December rush over… now it’s time to plan!

Don’t let the lull in January make you complacent. This is the perfect time to get your staff and your business geared up for the New Year. Here are a couple of ways that will help you ensure that your year is planned; your staff are accountable and you know where you want to be at all times throughout the year.

1. SWOT analysis

What is a SWOT Analysis?
This is a structured planning tool that helps you evaluate and understand the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in your business.

Internal =
Strengths: are characteristics of your business that give it an advantage over others
Weaknesses: are characteristics that place the team / business at a disadvantage relative to others

External =
Opportunities in the market place: are elements that the business could exploit to its advantage
Threats in the market place: are elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business

By identifying these SWOT’s you are able to make informed decisions when planning to achieve certain objectives that will be included in your Strategic Action Plan.

2. Strategic Action Plan

Think ahead. Planning your objectives for the year is a vital part of staying focussed and ensuring that your team understand the objectives and the whole team is working towards the same goal.

Set yourself realistic objectives for the year. Just as it’s important for you to set realistic financial targets, it is also essential that the objectives you set are achievable.

Decide on the points that you need to do to get there. Apart from setting your objectives it is vital that you document what processes you need to implement to get to your goals.

Give yourself dates on when it is that you going to achieve these. When you have completed the following points put dates and timelines on when you expect to achieve these goals; again taking into account a realistic timeline for completion. Ensure that whoever is responsible for each task is held accountable to make sure that everything is done when it is supposed to be.

Focus on all areas of the business. Do not leave anything out! The following areas must be highlighted to ensure the whole business is focused moving forward

a. Revenue
Management: Is you manager incentivised to drive revenue?
Front office: Is your front office team booking smart to maximise availability? Are they promoting gift voucher sales?
Therapists: Are your therapists’ up-selling their services to gain more revenue from each guest?
Retail: Do you have a set retail / turnover percentage set that your staff has to achieve? Always remember that at least 40% of your turnover should come from retail sales.

b. Marketing
Website: Is your website up to date and does it say enough about your business to entice your clients?
Listing sites: Are you listed with spa specific websites like Health Spas Guide or South African Spas?
Spa Association: Have you signed up with the South African Spa Association?
Your database: Are you paying special attention to your client data base? Is the information you have for your clients up to date and not duplicated?
Loyalty Program: Are you rewarding your loyal clients and encouraging them to stay loyal?

c. Operations
Company structure: Have you reviewed your current company structure? Is it working or do you need to make changes to optimise productivity?
Staff meetings: Have you scheduled monthly meetings with all your staff?
Daily/Weekly briefing: Is your manager getting together with her staff to brief them for day/week ahead so they are focused on driving revenue?
Stock: Have you reviewed your stock processes? Are they working or are you losing money because your stock is never right?

d. Standards
Standard Operating Procedures: Are your staff accountable for everything they do? Do you have standard operating procedures; are they signed and included in a staff handbook?
Feedback forms/emails: Do you have a guest feedback system? Do you know what your guests are experiencing when they are at your spa; are you recording this information and analysing the data?

e. Staffing
Do you have enough staff?
Are your staff working enough hours; especially on weekends?
Are you supported by the EHOCB or the BHSEA?
Are your staff registered with UASA (union and sick pay fund)

Are you struggling with any of these areas?

Spa Sense offers a fantastic management training module. For more information on training on these areas or contact numbers for any of the above mentioned bodies/partners please contact Philippa on 011 614 9976 / 078 145 3336 or

Written by

I qualified as a Somatologist in JHB in 2001. I began my career in the spa industry working on cruise ships for Steiner Transocean. I furthered my studies on my return to SA qualifying in advanced make up and special effects. I then moved to London where I worked in 2 of the most prestigious spas. I acquired knowledge in all aspects if the spa business and moved quickly from hands on therapy to part of the management team. When I finally came back to South Africa to settle for good I joined the management team of the Spas of Distinction where I grew my skill set even further and established a professional network throughout the South African Spa Industry. It is here where my roots are now deep seated and where I will remain for good. I started Spa Sense in 2010 and we have grown from strength to strength every year since then; forming key relationships with all the industry specialists. I head up the consultancy division of Spa Sense and run many of our training courses including Front Office, SOPs and Spa Sales and Retail. I also oversee our recruitment division making sure that all my clients and candidates expectations are always exceeded by the level service they receive from my team. I am incredibly passionate about what I do and hope I remain blessed enough to be in this exciting industry forever. This blog is a place I can share my views and experience so I hope you enjoy the articles and find them useful enough to use in your business.

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