Recently, I was interviewed by New York Times writer Natasha Singer for an article focused on the number of over-the-top luxury urban spas open or about to open in New York City, “Keeping Up Appearances, No Matter the Dow“. These are spas that will charge you anywhere from $250 up to $500 for a single service, many of which are located within the best hotels in Manhattan.
I’ve been in the spa industry for over 25 years and during that time have owned or operated over 75 spas and medical spas of which 10 or more were in the luxury category. So this is a topic I’m fairly comfortable speaking about and though there is a definite market for this level of spa (especially in Manhattan) I’m not sure if there is sufficient market share to go around to fill 6 over-the-top luxury spas. And depending upon what occurs over the next year or two with the current recession, it might be a long hard road for many of these newer or about to open spa operators.
I will add, that in a recession, today’s female consumer is much more likely to cut out the $500 spa treatment that no one ever sees, long before she cuts out her $500 Botox treatment that everyone sees.
Samuel Culbert is a noted business consultant, author and professor of management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles and he recently wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal, “Get Rid of the Performance Review!”. After reading his article, I must say that I agree with him on how the standard annual performance review system that most companies used today is very flawed. My only wish is that he would actually provide a better solution or a more thought out solution to the problem.
While there are very few green spas in the United States, there are even fewer Green Medical Spas. As with the spa industry, the medical spa industry is beginning to realize the impact it has on the environment due to the high use of energy, water and waste. It makes sense that medical spa operators are now concerned about taking care of the environment as well as their client’s bodies.
But what is green?
As defined by Wikipedia ~ Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building’s lifecycle, through better , design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal.
As I have mentioned before, the most common question I am asked by the press, medical spa owners, physicians, medical spa staff and our clients is “how is the economic downturn impacting our industry”?
I have been in the recent past, and continue to be cautiously optimistic about the the impact of a recession on our industry. In Acara’s experience, specifically over the past few months, we have seen absolutely no negative impact at the locations that we support with our management and marketing services. Actually, we’ve seen the opposite, sales are up in the past few months over last year’s sales for the same period. (I hope it has something to do with our ability to provide expert advice). But, I also speak to locations that tell me their sales are down and they blame the economy. (more…)
I have a super simple tip for increasing the leads for your medical spa or aesthetic practice – your phone number.
Having a website is a given for any business – I’m sure we would all agree on that. What may be up for debate is the top priority for your site. The ultimate goal for your medical spa practice website isn’t branding, it isn’t promotions or coupons or even building your email list… it’s getting your phone to ring with interested prospective clients.
If you agree – (and if you are responsible for paying the bills I’m willing to bet you do) then make sure your phone number is front and center on each and every page. Not in the footer in a color that is close to the background. The upper right is very valuable visual real estate – an ideal spot for your phone number. Website statistics or analytics showing page views and visitors is exciting, but the phone ringing with prospective clients booking appointments for consultations is even better!
Acara recently spoke, exhibited and walked the tradeshow floor at the Medical Aesthetics show in NY. I have to say I was very pleased with the event. The show was well promoted and organized – the turnout on the show floor was great on Sunday and ok on Monday.
From an attendee standpoint, the quality of the booths were good, the medical spa and spa education was smaller than in previous years, but the quality of the speakers didn’t falter (including our own CEO and excellent speaker, Francis Acunzo, who spoke (and conducted a roundtable – shameless plug) on timely and substantive subjects. The business track included a good number of sessions related to recession proofing for medical spas and spas.
The medical spa section of the floor had good representation from some of the top vendors. The major med spa laser companies were there: Sciton, Cutera, Cynosure, Palomar, Candela, etc… Spa Finder, Universal, Iredale Cosmetics, Clarisonic and more. A few newer medical spa products that caught my eye were: MesoDerm and Canfield Scientific’s Reveal. So, if you are looking to add to your knowledge base or prospect list – the Medical Aesthetics Show in NY is definitely worth your consideration.
Keep your med spa email list clean and stay out of trouble.
A new client recently had the unfortunate experience of receiving a high SPAM complaint % for an email broadcast. The spam report rate was just over 1%, while industry average is around 1 in every 5,000 recipients or 0.05%. The CAN-SPAM act is a law which became effective January 1, 2004, covering email whose primary purpose is advertising or promoting a commercial product or service, including content on a web site.
In this med spa’s situation, their list contained emails that went back 3 years and they did not keep their list clean by maintaining up to date unsubscribe and suppression lists. In addition, they did not send regularly to their database; so a recent email broadcast produced undesirable results. A good med spa marketing plan includes regular email communication that contains both education and promotions – information that is of value to clients and potential clients.
Med Spa’s should only send email broadcasts to clients and prospective clients who have opted-in to their list, by requesting to receive emails from the medical spa or aesthetic practice. Opt-in collection methods may include: website, in-location or events. In addition, med spas must scrub their lists by using working unsubscribe links and permission reminders in every email broadcast that is sent. Permission reminders are a statement, usually found at the top of an email broadcast, that reminds subscribers why they are receiving the email.
Moral of this story – Keep a squeaky clean list and you won’t get hung out to dry!
We are very pleased that Canfield has decided to be a Platinium Sponsor of our upcoming one-day educational event, “MedSpa Sales & Marketing to Build Top-Line Success” being held on October 27th in Branford, CT.
Canfield Imaging Systems is the worldwide leader in photographic software and hardware systems for the rapidly growing aesthetic marketplace. With unparalleled expertise in imaging for aesthetics, dermatology and medical research, Canfield’s state-of-the-art imaging solutions make aesthetic imaging easy, accurate and successful.
I hope many of our faithful readers and webinar attendees can join us in person on October 27th.