No risk, no reward. You’ve most likely heard that motto before and it certainly applies to owning or running or business. There are lots of rewards being in charge of a successful business operation, and they aren’t all financial. There’s the satisfaction of building something from the ground floor up or taking a business to a new level. But that said, you also may lose many nights of sleep thinking of all the risks involved that could set you back. No matter how successful you get, the risks don’t go away. In fact, they may be greater considering you have more to lose.
Since risks or threats to your business don’t go away – some do and but new ones are certain to arise – you need to be prepared to deal with them. Some of the most obvious include: staying ahead of the competition, making sure staff have the requisite and most up-to-date skills, ensuring your business plan is realistic and relevant to your targeted client base.
Staying ahead of the competition: Before you tweak any marketing plans, do your homework. Examine the competitive landscape, looking at both established spas and massage practitioners and new market entrants. Conduct online research through social media and review sites to find out what clients are saying about other spas and massage practitioners. Also ask your vendors and other business associates what they know about the competition.
Include research on your own spa or massage as part of your marketplace assessment. As part of your competitive analysis, find out what clients and prospects are saying about your spa or massage practice. (Reviewing social media sites is a good way to find out what is being said about your business). Also determine if the marketing messages about your business are resonating with your clients and prospects. You may find that your business has a perception problem that needs addressing.
Staff training: Continuing education whether onsite at training centers or online is essential for massage therapists and skin care professionals to expand their treatment protocol skills and retain their licenses. To encourage education, you may want to pay all or part of the fees for professional CE classes.
Still other on-going training can cost-effectively take place right in your spa. You can, for example, invite in professionals from your industry to a brown bag lunch to talk to your team. Or choose someone on your own team who has a special skill or experience to conduct an in-house training session.
Joining associations is another way to provide your staff with training. Many offer seminars and conferences as well as online training, which can be a cost-effective way to enhance and build someone’s skills and know how.
Review business plan: You probably know by now that you can’t leave things to chance or just “go with the flow.” Success requires planning. Periodically review your business plan to make sure it’s realistic and factors in changes in the market. Setting unrealistic goals, whether about revenue, new client acquisition or additional services you want to offer, can lead to activities that increase your expenses, which impact cash flow. Think of businesses that have tried to expand too quickly or without careful planning that ended up losing money and closing their doors.
Your annual plan should set goals and benchmarks for performance. Above all, it should be realistic. As part of your business plan, review your marketing and based on your competitive analysis, decide what activities you need to step up. Also, analyze your operations from your lease, if you rent space, to equipment to your information technology. Identify what changes are needed for improved efficiency and productivity and to enable you to meet growth goals
Not all risks are obvious. There are hidden risks such as a client slipping, reacting to a product, and unsanitary equipment leading to an infection. Claims associated with such incidents can range in the thousands of dollars, seriously jeopardizing your business. Then, too, you may suffer losses from stolen products or equipment.
The best way to reduce such risk is to pay attention to detail and enforce consistent operational processes. Also make sure to keep good records. The goal is to be consistent and timely in executing tasks so they are done thoroughly to avoid problems arising. Records can back up performance should an issue arise.