Evaluating Spa Trends for Profitability and Longevity

By Ann Brown Founder, Saltability | July 22, 2018

In the midst of managing the day-to-day operations, hotel and spa owners and managers must constantly look forward and evaluate how to increase efficiency and profitability. As you balance overseeing current business and forecasting for the future, you are faced with the challenge of considering what changes will bring the most benefit to your organization. For spas, keeping watch of the latest trends in the spa industry and making relevant changes to your facility, treatment menu and customer service practices are important for success. But how do you know which trends and latest innovations will bring that success, and which ones may not be worth their return on investment?

As a former spa director of one of the largest resort spas in the Midwest, I know how important it is to evaluate new products and services in order to determine which ones offer true potential for wellness for the client and profitability for the business. As a property manager or owner, your phone rings constantly with vendors who want you to consider their products and services. Below, here are a few questions to help you decide if a trend is right for your property.

How does the trend create an improvement over how we are currently working and providing service to our clientele? As an entrepreneur in the spa industry, I created my business because I saw the need to create a more eco-friendly delivery of stone massage and an opportunity to provide more health benefits for clients through Himalayan salt. When you see depth in the benefits provided by a trend, it is likely to be longer lasting and more positively impactful upon your business.

How long has the trend really been around? Rarely will you find something that is truly new. Part of the beauty of the spa industry is spa therapy's roots in centuries-old healing treatments and natural remedies. Delve into the science and history of the treatment or products being offered as part of the trend. Take confidence where you see ties to proven or long-standing history.

Is the trend sustainable? What is the impact on the environment in general and at your spa property in particular? You should always evaluate any new product or service with an eye on environmental impact.

What safety precautions exist, if any? Does the trend pose any risks for your clientele? Thoroughly research and consider any counter-indications to protect your business, your therapists and your clientele.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.