With the holidays about to kick off, you’re probably thinking of creative ways to attract clients, prospects and shoppers into your spa and massage practice. Without increasing your operational expenses too much, you can take advantage of consumer spending and start the New Year with a significant boost to your bottom through special holiday skin and massage treatment packages or specially priced and packaged retail gift items. You’ll also want to create a holiday atmosphere with decorations, music and even hold a special open house.
However, you don’t want to limit your creative thinking to the holiday season. Creative thinking fosters innovation that helps your business grow to a new level or in a new direction that may produce more personal and professional satisfaction as well as revenue.
Here are seven ways to keep your creative juices flowing year round
Set aside a time for inspiration: While you can have an “a-ha” moment anytime, sometimes you need to make time to turn off your thinking and allow your inner creativity to surface. Take 15 minutes daily to get away from everyone and everything – turn off your smartphone, shut down email, and close your office door – turn on quiet music or meditate and let the ideas flow. Write them down, too. You may not be ready to implement everything that comes to mind during your “inspirational ritual” but you don’t want to forget the ideas. They may spur you onto something new at a later time.
Ask questions: When you hear something, ask questions about it to learn more. For example, you may hear that another spa is offering a new service. Find out what you can about. The offering may not be appropriate for your business but it may give you an idea for something new you could offer.
Tap into other people: Working in a spar or massage practice, you have an opportunity meet lots of people from all walks of life and with a wide range of interests. Find out about them – where they like to travel; what kind of music, books and movies they enjoy; how they spend their free time and so forth. You don’t need to get terribly personal to find out interesting things about your clients that may inspire you to try something new or help you see something in a new way. Outside of work, try to meet new people, too, through local business groups, volunteer organizations sports activities, even neighborhood associations. You can learn something new from everyone and it could be just one thing that someone mentions that to sets you off in a new direction.
Explore new places. You don’t necessarily have to get on a plane to change your environment. Maybe there’s an interesting neighborhood in your city or the next town over that is artsy, historical or scenic to explore. Immersing yourself in new sights and sounds can help foster new ideas.
Exercise: Exercise isn’t only good for our body; it’s good for the mind. Research at Leiden University in The Netherlands found that those who exercised for four times a week demonstrated the ability to think more creatively than those who were more sedentary.
Allow yourself to become distracted: It may seem contradictory, but when you do something mundane or repetitive (like house cleaning), you can come up with good ideas. In “When being distracted is a good thing,” Jan Brogran writes that a distraction can give you the break you need to stop fixating on a solution that isn’t working. Get yourself unstuck by taking a mental break.