13 Take back tips from the Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Conference – Back to Spa Business Basics
By Celeste Peters
Last weekend saw the prestigious Les Nouvelles Spa Conference take the spa business community by storm with an exceptional speaker line up and the presentation of the 12th Spa Awards ceremony at the Maslow Hotel Sandton. It is always incredible to see the levels of sharing, networking and motivation increase during conference. The start of new business ideas and connections just makes it the best conference to attend year in and year out.
So what makes Les Nouvelles the best spa conference to attend in South Africa and why do people get so excited and motivated afterwards. The answer is simple, Dr Nadine de Freitas just knows what exactly what our spa industry needs and despite tight economic situations being faced by most South African businesses, this year’s conference introduced the best, heaviest, jam packed product goody bag from those generous sponsors and saw in my humble view 13 vital key take backs to improve spa business.
- The art of communication is there to ensure that your relationship is an emotional connection. Don’t become a status quo , rather start disrupting for the better. 80 percent of communication is listening – so listen like an excited granny and also give more hugs. Rich Simmonds set the pace by disrupting our comfort zones to make business better and showing that by telling the truth, you can be a disruptor acting kindly when advising. Follow him on twitter for further communication pearls. Rich Simmonds twitter handle is @RichSimmondsZA. Listen more.
- Consistency, consistency and consistency while fitting in with your own purpose and becoming a “go-giver”. Lori Milner completely unleashed our thought process on how to develop the best you with her presentation on, “Own your space – the toolkit for the working woman, ” by Nadia Bilchik and Lori Milner. Great tips from this book re-emphasized the importance of consistency, accountability and how projecting your best image while being authentic and kind and creating trust and playing the part will help you in your business . As we seek to understand and listen, this all connected perfectly with our start up talk on emotional connection. You can buy her book at Exclusive Books if you were not lucky enough to buy it at conference. A worthwhile educational read you cannot afford to miss.
- Sexy, silly serious brand personality – which one suits you best from Duncan Pape and Erst Kuhlman challenged our conventional brand thinking and certainly will transform the way we can do business in future. Watch out for the new South African Spa Business Forum on linked in which Duncan will be managing and supporting all spa association members with ideas to get their brands noticed and make sure our businesses are taken more seriously. Being different is his differentiator and his ideas are certainly working for stakeholders and clients with the 2016 Day Spa Winner Langaro – his client winning the Les Nouvelles Day Spa Award for 2016.
- Simplify life – with simpler spa menus, simplifying details and decluttering – less is more. Excellence comes at a cost and simple management processes with simple good management processes result in the 6 Rs from Spa success. You cannot monitor what you don’t measure, and if it is too complex it takes too much time.
• Reception- Is your first impressions which sets the pace
• Retail- Is nothing but advice for home care to get results
• Remedy- Is supporting the clients’ needs with upselling treatments they need
• Rebooking- Is creating those consistent results on demand
• Referral- Is just sharing experiences
• Recall – Is the absolute connect call within 3 days to verify your consistent service
First impressions count and that’s why your front desk is the key. Get the latest Les Nouvelles Conference Copy either hard copy or I phone App electronic and read up on all the tips Ayesha Rajah from A&I Importers has to say.
- Spa design is not only about having a monumental spa with monument facilities. Bigger is not always better. Corli Schoeman unpacked the art of looking sideways so perfectly with simple tools like decluttering, focusing on the magic and not the tragic and again promoted the listening aspect involving by involving your staff in spa staff surveys for the best design ideas to enhance your space. I loved the converted idea for therapists chill out space design for new spas which is often forgotten. Education, activation and promotion of your new space is vital to get the best out of the changes. New trends like mindfulness, kiddies spas and well -fests involving global wellness ideas emulating from the Global wellness Day every 2 nd week of June. Dealing the card that has been dealt to you is not always a bad thing. It’s a great change maker and good disrupter for new ideas.
6.Service and Customer retention by Diana van Sittert international trainer from Dermologica proved once again that these two topics need to be exceptionally well monitored and perfectly managed for consistency. Again doing less and being simply excellent at what you do, develops passion and allows that emotional connect with our consumers. Refine your process. Perfect Key performance Indicators whereby client expectations can be evaluated with survey monkey and feedback given can be rewarded back with certain free treatments promote retention. Repeat clients come back because roles, goals and souls from employees drive the right behavior. Get it right from the start.
- We have been told that laughter is the best medicine and worry is the world’s killer. The three laughter tools including a roll of mental floss to floss your mind, a bottle of laughter pills to clear your mind’s clutter and a tube of laughter cream to rub into your tight neck and back were great imaginary gifts we could easily pack into our bags to support our hectic lifestyle. Janine Grobler, CEO of Laugh SA certainly left us with great take home gifts and her true happiness explanation got many of us thinking that maybe we need to take things less seriously. Back to being a happy child – Very good, Very good – YAH. Don’t think we will forget that too quickly because it’s so silly it makes you laugh and a good hearty laugh has so many benefits.
8.The management tips from spa managers in the open discussion based on a series of questions posed by MC Duncan Pape to our panel of managers certainly shared great ideas and proved that excellence is available and needs to be shared. Lack of Management involvement and lack of ownership due to micro management as well as guest perspectives that male therapists are ostracized and not booked enough indicated that commitment, innovation and entrepreneurial spirits if encouraged could yield great mentoring and our local country spa business success. Considering the team build and mentorship with good ideas from the panel for empowerment for successful spa teams fitted perfectly for the global mentoring program which was also discussed.
- Mentoring Program for Spa Managers developed by ISPA for High potential Managers supported by the South African Spa Association under the leadership of Emmy Stoltz who manages Africa, Mauritius and Seychelles shared the success story for the mentorship showing that being the best version of your self is all that it takes. Again listening came into it with the following personality traits being developed to support mentees in the program with mentors who are good listeners, critical friends whom you can bounce ideas off as a solid a sounding board, remain a trusted confidant and a wise counsel who can support you with your own solutions as a new spa manager. Sixty minutes every month for six months is all it takes for participants to participate in this exciting empowerment volunteer program. This mentoring program is open to all spa managers and Emmy is very excited about the new developments that will evolve in 2017. Great for our industry and another innovation that has been showcased by our local South African Spa Association. Watch this space!
- How clean is clean? Well if you suffer from OCDC then this topic would have freaked you out because every type of virus, bacteria or fungus you can imagine that can exist in a hotel or spa was described politely. And yes Linda some of us are really scared after seeing this, because people under estimate how the missed spots we have on our hands when have completed washing can affect the next person you come into contact with. Better to go back to hugging maybe. Great tips to support your colour coded cleaning cloths with blue for glass, green for floors, pink for toilets and yellow for dust. Spaghetti mops are great for spills but flat mops which can be washed and sterilized are still the best for really cleaning thoroughly. To de -calc shower heads every three months by dismantling them and steam cleaning shower areas especially the grout areas to get things really clean certainly raised the bar for hygiene standards in South Africa which are hardly checked. Bio Film created in Jacuzzis from soap, oil and fungus can be controlled with professional cleaning, flushing and sanitizing every 72 hours. Linda’s new company Trojan Facility Management will support all spas to ensure that clean is clean. A great new product for the spa business.
- Ron Jean – Pevonia Director of International Business Development from Canada shared a wealth of information about spa operations and business ideas for Return on invest (ROI) for smaller operations with more outlets versus unique spa operations with more depth and unique features. Once again strong management systems was the topic that interested many highlighting best practices from a Norwegian 4 treatment room Spa operation with an extra-large retail area that managed an intense performance control system with great reward compensation for staff with 60% of sales from retail. 120 K Euro for 40 Hours turn over from a small German Operation vs 1.5 Million Euro turnover from a Norwegian Operation open 80 Hours a week -both enjoying the same 4 number of treatment rooms showed what different ideas do for business. I don’t think there is any guess which one you would prefer to take over as a successful business. Reputation for consultants on taking on projects that are bad ideas should be carefully considered as your brand is affected. Bigger is not always better – as a poor concept can ruin your brand too. Once again service and understanding your clients’ needs were key pointers reinforced. The dashboard wellness check- up for spas was a great idea – you cannot manager what you don’t measure. Make sure you get all graphs on one page for easy comparisons and evaluations.
- Value Added Services are on the lips of every consumer and Debbie Wolfendale gave a few great tips for businesses to consider. Again encouraging us to be a disrupter for value and instead of using the s word as a swear word for sales to rather consider this as advice urgently needed by your clients. By rebooking we are ensuring results and with a recall and finding out how the treatment and products are working we are building that emotional connect to reinforce a client relationships for continued business. One of the best pearls received from Debbie was to support the opposition. Another tip for being kind. Yes don’t forget to cede to the competition and let them have some of your product programs if these are not your best performers. This kind of manipulation will be great for your business in the long run. Recruiting for attitude and managing expectation management just supports your brand promise to ensure value added services support expectations.
- Ending the conference with the topic Reshaping the world of wellness with Lorraine Lees was exactly what we all needed. Where do we go from here ? Lorraine helps people to maximize their genetic potential by teaching and offering unique wellness protocols to change people’s lives. The seven pillars to enhance wellness with coping mechanisms for stress, eating a rainbow- with phyto nutrients, taking the right kind of supplements, enjoying gentle movement, ensuring a cleanse and detox when necessary, getting enough sleep and keeping a clean gut were definitely great consolidators for all business owners.
Great basic business ideas shared and incredible networking between friends and competitors helping our spa businesses grow into a more mature, sustainable and viable business. Thank you Les Nouvelles Esthetiques for lifting the bar higher so that we can retain our clients and own our industry solidly.