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.
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Lilly Cook is a seasoned Accountant, Licensed Esthetician and owners of two Spa & Wellness Illinois businesses.