Marketing: The Ultimate Leverage To Triple Your Spa Revenue (Part 1/6)
Why Marketing Is the Biggest Leverage That Can Double or Triple Your Spa Business
Thank you for signing up. This is the first of 6 educational installments, sponsored by Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare and created in collaboration with marketing gurus.
It is intended to help you develop a comprehensive plan to significantly boost the profitability of your spa through marketing.
If we had to summarize these education materials, it would be a systematic and quick path to make your spa business thrive.
To be objective, we will only use revenue and profitability as the metrics for success.
Marketing is a large topic, and we attempted to distill decades of experience and observations into actionable activities that you can deploy in your spa.
Beware. Each article is detailed and lengthy. Please follow the program. The insights and suggestions offered here are tested and proven to work in real life setting.
Take the time to read it and digest it. More importantly, incorporate those ideas in running your spa.
It will be worth it.
Why Do Some Spas Succeed?
Before we go on talking about the importance of marketing in your spa, let us explore these questions:
Why do some spa owners work 16 hours per week, weekends and holidays while barely making profit? Why do some spas become stagnant after few years of growth? Their revenue and profit reach a plateau.
On the other spectrum, why do some spa owners have more than 5 to 10 aestheticians working in the spas? They have multiple locations. The amazing thing is those owners are not even taking care of clients anymore. It seems that they spend most of the time just counting the sums of money pouring in everyday.
Is it because the successful owners are just that much smarter? We know already they don’t work any harder. Or are they better capitalized, meaning they had more money to start their spas? Or they were superb aestheticians who were better trained and had more knowledge?
Maybe. But maybe there is another explanation.
They know how to market their spas. They know how to set up systems in marketing & sales, fulfillment/service, financial/accounting, and administrative tasks to grow their spas.
If they are truly successful, they also know how to build awareness and brand in their local communities.
Why Having A Brand Is Important
Brand identity plays a huge role in the success and failure of any business. Well known brands, like Apple and Starbucks, create trust and loyalty in the minds of their customers. They connect with their customers and create a large fan base.
Companies with strong brands separate themselves from their competitors, thereby allowing them to charge more for their products and services.
Your spa may not have or need the same level of branding power as that of Apple or Starbucks, but it needs to have a cohesive identity. It can help you stand out in your community, and differentiate your services to not just any me-too commodity, but something special that your customers crave.
You need marketing to create a brand and establish an identity.
If you don’t already know it, marketing is the most important activity. If performed correctly, it is one of the few activities in business where spending in this category that will generate disproportionate return.
What Is the Most Important Benefit of Marketing?
Intuitively, we have some ideas about the benefits of marketing, aside from building a brand.
However, we see too many aestheticians and owners fail to realize its biggest importance.
Marketing Is the Best Leverage of Your Time and Resource. By concentrating your effort in getting this part of the spa business right, you will develop a continuous system to build awareness, generate leads, convert leads to paying customers, and finally building a base of loyal fans who can help to spread awareness.
When marketing is done right, it creates a virtuous cycle for an attracting endless source of customers to your spa. Ultimately, it can double, triple or quadruple your revenue and profit.
With reliable infusion of cash every month, you can deploy it to improve your spa. Here are just two examples. You can hire and train more staff and renovate your spa to make it stand out.
Of course, there are other ways to boost profitability, you can work on many different areas.
Here are just 5 examples.
-Be a better negotiator
-Find cheaper suppliers
-Implement cost saving strategy
-Hire, train & retain staff better
-Learn to deliver the latest treatments
All these efforts are valuable, but in general, they can only improve your profitability slowly and incrementally.
Only with marketing, you can achieve this type of leverage. At a small 5-10% improvement in your marketing result, you can have exponential or multiple effects on the bottom line of your business very quickly.
Repeating it in a different way. Successful marketing can quickly double or triple your revenue and profitability. That is why it is the biggest leverage of success for your spa.
Please read the above section again. This is the hidden value of marketing. It is the ONLY activity in your spa business where you have outsized return for your effort, if it is executed correctly!
What is Marketing?
Now you see the importance. But what exactly what is marketing?
Many spa owners, including other business owners, do not have a holistic understanding about marketing. They don’t have a cohesive strategy, and instead they are focused on tactics. They believe marketing is about putting out a sign, posting flyers, posting on Facebook, and advertising on social media or the local paper.
Marketing is far more complex than just these tasks. Without being too academic, let us use an example to explain what effective marketing is without all the fancy jargons:
You just opened your spa in your town, and hoisted a sign “Rejuve Spa.” That is advertising.
If you put signs in the supermarket or other community billboards to tell people about your spa, that is promotion.
You heard that Facebook and Instagram are both great channels. You decided to post pictures of your spa and service on both channels. Again that is Promotion.
To boost visibility, you paid Facebook and Instagram to reach more people in your town. That is Advertising.
If your best friend who works at a local paper writes about your grand opening, that is publicity
If you decided to recruit well know influencers in the beauty industry to visit and talk about your spa, that is public relations.
If on the day of your grand opening, curious people in your town walked into your spa and you showed them all the great services, earned their trust, and demonstrated the great benefits so they spend money for your services and bought your products, that is Sales.
If you planned and executed the entire process, that is marketing.
So, marketing is complex and yet simple.
In essence, marketing is the strategy and tactics you deploy to get your targeted customers to trust you and become a paid customer.
Common Mistakes in Marketing
Marketing works if it is done right. We can’t emphasize enough the phrase “if it is done right.”
Here are 8 deadly sins we see spa owners make in their marketing efforts.
1) Rely mainly on the “word of mouth.” Many spa owners believe “if you build it, they will come” as made famous by the movie Field of Dream. Some take pride in relying on the word of mouth approach. Here are just 3 problems: 1) it will take a long time for the word of mouth to build, 2) it is not reliable, 3) you need someone to first try and like your products/service first. How did this first group of people find out about you?
2) Marketing efforts are scattered not focused.
3) Don’t quantify and measure the outcomes from EACH marketing activity.
4) Trying too many tasks and efforts at the same time and have no ideas what worked and what did not.
5) Confuse marketing strategy with tactics by rushing into tactics without understanding the short and long term goal of the marketing effort. The tactics may be well executed, but they had wrong strategy. As a result, the entire marketing campaign fails.
6) Lack the necessary consistency and frequency to make any major impact.
7) Be haphazard and have no system in place.
8) Act like a large company with a million dollar advertising budget.
We hope you get a sense for the value of marketing and its outsized return for your spa.
In a few days, you will receive the second part of this lecture series, titled “Find a Specialization & Niche & Attract Your Target Customers.”
While you wait, please take sometime to think about:
Do you agree that marketing is a valuable leverage to boost your spa business by leaps and bound?
Do you have a brand identity for your spa or is it just a me-too spa providing commodity service and products readily available anywhere?
Do you have a strategy or road map on on the future of your spa?
What are your current and past marketing programs?
What were you trying to do?
Did they work? How did you know it worked? Did you measure it?
If it worked or did not work, do you know why?
Did you make any of the 8 sins in marketing?
Stay tuned. See you in a few days.