One of the biggest problems facing the spa industry today has to do with the quality of consulting services available in the market. There are several reasons for this. However, the recent explosion of consulting services provided by spa product and spa equipment suppliers is worsening the problem.

These services are not only providing the industry with poor spa management training but are also posing a conflict of interest towards clients to whom these services are being offered. This challenge provides the spa industry with an important dilemma: Is it really ethical for these providers to enter into unchartered territories just for the sake of selling their products?

 

 

Uno de los mayores problemas que enfrenta la industria del spa hoy en día tiene que ver con la calidad de los servicios de consultoría en el mercado. Son varias las razones que están detrás de dicho problema. Sin embargo, la reciente explosión de servicios de consultoría suministrados por proveedores de productos y equipos para spas está empeorando el problema.

Dichos servicios no sólo suministran una formación pobre a nivel de la gestión de spas sino que también generan un conflicto de intereses respecto a los clientes hacia los cuales se ofrecen estos servicios. Este contexto le plantea al sector del spa un importante dilema: ¿Es realmente ético que estos proveedores entren en territorios inexplorados sólo por el simple hecho de vender sus productos?

 

 

The effects of the crisis

The current financial and economic crisis has undoubtedly affected the spa industry. On the positive side, the crisis has ‘cleansed out’ those competitors that perhaps were not providing the best quality of service or product. The downside, however, has been the removal from the industry of smaller struggling businesses with tight cash-flows, and hence it is a shame that these good companies have not been able to survive.

The crisis has also brought an additional negative effect on the spa industry. In order to survive, other companies have opted to diversify their portfolio incorporating into their offerings a range of consulting services for which most do not have any expertise. In doing so, many of these companies have ventured into spa management services without having the necessary know-how to cater for their clients’ needs.

 

The common trap

The industry’s common trap is what we call “fake” consulting. By fake consulting we mean incomplete consulting, which only provides specific training aimed at improving sales and marketing for specific items provided by spa product and spa equipment suppliers.

Very often, indeed, these providers offer consulting services at the operational level with the exclusive idea to sell their products and equipment. The problem with that is that these services are often presented under an aura of comprehensiveness that does not really take into consideration all the aspects involved in spa management leaving behind important elements such as business optimisation, customer service, and staff selection.

 

Raising the bar

Considering this scenario, stakeholders within the spa industry should understand that the spa industry is vast, and just like the medical and wellness sectors, it consists of many specialties and professionals whose work should be acknowledged and respected.

The idea, as the Global Spa Summit has mentioned, is sharing and collaborating.  The more we work together, the more we will help raise the bar of the industry and hence the professionalism of it. This approach will not only allow the industry as a whole to get stronger but also will improve the perception that other sectors have regarding the spa industry.

At Spa Balance we therefore urge stakeholders to focus on their core businesses and to avoid stepping into other areas of expertise where they lack competence.

 

Los efectos de la crisis

Sin lugar a dudas, la actual crisis financiera y económica mundial ha afectado la industria del spa. Desde un punto de vista positivo, la crisis ha ‘quitado’ del sector a aquellos competidores que quizás no estaban proporcionando la mejor calidad de servicios o productos. Sin embargo, el impacto negativo de la crisis se ha traducido en la eliminación de aquellas pequeñas empresas que no fueron capaces de mantener flujos de caja estrechos, siendo una lástima que estas buenas compañías no hayan sido capaces de sobrevivir.

La crisis también ha producido un efecto negativo adicional sobre la industria del spa. Con el fin de sobrevivir, otras empresas han optado por diversificar su cartera incorporando en su oferta una amplia gama de servicios de consultoría para los cuales no tienen ninguna experiencia. De este modo, muchas de estas compañías se han aventurado en servicios de gestión para spas sin tener los conocimientos necesarios para atender las necesidades de sus clientes.

 

La trampa común

La trampa común de la industria es lo que llamamos “falsa” consultoría. Por ella entendemos un tipo de consultoría incompleta que sólo ofrece formación profesional dirigida a mejorar las ventas y comercialización de productos específicos proporcionados por los proveedores de productos y equipos para spas.

Muy a menudo, de hecho, estos proveedores ofrecen servicios de consultoría a nivel operativo con la idea exclusiva de vender sus productos y equipos. El problema radica en que estos servicios se presentan a menudo bajo un aura de amplitud que no toma en consideración todos los aspectos involucrados en la gestión de un spa dejando de lado elementos importantes tales como la optimización del negocio, servicio al cliente y selección de personal.

 

Elevar el nivel

Teniendo en cuenta este escenario, las partes interesadas dentro de la industria del spa deben entender que la industria del spa es enorme, y al igual que los sectores médico y de wellness, se compone de muchas especialidades y profesionales cuyo trabajo debe ser reconocido y respetado.

La idea general, tal y como fue promulgada en la Cumbre Mundial de Spas (Global Spa Summit), radica en compartir y colaborar. Cuanto más trabajemos juntos, más ayudaremos a elevar el nivel de la industria y por ende la profesionalidad de la misma. Este enfoque no sólo permitirá a la industria en su conjunto hacerse más fuerte, sino que también le ayudará a mejorar la percepción que otros sectores tienen de ella.

En Spa Balance instamos a las partes interesadas en centrarse en sus principales negocios evitando, de esta forma, entrar en otras áreas en las cuales carecen de competencia.

3 Responses

  1. Hi Sonal,

    Thank you for this article. I cannot agree more with you. The negative reputation of the “consulting” area of our industry is almost entirely due to those who pretend being specialized in everything. As a spa designer, I have seen so many times spas that should be successful but are not because the so called consultant developped a floor plan for the spa that is actually limiting its ability to make money, because of bad traffic patterns and because of bad utilization rate of the global surface(mostly, less than 30% is dedicated to income generating areas).

    I am specialized in the conception and design of spas. This is my area of expertise and I am always ready to collaborate with other professionals to achieve together the best result for the spa owners.

    Sam Margulies
    Mobile: 1-514-886-6071
    SKYPE: atmospherespadesign

    1. Hi Sam,

      Thank you for your comment. As you correctly mentioned, it is those who pretend to be specialised in everything that give spa consulting services a bad reputation. The spa industry has evolved tremendously during the last decade, along with consumers. Having a large pretty looking facility is no longer sufficient, operations need to be ‘operationally intelligent’ and at the same time cater for the needs of today’s clients, which are vast and varied. The spa industry is a large industry with various specialities and there is no consultant out there that can cover all these areas. I think it is our responsibility as consultants to educate our clients – spa owners, hoteliers, etc. – on the different types of expertise involved in building a spa and implementing a financially viable and coherent concept. And, instead of trying to do everything by themselves, work and collaborate with other specialists of relevant fields to create unique facilities and raise the bar of our industry.

      Best regards,
      Sonal Uberoi

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