You can find spas in strip malls, high-end resorts, and fitness centers.
Some spas are simple facilities with not much more than a massage table, while others are luxurious destinations that draw travelers from around the world.
Spas cater to a wide variety of clientele who are looking to unplug and find stress relief. Some premier health spas have designed multi-day wellness boot camps for executives with regimented diet plans, physical evaluations, and personalized treatments.
Spas have also become a popular alternative for bachelorettes who want to relax and be pampered rather than go clubbing. Others seek out spas in order to attend retreats that focus on mindfulness, or to receive anti-aging skincare treatments.
What Is a Spa?
A spa provides a range of services for health management and body relaxation; these may include massages, body scrubs, steam baths, facials, waxing, and nail care.
The word “spa” is often used to describe a resort located by mineral springs that are thought to have health-promoting properties, but the term is also associated with a wider array of commercial facilities offering wellness treatments.
The International Spa Association (ISPA) simply defines spas as places “devoted to well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of the mind, body, and spirit.”
All the reasons to go to the Spa
“Exercises, healthy food, relaxing and good sleep are the fundaments of a healthy lifestyle” – this statement most of us have heard on more than one occasion. In our opinion all of that sounds fantastic but is missing one vital thing, two hours a week at the Spa! Read on to find out why.
As one of the fastest growing new industries on the market today, the business of wellness is no exception. Medical Spas are the emerging trend and demonstrate a growing desire to rejuvenate one’s youth and sustain a healthy Wellness lifestyle. Much of the popularity of these facilities can be attributed to the “Baby Boomer” generation. As a large percentage of the population grows older, they begin to look for non-traditional ways to hold onto their youth—or at least the feeling of youth. Nevertheless, with the support of trendsetters, celebrities, and sports superstars the youngest generations are beginning to understand that taking care of their bodies today will slow down the aging clock of tomorrow.
If you dream of operating your own luxury day spa, now may be the perfect time to get started.
While running a successful spa can be challenging, according to Lynne McNees, president of the International Spa Association, the spa industry has the bonus of being (nearly) recession proof.
The reason is simple: When times get tough, the need for stress relief increases.
For millions of people, this means visiting a spa to help them disconnect and recharge their batteries. In fact, during the height of the 2008 recession, the U.S. spa industry recorded more than 160 million visits, an increase of almost 16 percent from the previous year, with total revenues of $12.8 billion. By 2013, the number of annual spa visits had increased to 164 million, with total revenues of $14.7 billion.
What makes these numbers even more impressive is that the spa industry is mainly composed of thousands of individually owned spas. While there are a number of chain spas, none of them hold a dominant position in the industry.
Step 1: Creating a business plan for your spa
Running a spa requires more than just being a skilled practitioner.
You will also need a solid business plan to help you identify your potential costs and create a roadmap that you can follow. Below are some of the key decisions a business plan can help you make.
Determine the services you will offer and the income you need to generate
While there are numerous services you can offer, the International Spa Association considers a business to be a spa as long as it offers at least two of the following services: massage, skin care, or body treatments.
Taking the time to carefully select your service offerings will help you to better differentiate your business from your competitors. For example, you might decide that you only want to specialize in just a few services instead of offering a wide variety. Or you might decide that you want to offer services that are not commonly available at other local spas.
Types of spa services
The services offered at most day spas generally fall into three categories: skin and body care, hair removal, and makeup.
Skin and body care spa services can include:
- Facials and body exfoliation that may involve the use of salt glows, body polish, enzyme peels, and body masks like mud or paraffin
- Massages that include various styles of full body massage, facial massage, and hand or foot massages
- Wraps and packs used to combat cellulite and reduce water retention
- Hydrotherapy treatments, such as whirlpool baths and hot tub treatments
- Body tanning which includes self-tanners and tanning beds
Hair-removal services can include:
- Waxing (face, legs, arms, bikini, back, and underarms)
Makeup services can include:
- Cosmetics application
- Color analysis
- Eyelash and eyebrow tinting
- Eyelash extensions
- Ear piercing
The golden rule of five
Here are 5 things to look for in a good Spa experience. After an in-depth conversation with Susan Etter, the Underwriting Manager at Professional Program Insurance Brokerage (PPIB), we were able to gain professional insight on how you can truly make your Spa experience a pleasant one. Below are a few points that you should keep in mind when selecting your ideal Spa.
1. The Spa should have all licenses, insurances, and professional workers. According to (PPIB) – “The medical spa industry has been enjoying an explosive growth in both popularity and the number of spas now in operation. This huge growth has led medical spas to now seek insurance for their service needs. Taking into consideration the many services that are provided such as Injectables and Weight Loss, Wellness as well as Day Spa treatments, need Medi Spa coverage”. Bottom line, don’t be afraid to ask if your Spa is insured!
2. “Estheticians should ask about your home skin-care routine and offer suggestions but should not make you feel pressured to buying products” – a comfortable and neutral environment is essential for you to fully take pleasure from your Spa experience.
3. “Before you book a treatment, you can ask to take a tour to make sure the Spa is clean, pleasant and sanitary and most of all that it gives you the feeling you are looking for” – explore your options!
4. “The easiest way you can tell if you’re going to have a good Spa experience is to observe how you and other customers are treated” – said Susan Etter, Underwriting Manager at PPIB company.