Why You Need to Design a Business Model and How

Ready to go out on your own as a spa owner or massage practitioner? Or, maybe you have been in business several years and now find that you cannot move ahead. Wherever you are in the life cycle of your business - starting out, growth or maturity - you need a business model.  It is the core strategy for making a profit. Your business model includes information on target clients, your value proposition that sets you apart from the competition, the various ways to generate income (products and services), necessary resources, and business costs.  

Consider type of business model

While there are many types of business models, such as manufacturer, subscription or retail, your spa or massage practice falls in the fee-for-service category, although it may have a retail component.  By virtue of this, clients expect that you have a specialty or specialties based on your specific training and that you have a unique value proposition.

As you build your business model, take into consideration that at some point to increase revenue, you will need to sell additional services or raise your rates. Expanding your retail offerings could also boost revenue.  

Where to start?

Whether launching your business or revising your business model after several years, start with a clean palate. Imagine your ideal business. It may be that the business as it currently stands is not what you want any more, so you need to make changes. Or maybe your business is exactly what you want it to be but you need a new model to sustain growth. If you are not sure what you want your business to be, ask yourself what you DO NOT want it to be.

As a new entrant to the market, you may envision a business with many professionals working for you offering a range of client treatment services. You may even want to operate a franchise. However, if you are well into your business after several years, you may dream of being a solo practitioner again without the managerial and operational challenges of a larger business with staff.

Include blue sky thinking

Do not box yourself in. Feel free to envision the perfect business, even if you will not be able to achieve it. Place no limits on people, places, or things. After putting everything down on paper or a white board – even a series of Post It notes – you can adjust your model downward to what you can realistically achieve. [1]

Ask key questions

To create your business model, ask the following questions: [2]

  • Who is your target/best client?
  • What value do you offer your clients?
  • Why should your target client come to you?
  • How do you reach your target client?
  • What must you be very good at achieve your desired business model?
  • What resources do you need to create value?
  • What does it cost you to deliver your business model?

Assess current systems

Your business model involves different components of your business working together. For example, by trying to bring in more clients, you may need to hire more people. As your team grows, you may need managers who oversee teams.  To sell more products, you may want a customer service relationship (CRM) program that tracks client preferences that ties to online booking, so you can be prepared to suggest products after each treatment.

As you create your business model, consider what components will need to work together and what it will take for that to happen.  You may need to spend more money upfront to make more money down the road. Your business model will inform your operations.

Assess competitive business

In creating or revising your business model, look at competitive providers to see how they have structured their business operations. Your business model should be reviewed periodically against changes in the market, changes in client habits and changes in what you want from your business.

Creating your business model or revising it periodically makes sure you stay on track with your goals and are prepared to adjust to new marketplace realities.



[1] “How to create a business model,” Small Business Charter, Accessed May 31, 2024. https://smallbusinesscharter.org/news-and-insights/insights/how-to-create-a-business-model


[2] “How to create a business model,” Small Business Charter