Spa Relaxation: Your Complete Reward – by Voda Spa

25 04 2008

RUSSIAN INSPIRED VODA

We are always looking for creative and refreshing spa concepts to deliver to our readers and also keep the industry on it’s toes. Which is why it was so pleasant to receive an introduction to the Voda Spa, West Hollywood. This spa brings patrons a very international feel with gents facials, VIP rooms and Russian Banyan treatments. Caviar wrap anyone?

They’ve taken every pre determined desire for their clients and turned it into a well delivered concept, from privacy to a luxurious and unique spa cafe. In their own words they talk about the foundations influences. “At the Los Angeles, voda spa, a variety of world traditions are taken into consideration, as among the four saunas are a Swedish/Finnish cedar dry sauna, a Turkish wet steam bath, and two Russian banyas, one ‘wet,’ the other ‘dry’. Each of the banyas is filled with hundreds of pounds of superheated rocks, producing a pleasantly intense heat.” Voda Spa

Memberships are offered with several levels of benefits and VIP treatment, and Kids from 6 -16 are welcome, encouraging you to make this day resort a family tradition. All of this is just in time for Mother’s Day, and the prices are so bad either, so you can book a treatment with your Mom while your at it. Give this outstanding Los Angeles spa a call for your membership opportunities and to book a treatment. We know this is one spa to keep an eye on. Na zdorovje! To your health! Enjoy the following article presented by Voda Spa themselves.

SPA RELAXATION – YOUR COMPLETE REWARD by Voda Spa

Everyday stresses necessitate us to avail of some sort of therapy to help us get by. However, it can be rather impractical to keep going to the doctor each time we feel something aching in our bodies. Spa therapy is a great alternative to seeking traditional medicine as it rids us of everyday muscle pains and rejuvenates our health.

Spa massage therapy is not cheap at all, but it provides countless benefits not only to our physical health but also to our mental and emotional well-being. At Voda Spa a famous LA day spa, located at Santa Monica Boulevard, you can choose from various spa massage techniques, the more popular ones being Thai, Swedish, and Shiatsu.

There are current spa massage trends that are slowly carving their own niches in the industry. There’s the deep tissue massage, the medical massage, and the sports massage doing the rounds of the rich and famous. And as soon as skin care can not be imagined without a body scrub, the goal of which is to tighten, revitalize and activate skin circulation, giving the skin a youthful and vibrant glow, Voda Spa offers a great scrub massage addition to your overall spa experience. Scrubs are a great and effective way of thoroughly cleansing your entire body while providing it with an overall skin care treatment.

Alternative therapy making use of spa massage is nowadays undetached from traditional medicine. Many physicians have begun to see the advantages of recommending spa massage therapy in conjunction with the work done by podiatrists, chiropractors, and physical therapists.

Career men and women who work hard also make it a point to play hard. For them, an excellent spa massage is their just reward for all the hard work they do, day in and day out. To relieve yourself of the accumulated stress, treat yourself to an out-of-this-world experience and get a rejuvenating spa massage today.

7700 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 654-4411

Take your virtual tour at Voda Spa today. Click here.

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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.





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.

 





Top Ten Spa Tips to Make Your Happy Healthy Holiday Season Last

10 12 2007

Creating a healthy and sustainable lifestyle is becoming a top priority for more and more people and their families. With the stress and hustle of the holidays and the change in sleeping and eating patterns that may come with it, the thing beauty3.jpgpeople can use the most is a reconnect between body and mind. How can a day spa help with that? For starters, they can give you the tools to stay physically and mentally healthy and help you visualize ongoing personal and professional success. “It all begins with a smart spa shopper and some dedicated well trained spa staff.” says Liz Galloway, spa image advisor and spa college international trainer.

Liz Galloway recommends these Top 10 Must Know Tips to keep you focused, and healthy throughout your holiday season and beyond.

 

  • Patron spas that you know have high licensing requirements for their therapists and are transparent about their sanitizing policies and procedures. Sometimes they will post this right on the wall. Spas are safe, but they are also intrinsic to a personal environment where viruses and bacteria can be spread. Good procedures and sanitization is a sign of good training and knowledge.

  • Follow up on industry trends before you book your appointment, and know what questions to ask and the results you want from the treatment. Keep in mind your health and wellness is key here. Do you prefer an organic product, are you recovering from an injury, are you willing to try the latest laser or wrap? This can also make first time spa goer’s more comfortable.

  • Book a series of treatments or invest in a product series offer at your day spa. They are usually a better bargain and will keep you committed to long term objectives. This works well with dermabrasion, skin rejuvenation, lipossage, and even massage. Spas and therapists are more than happy to give long term discounts in return for guaranteed income.

  • Coordinate your spa therapies with a nutrition plan for more rapid, satisfying results that will get you into good long term habits. Contact a lifestyle coach that can help you create a project plan for your short and long term goals is all aspects of lifestyle. Incorporate anti oxidant bases, natural energy boosts, and an eating plan that’s right for your body type.

  • Your spa therapies will create an important mind body connection, but that is not the only thing you need to keep healthy. Your financial health is also important. Find the best spa price for your budget. There are spa options that range from $35 -$135 an hour an up. Remember though that the knowledge and training of the therapist and the facility will play a big role in your satisfaction. Sometimes you will be paying a premium for good therapies and well trained people. Your worth it.

  • Keep your self looking younger and stress free through the holidays by getting rid of dull, dry, un even skin tone and helping maintain elasticity even after the holidays are over. Key skincare products and regular facials can help fight off tired stressed out skin. Something that can make us look and feel older. Try products that have antioxidant properties and stimulate our inherent cell growth and skin repair. A big trend is natural skincare, but don’t worry, many have great results driven ingredients.

  • Consider following spa industry and skincare trends by purchasing certified organic and natural based skincare products and spa treatments that support fair trade in other countries, and best practices, that will also create benefit for your own skin. Know the ingredients and read the labels, so you avoid irritations or allergies. Many spas have adopted these practices and can help you understand what’s best for you.

  • Go after a spa trend that incorporates guided imagery in your spa treatments. This is a combination of hypnotherapy and relaxation techniques that can leave your mind feeling fresh and gratified. It gives you a focused path to follow, so you can stop all that mental chatter from your day.

  • Take action for preventative care now. Not tomorrow or the next day. Some of this may include product, therapies, or nutritional elements that require you to try several variations. There is an element of reasonable experimentation to find what’s best. If you have questions about your regimen or needs, ask your spa skincare advisor or spa concierge to educate you. There are many things you can do for a healthy mind and body that you will thank yourself for later.

  • Seek out a pathos driven spa experience, where you follow your emotional needs and your spa of choice appeals to that. This is ultimately a large part of your spa satisfaction just in line with a more ethos driven experience, comfort in knowing your therapist is knowledgeable in their field. To make that happen spas and therapists need to invest in personal and career development.

Consider these tips and tools when booking your spa treatments and making your new year’s goals for lasting health and some stress free happiness through the holidays and beyond. Keep your mind rested and clear for the new year. In need of precision training to ensure that you, your staff and your clients are more than satisfied? Consider bringing in an outside trainer or advisor. Happy spa – ing!

Now setting one on one appointment times for the Day Spa Expo 2008 at the Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas. Book now for free consultation or interview times. Join us for the key business management and operations class at the expo. Feb 5th 11:00, “Make Your Spa a Destination” We will be giving away a destination retreat package in Costa Rica for most competitive participant in the class. Sponsored by Serenitas Spa Sanctuary. Dont’ miss it. RSVP for the class to ensure we have you reserved as our special guest. Purchase one of our essential spa books now available in a paperback manual with workbook and forms. “What Makes You So Special? Spa Career Success” From fundamentals to management. $45.00 How to create, present, market and profit from your spa ideas and treatments. By Liz Galloway and Nicolay Kreidler.





Day Spas and Resort Spas Set a Bad Example When Training is Overlooked

4 12 2007

When spas and resorts overlook needed training and customer relationship’s its a loss for the industry and the client. With our society highly focused on both inner and outer beauty and wellness, it is key that spas and therapists don’t lose sight of the real purpose they are in business. Results based, experiential services and the client. When spas have a lackluster attitude about sub standard training and operations, they are not the only ones hurt. Many spas say they are lacking the clients they need and the wanted exposure to make them successful. Much of that is due to gaps in training and insufficient customer service, because people don’t want to justify the cost for training. That sets a bad precedence for the industry. That is why providing cutting edge training seminars and in depth business reviews are one of the top priorities many industry experts, and foder for industry trend reports.That’s why training is a key focus of leaders like www.thelotuseffects.com .

Most recently Lotus Effects and Spa College International trainers had big success in focused seminars in Costa Rica and Mexico City to address both hands on and theoretical training for spas and individual entrepreneurs. Pulling from business tools and insights from the spa and hospitality industry, along with showing how to access industry’s across the board for resources. The results were positive and client driven. Here are some key touch points to remember when reviewing different training’s and convincing your superiors that it is necessary;

Spa Ambiance – You can’t fake being a good therapist, or giving a good treatment. You need tools and support. And remember that creating your visual and physical atmosphere helps you be competitive.

Client Comfort/Trust – Stop copying what everyone else is doing and raise the bar on client comfort and trust, that in return beget loyalty. That comfort and trust comes with experience and training.

Boomerang Booking – The whole purpose of your business is to entice clients to use your services and return to you for more. Put your time and energy into a focus of getting your existing clients to return. Plan for future outcomes and trends to some degree and create the menu to sell.

Review Client Emotional Base – Build on seed ideas that have given you past enjoyable experiences that reflected your comfort, positive sensory level, therapist interaction, and feeling. Take action on the good points of how that affected your emotional base and transfer it to your spa treatments.

Lifestyle Treatments– Address niche markets and money markets like LOHAS – Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. Find gaps in the current trends like spa community living, lifestyle coaches, eco movements, and spa concierge services, then improve upon it.

There are plenty more touch points to be aware of, this is a quick example, so you don’t fall into the trap of unwittingly setting a bad example for our industry. We have all heard of less than stellar spa services, maybe even experienced one ourselves. Without the correct training, it can go beyond that, with lack of knowledge of products, contraindications, treatment/client needs or even bordering on ethical and boundary violations, spas can run into trouble. This kills your business and drives a wedge in the seamless flow of what a spa needs and what our industry is trying to portray.

Liz Galloway, who has trained people in several countries says, “It’s almost a universal problem that I continually run into. You can’t expect your staff to perform as needed, or act as your ambassadors without the right career training and support.” She goes on to say, “Invest in training where it counts, so it doesn’t affect your bottom line.”

Don’t let lack of the right training or support of your staff hurt your business. There are many training solutions in the industry, and spas should be consistently monitoring trends and accessing industry professionals to continue to increase standards and create their own trends. Find training solutions at;

The Lotus Effects Precision Training – www.thelotuseffects.com

Santi Spa Management Training – www.frederiqueacademy.com

Cortiva Institute – www.cortiva.com

Steiner Educational Group – www.steinerleisure .com

The next customized seminars from Spa College International will be in Jamaica Antigua and Thailand and include the new training partnerships with Michell Royer, and Angela Martindale bringing an additional 20 years of health, communication, management resolutions, bodywork, fitness and healing energy work into the training curriculum. Want to set a GREAT example? Have boundaries, be passionate, set trends, be authentic and create boomerang booking.

Pick up the newly published core manual on spa treatments, marketing and empowerment tools for the spa professional – “Spa Essentials a Course to Mastery -From Fundamentals to Management” now for only $45 including workbook and forms.