As a consultant I often have to deal with the delicate balance of resource use, including space planning. How much do you dedicate to revenue generating like services and retail and how much goes to ensuring a quality experience for the client which includes staff support, décor, and amenities?

A lot of us work with limited space so the options seem very limited. Now that I am moving to a new office with three times the space, the debate gets personal. I am already maxed out on my available massage hours so how do I off set the expense of my larger space?

As I have often stated, therapeutic spa is an effective way to add hours without wear and tear on your hands. With the expanded space it is vital that I re-evaluate what treatments I can now incorporate. For example, I am currently creating partner packages which previously I had to accommodate off site. I made sure my treatment room can comfortably hold my new electric table, a portable table and can be separated with temporary screens for flexibility.

Like a lot of us, I originally looked at space with two rooms: treatment and reception. But as I went over my overall business plan I realized that a third room would allow me to keep auxiliary equipment, office, and custom blending supplies contained. This would in turn, allow me to keep the other rooms more flexible for opportunities such as small spa parties or teaching. For example, I’ve arranged my reception area like a comfortable sitting room complete with antiques and ambient lighting. At will, it can easily be converted into spa stations such as refreshment, chair massage, hand and foot treatments.

I also took into consideration space needs for future expansion of services including the plethora of equipment that can supplement my hands on time with clients. Just a few options are self massaging tables, light tubes, portable saunas, and steam tents. My measuring stick will be: cost of investment, therapeutic value and how they enhance my client’s experience. Every detail must feed back to my practice’s name and mantra: “Time Well Spent”.

Now for the dreaded five letter word: retail. This by tradition has been a large chunk of dedicated space, all about revenue generating. I dedicate a lot of energy selecting the products I use and I only carry retail that relates back to the treatments. Instead of setting up a “retail space”, I chose storage options that combine convenience and glass fronts. This allows me to attractively”display those tools”. It also allows the client to get involved in selecting product that we will use in their session. Then I let the product sell itself based on the experience the client receives in the treatment room.

What I want to convey is what I have learned from this move: With clear vision, space planning does not have to be an either or proposition; the client experience should be supported thru out the entire space; with planned flexibility all space can become revenue generating. You may be asking yourself why in the world would I be risking added overhead, in these economic times, especially if my books are already full. That my friend is the discussion for next time.

Be well, Do good Work, and Write often.