When Is It Time for Solo Spa Owners to Develop a Team?

When Is It Time for Solo Spa Owners to Develop a Team?

financials growth solo spas Apr 05, 2021

When is it time for solo spa owners to develop a team?

It’s a fantastic question. As the “ringleader” (as I like to call it!) of both Kirsten Foss Coaching and its sister company, Virtual Spa Business Management, I come across many spa owners who believe that developing a team is the only way to grow their spa biz.

In fact, there is this feeling that I notice by and by large in our industry: solo spa owners reach a certain point in their careers and think that, if they don’t grow their team, their business will stagnate. 

However, what if I told you that you may not need to hire in order to grow your spa biz… and that, instead, not being in the correct circumstance or mindset to hire may actually further hurt your spa’s growth?

In today’s blog, I’ll be detailing the ins and outs of how to know if growing via a team is right for you. Bookmark this today to have it on-hand for future deliberations!

Moving From Being a Solo Spa Owner to a Team Leader and Employer

While transitioning from a solo spa owner to a team leader and employer is a monumental change that signals more capacity and more room for growth, it also exponentially complicates your business structure.

Something I frequently tell spa owners within my spa-owners only Facebook group, Spa Business Mastery, is that A) you need to know what you’re getting into with being a spa leader ahead of time to ensure that you can adapt quickly and easily, and B) you have the correct spa systems in place (such as a team handbook and operations manual) so that your business is run and represented the way it should be.

Managing a team is, oftentimes, expensive, complicated, and requires significant mental bandwidth to ensure that all runs smoothly on a day-to-day basis. 

Before using a team as a growth initiative, ask yourself:

  • “Do I really want a team?”

    • Why ask this? Because growing your spa via transitioning from a solo spa owner to a team leader is a slow, long-term growth strategy, it requires significant commitment in order to get off the ground. Knowing that this is what you really want (and what will really help your spa) will go far in helping to get you sufficiently motivated. 

  • “Do I have the finances to bring on a team?”

    • Why ask this? Because, between team handbooks, operations manuals, potential specialty training, and wages, look at your books ahead of time to ensure that hiring on staff won’t be dipping you into the red zone temporarily. 

  • “Do I have the time to bring on a team?”

    • Why ask this? Because hiring and training takes time. Oodles of it! If you want to be attracting long-term team members who can properly reflect the values and skill sets needed for your spa biz, know that you’ll have to take the time out to curate a kick-butt ad, sort through the many applicants, interview them (more than once!), train them, and then be there for them as a walking example of how they should be working.

  • “Do I have the leadership skills needed to develop and nurture a strong team?”

    • Why ask this? Because, as I always say, “What got you here won’t get you there.” In this case, what that means is that what earned you success as a solo spa owner won’t necessarily won’t make you a phenomenal leader. If you’re feeling shaky about your leadership skills, book a call with me today so we can calm those nerves and get you on the right track! 

How to Know if You’re a Solo Spa Owner Who is Ready to Develop a Team

Here are my four tips for how to know if hiring on a team is right for you and your spa’s growth:

  • You are consistently booked a minimum at least 80% of the time: if you have this consistent flow of clients and desire more bandwidth for more clients and/or services, hiring on team members may be the way forward for you

  • You feel ready to step out of the treatment room more: I was actually speaking to an esthetician the other day about this, who said that she was managing two locations and felt ready to step out of the treatment room in order to focus on managing her locations and each of their teams. If you are feeling similarly, hiring on staff can provide you a transition to a more leadership-focused role

  • You have the cash flow to support new team members: as mentioned above, having the cash flow to comfortably support new team members is crucial for knowing. Be sure that you analyze your numbers ahead of hiring to ensure that your metrics point towards it being beneficial to carry team members’ labour costs while they build their client lists

  • You want to have a business that you can sell: last but certainly not least, if you want to sell your business after you retire, you need to hire more people. As a solo esthetician, you have nothing to sell; with a team, however, you can sell the team culture, client list, and business systems

Want hands-on advice and coaching for hiring (or deciding against hiring) team members? Reach out to me today to book a call.

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