The great news is that the Spa Industry is off to the best start you could possibly hope for in 2022, given the aftermath of the last 2 years. In 2020, spa business owners, independent practitioners and beauticians have faced the largest setback to business since 2008 - 2010. Yet, there is hope!
We have been dismayed by the news of spa closings either for lack of business, or are unable to operate at full capacity due to the shortage of employees returning to work. Still others battle with retaining clientele since the highest percentage of spa patronage are the most at-risk demographic.
At the same time, we are delighted to find that several of our Spa business partners have thrived post-pandemic. It is with this evidence of hope that we carry on into 2022.
The IBIS World report presented the following trends expected to lead in 2022. Let's take a look at each to determine which will most likely effect your Spa business this coming year.
Relatively low start-up costs have encouraged new entrants
Did you know that the Hospitality and Leisure industry lead the job market in the number of jobs available post pandemic in 2021? We are seeing a slight increase in hires as of January 2022 for this sector according to Reuters but the industry is still lacking available licensed professionals ready to return to work.
The reasons are plenty but largely include a change in career, work from home opportunities and those that have decided to start out as an independent practitioners.
Comparatively low start-up costs associated with starting an independent practice may greatly outweigh the struggle for a fair wage versus the risk of working in a high traffic business environment.
Therefore, remaining competitive in regards to wages and Covid-19 safety in the work place will be fundamental to corporate and franchise spa success in 2022.
How will your pay scale, bonus structure and operations have to change to succeed in 2022?
How will you continue to improve Covid-19 safety measure in 2022?
Retaining qualified employees has been one of the most significant challenges for the industry
With the challenges presented by Covid-19 these past 2 years several eligible workers are electing to take work from home careers or are simply leaving the the labor market completely.
While there may not be an easy solution for enticing workers to return to work, there should be no hesitation in researching fair and competitive wages, bonuses as well as new health and safety practices. Covid-19 safety in the work place will be paramount in the coming years as variants continue to appear and are likely not going away soon.
Take a close look at your staff. Keep an eye out for employees who go above and beyond, focus on rewarding excellency, and nurture those who are motivated to do their best and grow in the industry. This may also be the perfect time to offer part-time internships, apprenticeships or grants to local esthetics, massage and cosmetology schools in order to support and develop our up-and-coming practitioners. They might just be a rock star therapist you've been waiting for!
Additionally, you may consider adding treatments that do no require as much hands-on attention from your practitioners. Light Therapy, relaxation chairs, pods, cryotherapy, wraps IV lounges and salt rooms/treatments are perfect solutions to augment your therapists' available time while raising the revenue per square feet in your spa.
How will you reward excellency and foster growth in the Spa industry?
What technologies will you research to increase revenue while anticipating therapists returning to work?
Operators that hire and retain qualified employees are more likely to attract loyal customer bases
Personal growth and development have become a huge focal point in many of our lives, no matter our age, wealth or position in society. Whether it is to eat healthier, spend more time with our family, turn our focus inwards to spiritual and mental wellness or further our careers, people are increasingly investing in themselves.
In the same respect, employees are seeking growth within their careers.
Providing opportunities for continuing education, gaining certifications and diversifying skills are requirements for maintaining employee retention.
How will you address employee retention in 2022?
Low unemployment is expected to foster continued growth in per capita disposable income and consumer spending
Leisure activities require disposable income, and of course, income has been uncertain for many spa goers during the pandemic and afterwards. Yet, as the minimum wage increases, more and more gen-z enter the workforce, the trend for small business start-ups, side hustles and crypto investments continue. We can expect to see disposable income on the rise as a result.
Therefore, we foresee spa and wellness centers will see an up-tick new age demographics over the next decade.
What plans does your Spa have for capturing new demographics?
Will you diversify your treatment menu to include more vegan options or perhaps a digital detox zone?
What new technologies will you incorporate into your spa environment?
Medical spas are expected to continue expanding over the next five years
It's no secret that Medical Spas continue to be the fastest growing sector in the Spa Industry. Clientele are seeking more immediate, natural and definitive results from their spa session in addition to traditional skin care.
Time being the most valuable resource, Medical Spas tend to provide results oriented treatments as opposed to slow beauty methods and holistic practices found in most day spas.
Even hotel and resorts spas are recognizing the increase of competition in the service arena and several are adding med spa treatments such as Laser, IPL, Injections, IV therapies, aggressive peels, inch loss and resurfacing options to their menu.
As for some common technologies, medical grade Light Therapy continues to trend in the medical spa sector. Systems capable of delivering 40x the power of a traditional devices are able to decrease the recovery time after aggressive treatments and also fewer sessions. These systems allow estheticians to provide services dynamically with the freedom to change treatment settings on the fly to meet their clients' individual goals. A huge improvement in the latest light therapy technology.
What are some ways that you could implement this growing trend in 2022?
Men are expected to grow as a share of demand for the industry
The pandemic effected everyone in particular ways but one of the greatest impacts has been the restricted access of public life. I personally remember my local wellness center closing its doors and then after reopening it restricted access to some of my favorite amenities such as the sauna and steam rooms.
Couples were limited to choices for date night. Socialization, in and of itself, had been rendered to a cautious undertaking and awkward interactions in outdoor eateries. Even local movie theatres succumbed to the financial pressures caused by the quarantine.
2021 saw a swift uptick of consumers post-pandemic, given new hopes by vaccinations and slackened mandates. 2022 is surely to see the same hike in consumer demand after the cold season has passed.
The male market is expected to expand dramatically in 2022. "Skincare products that are professionally recommended...will hit $166 billion in 2022, according to Allied Market Research." (Spa Inc) This is a huge realization of the potential influx of revenue for your spa given that you focus on some key insights proven to draw in a loyal male clientele .
"Making the most of this male related boon in the spa and salon industry is crucial; this will come down to what treatments you offer." (Wellyx) January is a perfect beginning for research on male oriented treatments, products and amenities that could be added to your menu before the busy spring ahead. Consider that "...men primarily want to regain vitality and wellness, relieve sore muscles or tackle skincare issues" (Spa INC) but as recommended by Rianna Riego, Principle of Global Spa Advantage "Men respond to performance and results-driven services, so offering a good, solid 30-minute treatment is a good way to lure in a first-timer." (Well Spa 360)
There are so many great resources online for gaining insights into the male market. Where to find the perfect clients and how to market to them is the trick! Wellyx suggests that spas "hook up with a local sports club or team and give discounts to players attending your spa for certain recovery treatments, this is great for business and the community." Yet, it is important never to forget the potential of tapping into your existing clientele, who may well have a husband, boyfriend, brother or friend that could benefit from your spa treatments. Riego points out that "Many men get their first taste of spa by accompanying another person, usually a woman."
Something we didn't even consider ourselves is how reluctant some men are in sharing their spa experiences with other men. Therefore as Remirez's interview by Wellspa360 suggests "You ... can’t rely on word-of-mouth with men, as they tend to be very discreet about their spa visits." Knowlton adds that creating a corporate wellness program has succeeded in drawing in male clientele. This, sort of, social sharing of spa experiences creates an environment of acceptance and normalization for self-care that makes men confident in sharing details with others.
To generate growth, spas have expanded their array of service offerings, particularly their range of anti-aging treatments and medical treatments
A great resource to support the rising growth in the med spa market can be found here. Everything from creating scaled membership programs and selling treatment packages rather than individual treatments can be effective at creating new business and retaining your existing clientele.
As the article points out, video calling and telework are now more of a standard than before Covid-19. Your clients will want to look young, rejuvenated and vibrant due to the increased attention to the face given these new mediums of communication. Med Spas have the personnel, technology and capacity to drive results-oriented services that will surely dominate the market in the coming years.
Just because the term "medical" is used doesn't mean that the treatments need to be invasive. Below is a list of non-invasive treatments that you should consider in 2022
Hair Removal (IPL or Electrolysis)
Nonsurgical Fat Reduction
Pro tip: Following up any of these treatments, including microdermabrasion, micro-needling, laser and non-invasive peels with medical grade light therapy (photorejuvenation) provides immediate results that continue to manifest for up to 48 hours after service. Light Therapy also provides immediate relief from redness that may have occurred during treatment.
Natural looking results has been identified as in-demand for medical spa treatment. "Preventative Botox injections are mainstream for women between the ages of 20 and 39 largely because the results are so natural looking." Image and body issues continue to lead consumers to seek treatments, however, the focus is more on natural looking results.
Remember that lifestyle decisions are a key driver to overall appearance. Don't be shy about asking your clients about their health care routines. Diet and exercise will not only improve upon but also maintain natural looking skin beyond the treatment room.
Lastly, consider offering financing as an option to your clients for packages services. Their are several companies that provide opportunities to finance at checkout, as well as 0% interest credit cards such as Care Credit that is gaining popularity in the Spa market. A simple google search will return several results. Find one that fits your business model.
In conclusion, med spas will continue to grow at a rapid pace with no signs of slowing down. Research your options, gain additional education or perhaps seek a nurse practitioner to partner with to add additional medical services.
At Equip Spa Go, we enjoy researching topics related to Spa and Wellness. If there is a topic, technology or trend you are interested in learning about, don't hesitate to reach out!
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