customers intimately then you already know everything you need to get more copies of that customer for your business to serve.
However you do it, whether by advertising on Google, Facebook, or by investing in search engine optimization for your current website, to grow a real businesss quickly you must invest in marketing.
The best form of marketing that is working today is paid advertising online. The reason this is the best method is because it allows you to test your message very quickly, track what you test, and target the perfect prospect. This is more control than business owners have ever had in history.
Tying these things together will allow you to find your perfect customer floating out there on the internet and put your perfect message in front of them.
Also, if something is off in your message or your market does not respond to it, you will know very quickly and be able to pivot and experiment with new and different messaging without wasting a crap ton of money.
*Altitude Is A Function Of Attitude
If you read more than one article on this site you will probably find that nearly all of them contain a small section on mindset.
The reason is if you do not have strong control of your mindset it is very likely that your business will fail.
There are businesses that have a great product and plenty of people that want to purchase the product, who operate in a market with plenty of funding available to them that still go on to fail.
Then there are other businesses that get started in a depression or recession where there is almost no hope of receiving outside funding, where their customers are in a state of fear regarding spending money, who go on to become some of the largest businesses in America.
The one thing you can always point to when you talk about the second business is that the owners had a vision, discipline, and complete mastery of their emotions even when faced with incredible odds of failure.
One of the best things that you can do each morning is to wake up and immediately start to tune your mental attitude. Most of us wake up in a neutral state and then let whatever activities hit us in the face affect our attitude.
By the end of the day we might say “Oh today was a good day” or “Oh today was a bad day”. But we do not realize that we let outside forces determine the kind of day we had, and it probably affected the way we made decisions too.
However, if you control your attitude and force it to be positive, grateful, and accepting more and more throughout the day, regardless of what happens, then every day ends up being a positive day. And positive days stack up to become a positive week, month, year, decade, and so on.
In this way you control your business destiny one day at a time and are able to accomplish whatever you want to do regardless of the economy.
I was recently visiting a friend of mine who owns his own coffee shop business with his wife. Sure, it is not a spa like mine, but it is a business nonetheless and businesses are typically similar at the most basic levels.
Money in should be greater than money out.
Whoever can do this most efficiently gets to stay in business and continue playing the game.
However, my friend was telling me that he and his wife are feeling a little bit overwhelmed, like they are not succeeding as well as they would like in their business. Now these are two highly educated people coming from successful careers who are following their passions. So far so good!
So I asked them exactly what they thought the problem was. He said that he felt like they were very busy and performing lots of activity, but he wasn't sure that it was going to ensure the success of the business long-term.
They complained about the fact that they need to perform tons of small activities in addition to serving their customers including making sure bills are paid, making sure there's enough supplies on hand, and trying to keep everything neat and tidy.
Everyone feels good when your chosen activity brings in money. But it is hard to live with a nagging feeling that you are not running things as well as you can.
I understand exactly how they felt.
I used to feel that way myself and occasionally still do. But, I recommend that they pick up the book The E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. This book helped me categorize all of the activities that need to be performed in my own business with the next step being to create roles for those activities.
The good thing about creating roles and putting activities underneath those roles is that you're able to gain a high-level perspective about the work that needs to be done and assess which activities produce the most value for the company.
For example would you expect the CEO of a small corporation to be the same person that stocks the shelves, cleans the bathrooms, or serves the customer?
No, but if you are in a one or two person shop, all of these roles need to be filled and you’re going to do it if you want to stay in business.
However, what happens in most businesses that are run by smart, intelligent people who are very skilled in their craft but perhaps still learning how to create a business, is that they tend to maximize spending time doing things that are necessary but low value. It is a near certainty that they will then put the high-value activities such as marketing, organizational design, and research, on the back burner.
It's not that they do not think these things are important, it's just that they don’t seem to be important right now. And so the natural result is that these items are never completed because no time is allocated or planned for the activity. They keep getting pushed off until ‘later’.
Over time, what happens is that eventually the business owner starts to get very tired in their business. Tired of the day-to-day activity that is, let’s face it, quite low value.
What they begin to realize is that they have created a job and not a vehicle that has the ability to carry them into their retirement with ease.
So the solution sounds easy but is actually quite difficult to implement.
They need to take a little time each week and sit down in a quiet place and think about what they want their business to be like. Then they must determine what they want their life to be like with respect to the business.
Someone once said that thinking is one of the hardest activities in the world.
People would rather do things out of habit, get their ideas from other people, or go into a state of avoidance, rather than actually use their mind to come up with a novel, original, and new idea that works for them, and only them.
So yes, I recommend that anyone who is starting the adventure of running a business to pick up and understand the methodology presented in the E-myth Revisited book. But it is still up to each individual to do the heavy lifting to visualize, plan, and think through what each of the roles in the business should be doing, and how each of those activities should be valued.
Write down clear goals for each of the roles in the business and set a date to evaluate the performance against those goals. Place these goals in a visible location where you and your business partner can constantly review them.
Begin to think about ways in which your business can begin to hire people to perform some of the lowest value yet essential activities. As you do this you will see that you have more time to do the most value-added activities if you focus on them. And, once again, the highest value activities are planning your business, and gaining new customers.
Your ability to build a business that does not rely on you to be there 100% of the time depends on your ability to successfully plan the business, and automate the creation of new customers as well as the retention of current customers.
Time To Take Out The Competition!
Skin care spas are really expensive to open and run properly. That's a fact of life.
When we invest in creating a really awesome space to care for our customers we either tie-up our own capital or are left with substantial loans to pay off.
Skin care spa operations have to create enough revenue to overcome a ton of obstacles, including:
*covering direct operating costs such as rent;
*paying our staff;
*making debt and interest payments;
*and yes, producing a real profit.
And all this must happen before we can think about buying new equipment to replace the stuff that will be wearing out assuming we have a decent number of customers.
When you look at it this way, you begin to see just how expensive this business model is.
If you love what you are doing, charge a healthy price, and your customers love what they get so much that they pay for it over and over, running a spa can be very lucrative. This profitability is one of the main reasons new competitors continue to enter the industry.
However, there are now new types of competition starting to appear, that try to take advantage of the consumer demand while avoiding shelling out all that dough for capital expenses.
If you search for "have a spa day," you will likely see articles featuring how to do a spa day like this: "Take a break-- top 15 ways for Mom to have a spa day."
It looks like it could be an article promoting day spas, but when you dive in, you will notice that only one of the locations they are blathering on about are a real spa. The rest might be a weird group of alternatives to an actual spa. It will likely be a list of spaces that someone made up by extending the definition of "spa".
There might be hotels providing wellness retreats that also bring in expertly made cuisine, a place listing speakers on inspiring topics, or venues offering relaxing activities like hiking, cooking lessons, or lectures on increasing your wellness.
Others might be doing boot camp day spa activities with fitness instructors and mobile therapists who give sports massage. To the average consumer, this combined with Groupon like pricing can make it an appealing list of options.
The common denominator of each of these ideas is that they all have a low-cost asset base that is not a fixed, recurring cost.
These businesses are asking 'how can we develop a 'spa' experience without needing to invest huge amounts of money needed to develop a proper spa and without permanently utilizing spa staff?'.
So, as strange as this may seem to us experts, the average customer out there will literally see this as just as good an alternative to what we provide.
What do you need to do in your local area to combat this competition trying to take future customers away from you?
We need to effectively communicate the value of what we provide. Always work hard to express the beauty and serenity that customers get when they're in a proper spa treatment environment when we are doing our marketing.
There's no need to diminish competitive alternatives that appear on the scene. But you should stress the value inherent in visiting your establishment, getting to know your business, and how having a long-term relationship will improve the outcomes of each and every visit.
If you have cash and already have previous experience running a business the short answer is: "buy" it. However, most of us do not have the cash sitting around to just go out and buy a profitable business so we have to come up with a little more creativity to help us determine how to proceed.
Below, I give you 10 ideas that will tell you if buying an already profitable, running skin care spa might be a better option for you.
1) Every banker knows that the 5 year success rate for existing businesses is much higher than that of a brand-new start-up. Go, ahead. Ask your accountant. I'll wait... What this statement really means is that if you could spend the same amount of money starting a business as you would buying an existing business, one of these paths will probably result in failure and the other in a win. Why? Because of the next point...
2) The real secret behind all successful businesses is having an established and engaged customer list. If you are starting a business, being able to communicate with a known group of previous customers can provide the business with immediate cash flow. This alone is a major factor on the path to success.
3) It is a lot easier to find a funding source to help you finance an existing business. But it is almost impossible to find funding to start a new one. Bankers, venture capitalists, and even mom are quite aware of the dangers of a new businesses. They completely and fully understand the risks at a gut level. Your spa is simply much more likely to get a loan when the business already has cash flow. Period.
4) Often, people who want to sell their businesses will help the next owner by financing the sale at very practical terms. They often do this for tax reasons. Most sellers would prefer to postpone gains over a longer period of time versus taking it all at once just to give it away to Uncle Sam. Also, if a seller agrees to finance some of the sales price of the business, it is because they absolutely believe that the business will succeed.
5) The other side of the coin is that sales estimates for a startup spa are nothing more than an informed (or not-so-informed?) hunch. Estimates for existing businesses for sale rely on verifiable historic data. Which would you bet your life savings on?
6) A hidden fact: New businesses tend to cost far more to start than their owners anticipate. Most start-up spa owners find that they could have purchased an existing company that came with customers and cash flow for the same amount they eventually shelled out for their business.
7) A side note to the previous point is that it may be possible to spend less money thorugh a down payment to buy an existing spa than if you started your own. A working business has the ability to begin paying for itself right away. If a spa has a decent track record, people will bet on it. A brand new start-up is not finance friendly. It is impossible to estimate the amount of cash needed to get a brand-new business to a positive cash flow. People are wary of money pits.
8) Established web traffic is a good sign also. The more authority and traffic a website has, the more valuable the business tends to be. Brand-new sites have no guarantee of success. Google will still need to discover and value it. An authority website is a huge asset, and no brand-new business will have this starting out.
9) Many businesses for sale are actually under-priced. You can sometimes find a business for sale that costs less than the cost of going out and buying the assets individually. If you bought it all new, you'd probably pay more and still have no list of previous customers!
10) An existing book of customers is key to the survival of any business. In the current economic environment you have to ask yourself how hard is it to get new customers? Right now I'd say it's pretty darn hard!
So with all those points in mind you'll have to make your own decision about which way to go.
For some, the answer, due to whatever reason, will be to bootstrap and start your own business from the ground floor. The logical question would then be: What is the best way to finance a new start-up?
My response: with cash from your savings.
No savings? You are not alone. So what other methods are there?
The financing option that is best for you depends completely on your idea, market, and money situation. Your personal financial resources are the most important factor (i.e. your credit score).
Below are a few of the most typical ways to fund a brand-new spa.
All methods of financing have good and bad points and most may not fit your current situation, but they are listed for your information anyway.
Whatever method you pick, go explore the idea fully and do not enter any commitment blindly. Always speak to your tax or other professional because we are not giving you advice here. Just letting you know what the options are!
Ways to Finance Your Start Up Spa!
*Raid Your Savings and Investments
The initial source you need to consider is your own savings and investments.
Self-financing your business does not leave you in debt to others if the business fails. If the ship sinks, it is only your cash that goes down with the ship.
If you're not willing to risk your own savings, you should not take chances with anyone else's.
*Raid Your Friends and Family
After raiding their own cookie jar, business owners often start eyeing the pocketbooks of their loved ones.
If you have a large, wealthy family this might work. But: NEVER take a business loan from anybody you will be eating with on Thanksgiving.
Nothing causes more family fights than loans that will never be paid back.
Your family members may offer you money, and often they don't start out treating it seriously, at least not in the legal sense, with paperwork and all. But, don't kid yourself. They will expect it back at some point. Remember, when a family member invests in your business they are really buying you and trusting you.
Imagine sitting down with your family and friends for your next holiday meal. Your uncle casually asks "How's that beauty spa idea working out for you?" How would you feel informing your parents, friends, and family that you've "pooped the money bed" with their funds? "Yep mom, unfortunately we've shed your life savings right down the toilet, danged economy!---Now could you pass the pumpkin pie guys? I'm famished!"
*Raid Your Credit Cards
I know someone who financed their spa on plastic and a dream. This could have backfired, sure. Their business could have failed and left them with serious debt that would have taken until the year 2099 to pay off. But...
...It worked out. So there's that option. If you choose to fund your company on plastic just remember that you will be paying through the nose. Not "The Godfather" high interest rates, but high. And unless you succeed big, you will be paying for many years to come.
*Raid The Home Mortgage
Bank loans are rather difficult to get if you do not have security or a record of previous success.
That is why entrepreneurs borrow from their homes to finance their spa if they can't get a loan.
This makes more sense than building a business on a deck of credit cards but the financial threats are still very serious.
You have to pay this money back whether your shop does well or not unless your family members are the outdoorsy type.
Still, it is a good source of relatively cheap money to get you started. Also the interest might be tax deductible (contact your accountant to make certain).
*Raid The Angels
An angel investor is a wealthy person who invests in new businesses for a share of the pie.
Angels are often the first financiers in a business who offer the basic capital to start and run it. Some angels may cut you a check and leave you alone to run your company. Others consider their investment an invitation to "help you" run it and make decisions.
If you do accept angel money make sure the terms are clear on both sides. Angel cash includes strings. Strings you may not want.
Make sure you know whether those strings are acceptable to you before getting in the money bed.
*Get Raided by Venture Capitalists
VC are to angel investors what great white sharks are to minnows. Venture capitalists have powerful jaws that can chew you up and spit you out if they feel like it.
Their money does not come with strings. However, it does feature handcuffs, leather, and a great deal of legal paperwork. VCs take the upper hand in any businesses they invest in and do not apologize for being bullies. That is the cost to get access to their substantial cash.
If your spa reaches the level that VC money comes a knockin, don't leap at the first lure they drag past your eyes.
If one shark likes your concept, others will also. Pitch to as many VC firms as possible then try to find the least shady offer before you accept the check.
The Bottom Line
No matter how you finance your company, be smart with the cash. Don't buy 15 LCD screens and 8 top-of-the-line tables if you are just starting out.
Have a clear path drawn out that tells you how the cash will be used, and more important, how it will be repaid.
Last point: the more you can figure out how to run your business without borrowing money, the more successful your business will be in the end.