Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Non Revenue Producing Space Odyssey

Non Revenue Producing Space, or amenity space, is evolving. How has your spa, or the spas you work with, changed in recent years? What amenities are customers desiring or requiring in your marketplace? Be sure to share the type of spa you're operating. As part of my preparation for an ISPA talk on this subject, I want to hear the grassroots opinions and ideas from the industry--not necessarily the "party line."
What works for you? What is too costly, in terms of operational wear and tear, or just plain dollars and cents? Do your amenities help you command a superior price point? Are medical spas finding amenities support their core business, or consume precious real estate? Please share your ideas!


cassielmt said...

I'm opening a four treatment room spa that features massage, body wraps, and natural nailcare in a historic downtown neighborhood in a decently sized midwestern city. The suburban spas are much heavier on the amenities, but I plan to focus more on great treatments and exciting retail products.

After working in a spa that offered saunas, steam showers, a relaxation room and encouraged everyone to change into robes, even if just for a massage, I decided that wasn't something I was interested in pursuing.

I rarely ever saw anyone enjoying the sauna, and to be honest (in the midwest, remember!) people who were sitting around in the co-ed relaxation area in robes looked a bit uncomfortable.

Some people have asked if I'll offer robes and locker rooms. They think it sounds luxurious, but when it comes down to it, many of my busy clients work downtown and are doing well just to squeeze in an appointment. I don't see the point of having someone undress in one room, put on a robe, take the robe off in another room, put it on, then head back to the changing room elsewhere. Also, robes worn for about 10-minutes add up to huge laundry issues. If I offered changing rooms and robes to all of my clients I would need an extra washer and dryer and the added plumbing installation costs for the historic building plus greater laundry expenses overall.

If my clients want those kinds of amenities, they can drive 25 minutes to the suburbs. I think that my downtown location, while smaller than the sprawling spas, is an amenity in itself.

On a side note, when I'm vacationing, I LOVE taking advantage of spa amenities like saunas, steam rooms, and pools while I sip on tea. When I'm at home, I prefer to get my treatment and leave.

NJGirlinCO said...

That's what we do - we have very nice baskets that the therapists bring from room to room - this way the clients purse and jewelry are with them at all times too!

If you have a non-revenue producing room make it a nice transitional room so that clients can relax between services in a comfortable living room area and not mingle with people in the front buying gift certificates.

I would open with just a plain appointment book as well - ditch the expensive computer software. We have used books for 12 years and it works fine. I think I have saved several thousand dollars on not paying for costly software upgrades, etc.

Just use a simple data base package like ACT to keep track of clients and email addresse and outstanding GC's.

good luck to you!!


Peggy Wynne Borgman said...

It's not necessary to spend a bundle to get effective spa management software. Web-based offerings have made huge inroads in the last year, are affordable for the smallest operation, and enable you to enjoy all the bells and whistles of costly software without update hassles. Two to watch: SpaBooker, created by Spa Finder--which has the added benefit of giving you the benefits of this marketing juggernaut--and MindBody, originally created for Yoga studios and now a robust spa management product.