1. What is an organic day spa?
An organic day spa provides personalized service for health and relaxation. These might include massages (thai, deep tissue, swedish, etc.), facials, manicures, pedicures, waxings, and saunas. Organic spas do these services without the traditional use of chemicals, and the most holistic of spas not only use organic oils, creams and other personal products, but also supply organic tea in the waiting room, soy candles with non-lead wicks, and other touches of healthy, sustainable luxury.
According to publisher Elsevier, “the spa industry is currently the fastest growing segment of the hospitality and leisure industry with revenues exceeding those from amusement parks, box office receipts, vacation ownership gross sales and ski resort ticket sales.” According to a research study by Association Resource Center, spas accounted for an industry worth about $12.8 Billion in the U.S. last year, and enjoyed ~20% growth from the previous year. While some slowdown is expected in the current economic recession, the 41 million Americans who describe themselves as LOHAS consumers tend to be in the higher income bracket and their expenditures tend to be less influenced by overall economic trends. These folks will also preferentially seek out spas that provide a healthier experience through the use of organic products and services.
2. What required knowledge or skills are necessary?
There’s really no formal experience or education required to start an organic day spa. If you plan to do some of the services yourself, you’ll need training in those (such as an LMT – licensed massage therapist – if you’re going to be doing massage), but many spa owners focus on the business side and prefer to hire therapists with certifications, so even that is not entirely necessary.
3. How much money is required to start?
$$-$$$$ (on a scale of $ to $$$$$)
4. What is the income potential?
$$$-$$$$ (on a scale of $ to $$$$$)
5. What is the best location for an organic day spa?
Urban (best), semi-urban (very good), suburbs (very good), rural (fair/poor, unless it is a destination spa, in which case, it may do quite well if located in a beautiful setting many people come to visit anyway).
6. Three best questions to ask yourself to find out if this business is right for you (if you can answer yes to all three, this business might be for you):
Do you have an attention to detail that would rival Buddhist Monks?
Do you have a passion for interior design and Feng Shui so that you might create an extremely serene setting?
Are you the type of person who truly enjoys serving others, making sure they get incredible service?
Interested in starting one in your community? Where do you begin? What permits do you need? Who is your target customer? How do you find them? What is the best use of your limited advertising dollars? What’s the best way to attract a great employee or volunteer? What does an average day look like? What strategic tips do veteran eco-entrepreneurs suggest for startups like you?
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