How to Achieve More in 2012, Pt. III

Published on Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Felicia Brown

In the second part of this series, I discussed creating goals that you are passionate about as well as declaring them on paper and to others. In the first part, we discussed creating goals that are SMART and take regular action on them. Now we’re going to look at the shadow-side of goals…not achieving them.

Been there, done that and yet failed to reach the goal. Sometimes we don’t reach our goals because we aimed just a little too high or unexpected circumstances out of our control somehow derailed our plans. However, many times what holds us back is actually, well, us. This could be a number of things from simply not doing the things in the last two articles to a collection of other bad habits and personal roadblocks that we’ve accumulated. Some issues might be:

Lack of discipline
Poor organization
Being “too busy”
Having a fear of success
And the list goes on…

Whatever the things are that lead you away from what you say that you want to achieve, you may need to gain an awareness of them in order to move past them to the completion of your goals. Take a few minutes right now to honestly assess what it is that gets in your way from accomplishing what you want. You don’t need to share this information with anyone else if you don’t want to, but you do need to see it for yourself.

If you are truly motivated and driven to reach your goal “this time,” perhaps the first task or action you must take towards it is moving beyond the roadblock(s) that have held you back in the past. Whether you do this by reading a book, asking a friend to support you or employing a business or life coach to help you does not matter. Find the avenue that works for you and commit to letting go of this habit or behavior with the same passion and energy that is behind your goal.


Goal setting is a wonderful tool and skill to create more of what you want in your life and job or career. Remember that it is an ongoing process that continues and improves as long as you are trying to accomplish new things. Take my suggestions and continue to achieve what you want this and every year.

Need help setting goals or growing your business? Visit for more information on the Every Touch Marketing Virtual Coaching Program, one-on-one coaching sessions and NEW Every Touch Marketing Home Study Program (Release date in February 14th – pre-orders now available).

Take Your Spa to the Next Level with Wellness Coaching

Published on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Marti Morenings

In my last post, I offered a few tips for integrating wellness programs into spa. One of my recommendations was to partner with complementary wellness practitioners such as wellness coaches. This is one of the best ways to make a lasting impact on your clients’ lives. In fact, wellness coaching is one of Spa Finder’s Top Ten 2012 Global Trends. According to the report, all types of coaching, whether it is beauty, sleep, or wellness, are expected to be big this year.

For the past few weeks, we have been researching how spa professionals can begin providing coaching services for their clients. Fortunately, I have had some great advice from industry consultants and wellness coaches working with spas. Here are some of their comments:

Canadian-based Kathryn Stolle, president of Total Spa Concepts commented on Spa Insider, “Wellness coaching will provide those spas savvy enough to make the effort with a competitive edge in a market that is moving steadily in that direction. Those who embrace it will stay ahead of the game.”

Certified Health Coach Tamara Hayes, Owner of Green & Healthy writes in from LinkedIn, “Utilizing a certified health coach in your spa- especially one trained in integrative wellness and nutrition- could help expand your integrative wellness offerings and workshops greatly, as well as giving your clients the ability to get educated and involved to an even greater extent. My background is in the cosmetology and the medical fields, and they are integrated into my health coaching.”

“The Biggest challenge is awareness,” says Stacy Conlon, a marketing consultant and wellness coach working at SenSpa. “Spa-goers do not understand what wellness coaching is and what it can do for them. There is a huge learning curve.”

In my next post, look for some concrete strategies from Stacy on building awareness of wellness coaching in a spa environment. Please let us know if you are making wellness coaching work in your spa!

How to Achieve More in 2012, Pt. II

Published on Monday, January 9th, 2012

Felicia Brown

In the first part of this series, I discussed creating goals that are SMART (Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive) as well as taking action every day towards whatever goal(s) you set.  Now let’s take goal setting a step further to be even more effective.

Decide what YOU passionately want–NOT what others want for you. Often when talking with coaching clients, someone will say, “Well my spouse really wants me to  _______.” Then they’ll go on to describe how they just can’t seem to make it happen. Why? My guess is that it is because the goal they are aiming for is not really their own. As a result, they have no passion or excitement about that goal and can’t muster the energy to do anything about it.

In fact, without passion and “ownership” of your goal, it may be hard to gather the momentum, excitement and persistence needed to achieve much of anything, especially if the goals you’ve set are larger ones.  True, if you work for someone else, you may have been given a set of goals by your boss. But even if you have an employer’s expectations to meet, you can create your own individual goals within them or in order to help meet the bosses’ requirements.

Example:  The spa where you work has an overall team goal of increasing service and retail sales by twenty-five percent over last year. Perhaps the idea of growing the amount of sales for the spa isn’t exciting to you, but improving results and level satisfaction of your clients is. So you could create a personal goal you ARE passionate about that says, “In 2012, I will share our retail specials with every client I see and offer at least one upgrade or add-on service per appointment.”  Doing so is likely to help your clients look and feel better while improving your levels of service and care, not to mention your sales.

Put it in writing and share it!  Writing your goals down allow takes them out the realm of lofty ideas floating in your head to concrete, tangible thoughts and projects. Once you write them down where you can see them, you can continue to craft and perfect them as your vision of them and the results that will follow evolve. 

Once you’ve made your goals clear, tangible and had the chance to think some of the tasks and actions through, begin to share the goals with others. This may be your employer, co-worker or partner, perhaps your spouse or a friend, and even your customers or professional contacts. Whoever they are, the people you share your goal with should be supportive of you in general. And most likely, especially as you profess your plans with passion, some of those you share them with will take steps to help you achieve them.

Need help setting goals or growing your business? Visit for more information on my Group Marketing Coaching Programs, one-on-one coaching sessions and NEW Marketing Coaching Home Study Kit and Audio Courses (coming out January 31st).

How to Achieve More in 2012, Pt. I

Published on Friday, January 6th, 2012

Felicia Brown

Happy New Year! One of the things I love most about the New Year is chance to start a new chapter in life. With the turn of the clock past midnight on December 31st, we all have the opportunity to start fresh in many areas of our lives, to set new expectations and goals for fitness or business and adjust any attitudes that may have held us back the previous year.

But if you are one who sets resolutions or goals and then fails to achieve them for one reason or another, I’m willing to bet the sounds of Auld Lang Syne leave you feeling a different set of emotions than mine. To help you get the outcome you want for any goals or resolutions you’ve set for 2012, I’d like to offer a few ideas to get you moving in the right direction.

Be SMART! The acronym SMART stands for SPECIFIC, MEASUREABLE, ACTIONABLE, REALISTIC AND TIME-SENSITIVE. Simply put, this means putting your goal, such as “Losing weight” or Making more money” into a format that gives it complete clarity. Once you know exactly what it is you are trying to achieve, it will be much easier for you to take actions towards it and get it done!.

Example: Instead of saying “I want to get more clients” try “By December 31, 2012, I will increase my number of facial clients from ten a week (the number I had 2011) to twenty.” The latter statement gives you exact clarity in terms of what you are aiming for and when you will achieve it. Once you’ve made your statement, begin to make a list of the various steps and tasks you can take to make your goal a reality.

Take action daily towards your goal. The size or number of your actions, steps or tasks isn’t necessarily what’s important. Instead it is your conscious willingness, intention and effort to take that action, that obvious step towards your goal on a regular basis. Doing can be what makes the difference between success and failure in achieving your goal.

Example 1: One action you could take towards increasing your number of facial clients might be “attending local networking events.” If so, go ahead and pull out your calendar to pencil in what days the events you want to attend occur for the whole year. This will give you a ready-made “to-do” for a number of days this year.

Example 2: Another possible action that corresponds with the first one is “following up with past clients or people that expressed interest in receiving services from me.” Make a smaller daily goal (and corresponding calendar entry) of “I will call or email five people every day.”  Then do it! And use the list of tasks and steps you’ve created for your goal to help you determine other daily actions.

Need help setting goals or growing your business? Visit for more information on my Group Marketing Coaching Programs, one-on-one coaching sessions and NEW Marketing Coaching Home Study Kit and Audio Courses (coming out January 31st

Call For Green Spa Practices!

Published on Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Lisa Sykes

*sigh* Yeah, I know. It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post. But I have a good excuse. I’ve been working on product copy for our 2012 catalog, which will offer hundreds of new items, beautiful photographs, handy Spa Insider™ Tips, and more.

However, in a few short months, Earth Day will be here, and I’d like to write a community piece to share with everyone–a Top 10 list of practices for spas that want to become eco-friendlier. So I am reaching out to see if you have 3-4 tips that you’ve found easy, practical, fun, or financially savvy. These tips can include water/energy saving measures, successful promotional ideas, charitable giving, green product usage, and so on.

With each tip chosen for the Top 10, you and your company/location will get credit. The article will be distributed via our newsletter, our website, and social media. I am also going to write a B2C version for our consumer site ( so readers who visit it will see the great things you’re doing.

Would you be interested in sending me about 3-4 of your practices and why they work for your property/properties? Naturally, I’m on a deadline, so email your submissions to me at  by January 18.

Thanks so much and look forward to hearing from you!

Staff Compensation Packages

Published on Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Leslie Lyon

Starting NOW, you must know how to “Showcase and Sell” both the monetary and non-monetary benefits of working at your Spa

Over the past number of years, there has been a shift in drivers in the Spa Industry. Where the Employer used to have the upper hand when it came to recruiting, it now appears that more often, the candidates looking for employment are assuming that position.

Due to a number of variables, today’s Spa Owners have fewer applicants to draw from – you are all vying for the same contenders. It is also increasingly difficult to hold onto those individuals. Some reasons for this might be:

1. Limited commitment on the part of the employee due to the re-focusing and greater emphasis on work-life balance;

2. Technology and globalization – New industry developments and globalization have brought a new meaning to competition;

3. General decline in human stability factors; lower levels of loyalty and respect for authority figures.

What does this mean to you?
In order to gain and retain the best contenders out there, you will have to aggressively sell your Spa and your Compensation Package as the best opportunity out there. You will have to make it ultimately clear to potential candidates that coming to work with you is the best choice possible.

8 Monetary Compensation Adjusters
As the Owner, you must develop a Compensation Package that stays within Industry Standards while at the same time complements your overall business philosophy and financial capabilities.  This may include hourly wages; commissions and incentives; profit sharing and bonuses; product and service allotments; paid training opportunities, etc.

1. Company Stability – Know what you can afford;

2. Company Philosophy – What constitutes a reward according to your guidelines?

3. Industry Standards – What is acceptable in the marketplace?

4. Job Description – Your reward system must be relative to your expectations;

5. Skills Performance – Be able to gauge obvious and potential successes;

6. Expertise – Experienced therapists are a dying breed, pay them special attention;

7. Tenure – Loyalty should be strongly encouraged and rewarded;

8. Cost of Living – It keeps going up and you’ll need to keep up too.

Non Monetary Rewards
These “Opportunities of Employment” are a very important component in your Compensation Package. Examples of non-monetary rewards are: Caring Culture with life-friendly policies; Quality Leadership; Flexible Scheduling; Employee Retention programs; Deliberate Staff Development; Stretch Opportunities and Experiences; and special privileges for high achievers.

Enjoy these Advantages of a Great Compensation Package:

—It gives your (potential) employees a clear understanding of what they are entitled to receive and what they need to accomplish to achieve higher compensation;

—Sends a message of continuity and professionalism, decreasing back lash over possible feeling of unfairness or favouritism;

—When it becomes known that employees can make good money and enjoy a pleasurable working environment at your Spa, you will begin at attract better candidates for the job;

—It can create an upward spiral of quality, yet costs fall because you need fewer people – everyone wins;

—Good employees make you more money too – they make fewer mistakes, need less supervision and are more willing to do whatever it takes to see the business succeed;

—Management administration is more efficient and effective – improves record keeping. 

Design the Package before you’re ready to hire; keep it easy to understand and administer; be consistent, and put it in writing. 

Your ability to effectively combine these monetary and non-monetary options to best suit staff needs will dictate the overall success of the Package.


NEW Normal

Published on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Leslie Lyon

Many have become more conscious about spending, not necessarily because they have to, but because they feel less secure about the future.   There’s much talk about the “New Normal”- what exactly does it mean to your business?  Use your five senses to identify your new normal.

1.  WHO is your new customer?
Your new customer requires “emotional engagement”, because the importance of the experience now outweighs the importance of the purchase.  This means you are now more dependent on your staff than ever before.  In fact, perhaps staff is your new, most important customer.  The power of the individual, not only means the consumer’s increased ability to drive economic decisions, but it also represents your staff’s ability to actively participate in the (possible) restoration and growth of your client base.  Your attention to your staff needs must ramp up, NOW.   Do not underestimate this critical part of the New Normal.   

2.  WHAT does your client need now?
Two points prevail:  #1 – A revolution in values; #2 –Convenience and time management.

i)  A Revolution in Values – Service will undoubtedly be your key competitive asset in both of these categories; but the adaptation of stronger belief systems related to ethical and emotionally based choices may force you to re-evaluate your business strategies as a whole; not only in your staffing plans, but including your purchasing and operational plans.

ii)  Convenience and Time Management - Provide your clients with time saving service and shopping solutions to help them get to their next task quicker, and their next appointment, on time.  Never frenzied, but always efficient. Depending on your situation, consider these points instead of, OR in addition to traditional methods:  Self-serve bars and services; new “3-in-1 multi-technician services” (the works in an hour); expanded “On the Go-Go” (mini) service menu.  And think “speed shopping”:  Re-visit service and product bundling; direct your shoppers to items under $20; $50; and $100; have a “Top 10 Must-Haves” checkout section.  

3.  WHERE should you direct your attention?
Supporting your brand with new integration strategies, such as stronger in-store advertising campaigns, will expand and diversify your existing client’s purchasing decisions.  Focus on cross promotion; up-selling; and add-on selling through repetitive exposure on multiple levels and stages.  Consider polarizing your choices from mid-level services and price points, to budget and luxury only, and monitor results.  (Remember the hourglass shaped economy model is morphing into the pyramid shaped economy model). 

 4.  WHEN can you feel better about the future?
NOW, because your downsizing (or restraints) over the recent past have empowered you and your staff.  Cost-cutting may have improved your profitability; forced you to acquire increased levels of skill development; making you more indispensable; and providing you with industry influence.  Opportunities abound if you are only prepared to enjoy your new-found potential.

5.  WHY are your old ways no longer effective?
Not only have there been radical changes in personal priorities; there have been radical changes in business, and it’s called diversification.  Your near-term survival is important, and I’m going to assume your long-term survival is too.  Retailers are becoming suppliers; and suppliers are becoming retailers.  As suppliers move ever closer to the consumer, so must you find ways to supply bigger business.  Your focus, if not global, must at least be larger in scale. Your ability to diversify and develop off-shoots of your business may be your saving grace. 

Your job:  Integrate new strategies and diversify revenue streams that will ensure your growth into the future. 

Your 6th Sense:
In this case, it’s not intuitive; magical, or even spiritual, it’s just three facts: Prioritize; Focus; and Commit.  You’ve heard me say it before; these are always the primary ingredients that are missing in the struggle for success.  Just remember:  DON’T take it on unless you are fully committed; DON’T ask for advice or assistance from anyone who is not fully committed; and most importantly; DON’T underestimate what fully committed really means.

Why You Should Buy Your Real Estate and How You Can Do It, NOW!

Published on Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Monte Zwang

You are managing your business every day and hopefully, as you read this you have mapped out your profit plan for 2012.  Based on last year’s performance you should have a good estimate and roadmap showing what to expect this upcoming year in terms of sales, profit, assets, and equity. If you don’t, you should take the time and make a plan now. 

Beyond the end of 2012, what are your plans? How can you manage your future if you don’t have an exit or transition plan?  Is it realistic to think that you want to continue managing this business or performing these services for the next twenty years?   Do you have a picture of how you plan to retire or exit from your business? Passion is one thing, but ambition provides a future.

Know the value your business or practice. The short story is that spas and wellness facilities are valued at somewhere between 3-1/2 times Net Profit and 40% of Gross Sales (not including Gift Certificates). Medical Practices are valued at approximately 2 times Net Profit and 65% of Collected Revenue.  For a business to have value to sell, it must be bigger than the revenues earned solely by the owner. It must show Net Profit which is adequate to service the debt created for the value of the business that the buyer will be paying to you to purchase the business. As I learned a long time ago; No Net, No Debt!

‘Tis the season to buy real estate. Understand the value of real estate in your area. Better yet, understand that the bubble on commercial real estate is about to burst and many markets will be experiencing a decrease in real estate value.  Look around. Are you seeing an increasing amount of vacant space?  How long do you think landlords will allow this to continue until they re-think the rates they are asking for their space? Increasing vacancies means less income which equates to lower value.  If landlords have not managed their cash reserves properly, they may realize that it is in their best long-term interest to sell.

You’re probably saying to yourself “But I don’t have that kind of money!”  You are probably already paying a similar amount in rent compared to the debt service you would be paying if you were buying your space.  Buying your building and leasing it back to yourself will more than likely cost about the same as it does to lease your space from a landlord.  Yes, you will have to get creative and come up with a down payment. The difference is that at the end of about fifteen years, you will own an income producing piece of real estate with positive equity that will be worth more than it is today.

There is strength in numbers. Don’t try to do this alone.  Look around you.  Are there other tenants in your center who could be interested in owning a portion of the center or building you now occupy?  Are there other health practitioners, physicians, or wellness businesses that could be doing better if they were situated next to a business like yours?  Could everybody experience more success if all tenants in the center could combine their resources in advertising, reception labor, retail, and back-office administration? Could this make your business more profitable with new opportunities for growth?

Yes, money is available for qualified buyers. Commercial banks are lending and SBA guaranties are available for owner-occupied real estate.  If you know what lenders look for and present a comprehensive and feasible package, there is money out there.  Do not go to a lender until all your ducks are in order and your package makes sense. Lenders want to make loans, and money is available if they feel comfortable with the risk and financial strength of the borrowers. Are you a qualified buyer?

There is power when you join hands and work together. Look into your future and move towards your defined goals with confidence. Maximize the profit potential throughout your business life starting today.

Give us a call.  We provide the experience and guidance to help put this together for you.  As always, the first call is free. Don’t hesitate to give us at 888.727.5489 or e-mail at

Our best wishes to you for a happy and successful 2012.

Become an Industry Thought Leader: Nominate Yourself for Universal Companies’ Advisory Board!

Published on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Nancy Griffin

Are you one of those people who like to get your hands on the latest and greatest? If you are a current customer of Universal Companies and operate a spa or consulting firm, you could be chosen as a member of Universal Companies’ first ever customer Advisory Board.

The Universal Companies’ Advisory Board is a great opportunity to showcase your talents. Share your opinions on new products and equipment and provide recommendations for enhancements on existing products. Stay on the leading edge of industry innovations. Network with like-minded industry experts.

Want more? Advisory Board members will receive editorial credit on Universal Companies’ website and in the Spa-Insider blog and newsletter. Sounds dreamy…right?

Click here to nominate yourself. Membership of the Advisory Board is strictly advisory and voluntary. Advisory Board meetings will take place quarterly via phone/web-conferencing. Members may be asked to provide input via email or telephone call periodically.


Hurry! The deadline for submission is December 23.

Staff Contracts, Agreements & Promises

Published on Friday, December 16th, 2011

Leslie Lyon

Think It… Ink It… And Get It Signed.

The number one de-motivator in the world of work is not knowing what is expected.

Ideally, your Staff Contracts should be in place before you begin recruiting. BUT if you are an existing business, it’s never too late to introduce these important documents. The spa that has these documents in place will not only be provided with greater protection, but will also be sending a professional, clear and concise message to (potential) staff that you mean business; you respect everyone who comes to work at your place of business; and you expect the same in return. You may be surprised at how favourably these documents are received.

Although these documents don’t guarantee results, they will be effective deterrents with the ability to “ward-off” those individuals who may have ill intentions, or who simply are not a “fit” with the company.

Note: Before releasing any documents for signing by yourself and your staff, consider involving legal counsel, and make sure you know the laws, restrictions and guidelines that govern these agreements in your Province, State or Country.

1. Offer of Employment
This Contract will serve to solidify the agreement you have negotiated with potential candidates during the interview and recruitment phases, including the Job Position, Description & Term; Probationary Guidelines; Termination Details; Hours of Employment; Vacation; Overtime; Sick Leave and so on.   

2. Authorization to Release Information
An Authorization to Release Information agreement may allow past and present employers and schools to release information such as performance evaluations, character information, dismissal details, etc.

3. SOP – Policies and Procedures Manual and Staff Handbook
May also be referred to as Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), or Operations Manual
The Manual should be considered a signed contract, with signatures gathered from each person who is in possession of a copy, and whenever changes to the manual are made.

4. Warning & Dismissal Document
While in the process of dealing with problem situations, it will be to your advantage to document every move the staff member in question makes, and keep an ongoing, active file. 

5. Growth & Goals Planning
Often one of our advantages during recruitment and in staff retention will be the future opportunities we sell to our (prospective) employees. This type of program will not only attract good candidates, but will also play an important role in retaining your existing staff.

6. Job Descriptions
When staff are clear on what is expected of them, and they are evaluated in direct relation to that criteria, confusion diminishes and everyone is better equipped to get down to business.

7. Job Reviews and Staff Evaluations
Employees who know exactly what they have to do to reach peak performance will reach it more often than those who are unsure. Reviews provide a consistent, professional approach to growing your relationship with your employees. 

8. Staff Compensation Package
Your staff compensation packages are presented to your new and existing staff to clarify what exactly their pay structure and ranges look like; the applicable job adjustment policies; staff benefits, bonuses and incentives attached to the job; whether there’s paid sick days, and so on.

9. Non-Compete Contracts
In this agreement between the Employer and Employee, the Employee agrees not to compete with the Employer in a similar business after leaving their employ, as well as stating that the Employee is not allowed to solicit customers or staff from the previous Employer.

10. Confidentiality Agreements
These documents need to be in place to ensure Employees do not divulge your confidential information to anyone else, particularly your competitors, or use it for their own gain at some point in the future.

11. Independent Contractor Agreement
This is an agreement between a business and an independent contractor (not an employee) that provides the terms and conditions by which the contractor will provide services to the business.

Assumptions lie at the root of failure…clarity is the key to success.