Looking for Gold in the US Spa Industry Decline

In his recent book “How The Mighty Fall”, business guru Jim Collins outlines the 5 steps of decline: Hubris Born of Success, Undisciplined Pursuit of More, Denial of Risk and Peril, Grasping for Salvation and Capitulation to Irrelevance.
Now is the perfect time to look closely at our spa industry through this lens and, rather than placing blame, mine the wisdom from our recent experiences and reinvent our organizations and industry from within.
The boom was so much fun! Our “hubris born of success and undisciplined pursuit of more” raised the retail prices of services, and left many with unsustainable cost structures. Through the rabbit hole we have gone and the landscape has changed. With belief systems and traditional structures shape shifting or disappearing altogether, we have the chance to create anew.
Collins cautions that in “grasping for salvation” leaders can lurch in fearful and frantic reaction. His advice is to get back to “calm, clear-headed, and focused approach and,…be rigorous about what not to do.”
The relentless year in and year out drumbeat of “increase your retail sales, lower compensation costs, and keep adding bells and whistles to your spa” has kept many spa owners staring at external indicators and aiming at goals. Goals are vital for focusing our attention, they are not everything. We have become very good at “doing in order to get”. If we add “being in order to create” we will move through a gateway to a place where our capacity and resources expand.
In the spa industry we have intimate knowledge of our creative potential that is nourished by self-care and being in harmony with our environment. We now need to cultivate that for ourselves more than ever.
Sustainable spas have compensation, schedules and benefit structures that are good opportunities for employees; these spas offer outstanding, results oriented treatments to clients at affordable prices; and, these spa businesses message and live sustainability values in every aspect of their operations.
How do we get there from here? Step by step or, coining a phrase by Anne Lamott “Bird by Bird”. In her book by that name Lamott advises that good writing is about telling the truth. To avoid the final step in Collins scheme of failure, we can tell the truth about where we are and how we would like to be different. Begin.
To learn about web-based spa management tools that support change. Please contact Rhana Pytell at rhanapytell@live.com


2 thoughts on “Looking for Gold in the US Spa Industry Decline

  1. From Greed to Gratitude. From Grasping to Grace.
    Through Birth-Life-Death-into Rebirth — now this is the core value and purpose of the Spa Experience, Event and Evolution — how, like The Blood of Mother Nature –The Waters– do we nurture and shift through the throws of Death — and on and into Rebirth?

    This is will be much more than Spa as just an Industry –this is more than an tricky marketing or branding tasks —
    The Rebirth Process is a fundamental organic process found in the GSN SAT which is both Social and Soulful for SPA Work. Now the real Spa Work begins.

  2. Rhana, how every true.
    As we are emerging from the recession, the day spa and medical spa industries will look quite different. There is no doubt in my mind that we needed this shake-up to eliminate those who where “riding the wave” without real customer service and “delivering what they promised”. I love your definition: “being in order to create” we will move through a gateway to a place where our capacity and resources expand.
    Thank you, Hannelore

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