Summer is upon us and youngsters are free to roam the earth again without the regular daily school schedules. During the summer months, spas sometimes see a dip in their numbers because of camp, little league, vacations and, in general, less free time for moms to make it to the spa. Some moms don't have help during the summer and as full-time homemakers, are left to entertain their brood solo. As a health club, you probably are already offering childcare to your members. That is a huge advantage over the common spa that typically doesn't offer any type of child-minding. In fact, the more creative you get with your programs for summer, the more profitable your spa will become.

SPA PROGRAMMING

Make a mental note that next year, Mother's Day should focus on getting moms through the summer. Planning for special moments away from the hectic summer schedule with a summer survival gift certificate makes a great deal of sense. However, your spa can guide members through the experience by selling a summer pass that allows for specific services as they occur during the hot and hectic season. The kick off should be an early summer pedicure sold with a home care mini kit for pedicare tune-ups. Next, a contouring therapy followed by an exfoliation and natural body glow gets mom ready for poolside. An express facial and product evaluation for the sun is a must do before the 4th of July or mom will be sizzling like a firecracker. By the end of July, a massage will be in order.

Most families take their vacations during the last two weeks of July or the first two weeks of August. The best way to prepare for that lull is to prepare the client for her vacation. Make a point of doing a mailing in the first week of July extending packages that “will make you look your best for vacation.” With the end of August, and the busy period of getting kids back to school, market “Fall Back” packages to take off any unwanted years, slough off the effects of the sand and sun of the summer and prepare your fall color palette and skin nourishing routine. Busy people respond well to marketing with direction. If you don't tell them, they won't come in.

GET CREATIVE

Some people will not take a summer vacation this year. Gas prices are ridiculously high, the economy is still leaving many counting their pennies, and some just don't take regular vacations. Offer a day of luxury to those who need a vacation — if only for a day. If they have children, make a day of childcare a part of the package or include their children in the club's summer day camp program. Another idea is to have lunchtime services where the children are watched and fed while mom gets an extra-long break in the middle of the day. Yet another popular diversion for summer is the mother/daughter track. Toward the end of summer, offer a special that allows mothers and daughters to spend a day together to unwind and prepare for the upcoming school year. Mothers can have express facials, manicures and pedicures while the daughter is educated on a proper skin care regimen, tasteful use of makeup and the essentials of nail care.

INCLUDE YOUR SPA IN EVERYTHING

Having a barbeque, a swim fest or a triathlon this summer? Invite your massage therapists to do chair massages at special events. Hand out spa menus and gift with service coupons to generate extra business this summer. If your climate is appropriate, offer massage outdoors to allow other members to see people receiving services. Offer poolside manicures and pedicures. Offer a summer “happy hour” during the busy after work hours by offering a slight discount on services from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Have extra therapists on hand to service walk-ins. Place a spa representative at the front desk to promote specialty summer spa therapies. Announce spa promotions at the beginning of group activity classes, swimming classes and kid's club activities. The one thing that clubs still fail to do regularly is to get the word out. If they don't know, they won't go.

Melinda Minton is a spa consultant and health and beauty expert in Ft. Collins, CO. She is the founder of the Spa Association, an organization dedicated to enriching the professional beauty industry through self-regulation, education and sound business practices.