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Are you a spa owner who’s ever run a discount? In today’s blog I’m gonna share with you exactly why you should never run a discount.
You’ll learn how to identify whether or not you’re actually offering cash-draining discounts. Then you’ll learn how you can attract your MVP—most valuable payer— without a cash draining discount, but instead running a value-add profitable promotion.
But before anything else, you are gonna learn exactly how to run your numbers so that you can set yourself up for profit. So grab your pen and pad cuz you wanna make sure that you’re picking up what I’m throwing down.
So I know that when we need to get business up and going, one of our first go-tos is: I’m gonna run a promotion. And you know, part of that makes sense, right? When you’re thinking about client acquisition, you know, let’s put something really juicy out there that’s gonna get people to respond. And there’s nothing wrong with promoting your business.
This is an activity that all businesses should be doing at all times. However, As a spa owner, particularly if you’re self-employed, it is critical that you don’t turn it into a cash draining discount. And oftentimes this is what I find to be the case.
What exactly is a cash draining discount? Well, I can tell you, simply put, it’s one that drains your bank account. So this is where you overextend yourself. You might not be breaking even, you may possibly be paying the client to do the service.
This is something that unfortunately we have seen with our clients and program participants of Profit Lab is that once you do a cost and profit analysis and you know, kind of structure how your promotion is and just look at your numbers, it is sad to say that you have absolutely drained out your cash and you may have ultimately paid the client to get them.
So in one instance, I had a client who had brow wax on her service menu, and this is a popular service. However, when she did a cost and profit analysis on her brow wax, unfortunately we found that she was $3.72 in the whole. And so ultimately what that means is we paid $3 and 72 cents to the client to get them in to do the brow wax. And that’s unacceptable. And to be honest, it’s not a sustainable business model, which is why you need to stay away from cash-draining discounts.
The biggest reason that you need to avoid cash training discounts is twofold. One being it doesn’t qualify the client. Now, what do I mean by this? Qualify the client. Well, if you’re looking for top-tier clients who are going to be loyal, you know, that match your MVP, your most valuable payer, or your ideal paying client, oftentimes it’s not the discount Debbie.
And so we’ve all had to deal with, you know, those that just kind of hop around looking for the next deal. And although that’s all well and good, that’s not the client that you want to attract.
The second part of this is that you are cheapening your brand. You are truly cheapening your business, your brand, your expertise. And this is the exact opposite of what it is that we wanna do. Because truth be told, if you want to attract a top-tier client that will pay top dollar, you’ll have to wow them. And what do I mean by wow? This is when your client says what outstanding work and if you discount so much, you won’t have wiggle room to provide that red carpet experience that that caliber of client is seeking.
And then here’s a bonus one for you. The main reason, if none of those things convinced you, is that cash draining discounts is the quickest way to get on the path of being busy and broke.
Okay, so you might be thinking: If I’m not going to offer a promotion, what is it that I do? Well, it’s not that you’re not gonna have a promotion. You certainly need to promote your business, but I’d like you to take that cash draining discount and flip it into a value-driven, profitable promotion. What exactly does that look like?
Ultimately, you want to ensure that you’re focusing on the value add and not the price. Remember, price is only of importance in the absence of value. So when you’re putting together your promotions, you wanna ensure that you’re still in the profit zone while ensuring that your client is receiving an amazing value that will put her on repeat and make her come back time and time again.
Okay, so let’s talk math here. So for example, you have a hundred dollars service. And let’s say that you were planning on running a 20% off, right? So that means the client pays 80 and you are out of $20 straight away off of the top, right? I want you to take that same $20, so the same 20%, but add value. So what does this look like?
Well, by adding value, you’re going to increase the hundred dollar service with an additional $20 added value. Now, a couple of ways that you can go about doing this—one of my favorites in particular is by combining some prescriptive retail, right? So we all know the importance of home care and, you know, the impact that it can have on our clients.
And typically it’s a hundred percent markup, right? So if you paid $20 for a product that’s a $40 value, right? That’s even better. But you could even say, all right, I pay 10 for the product. It’s a $20 added value. No matter how you work it, you got $20 in there that you can really wow them.
Another way that you can do it is look at something that costs little to zero time and dollars. So maybe you have an upgraded jelly mask that is a $20 enhancement option, right? But the jelly mask is only costing you a couple of bucks, and your protocol already called for a mask so you’re not using extra time. You invested two to five bucks, but your client is receiving a $20 enhancement.
So if you still are not convinced to make the switch to profit producing promotions, I want you to consider this: When you move away from the cash draining discounts, this is going to afford you the ability to wow the client, to provide a five star experience, and truly roll out the red carpet for them.
Which in return, you know, a client who’s had an amazing experience, what does she wanna do? Think about what do you do when you have an amazing experience and you go somewhere and you’re wowed? You wanna tell people about it, right?
So we all the time ask for referrals, but this is a surefire way of ensuring that you get a positive review online and getting a referral, getting a repeat client, someone who wants to make the investment and explore different service segments with you as well as investing in the product. I mean, the benefits go on and on and on.
And in terms of you as the business owner, the primary benefit is this is a sustainable model. You know, I am anti-hussle. I am not an advocate about “just grind and shine”. I do not subscribe to that model at all because it’s not sustainable. It’s going to put you on the track of burnout. And plus, you don’t wanna be the girl that has to compete by leveraging price because what does that say about you?
You know, if you don’t value your expertise, your service, your brand, your business, and you’re not willing to invest in it, you can’t expect the client to.
Are you excited yet? Are you excited to go and build your promotion? Well, I’m happy to hear that, but before you go run off and say, okay, I’m gonna flip it. I’m gonna take my $20 and I’m gonna do this, this, this, and this, please make sure—huge disclaimer for the people in the back—please make sure that you have a service and cost profit because the baseline and foundation to building a profitable promotion is having a profitable pricing strategy.
So if you’ve never conducted a cost in profit analysis on your services, that is step number one. Because remember when I shared about my client with the brow wax and she was losing money?
So think about your service as if it is already losing money, despite your best efforts to build a profitable promotion, you could still be upside down in your numbers in cash poor. So always make sure you do this. Now, if you’re not sure how to do it and or it’s too much math, and it’s like, “I’m not good at math, I’m not good with numbers, I’m staying away from it”, then I highly recommend that you get a tool that’s plug and play, and designed for spa owners and formulated with spa services in.
And if you want to start as soon as today and build out your entire pricing model and promotions and just all of that jazz, and make sure that your financial foundation in your business is solid and sustainable, I recommend that you check out the Spa Profit Academy.
This is not an e-course or something you sign up for and you know, get your login information and it collects dust like oftentimes that it does, but it’s a transformational. group coaching program where you’ll get the support that you need. And many of our program participants have gone on to actually cut back on the hustle, cut back on needing new clients constantly and constantly because they’ve set their price at a premium and they now understand how to attract that high level client that will pay them top.
In short, if you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know your business. In today’s hustle culture and even, you know, as business owners, one woman army—particularly those that are self-employed—and we wear so many hats, it is oftentimes recommended that we do more, that we need more, that our business requires more. And honestly, I don’t know about you, but one of my primary non-negotiables in my business is time freedom.
I didn’t go into business to just always hustle and grind and burn myself out, and you know, just self care has fallen by the wayside. You know, my emotional health, my mental health, taking time out for the things that I value. My friends, my family, travel, and financial freedom too. And so for me, I do not subscribe to just the grind and grind and grind.
And granted, we all have hustle seasons. We all have times in our business where we gotta show up and we gotta show out. Okay? So I’m not saying that, but I am anti-hussle and that’s because it is critical that when you are a business owner and really a fempreneur, right?
Because as women we’re nurturers, you know, we got our cape on, and Superwoman syndrome is a real thing, ladies, and I don’t want you to get caught up in that. Don’t get so busy building a business that one day you look up and you realize that you’ve built a business that you don’t even love. Think about that.
Really sit with that and reflect: What does your ideal business look like? What does your ideal lifestyle look like? When you made that decision to go into business for yourself, that takes a lot of courage, right? We oftentimes have to move in fear, and sometimes we don’t know how we’re gonna do it. We just know we’re gonna do it, but that burnout is real.
So take a moment and reflect. What does success mean to you? Not what other people say it is. Not how society defines it. Cause just a little hint here. Success is not something you can quantify. It’s not, it’s not a number. It’s so much deeper than that because honestly, making money is never about making money.
Now I get it. Depending on where you are on your entrepreneurial journey, depending on your current mindset and everything that might be going on in life, committing to a group coaching program just simply might not be where you are today, and that’s okay. But there is a step that you can take and implement in your business as quickly as tomorrow.
So I want to gift you with my complimentary spa owners Rapid Revenue Planner. Now this planner is actually far more than that. It’s a journal, it’s a planner, and it’s a roadmap, and this roadmap ultimately is going to give you some of your baseline numbers. Like your AOV, which is your average order value. You’re gonna take inventory of how many guests, what kind of retail versus service dollars that you’re bringing in, the metrics that you need to put you on the path for profitability.
And it’s really cool because you don’t need new clients to use it. I know, right? So what you do is, let’s say tomorrow on your books, you have three clients coming in, right? Done and done. Those are the opportunities that you’ve been presented with.
This roadmap is gonna show you waves that you can boost those opportunities, boost your revenue, boost the value and the results and the experience for the. So there’s no reason to wait. Download it now. I have a quick five minute guide where I’m gonna walk you through how to implement it as soon as today. And we’ve seen people double, triple, quadruple their revenue by the end of the week simply following this step-by-step.
Now, if you’re wondering whether or not you’re offering cash draining discounts aside from your number, I really want you to think of the response that you get from clients. You know, one of the number one indicators is “wow, that’s it?” So if your client is shocked that is all that it costs, then chances are you’re priced a little too low.
You know, although competitive pricing is a strategy, it’s not one that I recommend for pricing the service. But if you’re just looking outwardly to see what other people are doing, chances are it might be a cash draining discount. And then it’s important to also check in with: How do you feel about it?
And be honest, don’t censor yourself because sometimes we become resentful over our own prices and we’re the ones who set it. You are the boss, so you are in control of what you are charging and how you go about running your promotions.
So check in with yourself and ask yourself, am I comfortable with this? Do I feel that this is too cheap? Am I low balling it? Am I undercharging? If you are having any of these feelings come up for you, chances are it’s a cash draining discount.
Join me on Instagram where you’ll find mini-trainings on how to grow your spa business.