There’s always something to do when it comes to growing your spa business; marketing ideas/plans/execution, looking for ways to improve the guest experience or the seeming bazillion ways to manage and motivate your team. Add the complexities of being a woman entrepreneur, and you often find yourself crawling into bed at the end of the day perplexed it has come and gone so frenetically.
Often it’s this time, as we’re relaxing to fall asleep when we have a moment to think without distraction. It may also be the time when you get the feeling you need to be doing something more in your business, but clear direction eludes you.
Maybe your marketing strategy been hit + miss. Or maybe there IS no marketing strategy because you’ve been too busy with clients, too busy with kids, too busy running around picking up supplies on your so-called days off. So now your spas public visibility is iffy at best, and it’s stressing you out.
Maybe you've been dropping the ball with clients. Maybe you forgot to book her next treatment, and she’s waiting in reception for a non-existent appointment. Maybe you are taking too long to get back to guests who call or email to schedule their next appointment, and they’ve gone elsewhere, and you’re beyond annoyed with yourself for being a flake (I know you’re not really!)
Maybe you've got the feeling from your staff that your leadership is lacking but don’t know where to start. Maybe you’re noticing inconsistencies with service protocols, retail sales or clients pre-booking. Maybe you have a bad apple in the bunch who’s causing drama for the rest of the team. Either way, you certainly don’t feel like a confident leader because you’re at a complete loss as to what to do about it.
You may not realize it...but these problems are actually messages.
All of these situations is your business asking...nay, begging for you to STEP UP as a leader.
I teach my clients to look at their business as an entity they’re in a relationship with. This concept helps them to understand the intricacies of entrepreneurship and be able to make wiser decisions. As with any relationship, when it’s not working (someone's unhappy) we must choose whether we’re going to learn what we need to do to improve it or watch it continue to waste away until there’s nothing left. You understand this pattern from your experience with previous love interests, yes?
It’s not much different with your spa business.
You got into the spa industry because of your passion for effecting dramatic change in the lives of the people in your community. Acne-free glowing skin, beautiful lashes, cute toes and relaxed, loose shoulders are great, but what you’re actually giving is confidence, compassion, healing and a safe place for many to let down their guard.
Regardless of what services you specialize in, what you truly offer to your guests is a haven for uncovering self-worth.
And in a world that can often be loud, obnoxious and disrespectful, this gift is needed more than ever.
When you tap into the big picture of why you do what you do and dig into your mission of uncovering the self-worth of your clients (and I choose the word “mission” specifically) and spread your message, you will understand the reason why you must answer your business’s calling for you to step it up.
How can you reach more girls and women who need your compassion, training, and vision if you won’t get your schedule organized to include enough time to create a 3-month marketing plan to increase your brand visibility?
How will you be able to support yourself or afford advanced training/coaching to offer more impactful treatments to your guests, if you’re annoying them because you’re always on-the-fly and not paying attention to the details like booking appointment requests asap or ensuring timely replies? They may give you a bit of rope for a while, but eventually, they’ll find somewhere else that’s more reliable.
How will you be able to serve more clients if you can’t get a handle on your company culture? My dad once told me “Shit rolls downhill” and it’s never truer that when you have staff. If you don’t have clear boundaries, a thorough staff training program, a system to track their progress or leadership qualities to coach your team to succeed, it’s not your team's problem...it’s yours.
If you want to attract and keep talented staff, accept the fact our teams are only as good as our leadership. If we have crappy leadership, we get crappy teams. Period.
So how do you answer this call to step up in your spa business?
First, getting honest that the whole awesome/messy kit-and-kaboodle is YOURS. You made this business...now you have to manage it. It’s not enough to adopt a build-it-and-they-will-come mentality after you've opened for business. I’ve said it before - that's the moment when the real work begins as an entrepreneur.
Stepping up means you're willing to see how you contributed to the problem and be open and willing to make changes. Here are four leadership habits to help you step up in your spa business.
Give yourself time and space.
How do you figure you’ll “get it together” when you so busy with clients, kids, partners, friends, and family? This "mental load" is a HUGE problem, especially for women. We put the expectation on ourselves to be available to those that need us (and even those things that don't! WTF?)
“If you can’t find time to think, it probably means that you haven’t organized your team very well, and you are busy putting out little fires all the time. It also means that you are at risk of leading your company astray.”
- Freek Vermeulen, Forbes Contributor
The problem is, we’ve forgotten not everyone/everything needs the same attention. Other people needing us is often their habit and shouldn't be given a “yes.” It’s up to us to be clear about our priorities and give a positive “no” when an ask is distracting from our focus.
If you want to get your marketing act together, for example, you’ll need to block off specific time to do so and keep that time fiercely protected.
Recommit to your WHY.
It super easy to lose sight of the core vision you started with when you start getting busy. I get it - we're operating in an incredibly distracting world. But if we’re truly committed to our WHY, our mission to empower and hold space for our clients self-worth, it needs to be the priority from where all new and existing services, products and experiences are born and nurtured.
And to be honest, maintaining this focus daily will help you come up with innovative and clearly articulated spa treatment offers, have more consistent branding and, hire, attract and maintain high functioning teams.
Recommitting to your WHY will help you grow deep roots in your spa business. It’s critical this is firmly grounded so the spa has the opportunity and support to develop into a healthy strong and prolifically company. Just as a tree can’t withstand a storm (even a small one) with shallow roots, neither can your business.
Recognize and challenge your current entrepreneurial habits.
What got you here...got you here. But it won’t get you there. If you’re answering the call to step up in your business, it means you’ll need to be more aware of your current thinking and execution habits. Where are they falling apart? Which habits aren’t serving you and which habits could you adopt to help mitigate the old ones?
I’ve always been a procrastinator with my own “to-dos” both in my personal life and career. This is something I’ve been actively working on for the past year. When a task is presented, I’m now willing to be instantly honest with myself - will I choose to do that now or later? I’m now consciously aware the tasks I choose to procrastinate in my business will absolutely hold me back from growing quickly and with more ease.
I’ve changed how I think and therefore changed the speed and trajectory of my success by being willing to recognize and challenge my entrepreneurial habits.
You’re not supposed to do this alone.
I’ve had many exasperated spa owners ask me “How are other owners are able to grow so rapidly? I don’t get it!”
What they’re not seeing is the owners who are killing it with their growth goals have help; a coach or consultant to dial in and level up strategy and leadership, a mentor to guide them safely through their career, a significant other with experience in business or a receptionist/Virtual Assistant/spa manager to delegate and collaborate with are always other owners are able to grow exponentially.
I want you to etch this in your brain: we are NOT meant to grow alone. The beauty of humanity is connection, collaboration, and compassion. Weave these into your spa business to allow an influx of creative ideas, shared workload and a circle of trust in which you can step up in your business dramatically and safely.
When you hear the call...
If you recognize and relate to these words, it's yet another message that you are ready to make changes to your leadership. You may not feel ready, but I assure you it’s time. It’s time to step up in your spa because there are people who are in desperate need your unique talent.
And remember, your “talent” is not only the treatments you offer...it’s your passion, your vibe, and your personal connection all woven into your guest experience. That's your magic.
Your tribe is waiting. You're more ready than you think you are.
Go ahead...step up.