Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


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Worth every penny

I’ve been a director at the Spa at Ye Olde Bell in Nottinghamshire for three years and I love putting together creative packages for clients that give them added value without discounting our core services. When you go down the discounting route, you undervalue yourself and it’s really hard to come back from that. A lot of spas fall into this trap because they see other businesses in their area doing it and think they should be too in order to compete on price.

It is also very tempting when you’re quiet to put your business on discount sites like Groupon or Wowcher to get people through the door, but those customers probably won’t return and, if they do, the chances are that they will never pay full price for your services. Discount sites cheapen the value of your business. By holding your value, you are also holding your worth.

So, instead of trying to do everything cheaply and then struggling to cover your costs, it’s better to create some enticing packages that have bolt-ons which add value for the client rather than discounting. Here are three ways to do it.

1. Figure out your costs before anything else

It’s great to give people value for money in spa packages but if the price doesn’t cover your costs then you’re going to struggle further down the line. Your costs are not just how much it costs you to perform a treatment, they also include product, rent, wages, white space, utilities, maintenance of facilities, toiletries in changing rooms, stationery, consumables and more.

You need to factor in all these elements to your costs as a whole. You should also factor in marketing, and don’t scrimp on this aspect because you need to get your name out there in a targeted way. All your messaging needs to be consistent and on-brand for your ideal client base.

2. Look at what you have that’s “added value”

Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to be spending every month to run your spa, you can work out what clients need to pay to keep you in profit, and this will depend on what your set-up is like. Everything in your spa has value, not only your treatments, so make sure your packages include variety. For example, “extra value” for clients can come from other avenues, including:

• Spa access – think about how much people should be paying per hour to be in your spa. The best way to work this out is to count how many facilities you have and think about how much you would be willing to pay to use them. At the Spa at Ye Olde Bell, we price spa access at £20 per hour.

• Food and beverage – the value of this depends on whether you’re doing sandwiches or a full dining experience. Plus, if your chef can make great food with very little wastage then that helps keep costs down. Adding a nice bottle of wine to a package is a good example of adding value without discounting as people will pay for this, especially if it’s a celebration. It’s also worth having drink options for all budgets, from a mocktail or pink prosecco to a high-end red.

• Treatments – you should always get full price for the treatments you perform because it helps clients remember the value of that service. The way to create more value is to bolt on little extras, such as a 10-minute hand massage, as this enhances the experience without costing you much.

• Experiences – we have a lot of “experiences” on-site that aren’t included in the general spa access which people pay separately for, such as the Sabbia Med, [sunlight experience room]. These are brilliant bolt-ons to make clients feel like they are getting more for their money without needing your valuable man power.

• Products – can you add sample bags into packages that clients can take away which could entice them to buy retail further down the line? Speak to your product houses about setting something like this up.

3. Keep your packages simple

If you have too many packages it makes it hard for clients to choose, so have no more than six at any one time. At the Spa at Ye Olde Bell, we have three core packages – full day, morning and afternoon spa – that we never change the cost of (unless we do a price increase) and each of these can be “upgraded” with value-orientated extras.

These packages work well as our benchmark prices because it's not a huge cost to jump from the morning or afternoon option to the full-day experience, which makes it more obtainable for the client. For example, it's £80 during the week and £85 at the weekend for the morning spa package, which includes four hours' spa access and lunch, but for an extra £19 during the week or £25 at the weekend, clients can upgrade to the full day, and most see the value in those extra hours.

Then, be confident and continue to build around your base package to get that extra revenue. For example, if your spa is adjoined to a hotel and your client wants to add a 90-minute treatment to their full-day package, try to arrange a late check out the following morning for free.

Lizzie Bath is spa director at the multimillion-pound Spa at the Ye Olde Bell in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

This article appears in the December 2020 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the December 2020 Issue of Professional Beauty