Follow Me on Twitter @Durochervision
Considering that the majority services offered in medical and spa industry are considered a luxury, business owners must be extremely attentive to many aspects of the business in order to be profitable. Focusing on key elements of operational management, retail sales and core marketing programs while ensuring the budget and finances are available, is absolutely imperative for your business to be successful.
A great business starts with a great team. Identifying the right candidates to work as service providers within the business is an integral part of the hiring process. Recruiting of new team members is a never ending process and is one area of operational management that demands constant and consistent attention. Life happens. Service providers come and go. Business owners should never assume that the amazing staff they have in place today will still be working tomorrow. Keep in mind that as an owner, you are not looking only for a great service provider. You are seeking a strong sales person as well. Sometimes it is much more valuable to take on a service provider who may lack experience in the treatment room but comes to the business with valuable experience and history in sales. If you are able to bring a new service provider on to the team who is a superior sales person, the training on your treatment protocols is a small investment in comparison to the return you will gain in retail sales. There are a few key values to look for when interviewing potential service providers. Those interested in compensation tied directly to their production are ideal. It reflects a genuine understanding of how necessary it is for business service providers to generate their own clientele and not depend on clients walking thru the front door unsolicited. Individuals who are self-starters and act with little or no direction are also imperative to the success of the business. It is wise as an owner to seek candidates who recognize that they are responsible for making things happen, networking and marketing themselves as well as the business. It is a team effort and is highly recommended to be extremely clear about this point during the interview process. Also, look for candidates who are theoretical in their approach to working in the business. Individuals who seek to learn as much as possible about the products and services the business offers will generally be a dynamic and welcomed member to the staff. These individuals usually excel at cross-promoting other services and up-selling clients in a quiet and confident manner. Keeping these points in mind will provide an opportunity as an owner to ‘hire hard and manage easy’. Consistently recruiting with these values in mind will offer great rewards in the prosperity of the business.
Once strong candidates have been hired into the business, having a plan on how you will educate the staff on the treatment protocols, is critical. Assigning a lead service provider to oversee the training and development of new staff is a cost effective way to accomplish goals. Creating a standardized training protocol is the easiest way to ensure the entire staff is clear on the expectations of the business. It is wise for every treatment a new staff member is expected to perform they receive the service once, observe the treatment being given once and perform the service twice, once on a manager and once on a co-worker or close friend of the business. It is highly recommended to have evaluation forms for the receiving parties. Include what expectations you have for the service provider, so the receiving party knows what to watch for. Proper greeting of client, a thorough consultation, confidence during the treatment would be a few suggestions of key points to be aware of. Creating a clear training program for the introduction of the product lines to new staff members must also be standardized. Turning to your product representatives is only one way to achieve superior results. Keep in mind, though, that product representatives are truly only responsible for product education, not retail sales training. It is in the best interest of your business to have additional basic retail sales training. A simple, easy to follow script for your staff about how to recommend product, how to pre-close clients while they are performing services and steps to take during the consultation are will assist to build new staff members confidence and ultimately, increase their sales. Requiring the staff to practice these techniques with one another through role playing is one tool successful business implement. Role playing provides opportunities for staff members to practice overcoming objections, selling to different client personalities and allows for service providers to get over any fear they may have of sales.
When it comes to marketing, many business owners are behind the eight ball without even realizing it. Planning your year in advance is absolutely imperative to successfully maximize all opportunities available. Not only is it a must for the staff to be aware of what events and specials are going to be offered at different times of the year, it is also a game of budgeting properly to ensure that funds and resources are available. A general rule to follow is 4% of your gross service profit should be allotted to marketing. Meaning, 4% is available for the year. Many successful businesses do spend more at certain times of the year and scale back at others. This is wise, yet proper planning is imperative so the budget holds steady for the year. Keep in mind the overall number that is spent at the end of the year is what matters in the end. Planning the entire year will prevent mishaps and overages in spending. Holding back a small portion can also create space to allow for an event to be added on, however that should be an exception to the rule, not the rule.
Smart marketing comes in the form of special events in your facility tied into buying incentives while your clients are there. Make sure to tweet and post live so people who could not make it feel a part of what is happening and get excited to come to your next one. Be consistent with your social media and posts. All efforts should be content driven first providing your audience good information and peppered in with product and service specials.
All of the above practices and actions relate to numbers. All savvy owners need to know their numbers. With payroll costs 20-30% higher than that of other industries line items such as compensation, professional product costs, and retail need an eagle eye kept on them. One small misstep can lead to being in the red. Many owners are very people focused and are working with clients throughout the day and do not spend enough time analyzing the facts and figures. If this is not the owner’s strength work with a solid bookkeeper, accountant, or business advisor who can help you dissect the numbers and keep on track. Monthly income statement reviews are a must.
Essentials Spa Consulting LLC
Durocher Enterprises Inc.
3805 Tamarack Ave.
Whitefish, MT. 59937