Spa Education Options -Without Travel

25 07 2009
Second edition launched after much research and management.

Second edition launched after much research and management.

With many spa owners, practioners and even larger companies making creative changes in their marketing budgets, its key to have educational options that can be delivered to your door. Eliminate costs of  travel to  seminars, workshop or expos., and look for options that fit your defined purpose and educational goals.

Notice I say “defined purpose” . Depending on needs: Management, treatments & bodywork, financing, marketing & public relations, revamp, or start up….. there are a variety of options to get an infusion of knowledge and add other materials to your reference library to stay flexible and competitive.

“Spa Career Success” : what makes your spa so special? is a spa career managment and success tool in book form. With years of research and development the info, includes $150 worth of templates and tools, along with  spa treatment basics and advanced therapies,  top marketing reviews to help increase your bottom line, and resources and spa career success tips. Used in high end seminars, workshops and trainers, you can enjoy the tools, and have follow up coaching by a professional as needed.  Second edition relaunch, is priced at  $45.00.

You will find this book and other spa tools helpful without the cost of travel, and utilizing YOUR own business model to apply them.

Take a quick “test” to see if you are prepared to apply persistence to your success.  (yes or no)

  • You’ve defined your specific purpose and current needs.
  • Your desire for a business model or success is now more of a obsession.  Your ready to pursue the intense object of your business success desires.
  • You are confident in your self reliance and ability to carry out your business success plans.
  • You’ve organized your plans and accumulated the tools to help you carry them out.
  • You have solid information resources, instead of guessing.
  • You are able to harmoniously collaborate with others and apply your business success tools.
  • Your will power is strong
  • You’ve created a persistence of positive “habits” into your daily practices.
Depending on how indifferent you are to the above questions, or how enthusiatiscally you’re able to apply them, will give you an idea of what tools to pursue. You can buy all kinds of information, but you have to be ready to apply it.

Pick up “Spa Career Success”: what makes your spa so speical for assistance. You’ll find links to more reference book for the spa industry here.

  • “The Spa Encyclopedia”
  • “International Standards of Spa Excellence”
  • “Spa and Salon Alchemy”
  • “Spa: The Official Guide to Spa Therapy”
  • “Fab Job: Guide to Becoming a Spa Owner”

For these and other books, you’ll find them on one of our industry associates sites here.  Best to you in your spa, health and wellness ventures.

A good book can make a world of difference!





New business and no budget? Quitting not an option.

19 08 2008

There is this saying that failing forward is what most people have to go through when they first start out.  For, if one never fails, one never progresses.   

I can tell you that I have been through more jobs and industries than I care to admit, and have failed countless times.  However, quitting never was an option, and I just continue to get back up and keep going until I get it right.   

 

I have listed some different marketing techniques that I hope will help others new to an industry, or those struggling in their current industries:  

 

1.  New in the industry? Find a mentor in your industry that will allow you to work under them and under their label as an independent contractor, intern, or a paid employee.   

 

This will give you experience and knowledge that you will need to continue to progress.   Work out an agreement in writing acknowledging your role and your mentor’s role in the business.  Your mentor can give you invaluable input and experience until you are ready for the next level.  

 

How do you find such a mentor? Go to different websites, and put in a request to speak to the owner about opportunities and offer something of value that your mentor would need, such as a Public Relations assistant (submitting press releases, promoting events, etc).   

 

Another way is by going into a facility and speaking to the owner directly about interning a few hours a week for free, then when you have a relationship in place, go up a few levels and request a paying position, or independent contractor position. Once the owner trusts you, chances are good that you will move up.   

 

2.  Whether you are a newbie or seasoned worker, Network Marketing is a great way to find referrals for your business.  Networking can put you in touch with that “right” person, OR put you in touch with a person who can introduce you to that “right” person.  These groups offer great chances to increase your listening skills, market your product or service, speaking in public and socializing techniques.  

 

Some excellent example groups to try in my area (Oregon): (if not in your area, cruise the internet for ones that ARE in your area)

-The Breakfast Clu

-Toastmasters—Wallmasters (www.wallmasters.org)

-Toastmasters—Nike

-Toastmasters (www.toastmasters.org).   

 

There are women groups and men groups that also offer unique opportunities over the internet and on-line, without having to meet in person.  Just start googling for groups on the web.  There are tons out there.  

 

 

3.  Setting up a website.  Most everyone is computer savvy, or at least on the computer in some way, and like to see a website in place.  Question is, how do you do this on a budget 

 

a.  Working under your mentor’s website, this would be one way of saving some dollars.  (or a company where you are working as a contractor, but still under the company umbrella)

b.  Setting up a FREE website, yes these really do exist, but they are limited in what you can do with them.  However, it is a start, and at least you have information on a site where potential clientele can view.  Go to www.synthasite.com for one of the free websites, no purchase necessary. 

c.  Yahoo.com has a low $$ amount for monthly fee, believe it is $8.96 a month for three months, then after that $11.95 monthly. This service boasts free domain name, unlimited disk space and data transfer, 24-hour customer service and secure hosting.  Not bad for what you get, and affordable. 

d.  If one has friends in the web design industry, have them take your project on for a discounted rate.  (or complimentary)  You can always offer to advertise their name on your site in order to do a “trade” deal and not have to pay-out funds. 

e.  Taking the idea above, do a trade deal for a web designer, offering the same thing, free advertising. 

 

 

4.  Press Releases! Easy and free and I have a list of over 72 sites that do not cost a penny.  Press Releases catch the interest all over the world.  The only catch is that you have to have material that is “newsworthy” and the best thing to do that I have been taught, is tag on to current news and offer something of interest.   

 

Piece of advice—Do not market your service/product blatantly, or the press release will be rejected (as mine have been countless times in the past when writing them myself).   Tagging onto a newsworthy event, and offering something of value (like the breast cancer awareness cruise event that is happening in October www.thelotuseffects.com), will most always work.  Also, make sure you put your business by-line at the bottom and limit advertising in the body of the press release.   

 

Google “press releases” and you can get a basic format printed out to go by.  I always (site permitting) list the business contact information at the top of the release so people can see our name right off the bat.   

 

5.  Blogging, Ezines and Forums…catch people’s attention by just writing from your heart.  As I have learned, do not advertise blatantly in either blogs or forums.  Keep it real, from the heart, as people are not looking for perfection, but for help.  Make your articles something people can use.  I tend to be a more technical writer, but it is an asset to be creative and fun as well as serious on these sites.   

 

For Forums, keep it light and feel free to also help others by answering questions, however, again keep your advertisements out of the forums, unless you are in an area that allows for this.  Make sure to read the rules on sites you visit.  I have violated more than one in my learning curve.  Forums are meant to give and receive advice, read up on upcoming events, news, and just another way of networking.  They are free and fun.   

 

Blogs are an awesome way to write articles that interest you and give your input to others.  Blogs to me can also be a sort of “daily” diary or journal on your life.  You can keep it fun or you can have a serious topic, it is completely up to you.  Just be yourself.   

 

Ezines, just a news publication via email.  Check out Lotus Effects site where there are ezines posted (www.thelotuseffects.com) if you need know how on what they are all about.  Ezines are business publications that are just emailed instead of mailed to people that are already on your warm market. Usually you send these out once a month for what is going on in your company, upcoming events, tips and ideas, as well as putting ideas in that others email you.  For instance, if you have an article idea, you can email Liz at liz@thelotuseffects.com with the article and she will get back to you on publishing in her next ezine.  This is an excellent free way of getting your name out their to another person’s contacts.  

 

6.  Writing an E-Book and then offering it for free on your website, is just another free method of advertisement.  E-Books can run from $20-$30, depending on what you feel the cost should be.   Offering a complimentary E-Book that is downloadable and costs you nothing to produce except your time, is another excellent source of gaining respect and clientele.   You can put this offer out in the mail as well as drop it by businesses, and also offer it on your website and promote through emailing, etc. 

 

 

7.  Social sites, such as LinkedIn and myspace.com are just a few more sites that are free and one can start doing marketing through meeting others on these sites.  I personally do not use myspace.com, but have associates that have much success with this site.  However, they do not cost you money, and you have everything to gain by trying them out.  There are many more out there, just Google for social sites, and more should pop up.  

 

There are so many more methods and ways out there, such as pod casting, UTube (if you have the capability), message boards, ad swapping, affiliate programs, email discussion groups, free classified listings and the regular method, plain hard work where you pick up the phone to call a warm market.  Gathering business cards from offices and placing calls later can get you past the gatekeeper to the manager or owner.  This is the old fashioned method that costs gas, but nothing else except your time.  Being able to get past the no’s and keep going is going to be a valuable trait in your new businesses.   

 

Hope this helps someone out there!  I know I struggle still, as I am newer in the industry, but baby steps will take you closer each time, and with each failure, the chances of success are that much closer.   Never ever give up on your dream, for the times when you are struggling the most, and feel like falling down, if you hang tough, your blessing will come.

 

I am going to emphasize this event again, because Breast Cancer is such a huge deal, we all should celebrate October.  Please go to www.thelotuseffects.com to sign-up for the October cruise sailing away the 13th, OR if you cannot make it, join us in being a sponsor for the event of the year.  We appreciate efforts made, and cannot wait to see you there!





When the ‘Expert’ Needs an Expert –

29 03 2008

The definition of expert is; “A person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field; specialist; authority.” Of course there are other definitions to this, but for the purpose here, we will generalize. I’ve been prompted to post this in response to finding several so called “experts” who have claimed to know something but have merely regurgitated old information. I’m not sure if this is in part from laziness, or fear of stepping out the box, and actually stating an original opinion. I’ve also found others who have used this title as an ego boost and solicitation of business almost to a level of unethical behavior. We don’t need to get into the psychology here of borderline personalities, just the fact there are many.

I know, I know. It’s easy to criticize, and my purpose here is not to do so, but to review both sides of this expert opinion coin. I’m not claiming of course, to be an expert on the subject, so take it or leave it. However, I’m not afraid to take an in depth look at something, and try to share valuable information with others either. Enjoy.

Being an expert or authority on something doesn’t necessarily have to do with the length of time you’ve been doing something, though time can’t typically be replaced. I feel there are certain areas where this is more applicable. For example, in surgery, or chemistry, this may certainly be the case. More time creates a higher aptitude to predict certain outcomes. To play devil’s advocate, I could say that time is relative. A doctor in practice for 20 years, may not be as up to date on technology, or open to new ideas as someone new and highly motivated in the field. What makes this true? Your viewpoint, to start with.

There are other industries where, clearly, time did not make the expert. Technology, websites, internet growth, fashion, an other common inventions by people who have surged to the top of industries, not from the length of time they had been in the industry, but a combination of things. A combination of what others are calling the “secret sauce” of expertise. Doing, learning, and apprenticing (being mentored) This comment comes from Lorelle VanFossen of BlogHerald . 1) “I think some amount of time spent apprenticing and learning, as well as doing, should be part of the qualification (to become an expert).” Well put, since it takes varying efforts to try to categorize who can and can’t be called an expert.

Experts are meant to provide something others can’t. To manage and create dream teams, design and follow through on a project in ways most can’t, share and mentor you with experience gained through time or hands on experience, and to create that perfect mix of business and personality that creates a win- win benefit. That’s a lot to manage. So just how do we know who an expert is, and when the experts, need an expert? Here are a few good rules;

  • Check background and credentials
  • Get testimonials and former clients, students, or colleagues to weigh in
  • In academia and business you can check claims and references; licensing, associations, boards, and BBB
  • Check body language and speech
  • See if they are referenced or cited in other ‘expert’ opinions, papers, websites, links, and books etc.
  • Be aware of quick claims, fast talk, over blown promises and unprofessional behavior
  • Big, bold type and unprofessional web sites and business cards can signal a pseudo expert

While it’s clear that people seek out experts to lessen gaps in learning and for advice, it’s recommended you do some homework of your own in this area. Depending on what industry you are in, you will have a different view of what an expert is, and what justifies the title of expert for an individual. Many people look to consultants as experts in industries across the board. These change agents are usually at the top of their field and have gained experience over the years. Others think the claim of consultants are an unnecessary evil. Either way, people want to be around leaders, and innovators. People listen to what experts say, and many take it at face value, even doing things they wouldn’t normally do at the bidding of an expert. I’m sure you can think of both good and bad examples to insert here.

It’s nice to think of top trainers or leaders, as the “all knowing” expert, but even top experts need to seek good advice. At least those with an authentic desire to continue to improve their expertise do. It’s alluring and flattering to be promoted as an expert, and hopefully when in that position, you’ve earned it. Many are expected to predict the future, and part seas. Of course that will continue to be out of our reach, even for so called experts.

What I see as important, is the need for peer review and supervision at the expert level. Keeping a thorough assessment on what creates a true expert with some oversite can encourage new ideas, and a reciprocal exchange of information (hence more expertise) all of which can be used for increased understanding in the field.

What we try to do with one of our companies, Lotus Effects, and those we affiliate ourselves with, is to expand the level of expertise by including those who fill gaps in our less focused areas, and push forward for what we call ‘kaizen’ or continuous improvement. We create assessments, programs, and models that are part of aspects of our work that can be evaluated by peers, clients, and other experts. It’s important to seek collaboration. Apparently I’m not the only one to feel this way. These comments came from Ted Nguyen on Blog Herald, “I didn’t create this stuff, I just found them and put them together for you. I’m a good synthesizer of information.” In other words, I’m good at taking bits of information and making them coherent or “make sense.” in referencing his ongoing need to learn and improve his specialist status. He goes on to say. ” So what I did was to collaborate with others who were more experienced than me but who were in related areas like “counseling.” While doing this, I read as much as I could online and through books & was fortunate enough to attend a conference (which really helped me).

Typically there has been a hierarchical system in which experts are viewed, and the more training, credentials, awards and experience in the field the more you are viewed as an expert. That is true, and if deserved, I can stand behind that. But with this there should be a collaboration of professionals for experts to turn to, and the ones I have known to be true authorities subscribe to this mindset also.

All of us at some time need a little advice, and a fresh point of view. So in closing, my point is that experts who can acknowledge that an open peer assessment, and supervision is a great template for valuing expert authority, rather than relying solely on the allure of the ego, will be the experts you want to go to. This helps the expert to keep from viewing themselves as “all knowing”. Experts, too, should create a balance with their level of experience and the weight of that title. The key is to focus on the importance of information and the end user, rather than internalizing the title of expert. Then again, I guess I’ve always been one those who challenges authority, and believes in organic growth for personal and professional development.

Join us for more opinion generating here.





Lotus Effects And Preston Spa Business Solutions Work Together in Spa Developement

12 09 2007

FINDING SOLACE IN A MYRIAD OF CHOICES – SHARED EXPERIENCE

This is a quick look back in time. Years ago when I was shaping the direction of my company in spa development and consultancy. Thought I’d share my thoughts, and opportunities. Since then, I have created two growing companies and am launching a third that will bring a new level of training to the spa and wellness industries. I will also bring you more postings on career development and opportunities in this heading, so stay in touch, and tune in for future growth. Enjoy.

While the seemingly overwhelming spa industry continues to grow, technical abilities increase, and newcomers enter the scene, we may find ourselves zig zaging from one direction to the next. Looking to find where we as therapists, directors, physicians, editors, speakers and so on will be most comfortable, somewhere to hone our skills, and be recognized for them. It’s hard to stand out in a crowd of apples, if you’re just another apple, so we try being oranges. Well, you get my point. We seek to devour information and success but to be celebrated for our individuality.

I have always had an insatiable appetite for learning, and true to my trade, I am continuously pursuing the web, reading trade magazines, researching trainings, following conferences and making contacts with like minded people. It was in this search that I located an informative and friendly site for all aspects of the industry. This web page, stood out among the 100 thousand others, not because of a flashy web master, but because I could refer to it for all of my needs. And being as I was currently on a contract project in Costa Rica, I needed to search a little harder, and locate information that may otherwise be readily available to someone in the U.S. I relied on internet connections and online trade information, to minimize that distance, and keep me informed. I utilized this site to locate quality products for a start up spa, answers to questions on subjects from esthetics, operational forms and organization, industry updates, interview suggestions, business mentoring, and if there was something that I couldn’t find immediately, I could locate the answer in an online forum, hosted by the site, and put in my two cents. A place where you can easily converse with people from around the world, on any industry subject. Since I’m a fan of the “flattening of the world” concept, this was great.

As I was looking for more career training, and wanting to increase my knowledge base and evolve as a spa consultant, taking on new projects, I knew as an analytically minded person, I needed a no nonsense approach. I needed the most quantity in the amount of time provided, because like so many others, my time was limited. I have passed up many advertisements and invitations on trainings because, I didn’t want an infomercial, with promises of free stuff, bonuses, or jam packed solutions, with no real sustenance. It is easy for an insincere salesperson to tap into your innate knowledge, presenting simple answers that have ultimately been extracted from within you. The spa industry at its core is about the human condition. If someone is pitching another well worded slogan, consider what the motive is.

I have always read industry articles from this site with enthusiasm, authored by Douglas Preston, and succinct in subject matter. I have also located his expertise on other web searches, for answers to esthetic questions, product and business matters. So naturally I was enticed when I found he would be providing a course in precisely what I was looking for, career advancement. As I had already had a feel for what he was able to present, I trusted it would be worth the long day of travel, and expense. On the first day of our course, I was pleased to find we had an intimate class with a total of five ladies from varying backgrounds, with like minded interests and ambitions. As I had flown in to the California conference from my present position out of the country, I was first in distance, with the second runners up from Canada, and Colorado. We also had a couple of local girls from, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Some of us already well established as consultants, or sole proprietors, and all of us being experienced in the nuances of spas. I knew we were all searching for that next step, a little support, and for me personally to light a fire that would propel me to reach beyond my previous motivators. I had hope that we would learn from each other as well as the host of the seminar.

As I am now back to work, I continue to read articles, and press releases, but feel I now have more personal information and tools to build on. In addition to having launched my Spa Development and Consulting business in Costa Rica, I also launched in my hometown of Salt Lake City. I continued to be a frequent visitor to the site once I returned, and as I have now met the author in person, I could appreciate the nuances of his writing and am familiar with the references. I have confidence that his ability, experience and past accomplishments are the real deal! In addition I was pleased to become part of a strategic alliance of spa consultants with Preston, all touting excellent experience and backgrounds. You never know where that one trip will take you.

I believe in sharing as much of our knowledge and information as we can, teach, talk and share with your associates. If you find yourself resistant to this you may consider that it is not your fear of sharing knowledge but the fear you will be become obsolete by doing so. Not valuing what you have to personally offer will limit you. And inevitably you will limit yourself right out of a job.

I have realized that I can choose to surpass my dreams, expand my career, and not be limited in offering my unique talents, to my colleagues. After attending this career training, I have returned with new excitement to my position and set new goals. This team of professional affiliates, based in Santa Fe, provides various training throughout the year along with personal services, locate details at www. prestoninc.net. My best wishes to all of you in your careers and I hope to have the chance to met and work with you in the future, in spa consulting and mentoring!

I can now enjoy a long overdue escape to the beach, lulling in and out of sleep with the waves of the rising tide. I am clear, and ready to go forward with the practical application of my Preston inspiration,expaniding my business success.