Time management issues?

Never enough time?

There is never enough time

Is time your enemy?

As a small business owner, you know this feeling. There is never enough time to get it all done.

I know what it’s like. You’re juggling all the aspects of running your business. It’s a lot more than just opening the doors and selling products or services. You have to make it look inviting and dynamic, get your website out there, add a Facebook business page and then you need to actually run and manage your business.

Maybe you have help that needs guidance and scheduling. Maybe you try to cover all the hours to keep your overhead down.

There are bills to pay and more phone calls from marketers trying to sell you stuff than from the potential clients you’d rather talk to.

But there are probably some things you don’t do. You don’t do your own electrical work, do you? Or repair your own car? Nope, some things are so complex you just have to make the call and trust they will fix it.

Most of us hate going to the doctor, but if you need surgery, well, there are limits to what you’ll try to undertake on yourself.

Which begs the question…

Is your business running you or are you running your business?

Are you (with good intentions) trying to run the whole show…?

Let me share a story…

When I first went into business I didn’t do it for the right reasons. I did it because there weren’t any jobs in my field where I lived. I figured if there weren’t any opportunities, I’d have to make my own. Looking back on it, I was young and delusional. I had no clue what I was getting into.

I had little funding and no actual business management training. That meant no business plan or research on demand. I did have drive and determination. I dove in and within three months was grossing about $3000 a month. The year was 1982.

I survived and my business continued to grow, but it was tough and it came with a lot of mistakes and a price.  Not just expensive business mistakes… A big personal price.

Take control of time

Manage time or it manages you.

I’ll bet you may be paying this price too.

Do you have to do EVERYTHING?

Are you always trying to play catch up? The scheduling, hiring, training, all the overwhelming aspects of marketing and advertising, product selecting, ordering, client services… maybe even the cleaning?

They say you should network… but that also takes time. Everything takes time.

It’s my observation and experience that the difference between businesses that are going and growing and those that struggle is how good management is at delegating responsibility.

So if you think you need to do everything… if everything has to be ‘just so’, I think you should stop and realize – that’s not humanly possible.

You can’t successfully do it all. It means:
• you’re losing sleep.
• you have a terrible work/life balance.
• you may be ‘demoralizing the troops’, even if the troop is only you.

And all of that’s hurting revenues.

Can I ask a question? …to help you get out of that ‘I’ve got to do it all’ mindset if you might be having a hard time letting go:
Do you see your team as employees, friends or partners?

Do you even have a team?

Maybe it’s time…

Having real partnerships can take you so much farther than you would have ever gone by yourself. And that makes everything so much more fun. This is just as true in life as it is in business.

So don’t go it alone.

Don’t think you have to do everything yourself.
Or worse of all, don’t think others have to do things ‘just the way you would’.

That’s a recipe for dysfunction. It hurts how people perceive you, your reputation. It affects your business atmosphere and negatively impacts the guest experience.

When you delegate… when you base your relationships with your team members on trust…it helps smooth out the bumps in the road of business. You have support for better work/life balance. You have someone to share with. Someone who understands your challenges.

So who are your partners in business?

And what are you going to do today to make sure they know you how much you value them.

If you’re going it alone… think about your strengths and weaknesses. What tasks are draining you? Delegate them. Working alone or no one has the right expertise? Outsource. You may need to look outside to add those team members.

In today’s world, there are thousands of small businesses out there with the expertise you need. Freelancers. They work when you need them and don’t charge you when you don’t.

Message me and let me know what you are doing to make your life easier and your business more profitable. I’d love to hear.  judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

 

Business owners never enough time

Never Enough Time?

There is never enough time

Every task demands time

As a small business owner, you know this feeling.  There is never enough time to get it all done.

I know what it’s like. You’re juggling all the aspects of running your business.  It’s a lot more than just opening the doors and selling products or services.  You have to make it look inviting and dynamic, get your website out there, add a Facebook business page and then you need to actually run and manage your business.  Maybe you have help that needs guidance and scheduling. Maybe you try to cover all the hours to keep your overhead down.

There are bills to pay and more phone calls from marketers trying to sell you stuff than from the potential clients you’d rather talk to.

But there are probably some things you don’t do. You don’t do your own electrical work, do you? Or repair your own car? Nope, some things are so complex you just have to make the call and trust they will fix it.

Most of us hate going to the doctor, but if you need surgery, well, there are limits to what you’ll try to undertake on yourself.

Which begs the question…

Is your business running you or are you running your business?  Are you (with good intentions) trying to run the whole show…?

When I first went into business I didn’t do it for the right reasons.  I did it because there weren’t any jobs in my field where I lived.  I figured if there weren’t any opportunities, I’d have to make my own. Looking back on it, I was young and delusional. I had no clue what I was getting into.

I had little funding and no actual business management training.  That meant no business plan or research on demand. I did have drive and determination.  I dove in and within three months was grossing about $3000 a month.  The year was 1982.

I survived and my business continued to grow, but it was tough and it came with a lot of mistakes and a price. A big personal price.  I’ll bet you may be paying this price too.

Do you have to do EVERYTHING?



Are you always trying to play catch up?  The scheduling, hiring, training, all the overwhelming aspects of marketing and advertising, product selecting, ordering, client services… maybe even the cleaning? They say you should network… but that also takes time. Everything takes time.

It’s my observation and experience that the difference between businesses that are going and growing and those that struggle is how good management is at delegating responsibility.

  • So if you think you need to do everything…if everything has to be ‘just so’, I think you should stop and realize – that’s not humanly possible. You can’t successfully do it all.It means:
  • you’re losing sleep.
  • you have a terrible work/life balance.
  • you may be ‘demoralizing the troops’, even if the troop is only you.And all that’s hurting revenues.

    Can I ask a question? …to help you get out of that ‘I’ve got to do it all’ mindset if you might be having a hard time letting go:

Do you see your team as employees, friends or partners? Or do you even have a team?

Maybe it’s time…

Having real partnerships can take you so much farther than you would have ever gone by yourself. And that makes everything so much more fun. This is just as true in life as it is in business.

So don’t go it alone.

Don’t think you have to do everything yourself.

Or worse of all, don’t think others have to do things ‘just the way you would’.

That’s a recipe for dysfunction. It hurts how people perceive you, your reputation. It affects your business atmosphere and negatively impacts the guest experience.

When you delegate… when you base your relationships with your team members on trust…it helps smooth out the bumps in the road of business.  You have support for better work/life balance. You have someone to share with.  Someone who understands your challenges.

So who are your partners in business?

 

And what are you going to do today to make sure they know you how much you value them.

If you’re going it alone… think about your strengths and weaknesses. What tasks are draining you? Delegate them. Working alone or no one has the right expertise? Outsource. You may need to look outside to add those team members. In today’s world, there are thousands of small businesses out there with the expertise you need. Freelancers. They work when you need them and don’t charge you when you don’t.

Message me and let me know what you are doing to make your life easier and your business more profitable.  I’d love to hear.

Bachelorette wellness escape

Bachelorettes wellness escapes  are the new hot favorite trend

Brides are increasingly choosing wellness over wild parties

Bachelorettes are opting for wellness retreats

Your property may already be offering weddings, but are you capitalizing on the bachelorette wellness escape that is becoming increasingly popular?

In my 30 years in the spa and beauty industry, wellness is so integral it is the norm.  You don’t even think about experiencing it or realize the lives you are touching as you do it.  But our visitors are thinking of it.

Today the interest in wellness and de-stressing is impacting the bridal market.  Instead of the traditional wild weekend away with lots of booze, more brides are looking for a different option.  They are escaping with their bridesmaids for a wellness retreat. It’s been in Bride Magazine, twice in the past 12 months. It’s all over Pinterest and a Google search for “bride bachelorette spa retreat” brought up 923,000 responses.

Getting together with their girlfriends they get pampered, relax and approaching that always stressful wedding a new way.  How could this impact your property?

In addition to rooms, food, and beverages for the typical three-day event, they want packages of services.

Most popular services for a bachelorette wellness escape ( prices are per person):

  • Private fitness or yoga class for their group – $40/hour.

    Todays millennials embrace wellness

    Millennials embrace wellness

  • Massage – $120-$180 per session
  • Deluxe Manicure & Pedicure $150-185
  • Wellness coach or tennis lesson – $65 per ½ hour
  • Body treatment $150-300
  • Spa facial $125-175
  • Hydrothermal/ritual baths $300 up
  • Shirodarah $100-200 for 40 minutes (can be add-on to facial or massage)
  • Pressotherapy $70 / 40 minutes
  • Healthy cooking class – $75-$200

Healthy is important.  It’s true, girls want to have fun… but they still need to fit into their dresses.  They want healthy menus that look and taste decadent.

How big is the opportunity of a bachelorette wellness escape?

Does anyone have an idea what kind of dollars we might be talking for one of these retreats? Let’s take a look. Typical groups range from 4-12.   Let’s look at a group of six.  The bride, maid of honor and four attendants – This is very common.

For a three day event, they will share rooms because they love to bond.

Women love interactive cooking classes

Cooking classes can be a great wellness activity

Meals and beverages for 3 days

Spa package (massage, Mani + pedi, body treatment, facial)

Massages are the most popular spa service at a bachelorette wellness escape

Massage is the mainstay of a spa visit

Healthy cooking class with meal & wine spritzer

So for group of 6 – $1255 per person = $7530 – and depending on add-on or upsells… much more.

Groups of 12 – $15,060

If you typically host eight weddings in a month and half of those had a pre-wedding retreat for a group of 6  you could easily be adding $30,000 per month. Conservatively.   This is on top of revenues from hosting her wedding.

Don’t forget the upsells

As a copywriter, I love finding and promoting the upsells. Your upsells will be unique to your property and local.

You might want to offer as possibilities:

  • Learning, outdoors and fitness, the perfect combination

    Learning to  paddleboard is a fun event

    Canoeing/kayaking

  • Guided walking tours
  • Skiing/ snowboarding
  • Local sites of interest guided tours (wine tours, water excursions)
  • Horseback rides
  • Any activity catering to their party’s special interests are all possibilities.

 

If the bride only picked two of the upsells it would be easy to add convert that group of 12 from $15,000 to $18,000 or more.  If your property isn’t helping brides have a great bachelorette wellness escape, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

It will take some work to get the landing pages, packages, any needed affiliates and nurturing auto responders set up, but once done, it can work for you for years.

Questions or need assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact me, your inside link to the spa industry. Judith@spatravelinsider.com

Who is your perfect customer?

Who is Your PERFECT Customer…

if you could only pick one?

 

Which clients are your perfect customers? Who appreciates what you offer the most? Your perfect customer is easy to interact with and a delight to do business with. They get you and what you offer.

You may say your clients tend to be part of one of several different groups. Most of us are in that situation. One of those groups will nudge above the others.

Sit down with a piece of paper and carefully describe this person in detail. Define their age, personality, likes, hobbies, family situation, lifestyle. Do they tend to have political or religious views similar to yours? This can be valuable to know even if these are not topics you discuss.

  • How often do they visit you?
  • How much do they spend and on what?
  • How long do they stay?
  • How did they find you?
  • What is the best way to reach them? Do they prefer you contact them via phone, mail, email, texts or social media?

Something about your business model attracts them. Maybe it is your business

targeted messages get results

Perfect Customer

personality. Define your business’s culture and what makes you unique. Discover what is it that draws them to you?

Now combine your uniqueness and what draws them to you with why you define them as perfect. This will help you reach more clients like this. Focus your marketing efforts exactly here. On your website, social media or, if they prefer, via mail.

Success isn’t an accident. It is the result of a well thought out plan that has a defined goal.

Focus on being helpful and offering quality information. Position yourself as a solver of problems. This builds loyalty. Make your communications 80% focused on this. The last 20% is your invitation to act now and contact you, schedule or book now.

You will continue to have other customers, but the more you focus on attracting your perfect customer… the faster your success will grow. You will also enjoy going to work more every day because you love interacting with them.

Marketing Strategy Graphic

Marketing Strategy Graphic

This article came across my desk a short time ago.  The marketing graphic they developed is interesting and useful to analyze your marketing strategy.  Hope you find it so.

Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem

Whether you’re building a house or a lead generation website, having a blueprint is essential. Without one, you run the risk of not having important pieces in the right place — or not having them at all.

Considering how many critical components go into the creation of a lead generation website, you simply can’t afford to have any missing in order for it to be effective.

That’s why we here at Internet marketing company Straight North have created the following infographic of the lead generation ecosystem. With this flowchart serving as a blueprint, Internet marketers can build or optimize a lead generation website without leaving anything out.

<p style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”https://www.straightnorth.com/company/marketingresources/lead-generation-ecosystem/” title=”Lead Validation”><img src=”https://www.straightnorth.com/sites/default/files/lead-gen-ecosystem.jpg”></a></p>

Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing company specializing in search engine optimization and pay per click.

Target your message to right client via right medium

Target Your Message 

targeted messages get results

Target your message

 
When it comes to getting your ideal client to respond, it is all about targeting your message. You want the right message to the right client to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts.
 
There is a tendency to try to appeal to all potential clients to minimize the dollars spent. The consequence is generally low response across the board. Effective messages center around a single idea and target the ideal client.
 
A marketing message focused on active sport opportunities works well for millennials. If you have a lot of seniors on your list, they probably won’t respond. It’s a targeted message, but you need to target it to millennials or adventure travelers.
 
Another example. A beauty salon may send out a message “we do it all for everyone from 8 to 80.” This crosses many generations all needing reached in different ways.
 
They would be much better served to say “we treat brides right: hair makeup, nails.” They could do a Facebook post on this. Something with great pictures and promote it using targeted demographics options. The post would have a link to their website landing page focused specifically on brides. This would be much more successful. The right message via the right media. Millennial prospects are best reached via Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
 
Evaluate your ideal clients. If they are diverse, create different profiles for each. Then you can match each profile with the offering that would most appeal to them. The right message to the right guest.
 
In the spa industry we have clients who just want pampering. We have others that are big into fitness. And we have those with special interests like yoga or total wellness. Each group needs their own landing page and targeted marketing message.
 
It’s all about the right message to the right prospective client, via the right media.

Enhance Profits with Wellness Travelers

Enhance Profits with Wellness Travelers

Wellness travel is experiencing steady growth at a faster rate than travel as a whole. These travelers are a boon to the spa and hospitality industry. They travel more frequently and spend more than the average traveler spends by as much as 130%. They don’t hesitate to pay a little extra to get what they want.

Create experience packages that focus on different wellness goals. Offering these on your website will increase bookings and get you on the wellness travel radar.

According to Health and Fitness travel, here are some of the most popular current trends.

  1. Stop smoking retreat. It’s never easy to stop smoking. Even worse, when you are under stress at work or home. Opting to escape for some time at a health-conscious retreat can be just the ticket. Physical activity, relaxation and trained support can make kicking the habit much easier.

2.Healthy mind and body retreats. Coaching in mindfulness, meditation, yoga and healthy lifestyle. Stress reduces, burn out turns into revitalization.

  1. Detox with healthy eating. Healthy food choices enhanced with food sourcing and cooking tips. Guests depart with a physical cleanse and ideas to enhance their long term lifestyle.
  2. Adrenaline junkies love to be active. Combined with zen relaxation it offers more. The combination encourages living in the moment and reduces worries and stress.
  3. Family Wellness. A family trip where electronics get switched off can lead to bonding. Outdoor activities and adventures they can share together. Bicycling, water sports, and tennis all burn energy and get kids away from smart phones. Spas are also opening their doors to include families. Some offering special treatments specifically designed for younger guests.
  4. Workplace Wellness. These wellness weekends allow the team to relax, have fun and enjoy the company. No work stress, just great physical activity and comradery. Hiking, bicycle riding, yoga, water sports… anything popular in your area.
  5. Eco Friendly Wellness Retreats. These retreats allow wellness minded travelers to relax and destress without guilt. Focus is an eco friendly facility and treatments.

Whether your property is large or small you can find ways to incorporate wellness opportunities. It’s about recognizing the benefits you already have available.  For what you don’t have, find local affiliates. Look for what is special or unique in your community that might appeal.

If you are in more of a business traveler destination, tap into that. Business travelers too are recognizing the need to maintain their healthy lifestyle. It’s no longer enough to stay well and fit at home. They want it while they are on the road too. Fitness facilities, in room fitness, meditation and healthy food choices are all assets the new road warrior wants.

Hotel chains are developing wellness options for existing properties. But they are also adding dedicated divisions to focus on this travel group.  As more people recognize the need to take control of their own health the need will continue to grow. Once this was the territory of baby boomers. Now generation xers and millennials are adding to the demand.

An investment in wellness options is an investment in the future of spa and travel.

Spa Wellness Offerings – Essential to Combat Stress

Spa Wellness Offerings– Essential to Combat Stress

 

The impact of stress on our lives is accelerating rapidly. The need to have a safety valve… a way to release that stress is essential. Individuals and companies are behind the need in addressing this. In a recent report, the Global Wellness Institute has identified the problem and the need to make shifts.

At the same time spas – traditionally the place to go get pampered have become a safe haven to deal with stress. Originally only high end hotels offered spas… resorts. Now they are becoming a mainstay in the hospitality industry. It’s a given for a successful property.

With guests as potential clients, spas located in hotel properties enjoy highest revenues. They tend to be in the top ten percent of all spas. They are being targeted for renovation, upgrading and expansion of services.

Spas are stepping up their act and moving beyond relaxation. They are reaching to the more complex needs of over stressed guests. More are elevating to targeted wellness programs.

They are offering short term, individual or group retreat packages. Two day, three day or week long renewal programs. An in house or affiliate specialist offers lectures or demonstrations to promote wellness. Typically they are free to guests, and locals are invited to attend for a small fee.

Topics might include:

  • Lifestyle choices
  • Better life balance
  • Impact of a positive outlook
  • Stress release techniques
  • Healthy eating

Onsite wellness coaching can empower guests. Offerings may include:

  • Fitness
  • Weight management
  • Body cleansing
  • Heightened awareness
  • Immune boosting
  • Counseling to meet individual goals.

For a spa, the beauty is in how few physical resources are required. In most cases space needed is already in place. You may already have someone on staff who is a wellness specialist or lifestyle coach. Or you may bring in a local affiliate to assist you.

For successful integration start with your staff. Involve them, let them experience the impact of less stress and more wellness. Reward and encourage embracing a wellness lifestyle. The ambiance this creates will inspire and motivate guests to do the same.

Are Your Advertising Dollars Working?

At some point in your business you realize it needs promoting. You need to expand your customer base. Grow your revenues. Be able to cover anticipated increases in overhead like rent.
 
You’ve worked hard at collecting client emails. You’ve got people liking your business on Facebook, Google or Instagram. But if you spend money to bring more people in, how do you know if it is working? Much of the time, there is no way.
 
Television, newspaper, radio, magazines, local school groups… everyone wants you to advertise with them. It’s great to support local, but is it giving you a return on your investment? Most venues will “increase public awareness”, “build brand awareness.” They don’t necessarily bring people into the door. This is general advertising.
 
The goal of general advertising is to leave a mental picture of the business in our head. They hope at some time when we might be in the market for an item, we will think of them. Like a sexy new car, a comfy new sofa, a repair man when something breaks. We certainly aren’t going to call a repairman when everything is working well.
 
Think of this as seed advertising. You plant the seeds and hope they will grow and blossom. But you never really know how well your dollars are working.
 
There is another type of advertising you can employ. Trackable advertising. A coupon is trackable. Those codes you enter in to get an online special are trackable. If no one brings in the coupon, you know that didn’t work. Don’t repeat. Do something different.
 
If you have an active business Facebook page, you can do trackable marketing there. Create a unique offer with a code attached to it. You can set it up to sell it right from Facebook. And you will know exactly how well it is doing. Trackable return on your investment.
 
You could also put an offer on Instagram, Yelp or Google. Make it a little different, or use a different code. You want to know which venue and which offer your clients responded to. It may take a little testing and tweaking to find what hits your clients’ hot button. But you will have more than seeds of hope. You will know exactly how well your investment is working. Trackable.

What Makes You Unique?

What Makes You Unique?

This is a question many estheticians and spas can’t answer.  But for the success of

Judith Culp Pearson

your business, it’s an important thing to figure out.

Your uniqueness makes you a little different from your competition. It is your Unique Selling Point. It is the basis for your brand.  You can use it for all your marketing.  You can build your business around it. You can use it as a tool to build your business quicker and faster.
So what does make you different?  Start with a blank piece of paper. First make a list of what you see as your strengths and weaknesses. Then take another sheet and make a list down the side of competing businesses near you.  Across the top make some columns: offers, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities.
Visit each business’s website and Facebook page.  If they don’t have one – that is a weakness. Write no web or no Facebook in the weakness column.
What services do they offer? Note these on your chart.  What are their strengths?  Do they have long hours?  Do they work evenings, early mornings? How do clients make appointments? Are they service oriented or experience oriented? Who is their target market? Do they even have one? Make lots of notes.
Then go back and look at your business.  How do you compare?  What do, or could you do, that they aren’t? These are opportunities. Note possibilities in the opportunity column.
Is there something no one in your area is offering? Is it something you know clients want? Is it something that could bring them back regularly? You could make this your unique offering.
Sit down with your favorite hot beverage (it is cold outside for most of us). With a fresh piece of paper, think about the service or part of the industry you are most passionate about. Jot this down.  Is it something you can convert to being unique?  Is it something that will attract clients?  Explore possibilities.
What kind of client would it attract?  Who are they? Where do they live? What is their age? Male or female? This is your dream client. Maybe you already have one. Describe them in as much detail as you can.
How do they find out about you?  Do they read the paper? Facebook? Instagram? Google searches? Are they locals? Visitors? This gives you marketing clues.
Having trouble figuring it out? Email me. Coaching is what I do. judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.