Do You Use The Magic 8 Ball For Answers to Your Business?

27 08 2007

Eight is Enough
I’m sure we’ve all got fond memories of playing with the magic eight ball in our former years, or maybe it was yesterday for some of you. Don’t worry you will not be judged for your passion or trepidation for seeking the wisdom of the eight ball. In the past, we needed answers to real pressing questions, like who was Joe Schmoe going to ask to the prom, or who would be voted most successful in ten years. eightball.jpgI don’t really remember what the questions were, but it sure was fun to play with. In today’s spa business, everyday operations are far from playing a game, or leaving things to chance for that matter. Though our questions today may vary somewhat from previous years, we still have the desire to seek good advice in order to turn our data into decisions. Where do we get these answers? If you run a spa, resort, private practice or other business, or are looking into launching one, you may sometimes feel like the only option you have is looking to the eight ball for answers to real business questions. Don’t get discouraged, there are other tools out there to help you dump the eight ball for good. Get the tools you need!

Choices
To start, let’s take a look at what we should be looking for. There are many places to get what you need for everything from CPA’s, E store set up, to seminars and training. All necessary things to create a fluid organization. Whatever mode of information you choose to seek or tools to add to your resources, there are a few main rules to use as indicators to help you analyze your business intelligence.
Tradeshows, for example have always been a place for people to look to for industry trends, leaders and information gathering. There are so many national, and international spa related conferences, with more emerging, that it could be a full time job just to attend them all. However, the reality is, the average person attends one spa conference per year, and for many it will be a first. Time away from work, travel, expense, accommodations and association fees, among other things deter us from becoming serial conference attendees. Another issue that seems to have arisen is that there is a lot of repackaged information out there that can leave us with a feeling of unmet objectives. Though there is plenty of valuable information being provided in these areas, at times it can seem uninspired. How many times have we attended a trade show, seminar, or class with high hopes and lots of promise and left with little change? I can say from personal experience….plenty! There is so much repeated information out there, and promise of offers, so many choices and options, I may be difficult to even know where to start. I didn’t want to hear a repeated versions of the same thing when I sought out training or information for my business, so I stared to research common patterns and mistakes, to put together seven top standards to set the scene for business planning.

This information is not about comparing tradeshows or trainings, but to help you avoid some pitfalls. Here are seven top indicators for a good business flow of control for business owners, operators, and our favorite, therapists and healing arts professionals;

Rule of Seven

  • Efficiency-Simply put, this is creating methodology that allows you to go further with fewer mistakes and fewer unknowns. BUSINESS BUILDER; If you have internal processes reevaluate them for gaps. It’s always better to create additional action oriented mini steps within processes that identify the small things and increase long term efficiency.
  • Empowerment-Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. We all have a yin and yang. If we can recognize our “anti” successful patterns, processes and moods, we can identify the right opportunities that empower us. BUSINESS BUILDER;Network and create relationships for yourself and your clients, and create ongoing milestones that meet your personal goals.
  • Controlling Costs- Become very comfy with your balance sheets, profit and loss statement and cash flow. Manage it correctly. BUSINESS BUILDER; Cash flow does not necessarily equal profit. Cash flow indicates when expenses are due and sales increase. Understanding the control of discretionary expenses is key to knowing profit and loss.
  • Negotiating- Negotiating is about boundaries. BUSINESS BUILDER; Knowing what your willing to accept and have an outcome in mind. Rather than negotiating with conflict, ensure starting from a common ground and convey a positive persuasive attitude that results in both parties leaving with an agreeable offer.
  • Your Pipeline- In line with efficiency you will need to make continue to drum up business for your bottom line. BUSINESS BUILDER; Your “sales face” should always be on with your clients and engaging them in an educational and pre determined product purchase mentality. Your pipeline, or interested clients, and consumers, and ability to reach them should always be full with potential clients and sales.
  • Marketing Effectiveness-Who are your reaching and where? You need to track your new clients, referrals etc. BUSINESS BUILDER; Get your potential clients excited about your public relations with creativity, good service and professionalism. But make sure to measure where they come from. Develop a to do task list with marketing campaigns that will ensure your ability to show their success. This can be with a code on emails, discounts, postcards etc., to indicate the affiliate, or reference. You can create graphs, charts etc., to measure long term goals, even some spa management software includes this.
  • Balance- Meet you and your employee needs with work-life-future balance. This includes motivation, healthy environments,safety and recognition. BUSINESS BUILDER; Create less stressed employees, better retention, higher morale and streamline management with strict policies for work-life-future balance. Offering flexible work schedules and creative incentives and benefits can increase overall business balance. Some people offer flex schedules, shared work schedules, onsite gyms, daycares, along with employee benefits.  In our industry we don’t always have the same opportunity for these types of incentives but can be aware of the tale tell signs of an off balance work environment. Indicators; employees with many emergencies, sickness, and  needed time off, high turn over, employee burn out and/or overtime. Tailor your policies to your spa or work environment.

This is some practical advice that has been good to me in my business growth, and I hope can help you in your own needs, or maybe a little encouragement through your day when you need it. Coping with everyday stressors and growing a business takes passion along with making the right choices for yourself, while respecting others. So instead of taking chances with your business and rolling the magic ball, make an active investment in seeking out the tools, professionals, and training needed to skyrocket your spa or spa related business to success.

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