The most common challenges in running a spa or massage practice


What’s your biggest challenge in running your spa or massage practice? A few years ago, Phorest, a salon software solution, asked 250 salon and spa owners and managers in the UK and Ireland that question. The three top challenges were in this order.

  1. Managing and motivating staff
  2. Getting new clients
  3. Retaining clients

Those answers may sound all too familiar to you.  The responses also show that no matter how unique your spa or massage practice may be in the type of massage and skin treatment services you offer, the clients you target, and your unique brand, the challenges in running the business are similar to other industries.

Keeping them satisfied, interested, and motivated is something you need to work on constantly when it comes to staff. Finding top-notch people is a challenge for most businesses today, and an unhappy, unmotivated team can seriously hurt your business. To keep employees motivated, talk to them often, provide guidance, and show your appreciation.

As for getting and keeping clients, even the most satisfied clients may move on because they relocate, experience a financial setback, or need change. To keep the pipeline of prospects full, don’t let marketing slip. Whatever your marketing program involves - email newsletters or updates, social media interactions, or traditional advertising and public relations, keep it going. And to incent new and current clients, offer promotions on products and services, and even trial sizes of new retail product offerings.

Other challenges

But no matter how common these three issues are, there are other challenges that spa and massage practice owners and managers will inevitably face if you don’t already.

Retail products aren’t selling

If your retail sales are consistently low, the problem may lie with your staff. Maybe they aren’t putting in enough effort to sell. Make sure your employees understand the benefits of the products you offer and are excited about them.  If employees love the products, selling will come easily, and clients will be enthusiastic about buying.

You are working too hard

Learn how to work smarter, not harder. Take time at the beginning of each day or at the beginning of the week to prioritize what you need to do. Don’t worry about trying to do everything at once. Also, make sure to review and update your business plan at the beginning of each year so that you reach your long-term goals.

Keep up with trends

 It can be very challenging to stay on top of the industry. With everything on your plate, you may not have time to catch up with magazines, much less attend seminars and trade shows. Share the responsibility with your team. Send someone else to one of the industry shows in town or another city. Ask them to report to the team when they return. You also can assign team members to review the various trade magazines and e-mail their findings to everyone or carve out time at each staff meeting to discuss trends.

You’re not alone in facing these challenges.  Overcoming them requires planning and staying ahead of them.


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