Monthly Archives: October 2013

You can’t please all the people all the time.

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Last week was a little more challenging than most for my business.  Everyone that has a service based business is familiar with the term “no show.”  When a client doesn’t show up for a scheduled appointment it can throw a wrench in your day.  Not only are you missing out on the income from the appointment, but also the time and energy that is wasted by being at work on time with no client.  It can be discouraging because it feels that your time is not valued b y others, but it is part of being self-employed.

I had three “no-shows” in a week.  Also, one client who communicated that she wanted to come in November 28th over the phone showed up on October 28th.  When I tried to explain to her that over the message she left me she specified November, she left angrily and didn’t seem to want to communicate or reschedule her appointment.

I understand that these are mistakes that my clients have made, but I can’t help but think about what I could have done differently to avoid situations like this.  I came up with a few ideas that I could incorporate into my appointment scheduling.

1)  Get their phone numbers and ask them if they need a reminder call.

-Have the confidence to ask for their best contact number and offer a reminder call OR text.

2)  Confirm, confirm, confirm.

-My business is very small, so I am my own receptionist and it is my responsibility to triple check the appointment time and date.

3)  Be clear about your cancellation policy.

-Notify your clients about your cancellation policy.  In my case, I request 24 hours notice but I don’t enforce it very strictly.  My hairstylist has a policy that requires her clients to pay her 50% of the appointment before she allows them to reschedule.  It may sound harsh, but it works.  No one wants to pay for a service they didn’t receive.

As a business owner of any kind, it is important to stay positive and appreciate the clients you have.  When you envision the kind of business you want, that’s the kind of business and clientele you will have.

 

 

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Top ten spas in America.

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Nearly veryone can enjoy and appreciate a relaxing day at the spa.  These spas spare nothing when it comes to luxury and accomodating their guests every need.  So, take a sip of that minty cucumber water and discover the top ten spas in America with me.

Number 10:  The Spa at CopperWynd Resort

Fountain Hills/Scottsdale, Arizona

This spa features two swimming pools, one spacious resort-style pool and one invigorating lap pool.  Plus, a 5,000 square foot fitness center.  But, who wants to excercise at the spa?  Let’s get to the relaxing part.  They feature all the basic massages:  relaxation, Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone and specialty treatments such as raindrop therapy, a Native American technique that involves sweeping a feather upwards along the spine and 9 different essential oils.

Number 9:  The Spa at the Hotel Hershey

Hershey Pennsylvania

Hint:  Some of their body treatments involve chocolate!

Number 8:  The Lodge at Woodloch, Pennsylvania

Number 7:  Joya Spa at InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa

Scottsdale, Arizona

Number 6:  Heavenly Spa by Westin

Hilton Head, South Carolina

spa-entranceway

Check your cares at the door at this South Carolina spa.

Number 5:  Montage Resort Spa

Laguna Beach, California

This spa’s “palette of therapies” includes reflexology massage, balancing massage, a symphony in therapies which features two therapists, and togetherness massage allowing “you and your partner to share in blissful relaxation.”

Number 4:  Spa Palazzo at Boca Raton Resort & Club

Boca Raton, Florida

Number 3:  The Spa at Manele at the Four Seasons Resort

Lana’i, Hawaii

Number 2:  Ritz Carlton Orlando Great Lakes

Orlando, Florida 

Number 1:  Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California

The Four Seasons, Santa Barbara boasts 11 treatment rooms including four day suites each with a fireplace.  There is a stone therapy massage featuring hot and cold stones.  Their “clear mind” massage uses aromatherapeutic oils such as peppermint, lavender, chamomile and patchouli.

Just say Aaaaahhhh...

Just say Aaaaahhhh…

It was incredibly enjoyable to research these spas and some of their unsuspecting locations.  Keep in mind, these massages range from $135 to $240.  The benefit of going to a spa is that you are able to enjoy their pools, hot tubs, and saunas for the entire day.  It brought back memories of being on my honeymoom with my husband last year in St. Lucia.  We did a couples massage and as far as I’m concerned it was money well spent.  We deserve to treat ourselves.

 

Website or bust.

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WebsiteI have been doing a lot of thinking about starting a website.  I have been brainstorming ideas on what I want it to look like and how I want to represent my small business on the internet.  I am currently researching hosting sites and which ones would be both effective and affordable.  When you don’t have the advantage of meeting with a client face to face, the disadvantage is that they become focused on the superficial aspects of your business.  Is the website attractive?  Is it professional?  Will you post a photo of yourself?

When I search for a business online and find them, but there is no website I get discouraged and skip over that business to continue my search.  If you’re interested in trying a new restaurant, don’t you want to check out their menu?  A sleek, simple design and an easily navigatable website are key to a successful website.

At my previous business, their website had online booking.  It was very successful because it offered an incredibly convenient way to book appointments without having to call and schedule, possibly get the voicemail, and then play phone tag for a couple of days.  I don’t want to discount the simplicity of an appointment book though.  The accessability of being able to schedule appointments without having to “log on” to a website is convenient.  In addition, there is generally a monthly cost for the service.

I think I will start with a simple website where prospective clients can view my prices and contact information.  I like the idea of including client testimonials and photos of my office also.  These multimedia elements add features to the website that make  it unique.

 

Is marketing by mail a thing of the past?

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Look at your dining table or desk.  Is it covered with junk mail?  It is overwhelming how much of our mail consists of bulky, unmanagable junk mail.  If there is a coupon or special offer in there you may want to use, it’s going to require some extensive sifting through piles of pizza ads and furniture store ads.  It can be very distracting.

Everyone who starts a new business wants to get their name out to as many people as possible, as fast as possible, and let’s face it, as inexpensively as possible.  The hope is to notify current clients of your new business name and location and woo back some of your clients that haven’t been in for quite a while.

Upon starting my business I ordered and mailed out about one hundred postcards.  You can order these and personalize them very easily from vistaprint.  I also included a coupon to use toward your first massage–at times it can be inconvenient to follow someone you like from location to location so I offered the coupon as an extra incentive.  The postcards cost about $30.00 and postcard stamps cost about $33.00 plus time addressing each and every one.

About a week after mailing them, the phone calls started trickling in.  I was somewhat stressed about the newly acquired overhead I was paying, so in an attempt to drum up some business I sent out a mass text messageMarketing to about twenty-five clients that I communicate with via text messaging.  I was astonished by the results–I booked four massages that week and a few for the following week.  I offered a discount as a grand opening special and it was well recieved.  These clients not only now know where I’m located, but several of them have referrred their friends to me.  It was at no extra cost to me as unlimited text messaging is included in my cell phone plan.