Myth seven: Spa marketing; Myth eight: Spa team

Expanding on the last two of eight myths we recently discussed:

Myth Seven: We’ll do the spa marketing after we’re up & running

7. Spa marketing plan

An annual spa marketing plan and spa marketing materials must be created a minimum of six months prior to opening date. Assigning the spa marketing duty to an expert could mean the difference between success and failure. Choose your marketing mix and develop a timeline to launch your marketing campaigns. Make sure your website is developed and running before your spa is open for business.

Spa marketing is key in today’s social media world no matter what service your business offers. Whether it’s @InSPAration.Management on Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform, potential spa guests need to be able to have heard about and learn a little about your spa before it opens.

Getting started early is a no-brainer. An annual spa marketing plan, which includes a functional website, should be created at least six months before your spa is open for business.

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There’s no calm before the storm in preparing to open a business. While opening day can and will be hectic and nerve-wracking, it’s crucial to avoid thinking a marketing plan can be done after the doors are open.

Take, for example, entertainment businesses. They market their new ride or their next on-stage comedian months, or in some cases years, before the amusement park ride opens and/or the comedian has people laughing. Granted, these two examples are focused on selling tickets and putting smiles on guests’ faces. But isn’t getting consumers into your spa also your goal?

Marketing on your end will lead to free advertising with newspapers, radio, television and social media platforms. And those types of free advertising are the best types of advertising.

Of course, word of mouth is just as great advertising, and keep this in mind: Word of mouth completely replaces media coverage once your spa has been opened for a short time. So, it’s imperative that marketing is done well in advance, so you’re not scrambling at the last minute when you could and should be focused on other things.

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Myth Eight: I’m not worried about finding the spa right team

8. Recruiting and hiring the right spa team

Hire the spa director at least six months prior to opening. There are so many things to do in order to build the right team and to structure the organization properly. When choosing a spa location, make sure the human capital pool is within reach. You don’t want a small or limited amount of spa professionals within the region. It makes selecting and hiring people difficult.

From the top to the bottom, it’s imperative to recruit and hire the right spa team. Don’t assume you’ll have an unlimited pool of spa professionals within your area.

Start at the top, of course, with a spa director, and work your way down from there. But keep in mind each member of the team plays an important role. The ship needs to sail when a few key team members are out for the day, whether they’re on vacation or out sick. It’s also imperative to have someone, whether it’s an office secretary or an experienced hire, know the ins and outs of everything so they can instruct new hires or jump in to assist in times of need.

Think about the missing element on a pro sports team. When one team consistently defeats a team, especially if it’s on the big stage (we’re talking playoffs or championships), you’ll see a team go out during the offseason and acquire that missing position player, that player with some pop in his bat or that guard who handles the ball well as a floor general.

Sometimes, that offseason acquisition can be a superstar who will generate tons of publicity. Other times, they might be a specific position player. Either way, there’s a specific need that the team fulfills in hope of becoming the best in the game the following season.

The key, of course, is to try and build your team and structure your organization the best you can from the start. Expect some growing pains and adjust as needed, but minimize those changes by recruiting and hiring the right team at the right time.

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