“Wellness is in your water”

2 09 2008

My friends had been talking about this Alkaline Ionized water for the past few months, and my husband and I finally decided to give it a go for a month to see the effects for ourselves.  Our friends have been giving us the water for free so it would be living proof that the water did what it said it did.  Then, I wanted to do a review on this blog, since topics surround health, and to let the public know about this water.

So, my initial research on the water and my own personal experience of this water was incredible.  The water is called “Kangen Water”, and just “tasting” the water was different from any other bottled water or tap water I have ever tasted, and this also includes filtered water out there as well.  The water tastes pure, and devoid of any chlorine or Lye, as is found in our lovely local water. 

So, to start with, My husband and I attended a demonstration to see the effects of this water against other waters on the market, and wow, it was amazing to see what we were actually drinking.  The demos were completed using chlorine testers, ph testers that were bought at local pool stores, and what a difference!  Kangen water uses a PH Chart of Alkaline and Acidity, and according to PH charts our PH level should be more on the alkaline side then acidic, and most of our bodies are on the acidic due to our environment and foods we eat on a daily basis.  This unit seperates the acidity in your tap water from alkaline, and you get the alkaline for drinking instead of the acid.  The alkaline reaches deeper cellular levels according to my research, thus flooding your body with pure and healing water. 

Now, this PH chart has colors on it, from yellow to deep purplish-blue, and Kangen alkaline water tests on the deep purplish-blue, while acidic water tests on the more acidic side, yellow, yuck, do we really know what we are drinking?  Our local Tap water tested neutral (green), however, the reason for this is the city has to add so much Chlorine to make the PH levels test out appropriately.  Sooo, when the tap water was tested for Chlorine levels, it was off the charts, along with lye levels, this is what we drink from the tap around my area.  Now, for bottled water, every single water that they tested was acidic, so again, maybe we should be performing these ph and chlorine tests at home right?  Putting more acid in our bodies is certainly not the answer or healthy for that matter. 

To explain this unit further–Kangen water is a water treatment system that attaches to your faucet, and has different levels (for drinking, for cleaning, for taking medication), and you adjust the level on the unit to what you need for use.  This unit also talks, well at least the top end unit talks, however if you cannot afford that unit, then the smaller unit does the same job for less money, just no talking, and this is the junior unit.  The unit lasts 15-20 years and comes with a 5-year warranty.  Kangen also comes in commercial size use, for businesses and restaurants, wouldn’t it be nice to know that we are receiving the best in water?  Every business should have one of these units, in my personal opinion:)  Especially after my testing for the past 1 1/2 months.  You can only pick it up from a distributor, so check in your area. 

The effects of the water have been incredible.  The health benefits of Kangen water show that it works in clearing toxicity, weight-loss, acid reflux, digestive issues, candida problems, helps diseases such as cancers and diabetes, etcetc.  This is all on their site at enagic.com.  A medical doctor invented the unit in Japan, and brought it to the USA in 2003 according to the reports on-line.   I have had excellent results in clearing my digestive system and toxins in my body, have lost further weight on this water, and it has cleared my skin and improved my mood as well as PMS symptons. 

Now, that is me, everyone is different, so take this review into account and see for yourself.  I am passing the word along because it is beneficial, and a good independant rep will let you try this for free so you can see for yourself.  I plan on buying a unit soon myself.  It is definitely worth it. 

Hope this helps someone!  My husband is having good effects as well.  Going back to bottled water is not an option now. 

Also, reminder to join us on our Breast Cancer Awareness Cruise and event of the year, setting sail October 13th-18th!  Check out www.spacollegeinternational.com to register or contact Liz at liz@thelotuseffects.com for any questions.  We would love to see you in attendance and time is winding down.





Organic Beauty At Home..Creating your Own “Spa” Feel

25 08 2008

 

Create that ‘spa’ feeling in your home, block out the outside “noise” just for a while & have time just for you…  I wanted to include some information and sites to peruse through that have natural organic based products that are chemical free, AND great for your skin and home!

 

TIME FOR A BATHROOM OVER-HAULCreate that spa atmosphere by going “green”

  • Clean up that bathroom first. You need a peaceful place, and that means clean and green as a great alternative cleaner. Use a cleaner devoid of toxins, such as www.simplegreen.com.  (no synthetic ingredients, no petroleum-derived ingredients, no synthetic fragrances, biodegradable)
  • Fluffy spa towels add to a spa feeling, and you can get great deals at “Linens and Things” or Bed, Bath and Beyond”, and for those on tighter budgets, “Target”, “Costco”, “Sams Club” or Walmart” offer significant savings.
  • Non-Toxic Clean-Burning Candles (to give a relaxation serene environment) –put these around your tub (if there is room, keeping safety in mind!).  You can find these type of candles at sites such as www.hollyscents.ca.  (Soot-free, natural materials from American Farms, burns clean)
  • Bubbles, LOTS of bubbles, again, there are great alternatives with no chemicals, such as making your own at home! Try this website at www.bathandbodyrecipes.com.  There are many methods of home recipes for everything from skin to hair to facial and more. 
  • Mud Mask for your face, Hair Masque for conditioning, and a Body Scrub for your skin.  I found this organic website that is fabulous, located at www.bellalucce.com or www.spabotanicals.com.  The products are completely natural.  If this is above your budget, try somewhere like “Bath and Bodyworks” in the mall, OR go to another site on-line to peruse other websites that are eco-friendly.  This is located at www.ecomall.com.  The other site at www.bathandbodyrecipes.com also has great recipes for home recipes. 
  • Slap on the masques, light the candles, turn on the music, put a fluffy towel beside your bath, and lay back with your favorite book, and RELAX! If you have a jacuzzi tub, then perfect, if not, then one can buy a makeshift one that can be plugged in the wall and lowered in your bath for the same effect of swirling water around you. 

Here are some recipes I found at the bathandbodyrecipes.com, for more, go to their website and look around:

Relaxing Foot Soak:

Big Bucket Hot Water, 1/4 Cup Rosemary Leaves, 1/4 Cup Desired Bath Salt

**pour in the Rosemary Leaves and Bath Salt to the hot water, and enjoy

Arthritus Relief Bath Oil Recipe

2 ounces of carrier oil of your choice (sweet almond, grapeseed, olive, etc.)
5 drops White Birch essential oil
5 drops Ginger essential oil
5 drops Juniper essential oil
5 drops Marjoram essential oil
5 drops Rosemary essential oil
liquid food coloring (optional)

Blend the oils together and store in an amber or cobalt glass bottle. After you have drawn your bathwater, add about 1/4 ounce (7-8ml) of the bath oil blend to your bath water.  ***Notes: Do not use all 2 ounces of bath oil in one bath.

Apricot Lanolin Cuticle Cream (nails)

1/2 teaspoon Apricot Kernel Oil
2 teaspoon Lanolin
1 drop Essential Oil (your choice)

***Melt oils together, add essential oil, pour into jar and let set.

Avocado Deep Conditioner (Hair)

1 small jar of mayonnaise (preferably organic)
1/2 avocado

Peel avocado and remove pit. Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl with your hands until it’s a consistent green color. Smooth into hair being careful to work it to the ends. Use shower cap or plastic wrap to seal body heat in. **Leave on hair for 20 minutes. For deeper conditioning wrap a hot, damp towel around your head over the plastic, or use a hair dryer set to a low to medium heat setting.

Healing Lemon Green Tea Bath Tea Recipe

1/4 cup Green Tea
1/4 cup Calendula Petals
1/8 cup Mint
1 TBS Olive Oil
1/2 tsp JoJoba Oil
1/4 cup Ground Almonds
3-5 drops Lemongrass Es. oil or grated peel of 1 lemon

Mix together and package. This should be enough for 2-3 bathes.
Packaging ideas = Package loose in jars or tin-tie bags and include a reusable muslin bag or two.

**The method of using herbal teas is to simmer the herbs for 5 minutes, steep them for 10 minutes, and then pour the mixture directly into the tub through a strainer. This method is very satisfactory. The “tea” is stronger and does a better job, plus the fact the fragrance created by simmering the tea is a beautiful bonus.

***Recipes above were taken from www.bathandbodyrecipes.com. Interesting ideas and home remedies at your disposal. 

 

A reminder for Breast Cancer Awareness month coming up in October!  Go to www.spacollegeinternational.com and click on “wellness cruise” to register for the cruise event of the year!  October 13-19th sets sail, join us in celebration of this phenominal event and cause.  Sponsorship forms also available.  Feel free to also call me at 888-223-0633 x102 or email at stacey@thelotuseffects.com for any questions on the cruise, upcoming events, as well as questions on the spa industry.  We are happy to be of assistance whatever your needs are! 

 





Why are we so sick? Healing naturally….a new way of life.

11 08 2008

Why are we so sick? Healing naturally….a new way of life.  

 

Because holistic healing has become a passion of mine, I was pondering why the majority of Americans are so sick in health, body and yes, even spirit today. With all the alternative methods of healing out there, why are we not utilizing them more effectively?

 

Diseases are on the rise, and as we celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness in October, the topic of healing naturally came to my mind as some suggestions to live a healthier lifestyle.  Also, as a side note for Breast Cancer Awareness, please support the event cruise of the year by visiting www.thelotuseffects.com/2008cruise.html. Your sponsorship and/or attendance is highly appreciated and valued. 

 

One answer to change is to get back to the basics by healing from the inside out. I have compiled a list of suggestions and items one can research to determine what combination best suits them.  If one has pain, depression, weight issues, disease, or just in need of a boost of life, a lifestyle change CAN help and in some cases, reverse what is going on, and slow down the aging process as well, so I urge everyone to do their research and try the suggestions below:

 

  1. Healing Spa Resorts are going green and being sensitive to the environment and the community.  Healing spas are set-up to relax, renew and refresh your body, mind and spirit.  You can go to these resorts just to get away from your busy lifestyle, and with the resorts on the rise, there are plenty to choose from.   

I would look for a spa setting that is peaceful, clean, serene, and has every treatment one is looking for, as well as qualified staff.  Personally, when I go to a spa resort, I always look for comfort, how the staff treats me when I walk in the door, how the space is set-up, and generally my gut feelings upon entering.  If I don’t feel right, then I leave. 

 

There are many healing spas in other countries that also offer a broad base of services and have package deals that are affordable.  If finances are concerning, then look for a day spa in your area, and ask for specials going on, or just buy the packages you can afford, such as 4 hours for $99 (one of the specials that was running for a full beauty and massage treatment in my area).  Look for deals that suit your needs.

 

  1. Organic Products & Food are being utilized more than ever now, starting with shopping at your local farmers market seasonally, and going to an organic store, such as Whole Foods, New Seasons, or whatever alternative store is in your area. Looking for foods that have sea salt instead of refined salt, or cane juice instead of sugar is just a couple of items that you can effectively change in your diet, easy, more tasteful as well.  

Ask lots of questions when you go to these alternative stores, such as what can replace dairy? One solution is turning to goat milk, cheeses, goat yogurt, etc.  Goat cheese is extremely tasty and I have completely switched over myself from cow products. Using soy milk or rice milk to replace regular milk, even in cooking is another substitution one can make.  Using eggs that have omega3 and are cage-free would be a healthy substitution for regular eggs that are not organic. 

 

Using products that are fragrance free is worth exploring, or if you like the good smelling lotions, shampoos, look for natural ingredients that have a pleasant smell like grape seed extract (smells like grapefruit).  Basically, if I cannot pronounce OR understand the ingredient list, then I don’t buy it anymore.  The ingredient list should not be long either, the shorter the list, the better it is for you, at least in my research.  Your skin also soaks up anything you put on it, like lotions, so keep this in mind, when you are buying products, especially with chemicals in them. 

 

Bottom line, change doesn’t have to be painful, just baby steps, making simple substitutions, and one will find a whole new healthy world out there. 

 

  1. Raw Food Industry is a different way of living than even organic.  Going “Raw” entails LOTS of research, buying a dehydrator or finding a store that carries “raw” products.  Raw food is just what it states, eating raw, not cooking the food, but using a dehydrator, making sure your food never goes over a certain temperature.  I am not an expert in this area, but I did try it for a while, however it didn’t quite work for me as I like meats (fish and buffalo primarily) and I like my food warm for the most part. 

 

However, there is a whole lot of health information one can find and incorporate into their lifestyle by eating raw veggies, and fruit.  This doesn’t require a dehydrator, and I love raw veggies and loads of fruit. 

 

So, again, incorporating different methods into your routine, even small ones, goes a long way.  I have lost 50 lbs in 4 months just by eating fruits, veggies (mainly raw), no processed foods, including no sugar. Eating fish, buffalo meat, goat cheeses, nuts (almonds, walnuts mainly), and pretty much nothing synthetic or chemical based.  I feel great, the food is wonderful, and my skin is looking good.  This was the easiest “diet” I have ever tried, and sticking to eating “clean” the rest of my life.  

 

  1. Detox Methods are a buzz word in society today.  I would highly recommend a natural healing doctor that will detail a detox schedule that works for your body.  For me, I went through a lot of books, on-line products, before I found what worked.  There are so many things I could say on this subject, but not enough room to write it on this blog.  However, talk to a natural doctor for cleansing from heavy metals, parasites, chemicals and food, as well as colonic treatments. There is another form of detoxing called hydrotherapy, which is very effective in some cases as well.  Any detoxing should be tailored to what you “need” rather than what is the trendy thing to do. 

 

  1. Some other known areas of healing to consider and research, and they can defy our human mind, but Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, NAET treatments for allergies, Herbal Healing (dealing with supplements in the body), Energy Healing, Kinesiology, exercise such as Pilates, swimming, walking.  Laughter and affection plays a part for healing your whole self, so find something that brings this out in your daily life.  

 Drinking plenty of filtered water throughout the day to stay hydrated would be one of my top areas of healing your body.  Check out alkaline water units that balance out the alkalinity in your body. There is much to be said about this hot topic of too much acidity in your body that can lead to disease, as reports state.  Healing by finding time for yourself would be a top priority as well, lock yourself away from any stressful areas of your life for a moment and come out renewed. 

 

Create a spa like feel in your bathroom, take a bubble bath, immerse with a book, put candles around the tub, soft music in the background, and make it about you.  This will take the edge off stress for those who like baths. 

 

The above is my “condensed” favorite list above for anyone needing to find a different way to live.  My best advice—have fun while making that lifestyle change, it is not painful, but joyful in discovering different ways of healing and great foods to eat that come from nature itself. 

PS–Think P.I.I.N.K and join us in celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness in October. Go to www.thelotuseffects.com/media.html for information & upcoming events.





Secret Shoppers Review of Portland Spa and Salon – The Good and Bad

7 05 2008

SECRET SHOPPERS DO THEIR DUTY

Being in the industry, we often stay updated on what goes on in daily spa and wellness practices by using secret shoppers to give us an inside view. It can be a priceless summation of what to do and NOT to when creating  a focused spa concept that needs to have long standing appeal. Every spa wants to get a rave review, and many do, but you will be surprised to see that every day clients look for a lot more than being your next appointment and they notice a lot. Take a look at one of our latest reviews of a local Portland spa. Be aware spa owners and therapists because you never know which client could be a ‘secret shopper’. Enjoy! Want your spa reviewed to see what really goes on? Contact us to set up an appointment. This review is told from the viewpoint of the shopper.

Excited at the prospect of walking into the Bliss Salon in Portland, Oregon and having my first pedicure along with a mini-facial, my expectations were high with a name like “Bliss”, and I could not wait to go relax and get away from the world.

However, this is evidence that a name really means nothing when it comes to the spa experience. Walking in to Bliss Salon, my first thoughts were eclectic cute hair salon. The lady working the front desk was very nice, courteous and her look was “artsy” and very “Portland Chic”, offering me water upon entrance & greeting me right away.

However, my next thought was disorganized and not the spa feeling of tranquility I was hoping to feel upon entrance. There was no streamlined appearance and I saw a make-up stand that allowed one to sample the product, but when I had a good look, there was no way I was sampling, since it did not appear to be as cleanly as I would like, but then maybe I was expecting too much? A q-tip appeared to be missing its tip, and the stand was disorganized, with a small open garbage can under the stand, on top of being right beside the door, which threw me off. The hair products and spa products were right in front of entrance, and I saw several lines of products that were organic in nature, which pleased me, and gave me hope that this experience would be better when I went to the back to have my mini-facial. However, the products did not appear organized and I felt that the spa could have done a better job at re-configuring that space, even though it was small.

My facial lady took me back to the massage “room”, and upon entering, I finally felt the tranquility I was seeking when entering Bliss. The room had warmth and candles with low lighting, and I felt like I had finally left the outside world. I was told to undress and get into the robe and lie on the massage table for my mini-facial, and to take deep cleansing relaxing breaths, of which I did gladly. She left me for a bit to relax, and upon re-entrance did not talk much, just asked me any problem areas on my face, of which I told her dryness in the T-Zone area, but neglected to tell her I was sensitive to chemicals. I was actually waiting for her to ask me additional questions on what skin care I used, etc, but she never did. Instead, she started the facial, and everything was going well, to the point of almost drifting off to sleep, until she put a heavy deep cleanser on my face. This instantly started burning my skin and when she took it off, I had spots starting all over my face from my sensitivity to the product. At this point, I just wanted to be done and go put ice cubes on my face, but alas, I was told to get dressed and follow her into the pedicure room.

I was a little disappointed that I had to re-dress and was surprised that they would relax you and then have you lose that feeling by re-dressing and going into a completely different area of the spa to have the pedicure. I felt it would be more streamlined to have a pedicure room next to the massage room, and keep the robe on to continue the relaxed effect, but then I could just be extremely picky and spoiled with my other spa experiences in the past. Upon dressing, I had to go through the noisy hair-dressing area, walking through people to get to the pedicure room, which thank goodness; she shut the door and had a warm bowl of water with rocks waiting for me. I submerged my feet, and forgot about being upset when my foot massage started. I guess I should have said something about my ticklish feet, but she was very good about telling me to flex my feet, as I kept laughing when they used the brush on the bottom of my feet. Did I tell you this was my first pedicure? The lady was extremely nice and gentle though, and made sure that I was comfortable. I was pleased with the overall pedicure experience, and my toes were a nice light rose color when she finished.

What I was surprised about though, is Bliss had nothing to ensure that your toes dried quickly, telling me it could take an additional hour for drying time. I had worn sandals, but because my shoes would mess up the “paint” job, the pedicure lady gave me spa flip-flops to wear out, which I thought was okay at the time, until I left and saw it was raining. I ended up slipping on the sidewalk, and landed (quite embarrassingly) on my knees, bruising them up, and messing up my pedicure, but continuing on as I just wanted to get home at that point. One word at this point—Liability!

My last point, and I will say that this is important, is there was no up-selling on products, and not one word mentioned of using their products, nothing asking me what my overall experience was, and the receptionist was missing upon my exit. The gentleman manning the front desk did not know how to use the computer even, and could not find me in the system, so I just ended up leaving.

My overall rating on this spa would be extremely mixed, and out of a 5 star, would give this one a 2, but if one likes the eclectic casual, then this is for you, but if one wants the overall spa “experience”, then I would suggest a more high-end spa and not Bliss. A hair salon, it was definitely that, but a spa? Not so much. .. Names can be deceiving.





Don’t Let the Fear of Hard Times, Overshadow Your Real Spa Business Goals

28 03 2008

spamoney.jpgThe recession detox. It’s time to purge your personal and business systems from the anxiety and trepidation coupled with hard times. Discover how to overcome the fearful predictions for the economy, and why many feel that these effects have been exaggerated, even for small business owners. There have been hard times before, and traditionally in times of a perceived crisis people tend to stick with what they feel is safe, their favorite brands, and look to businesses that are confident in their product and stimulate innovation. Avon, for example,survived the downturn of the 1930’s by selling it’s business opportunity to women, and a commitment to door to door sales and service. The difference of a direct selling method and an empowered women workforce allowed them to continue their successful management through the depression. The opposite of that would have been the inability of Avon’s leader’s to recognize the importance of market synergies, even in a difficult time, and ultimately, defeat. Are we in a similar situation? Consider following the lead of Avon’s approach in the 30’s, and up sizing your service and retail market.

The definition of optimism can be seen as an outlook on life such that allows one to maintain a view of the world as a positive place. With current predictions, many spa owners and entrepreneur’s will need a healthy share of optimism to get through what these times are predicted to bring. Or do we look to reports like that of the Economist, who say that with the national unemployment rate at 6.4 percent, people are still fueling the $160 billion-a-year international beauty industry. Though there does seem to be a modest decline in leisure travel and spending, most small businesses, including spas are saying they are not necessarily feeling the crunch. The retail director at a Burke- Williams spa, says even with tax season, business is great. Other spa directors and individuals also feel these predictions may have been overblown, and they are still experiencing an influx of people who need pampering, botox, teeth whitening, massage and waxing. According to most we are still not sure we are in a recession, and there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel. Smart businesses will survive.

What are the real issues facing spas with a cloud of recession, and what are the perceived issues? Though some spa services and wellness programs may be viewed as a nicety rather than a necessity, don’t get bogged down in pessimism. Spas have the ability to provide a vital service that contributes to the relief of increased stress from uncertain times. Well produced services and beneficial products contribute to a healthy society by addressing the holistic needs of both emotional and physical tension. A commodity greatly needed at this time.

BELIEVE IN YOUR SPA – SUGGESTED STRATEGIES

professinallearning.jpg Whatever your business viewing angle, it is clear that there is a need for improved recruiting methods for top staff, key sales management, downsizing expensive advertising and new product and market tactics to meet the current situation. It may be necessary to change your target market, if only temporarily, and focus more on internal marketing and retention. Choose a few specialties to promote, and ensure that your services are viewed as a necessity. Your marketing dollars now need to go further so you may pull print ad’s and revive e commerce options, more viral marketing, and of course as much positive media as you can muster.

Take a look at your cities community spending, travel sectors, hospitality sectors and leisure spending that contributes to comparable markets, like spa spending. One good place to start is building a relationship with your local visitors bureau and chamber’s of commerce. You can find a wealth of information on general consumer purchasing, how many people visit the area, and what they are spending. Possibly more pressing is information on increases and decreases in estimated spending, expected local expansion and pre development information. Your city could be a gold mine of tourist, meeting, convention and special event destinations funds. Areas that spas can create super affiliate ventures with.Spas should be looking at their proximity to other attractions, demand, and consumer necessities, even whether people use travel and hospitality to access their location. This is a time where you need to ensure that you take advantage of the market when others are shying away. Hesitation is devastation.

FOLLOW THE RESULTS – NOT OTHERS

Social proof is a funny thing. Most people will follow what others think is right, fair, or correct rather then taking a deeper look at their own facts and circumstance. Don’t let social proof or majority opinion focused on an increasing recession be one of your mistakes. It’s time to get tough, and creative. Be aware of what the competition is doing, but don’t use it as the directive that determines your planning. It will be necessary to create a balance in the supply and demand in the leisure industry, as growth and competition will continue to increase, and we ride out the first and second quarters of 2008 for results. The supply of day spas is sufficient, the demand is there. You have the responsibility to create a channel of effective marketing that will bring that demand to you, and carry you through what some are calling a recession. If you are a smaller business, don’t worry, you have some advantages over corporate behemoths. You have less bureaucracy, more decision making responsibility, recognition of success, more influence with top management, a niche market, and the ability to directly affect the bottom line.

To create your own results, check out where your bottom line is, and re direct your efforts to high return marketing like a publicist, who may cost less than your current efforts. Focus on creative ideas, headlines and adopt products that will create differentiation. Over all you will need to do what your numbers say you can do. In all of this arranging and researching, you can find solace in knowing that you’re not the only one who may be experiencing uncertainty. Some of your competitor’s are seeking the guidance of advisors, and beta testing new ideas to stay competitive. Not a bad suggestion.

Though many feel that is isn’t safe or smart to reveal their worries or challenges in business, especially in a time of tightened competition. It can be an emotional and financial lifesaver during times like these. Not recognizing these ‘little’ things can begin to tear the business culture in your spa apart and be a dis-advantage to you.

A few suggested solutions to check out are MayerLeadership.com, and Emotional Intelligence seminars. You can also find a business driven healing arts advisor to direct you through tough times, and you shouldn’t view that as a weakness.

IS YOGA A GOOD ANALOGY FOR BUSINESS

prayer.jpg All of this decision making and necessity for effecting change, reminds me of those times when I’m on my way to yoga class. I know it will be good for me, and I will feel better after, but I weigh it out with the amount of effort, time and dedication it takes. It’s even sometimes downright painful, but the end result is worth it. However I find myself watching the clock thinking I can fit in just one more phone call, or a little more work before class. Minutes pass by, then a few more, and now I’ve got to rush to class just to make it on time, and there’s little chance that I will.

Have I some how sub consciously created tasks to procrastinate? Things that will get me off the ‘hook’ of going to class. I think even though I didn’t make it to class like I should, I can still feel good about myself because I was working, or completing something else that was important, right? Wrong, had I just stuck to my schedule and completed the task at hand and made it to yoga, I would have reaped the rewards that I was looking for, rather than putting it off until another day.

In other words, sometimes we don’t do what we should, or what we know is best for us, whether it’s a simple yoga class, or a new marketing tactic to pommel a recession. It will too take effort, and focus, so remember while you’re putting off your goals and change for another day, others are digging in their heels and gaining clients, revenue, and the benefits of a well contemplated plan.

 

So instead of being focused on that whatchamacallit, explore your options and speak with a specialist for additional insight and plan your own recession detox. One for staying power. After all I don’t think we’ve heard the whole story yet.

 





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.





Give Me Five Minutes To Prove You Can Make A Difference

7 08 2007

world.jpg We’ll Show You How to Maximize Your Inner Beauty by Helping Others

July, 2007 Salt Lake CityWhat do the indigenous people of Costa Rica, a non profit organization, and an international wellness consultant, have in common​? For starters the belief that a sustainable future is important and reachable. Two very different Salt Lake Companies have combined forces for one common theme. Combining wellness with wisdom. Part of that theme, takes us to helping the tribes of Costa Rica.

Rebecca South, Managing Director of Domes for the World (DFTW), and Liz Galloway, Principal of Lotus Effects LLC, have launched a common theme in their companies, “Inner Beauty Comes from Helping Others.” Promoting this both in their independent companies and their strategic partnership to create awareness for sustainable living. The mission of DFTW is to build affordable and long term housing for developing countries. Not just “housing” but DOME shaped Eco Shells. This EcoShell technology ensures homes can be built using 50% less material than other construction methods, without consuming local resources, or increasing deforestation. Not only is this a necessary, modern approach, but an exciting concept!

DFTW has progressed in leaps and bounds both locally and internationally, and continues to gain support. Part of the strategic partnership of these two companies, is increasing that support and involvement from YOU. South and DFTW was recently introduced at a local women’s networking event, the Urban Lifestyle Women’s Exchange in downtown Salt Lake. Outlets like this can help increase awareness and networking, along with helping you maximize your inner beauty and make a difference for someone in the world. “We maintain that as an individual or group we can make a difference in a stranger’s life.” says Galloway when talking about her interest in the project and promoting inner beauty. Galloway goes on to say “I work in an industry that is wellness and beauty focused, but this needs to be more than the physical.”

Bring out your inner beauty, and help support DFTW. What can you do? A promotion has been set up with an organic skincare company, hand made in Costa Rica. Each time you purchase products from any of their lines, these generous business owners, will provide 25% of total sales for the project development in Costa Rica. To purchase contact info@rawbotanicals.com, or www.rawbotanicals.com. You can also donate directly to Fundieco, the indigenous organization in Costa Rica (www.fundieco.com) or  DFTW, www.dftw.org . You can also join us at the social networking event each month, and talk to us in person to join the inner beauty movement. (www.thelotuseffects.com/events.html) This is one country and one route, but the reach of DFTW is worldwide, with successful projects in other countries already under it’s belt.

As our world grows more chaotic and we ourselves are unsure of how to create change, it should be in the forefront of our minds to seek out opportunities that sustain the interconnectedness of all of our lives, familiar and foreign. This project directly promotes that sentiment. Opportunities are made, not taken. Will you help support a sustainable future?

For questions, comments, registration and suggestions you can contact Liz Galloway at contact@thelotuseffects.com, or Rebecca South at rebecca@dftw.org Your input is welcome.

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