3 best practices for running a successful spa

running a successful spa

I have found a few key practices for building strong teams and achieving success. Here are three best practices for running a successful spa.

As the spa industry gets back on its feet, our senior team members are excited to get back to work. There will also be a wave of fresh faces entering the spa industry for the first time, and we all share one common goal: creating an unforgettable customer experience! 

By Sal Capizzi,
Solutions Specialist at Book4Time & Features Editor at Spa Executive


Creating that experience doesn’t come easy. It takes hard work, superior skill sets, and a dedication to best practises. 

Before coming to work at Book4Time as a Solutions Specialist, I worked as a Spa Manager for Equinox and a Spa Director for Nexus Luxury Collection. I like to think this experience provides me with some insight into spa leadership best practices (and that this helps me be a good support to our existing spa clients).

During my career managing spas and wellness centers, I found that there were a few key practices that allowed me to build the strongest teams and keep everyone achieving success, even during tough times and slower months.

Here are my three best practises for running a successful spa .

Create a supportive team environment

There is a reason that energy work is now finding its way onto many spa menus: drawing negativity away from one’s inner self and allowing positivity to flow through has been shown to improve mental focus, stress levels and overall wellbeing. The same goes for the teams we lead. Creating a positive work environment will greatly impact the success of your practitioners and your business. When therapists enter their sessions in a state of calm, they are able to provide the best treatment possible resulting in repeat business and clients.

When it comes to coaching, I believe in a focus on the positive. Everyone responds differently to coaching, but eight times out of 10, embracing strengths (“I want to help you focus on this”) will be more effective than focusing on shortcomings (“You need to be better at this”).

Team engagement will always be fundamental to how your team performs. Find individual strengths within your team members and praise them. Chances are it has taken them many years of trial and error with their flow or massage techniques to become masters of their craft.

Focus on areas of opportunities during your check-ins and actively ask what their future plans are. This will show your team members that you have their best interests at heart. Maybe they too want to become Spa Directors one day or maybe an individual really wants to become a cupping expert. Take that into consideration when you are discussing potential continuing education courses and credits with them!

Show and teach

When a new item in a particular line comes out, Spa Directors become kids in a candy store. For most products, reps will send samples for the teams to use and you can’t wait to make room for it on your retail shelves. But a huge question to ask yourself is, does the customer notice? Most customers notice a gorgeous retail display but won’t see that new brightening serum stuck in between all of the other products. That’s where it’s time to get creative!

Do you have the counter space to set up a display to showcase and “feature” this new product? If so, put it out and let it shine. Get your clients talking about the full range of products that you offer.

It’s also important to talk to your team about new offerings and make sure everyone, including your service providers and desk staff, is educated and ready to speak about the products on the spot. It is equally important to have fun as you leverage new offerings to create new streams of revenue in your spa, while creating the best possible take home results for your clients.

In my time as a Spa Director, I have always found tremendous success with hosting ‘themed events’ at my spas.

“Mimosas and Mini Facials” was always a huge hit. We would strategically offer mimosas (because of the orange juice) and pair that with a Vitamin C or an ascorbic acid product and have an esthetician provide a five-minute mini facial. This not only created visibility around newer members of the team, but at the same time generated an interest around the product that was being featured during the events.

Whether it’s that new product or tool that you just got in or investing in your practitioners, education is an essential part of any business. As a business manager you never stop learning, every day you navigate new waters and adjust to best business practices.

Be the one to reach out

Pull those lists! Stay in touch with your guests and use every chance to connect with them.

One thing I always loved about using Book4Time in my spas was the reporting. I was able to keep tabs on clients with gift card balances and remaining services in a package, or see who hadn’t been in for a treatment in a while. I could also see when the last time someone purchased a retail item was more than a certain number of days ago, which created the opportunity to reach out and ask if the client may be running low or even just to collect feedback about the product during the past 90 days of use.

We’re living in a fast-paced world and sometimes it simply slips someone’s mind to prebook their next session or redeem a gift card, leaving cards unredeemed or a mountain of unused sessions in a series.

If they were reminded, they might want to gift one of those sessions to a spouse or loved one for a special day coming up. As a Spa Director It gives you a sense of accomplishment to successfully get a client back on the books who hasn’t been to your spa in 30, 60, or 90 days. Your practitioners will not only see that you are working for them but they will be happy to see a return client and the client will always be thankful you got them in for some much needed self-care.

We all have our favourite best practices. These are three of mine. I hope you find them helpful, and when we chat, I’d love to hear about some of yours.


Is finding and retaining talent a challenge at your spa? Get insights from industry leaders, including Nigel Franklyn, Lynne McNees, Verena Lasvigne-Fox, and Daisy Tepper when you download our report: What will it take to fix the spa industry’s staffing shortage? .


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.

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