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UK Spa Association

News and views from the UK Spa Association

The future of beauty at Europe’s favorite beauty business event

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The Natural Beauty & Spa Show is back with another helping of the best natural and organic beauty innovations the industry has to offer.  Featuring over 250 personal care and cosmetic brands, and a dynamic seminar programme full of beauty pioneers and experts – there’s plenty for retailers and buyers looking to stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving market.  

 

Register for your free trade ticket today – quote priority code: NPEB49

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Adding Wellness Items to Your Retail

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The world is getting more and more into wellness, health, and fitness, and the population are starting to realise the huge benefits of looking after your mind, as well as body, can make. Also, with many celebrities seeing the limelight recently, with their struggles mentally, it’s bringing the importance of mental well-being to the forefront.

Meditation is a word that is more accepted, and less ‘kooky’ these days, with many spas and industry professionals offering such a service, as well as similar spiritual and well-being treatments.

So, how can we maximise our wellness offering for our client’s needs and wants?

If your spa or salon has the feel of wellness about it, popular with massages for example, then wellness retail items could be a fantastic edition to your offering. What are we talking about? Think soothing candles, incense sticks, wellness ‘self-help’ style books, mindfulness colouring books, affirmation and angel cards, worry dolls, white sage, crystals, bracelets, meditation beads, dreamcatchers, plus Himalayan rock salt lamps and gratitude journals (both of which are currently getting lots of press coverage).

There are many online wholesale sites for such items, of which many are also fair trade and support funds for projects in less privileged countries, which is a great extra benefit. Try Ancient Wisdom, Holistic Trader, Saltlamps4Us, and Sun Dancer.

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8 Steps to Effective Management

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Keeping valued team members must be a top priority for any spa business planning to succeed over the long term. The fifth most important factor for why employees stay with an organization is money, so how do we keep our team motivated and enjoying their jobs.

Recognition is free, give it out when appropriate as it can raise the bar with your team. Another level of recognition is getting your company's Executive Team involved. Recognition coming from the 'Executive' level has a very positive impact on your employees as it lets them know that they are being watched and attention is being given.

This kind of recognition makes us all stand a bit taller. Memos and voicemails coming from the 'Executive' level stand out. This also allows you as the manger to ensure that upper management is kept abreast of the achievements your team are making for the overall success of the business... To add yet another level of stimulation, have an executive either personally call to congratulate someone (or a group) or even show up in person to shake hands and express his or her appreciation. 

On-the-Spot Praise. This too is associated with recognition but the key here is timing. When there is a reason for praising someone don't put it off for any reason! Promptness equals effectiveness. Praise people when the achievement is fresh on everyone's mind. What is effective is for us to pay attention, watch for accomplishments and go out and tell whoever it is what a great service they gave or applaud them for going above and beyond to serve the guest...praise them promptly for what they accomplished or achieved! Don't allow time to creep in and snatch away any ounce of the positive impact that praise can have when it is delivered promptly. 

Training is always a work in progress and your team can never get enough. Training never ends, "booster" training sessions could be led by you or by a lead therapist with help from specific associates who show a particular strength in the skills taught. This takes time, but these types of training sessions will continually enhance the performance of your team and the productivity of your business. 

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The Retail Experience

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Our Spa Guests want to shop, what they don’t want is to be sold to. Here are some tips on effective retailing from my own experience working in Spas.

Selling shouldn’t be a chore, it shouldn’t feel uncomfortable and it shouldn’t be forced. The Therapists with the highest sales in my experience are those that simply express passion for the products demonstrating a genuine belief in the benefit to the customer. The products will sell themselves if combined with a wonderful treatment and to emphasize this the Therapist has the opportunity to select the most appropriate products for that client’s skin type and requirements. The key is to then gently advise on why they have selected the products that they have chosen, discuss the client’s current beauty regime, identify any specific needs and concerns and simply make recommendations.

The Therapist should have had thorough training in the product brand that they are using and it’s vital they have been able to experience the products themselves. The most genuine and effective sales come from Therapists who can vouch for the product they are recommending.

Let the client finish their treatment in a wonderfully relaxing way by offering them a drink and then ideally taking them to a relaxation space where they may continue to rest. The worst end to a treatment is to have a sale pushed on you. 

If the customer requests a list of recommendations after the treatment it is useful to have a pre prepared list of the products available to buy, this can then be quickly tailored to the guests needs. However, in my experience the best approach is to let the guest know that you will leave a selection of the recommended products with reception. The reception team can then present the products on checkout ‘as recommend by the therapist’.

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Why Be A Member of the UK Spa Association?

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You are a spa manager.

You juggle the daily responsibilites of managing a booking system, therapist rotas, spa set up, financial reporting and administration, marketing and sales strategies, training and recruitment, memberships, developing new treatments... all the while trying to deliver the ideal guest experience AND grow your business, and yet nobody actually knows what you do!

Sound familiar?

Our spa operator members tell us it’s because of these very challenges that they join the UK Spa Association (UKSA).

We’ve even been described as ‘the real life google’ of the spa world....answering your business questions 24/7 confidentially over the phone or face to face at exclusive networking workshops.

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Events

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Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa - Tuesday 24th April 11am to 3pm

Join us at the magnificent Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa in Cumbria for the UK Spa Associations Spring Networking event. Set in the secluded splendour of 400 acres of deer park & woodland, bordered by the beauty of Bassenthwaite Lake and framed by the dramatic Skiddaw Mountain and Lake District fells. Armathwaite Hall, a former stately home is delighted to host this prestigious event.

Bringing you two informative and thought-provoking speakers. This time around our session speakers will be Danielle Alen, Director of Spa & Hotel at Lifehouse Spa and Hotel and Stu Henshall owner of The Alternative Kitchen.

Lifehouse is a Spa that has always strived to be at the forefront of the industry by exploring new ways to maximise their facilities and services. This year they will become the first spa in the UK to be ‘Dementia Friendly’. With dementia now the lead cause of death in England and Wales, it is something that will sadly affect many of us. As a designated place to go for relaxation and recuperation, a spa should be able to welcome those living with dementia, as they would those going through cancer. This is something very close to their hearts and they are passionate about equipping their staff with the tools to be able to fulfil their guests’ needs at every level. The response to their training so far has been fantastic and they are very excited to be working towards their dementia friendly status this year. Danielle will explain why they chose to launch something so different, what the impact has been like from the industry, press and consumer, how she makes sure that her spa leads the way in new initiatives and why it’s so important for Spa Operators to look for USP's in this competitive market.

Stu Henshall is a plant based food and beverage consultant and will be speaking about how he believes the surge in popularity for a plant based diet isn’t just the latest food trend but the future of food, our planet, and wellness.  He will be discussing the link between food and disease and how providers of nutrition in establishments can give a full package of wellness by revaluating their food offering.  If you are what you eat, then eat smart!

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Mother's Day

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March brings Mother’s Day and with it, the perfect opportunity to boost sales with the promotion of gift vouchers and spa visits.

Mother and Daughter spa days are a great treat to enjoy together. So, set packages for two with selected treatments are worth promoting.

You could always create limited edition treatments that are not available any other time of the year, to boost interest and demand for the treatment. Perhaps a specific ritual treatment, different to your standard treatments that combines a facial with a back massage, foot scrub and foot massage?

What else can you offer with your spa visits to make them extra special for Mum - A box of chocolates, a glass of prosecco?

Make your audience aware. Put posters up around the spa, email your database, regularly update your social media, and change your social media cover photos to promote Mother’s Day treats available. And don’t forget, simply mentioning that gift vouchers are available.

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What do Learners really think about working in our industry?

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For a number of years, I have been a business volunteer for Working Knowledge employer engagement specialist, who work with students in colleges while across many subject areas to bridge the gap between education and the workplace.

In my time of volunteering for our industry with Beauty and Spa learners studying, the thing that really struck me is how little they seem to understand the many pathways that are available to them, I am not saying this is at every centre that offer's training, however, I seem overall to receive the same kind of questions and feedback.

When discussed with groups about the many prestigious spas and salons they could apply for work, the response back is “OH we could never go there, that is for the high-end therapist, and lots of rich people, they would never employ me". It came across in my opinion that they appear to have a narrow view of some areas of employment in our industry and some of the best, lack courage to really go for that career building Job because they feel it is beyond them.

Dylan McTaggart Vice-Principal (www.workingknowledge.org.uk)

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Agency Therapists

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Over the years it has proved harder and harder to recruit for Spas in certain areas, Therapists and Managers in particular. I have never had trouble when recruiting for Fitness staff and Spa Front Office, they would send CVs to me in abundance. However, certainly for Therapists it’s a very different ball game.

When I started out Managing Spas, Therapist CVs would land on my desk daily. I had my pick of the bunch and this meant that I could rely wholly on employing my own staff directly, be it part time, full time or sometimes on zero hours contracts.

I started to see a change in employment patterns in about 2010. The market was changing, agencies had been set up to offer Spas the opportunity to take on a Therapist for short periods, generally a minimum of 4 hours a day and you would cancel them if they were no longer required by giving notice. This became a positive solution to manage last minute sickness, holiday cover and to fill the weekend demand.

Whilst you need your core staff to manage the seven-day spectrum, it was becoming more prevalent to keep their numbers to a minimum, a skeleton staff if you like. A Spa would then build around this in response to demand by incorporating agency staff as required. The Spa market subsequent to the 2008/9 recession was becoming more challenging to predict and therefore for many Spa Operators this flexible employment regime became a solution to managing yield. As a result of this shift in the industry, Therapists started signing up to the agencies in droves, mainly to take advantage of this kind of ‘pick and choose’ work.

As a Spa operator, you will need to adapt to this change and offer a range of positions to suit different personalities and desires. You will always require your core full-time employees and I recommend you offer a range of part-time positions that work for the business and, of course, fit in with the lifestyle of that employee. Perhaps also offer casual work at a slightly higher hourly rate but this work cannot be guaranteed and, finally, work with agencies to fill the last-minute demand. Shannon Teague from The London Mobile Spa agrees that this solution is the way forward ‘We are experiencing a national shortage of therapists, so having the support of an agency especially at this time offers a much better chance of finding candidates - we know where to look and how to reach out to them. Recruitment can also be very time consuming so taking this responsibility off the client’s hands allows better use of their in-house resources and time to focus on driving their businesses forward. Our clients enjoy the flexibility of agency use which is commitment free and gives them the freedom to book shifts according to their business needs, even on a last-minute basis’.

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WSW Convention speaker in the spotlight: Jessica Shea

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The World Spa & Wellness Convention coming to ExCeL London on February 25th - 26th will feature topical industry issues and high-profile names from around the world.

Jessica Shea, director, global brand spa at Hilton Hotels & Resorts tells about what she will be covering, and why industry events matter.

What would you like delegates to take away from your presentation?

I think it’s important for the industry to share universal challenges and hear potential solutions. We’re all facing a staffing crisis and can benefit from different organisations’ perspectives on what to do about it. I would like to share some of the tactics we’re implementing at Hilton to remain a top employer of spa and fitness professionals.

What are the key reasons you want to speak at the convention?

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Valentine’s is coming up, are you ready for it?

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Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for couples to come for a treat together, and to treat one another. The ideal time to promote your spa days or massages for two, your double treatment room and your gift vouchers in general.

Why not put some limited edition packages together for Valentine’s treats. These do not need to be at a discounted rate, but could include chocolate dipped strawberries in your relaxation room after the treatment, perhaps a red rose, or little box of chocolates, anything to turn your visit into a luxury treat.

We mustn’t forget the single people. Who wouldn’t want to give themselves a treat. A little care, attention and pampering. We all need to remember how important self-love is, so the individual treats around this time of year are important too. Show your audience how much you care and how much you’ll look after them when they visit alone.

There are many great quotes you can find for self-love and kindness to use on your social media and canva.com allows you to personalise them to your branding.

Clare Cockell

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Is your Spa and Wellness Provision an Accident Waiting to Happen?

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The Spa and Wellness industry has exploded tenfold over the last few years with more and more sites being built almost every month not only in the UK but worldwide.

There is money to be made as men, women and now children- yes children want to be pampered and feel a sense of wellbeing.  There are an abundance of beauty products coming onto the market along with a plethora of new and innovative treatments which sees everyone clambering to get the next great beauty tip, treatment and products.  There is more of a social element to spas now as well with people choosing to spend a day out with friends drinking champagne, having lovely lunches and enjoying themselves. A spa is no longer a treat or luxury, its becoming a way of life for many…

We have recently seen an increase in private and local authority prosecutions. This could be for a number of reasons, e.g. reporting incidences by the clients to the Local Authorities has got better or clients have better knowledge of their rights. On investigation the spa/beauty salon had been lacking on the basic health and safety/licensing requirements, they were caught unaware as they thought they had it covered. 

Health and safety requirements in spas is nothing new, nor has it changed so what is really going on behind the scenes and why are we seeing more enforcement actions and prosecutions? Have a think about what your business model looks like? Does it include health and safety in any way shape or form?  If it does, is it an integral part of your business model or is it an add on to simply “tick the box”.

Take a few minutes and ask yourself the following questions:

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The Swiss Pedicure System

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Treatment Focus: MAVEX Calluspeeling;

MAVEX Calluspeeling was the first professional treatment launched by MAVEX Switzerland in 2009. It is now available in over 30 countries through distributors across the World, including the UK.

From the beginning MAVEX were a brand focussed on results and we are often told by our clients that MAVEX Calluspeeling gives the best results of any callous remover they have ever used. This is no surprise to us; our product has been rigorously tested with proven results; important in an industry that relies on results to succeed and secure repeat business.

If you want to give your clients the best spa pedicure results, save time in your salon and increase profitability of pedicures, then you need to be using MAVEX Calluspeeling. This is particularly prevalent for a spa that is claiming to be a ‘Medi Spa’ offering ‘Medi Pedis’. The only callous remover you should be using for a Medi Pedi is MAVEX Calluspeeling because it is the only one that is an Approved Medical Device.

There are various ways that MAVEX Calluspeeling can be incorporated into a spa or salon business. It can be listed as a treatment in its own right, with the add-on being the type of polish such as standard or gel polish. Or it can be listed as an add-on treatment, to a pedicure.

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TWO DAYS OF LEADERSHIP, INSPIRATION AND NETWORKING AT EUROPE’S LEADING MEETING PLACE FOR SPA & WELLNESS

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The World Spa & Wellness Convention will return to ExCeL London on February 25th - 26th, as part of the Professional Beauty trade show. Unique in Europe, the World Spa & Wellness Convention is a leading spa industry networking event for senior management. 

With a global following and attracting an audience of over 300 senior professionals, this strategy-focused event brings you to the heart of the profession. Each year the convention covers a wide range of topics high on the global industry agenda.

Speakers at the convention will be drawn from around the world and include some of the most established names in the sector, such as Andrew Gibson, Vice President of Well Being Luxury Brands, Accor Hotels; Marc Ellin, Global Head of Miraval Group and Kay Pennington, Group Spa Manager at Aqua Sana Centre Parcs. To see the full speaker line-up please click here.

From innovation in technology to hyper-personalisation, customer relations to rebirth of fitness in spa, the convention will cover the most pressing issues facing the industry. Please take a look at the full convention programme set to give you practical solutions and ideas to benefit your business and career.

Networking, education and industry best practices – it is all part of the concept behind the World Spa & Wellness Convention.

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Spa Benchmarking Insights: Who Sells the Most Retail?

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If you are already one of the spas registered for the UK Spa Associations Benchmarking scheme, then you will already be benefitting from the monthly benchmarking reports allowing you to compare your spa's performance with that of other similar spas in the UK.This valuable data is designed to show you where you are excelling in your businesses performance and where you could make improvements.Given the accumulated data that we now have available, in 2018 the UK Spa Association will produce quarterly "Insights' based on the data provided by our registered spas. This will highlight interesting patterns, trends or disparities based solely on the data that would not immediately be obvious to registered spas simply from the benchmark reports they receive each month.The first full Insights Report will be produced in March 2018, to give you a bit of a taster  . . . and for a bit of fun, here is a question?Who sells the most retail  . . . North or South?Or more accurately, who is better at converting Treatment Revenue in to Retail Revenue?To start the year off we decided to analyse data we have from registered spas in the UK dating back to March 2017 to see who averaged the best treatment to retail conversation figures. From the graph below it’s fairly clear that the answer is The South.

Over the period March to October, spas in the south averaged around a 4% higher Treatment to Retail Conversion figure than their cousins in the North.

However, we wondered just how much this was affected by London Spas? We wondered if, just like property prices, London was skewing all the data for the south. So we split out the figures for London and look what happened . . . 

In contrast to what we thought, it turns out that London is actually a slight drag on Conversion Figures for the south, with figures for the South East and South West combined averaging higher conversion rates than London alone!

Southern Spas shouldn't get complacent though . . . there is a single spa based in the Midlands, who shall remain nameless, that averages around a 10% higher Treatment to Retail Conversion figure month in, month out!So for those spas that think they are doing well with a conversion ration of 14% to 16% . . . there is still some work to be done if you want to be catch the best performing spas when it comes to selling retail!

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How to support the emotional wellness of your team with Beata Aleksandrowicz

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Supporting the emotional wellness of your team is a complex business because we are dealing with people. People who have hopes and fears, dreams and dilemmas. We are also dealing with sensitive people. Young people (in the main) and we have to act as a boss, confident and guide. But believe me – if you do this with passion and commitment and maintain this as an on-going practice, you will benefit with a more engaged team and a more passionate and revitalized team.

We are all individuals

The most important element when supporting the emotional wellness of your team is to acknowledge the unique personal tools that they bring to the role – their character, attitude, energy and sense of spirit. These are invaluable assets to be nurtured and respected.  On another hand those assets can also be their biggest enemy, making therapists over sensitive, fragile and vulnerable. Therapists can feel everything…both empathy and sympathy is their strongest point but it can totally exhaust them as well. The impact of therapists’ wellbeing can affect everything from client engagement to professional performance.

Managers need to be fully aware of the complexity of therapists’ characters. They are not warriors (at least not most of them). They are givers, often introverts that would rather touch than talk.

It takes a special person who can spend day after day, treatment after treatment - usually massage - in the room often without a window, massaging naked strangers who can be nice or not, hygienic or not, respectful or not and so on. How many of us would voluntary agree to do it? For how long? Exactly!

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New Year is the perfect time to get in gear and refocus for a strong 2018

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It’s a New Year and a great time to refocus and regroup. One thing we are learning more and more is that the mind-set is very powerful in helping us achieve and deliver. It gives us confidence and motivation when we take the time out to tap into our mind on various areas of our life, and in turn gives us a strong chance at any desired results. New Year’s resolutions are a great way of doing this generally. New Year gives us the feeling of a new chapter and is the perfect time to look at personal, business goals and performance, then plan ahead for the New Year.

So, take a look at reports. Here are a few to get you thinking and planning:

How has the business been performing?What did you achieve in relation to the previous year?What were the most popular treatments?What was your average spend per client/hour/room?Who are your key team members?What is your retail performance like?

 

Reflecting over these results means we can take a look at any areas that may need training for the team. It also shows us our most popular types of treatments and where we can focus in the New Year – are our most popular treatments one of the top on profits for the business?

I always find it’s also a great time to really think about the business and brainstorm the direction you’re going in and if you’re daily processes live up to that vision and goal.

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Staff Training can improve business performance, profit and staff morale.

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Have you ever been on a training course and felt inspired re-energised ready to deliver what you have learnt to all your clients? January Can be a month to schedule training develop staff in further skills to meet your client’s demands.

Advantages to your business include:

You choose what new skills your workforce requires, target skills to meet the needs of your operation for now and in the futureTraining your staff can result in better customer service, better work safety practices and productivity improvementsYou demonstrate to your workforce that you value them enough to invest in them, improving loyalty and staff retention. In turn

Retention is a saving to you

Training has many benefits for your staff:

They acquire new skills,  increasing their contribution to the business and building their self-esteemThe training they do can lead them into other positions within your organisation – positions with future prospectsThey’re upskilled to do new and different tasks, which keep them motivated and freshBecause they’re being trained on your time, they see that you value them enough to invest in them. 

A good company is seen as one that retrains rather than one that is forever recruiting

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What makes a great massage? With Beata Aleksandrowicz

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A great massage should offer much more than physical relief and relaxation. Delivered with knowledge, humanity, professionalism and commitment, a client should feel cared for. They should also feel a positive change that addresses their concerns. A good massage should make your client feel more positive, at peace and connected with themselves. There should also be clear guidance on how to support the results of the treatment at home. 

To deliver a good massage we must acknowledge the healing power of touch 

Touch is the mother of all senses, and is the first sense that develops in the embryo. It’s how we learn about the world around us and gives us the deepest connection with another human being. It brings comfort, reassures us that we are not alone, provides warmth, care and attention. 

In today’s disconnected world we avoid touch because we don’t have the emotional understanding of how to respond to it. People don’t know how to handle intimacy either – even simple hug can become a problem. This is why touch can be misunderstood and misused. Positive touch is a condition of physical and emotional growth and I believe massage plays a vital role in restoring this balance. 

Personalisation is essential 

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National Spa Week Success in 2017

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This year we started promoting National Spa Week early on to ensure we got as many Spa’s as possible involved. From May onwards we had a regular presence via editorial and press advertisements and digital banners in many of the major trade titles including Professional Beauty, The Beauty Guild, European Spa, Spa Life, World Spa and Wellness and many more.

The National Spa Week Website www.spaweek.co.uk saw circa 3,000 unique users during the week and 480 spas registered to run promotions for the week – that’s an increase of 50% on 2016.

This year we really saw an increase in consumer news coverage with over 10.5 million opportunities to see in documented print and on-line coverage not to mention bucket loads of social media and even broadcast coverage. We were trending on Twitter again on the first day of the week.

Some of the national consumer press titles that covered National Spa Week included Harpers Bazaar, The Sun, The Gentleman’s Journal, The Sunday Telegraph, Yahoo Style Online, Look Magazine, Your County Wedding Magazines (19 Counties) Balance Magazine and lots of regional news titles too. 

‘That’s Cumbria’ did a superb 4 minute interview for TV using Armathwaite Spa. Click here to view…….

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