There’s no getting around it — modern life is hectic. Because of this, more of us are looking for ways to unwind and de-stress, which likely explains why the UK’s spa industry is flourishing. Worth around £1.7 billion, the country boasts the world’s sixth largest spa sector.
This demand is also good news for budding entrepreneurs who are seeking a profitable sector to set up shop in. However, breaking into the spa industry is easier said than done, so to help set you on the path to success, here are three key considerations to prioritise.
- Your finances
As the saying goes — if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail, and your company’s outgoings are certainly something you need to prepare for.
Running a spa business involves various expenses, from more obvious ones like equipment and rent costs, to less apparent financial considerations such as tax and insurance. The latter in particular is often overlooked, yet, as spa insurance provider Salon Gold points out: “All it takes is for a client to have an adverse reaction to a product or treatment for your dreams to end abruptly. Without insurance, the spa owner would be responsible for funding any claims for compensation and the costs could be huge.”
As part of your business plan, you’ll need to have a good idea of what all of your expenses will be, as well as how you’ll fund your operations (whether through debt finance like loans or lines of credit, or some type of equity finance). British Business Bank explains that equity finance “requires a business to sell a stake to an investor, a group of investors or a fund, in return for finance”, so this particular option may not be the best option if you want to retain full control over your business.
- Your vision
In an increasingly saturated spa market, you need to figure out what it is that will make your venture stand out from the crowd. Becoming just another spa may not be enough to survive and thrive in such an environment, so having a defined vision is vital.
Key to this is performing extensive market research to ascertain aspects like what competitors in your area are doing, what services aren’t being catered to, what niche trends are popular right now, and what demographics tend to visit spas.
All of this will help you decide things like what type of spa to launch, such as a day spa, a destination spa, or a medical spa. It’ll also help you to decide where to set up shop, your target audience, and more granular details like your exact services and interior design.
- Your marketing strategies
Nobody will visit your spa if they don’t know about it, which makes marketing extremely important. Some of the main marketing strategies to consider include:
SEO, which is short for search engine optimisation, is the process of optimising your website so that it appears in search engine results pages, resulting in more traffic and, ultimately, more customers. Aside from actually launching a website, some of the main aspects of a successful SEO strategy include keyword optimisation, great onsite content, and a technically proficient site.
Utilising social media to your advantage is essential. You can do this in numerous ways, from producing high-quality content to directly interacting with your audience. Check out this guide to social media platforms to work out which ones you should focus your attention on.
Despite the digital-first world we live in nowadays, there’s still plenty of value in offline marketing practices too. These include everything from attending community events and giving out business cards, to sending pamphlets and harnessing traditional marketing methods like TV, radio, and newspaper ads.