One of the most exciting aspects of the spa industry is the ability for professionals to own and operate their own small business. Savvy, smart and talented professionals can add the title of entrepreneur to their resume by taking the leap and opening their own business. Many choose to do this all on their own, and operate as a “Solopreneur”.
This can be exciting and rewarding both professionally and personally as it offers freedom and flexibility. There is a downside in that the responsibility for, literally everything, lies with the solopreneur. So many solopreneurs have above average skills in their chosen field, be it, skincare, and nails or massage therapy.
However, the old adage, “If you build it, they will come,” is a good business plan – but only if you plan to fail! Marketing for the solopreneur is an important task. A laser like focus on marketing and sales is what allows a solopreneur to be able to operate with positive cash flow and find success in the spa industry.
Amazing Customer Experiences
The most important thing that a solopreneur can do on a daily basis to ensure they are focused on a successful marketing strategy is to provide an amazing customer experience. This is more than just a great treatment; it’s providing a stellar experience from booking, greeting, treatment, accepting payment, closing and follow up. Attention to detail, high standards and an unwavering commitment to guest satisfaction will create tremendous good will with existing clients that will pay dividends.
Printed Branded Collateral Materials
Branding is where your marketing message begins. A consistent brand message on professionally printed collateral is an absolute must. Investing in a graphic designer to help create a logo and brand image for you is money well spent. Printing high quality business cards, price lists and promotional materials are costs that increase the perceived value of your business.
Client Referral Program
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Offering amazing treatments as part of a stellar customer experience will create a level of good will with your current clients. Clients who love their experience are highly likely to tell a friend or family member. Entice your clients to refer family and friends with a Client Referral Program. You can provide a reward to the current client and an enticement offer to the potential new client. Let your current clients be your sales team!
No man (or woman!) is an island. Getting out into your community and getting to know your neighbors is a great way to market your services. Going to community events, mixers and fundraisers is a great opportunity to promote yourself. Every person that you come in contact with is a potential new client; always have a business card ready to offer.
You cannot succeed in business today unless you have a digital media presence. It’s the way the world works. Consumer behavior has shifted, without digital media your business is virtually non-existent.
You must have a web site. It doesn’t need to be extensive or sophisticated. You just need to have your contact information, a few photos of you and your space, a list of services with prices, hours of operation and links to your social media. Ideally, you should have a section where you entice visitors to provide you with some contact information.
A presence on social media will help you educate, inform and entertain current and potential customers. Many of the platforms also offer sophisticated advertising functionality. You can geo-target clients and reach potential customers in your neighborhood.
Sending out routine email marketing campaigns about your business, your industry, your neighborhood will keep your business and your brand in front of your customers. Building goodwill through effective communications is a winning strategy that many solopreneurs simply do not do. Maintaining contact with your clients on a routine basis is one of the most effective marketing tools. Emails can educate, inform and entertain; they don’t need to be a hard sell.
While marketing may not come naturally to a solopreneur, it can be learned. The above are some of the basic tools that a solopreneur can use. Many times it may be advisable to hire a spa industry consultant who has experience helping soloprenuers create a marketing strategy for success. This can be an initial cost that will end up paying off big as your business begins to grow!