As a consultant, my greatest challenge has been convincing owners to invest in a proper marketing strategy. For some reason, many owners believe that good work alone will grow their company to a sustainable level. This can be true depending on what a sustainable level means to you.
The reality is clients still need to find you. You are competing at a time when there are franchises saturating every zip code, full service spas in almost every hotel, and independent services sprinkled everywhere in between. Every location is aiming to convince prospective clients of the same thing, “a great service at a justified price for their well being.”
Considering every location believes they provide the best service at their justified price, what then makes the customer choose you? Even more concerning are the priorities some owners place on their marketing dollars. Yes, it is very important to have business cards, brochures, and a website. But what is more important is the ability for those items to generate cash flow.
A website, for example, is very inexpensive and can be created on even the smallest of budgets. The difference is that a strategic website will drive potential customers to spend money with you. If potential clients are not making a purchase based on your website, then why do you have one?
I would never suggest that a client not have a website. What I do highlight is the fact that a website alone is not enough. Things like design, ease of use, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media integration are keys to building a paying client base from your website. If you don’t possess the skills or time to invest in these components, it is best to hire a professional.
Hiring a professional is a hurdle most owners do not want to approach because their marketing budget may be very small. What the owner is overlooking is the potential significant return on investment (ROI). If a professional completed your website and successfully drives 30 new clients into your business each month, would you reconsider the limitations of your budget?
Theoretically speaking, the average new customer will spend $50 during their first visit. 30 clients would yield a monthly gross income of $1,500. That is not including repeat visits, referrals or gift certificates purchased by these customers. The potential income from a website that is strategically designed and well maintained is endless. The same can be said for any type of marketing strategy or campaign.
When customers are in the market for a new spa or personal service provider, there is no shortage of options. Those who win the bid usually do so because of a well-executed marketing strategy. Losing out on the prospective new client is usually due to the marketing you didn’t do. Successful owners will tell you it is not enough to simply invest in tangible marketing items if there is no strategy behind them.
Kamillya Hunter is the owner and founder of Spa Analytics. She encourages independent owners to focus on The Details That Matter when running a business. She’s a mom of two, an army wife, author and a self diagnosed “Spa Junkie” who lives, eats, breathes and sleeps the personal service industry.