It never fails to baffle me how over used, and just how incorrectly the word spa is used. By its true definition a spa is a location where mineral-rich spring water (and sometimes sea water) is used to give medicinal baths. Within our industry a true spa is a destination that offers a wide and varied selection of heat treatments, sensory rooms, steam rooms, water based facilities etc. A spa is not a high street salon, yet I see many high street salons calling themselves day spas and the only water facilities they have is the water that comes out of the tap.

salon spa

It all comes down to branding. I think that many people believe that if they use the word spa they can charge more, or that perhaps it will create an image to the client of a higher class establishment and the ultimate in pampering and relaxation… the problem arises when the client arrives and sees for herself that you are indeed a salon, not a spa and at that point she will be disappointed as in her head she thought she was coming to something she wasn’t. You can offer the most amazing service and care but she will still be disappointed because she will have been misled in the first place. If you are a high street salon be proud of it. Don’t be ashamed of what your salon is, or indeed where it is, brand it to suit the market you are in and the positioning of the salon – whether you are a high street salon, home based salon or a mobile therapist be proud of what you are and what you offer. Your salon, first and foremost, has to appeal to the immediate audience you have in your local area and if you alienate them you will have a real struggle on your hands.

There will be many other factors that will make you unique from your competitors so concentrate on those and use those as your unique selling point (USP). Do your job with great pride and passion and offer the very best service that you can, keep yourself updated and keep renewing and refreshing your skills, always be one step ahead and look at offering new treatments and services to show the clients that you are always advancing. All of these factors will make the client realise that there is no need to go to the spa when she has you right on her doorstep.

salon spa

I have nothing against spas, I think they are great for a treat or a weekend away but there is a fundamental difference between a salon and a spa when it comes to service. Yes they may have all of the high tech equipment, plush treatment rooms and beautiful location but what they often lack is personality. Spas do not rely upon loyal clients and repeat business as they will always have someone else coming for a spa day or weekend and most of their clientele will be completely new. In that respect the therapists do not have to try and build a rapport with you as it is likely they will never see you again. With a high street salon it is essential that you make a good impression and build a relationship with the client, besides the treatment that you are offering it is this relationship that will keep the client coming back year after year. This is the type of personal service that makes a high street or home based salon, and indeed a mobile therapist, a much warmer and more inviting prospect and one which I would choose any day of the week.

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