The way we use data is changing. Learn how you can use it to make better business decisions for your spa or wellness business.
By Tom Kavouras, Chief Data Officer at Book4Time
As a spa manager or director, you have a seemingly endless number of decisions to make. Good decision making is a key skill of all good leaders, but they don’t do it blindly — they use all of the information that is available to them. Fortunately, with the increasing sophistication of data reporting, you now have more available information than ever, and this will continue to grow.
How can you use data reporting to make better, more informed decisions for your business now and in the future? It’s easier than you think.
Real time vs. strategic operational data
First, let’s look at different types of reports, beginning with real-time reporting. This type of reporting tells you what is happening in your spa on a day-to-day, or even moment-to-moment basis. Book4Time’s built-in operational reports allow you to see your inventory, scheduling, occupancy, revenue, and more, at a glance. This information is essential to the running of your business and will inform your daily decisions regarding appointment booking, staff schedules, and more. For example, a report that shows your current inventory levels helps to decide whether you need to order more products and supplies right away.
As the amount of data we can collect grows over time, the ways we can use it to grow our businesses are becoming more sophisticated. This is where strategic reporting comes in. Strategic reporting is going to become a key element of business success, and will allow managers to make better, more informed longer-term decisions for their spa. Strategic reporting will help you make better decisions regarding the following:
Tracking trends over time allows you to see what is working and what is not, and how to optimize around trends. For example, if sales of a particular service, like a champagne body wrap, have grown significantly over the past year, you will know to invest more into equipment and supplies for that service. You can also make better decisions as to what complementary products and services you might add to your menu or promote in terms of packages, promotions, and upsells. Strategic reporting also tells you what is not working, so you can remove menu items and avoid investing time and resources into dead ends.
Strategic reporting allows you to keep better track of your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and react to dynamic changes or stagnation. A simple example is as follows: let’s say it’s Monday, and you need to know whether to bring in more staff on Tuesday. You, as a spa manager might not know your overall technician utilization, because you have so many things to pay attention to, but your software can tell you that your overall technician utilization is 66%, meaning that one third of your manpower isn’t being used. Your reports can also tell you that, on Tuesdays, you typically book 25% more appointments than on Mondays. So, if you are wondering whether you should add more staff on Tuesdays, the answer is no. You should be able to meet the 25% increase in demand and still have eight percent manpower to spare.
Businesses will also soon be able to do things like compare revenue across locations. This will provide benchmarking against your peers as a means of helping identify areas where things are being managed properly and areas that could be managed better. The reality is that a number on its own means nothing unless you have something to compare against. This is in essence the definition of a KPI – a target and a current status compared to the target and whether the trend is moving in the right direction.
Another example of how to use data to improve business operations is inventory reporting. Ideally, a business has enough product on hand to meet demand, without being left with surplus. Unfortunately, spa retail is often a struggle and many businesses may find themselves with too much of a product that isn’t selling when revenue spent on that product would have been better invested into marketing and promotions. Strategic reporting of your inventory can help you decide how best to invest your cash so that it works for your business.
These are just a few examples of how good data can lead to strategic reporting that will help you make better decisions in the future.
Our goal at Book4Time is to not only support you in every aspect of your business operations, but also to partner with our clients to find new ways of bringing critical information to the right people at the right time, with the goal of revenue and cost optimization. When you are empowered with the information you need to make better decisions, we all succeed.
Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at book4time.com.