Preparing for the Season

By Melinda Minton
July 10, 2006

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

Fall is a time of renewal and traditionally the beginning of the busy season for both clubs and spas. Vacations are over, kids are back in school and club members are flocking to the gym again for the fall and winter months. Gearing up for the season takes many forms, which equals a great deal of opportunity for profitability.

Key Treatments. Fall is the time to slough off summer tans and prepare the skin for hydration. Pumpkin glycolic peels, for instance, smooth the skin, refine pores, eliminate hyperpigmentation and prepare the skin for both moisturizers and makeup. Full body exfoliation in the form of a sugar or salt scrub is an excellent preparation for winter faux tanning. Of course, massage is an all- time favorite but is especially popular in the winter months. Try offering a bit of excitement to a massage by using warming essential oils in the massage cream or carrier oil like ginger, black pepper, coriander or black pine. These oils loosen the muscles and allow for a more effective session. Detoxifying services are always popular, but many individuals enjoy them on a seasonal or quarterly basis. A detoxifying body wrap with dry brushing and oil application is an ideal way to cleanse the lymphatic system while also exfoliating and hydrating. An added benefit is that most body wraps result in a bit of weight loss. Whatever you choose to offer, promote it well within the club. Try using a separate mini menu for seasonal treatments to catch the eye of members. Newsletter and Web placement are also considerations.

"Gifting.”With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s never too soon to begin promoting your spa’s gift options. Gift certificates are an obvious choice, but many become overwhelmed by the various options on a spa menu. Prepare a gift certificate package brochure with five or so packages comprised of your favorite treatments for the holidays. Try to offer a gift with the larger packages like a skin sampler kit or full-sized home care items. Make the packages in various sizes and price points to create a range of choices. As the holidays approach, make these cards available at the front desk and in locker rooms. Make gift baskets of various prices readily available as well. Displaying information about your spa in the reception area or front portion of the club brings attention to not only your spa but also the gift opportunities of the season

Demonstrations.On busy days, offer seated massage, hand rejuvenation therapies, reflexology and similar mini services to promote the full service therapies offered in the spa as well as get members who might not otherwise know about the spa considering purchasing a gift certificate or trying out a treatment on their own. Mini therapies also encourage retail sales. Displaying gift baskets, home care, treatment items and general retail at the front desk is another easy way to direct member attention to the spa. Consider burning spa candles at the front desk and offer spa products in your locker rooms as an additional way to remind guests of your spa and the goodies sold within.

Work Your Spa In. Getting the spa synchronized with the rest of the club is crucial. Invite returning and new members to the spa using your staff and services. Ask the front desk team to make mention of the spa and its current promotions. Encourage group exercise leaders to make the spa a part of regular announcements. Have personal trainers recommend spa treatments that compliment each client’s particular fitness program. For example, if a client is working on the tone of their torso or legs, a body wrap would be appropriate to detoxify, tone and lose inches in specific areas. Likewise, a client seeking wellness and general anti-aging benefits would seek an anti-aging facial or peel to rejuvenate, hydrate and nourish their skin.

No matter what approach you take to the season, include your spa in everything the club focuses on. Your spa can be a significant profit center but only if you focus on promoting it. Make this fall and winter your best season yet by starting on it now.