Sal Capizzi, Marketing Director at Book4Time and a former Director of Spa and Wellness at NEXUS Luxury Collection, shares his expert insight into your reader questions.
Send your queries about managing staff, operations, and anything else you want to know (challenge him!) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Dear Sal: To be honest, I’m a bit scared about my business weathering the turbulent economic times. Do you have any suggestions on how I can keep revenue coming in when business seems to be a bit slower?
A. Great question!
There are several successful ways I’ve run a business during slow times and new ideas that are being talked about in a major way throughout the industry as it stands right now.
My first rule of thumb is to always pre-book as much as you can. I was leading a business where it was almost a requirement to have 40% of the next month’s “goal” pre-booked the month before. For example if my next month’s goal was $70,000 – I would aim to have $28,000 of that already booked.
Incentivize your practitioners. Your practitioners don’t necessarily need to be the ones telling clients about any pre-booking discounts if they come back again, but if clients know that their LMT or esthetician is invested in their well-being, reviews a solid treatment plan with them, and gives them take-home care advice, you are sure to see that client again. An incentive for a practitioner could look like a cash bonus on number of sessions performed or pre-booked, a self care treatment of their choice, or even a promotion. In order for someone to move up the ranks by tier in my business they had to have at least a 30% pre-booking rate for consecutive months.
Incentivize your guests. At checkout, let your guests know of any benefits that may come with pre-booking their next appointment or buying a series/package of services. Most times both of these come with a small discount on each service, or an add-on to a treatment that adds no additional time to the service, costs pennies, and guarantees you revenue for the weeks or month ahead.
Promote any in-house promotions, specials, and offerings weeks to months in advance. You are the leader of your business and have the ability to create as much (or as little) hype as you’d like around an upcoming promotion. Hit those outreach lists – an educated client is a happy client and you’re likely to see a few faces in your spa that may have simply forgotten to schedule some time for self care after their last treatment.
Use the new technology your spa software system offers such as an online booking site to generate passive revenue after hours. Put a direct booking link in your email signature and QR codes around your resort (where allowed). Another tool is Yield Management. This powerhouse of a feature has been used in the hospitality industry since the 1970s. From airlines to hotel rooms, prices can always fluctuate based on demand. For example, if there’s a huge sporting event taking place near your hotel of choice, you’ll likely be paying more. Simply put, yield management is the practice of adjusting prices based on demand.
During the past couple of years, the spa industry has begun to catch on and utilize this practice to make up for slower days without having to discount their services or offerings, which can actually harm a business.
Yield Management gives spa directors and general managers the opportunity to use new sales and marketing techniques to fill their treatment rooms during these slower times to entice guests to make a visit to the spa and to make up for potential lost revenue. On a slower day, your system could automatically lower prices for you. Pairing these prices with a smooth marketing campaign for hotel guests could turn your entire schedule around.
I hope some of these tips help for the upcoming year ahead and I wish a ton of success to your and your team!
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.