Just received an interesting press release I thought was worth passing on. It is about the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) launching a new chapter for spa consultants and the 15 spa consultants (competitors by the way) who got together to make this happen. I think this might be very good for our industry.
One of the challenges and opportunities because of our industry’s tremendous growth over the past decade (there are more spas in the U.S. now than there are Starbucks in the world!) is that there has been a high demand for spa consultants. Since almost anyone can hang a shingle out and call themselves a spa consultant, you can imagine that this can at times be a formula for disaster.
For example, a person whose only credential is working as a receptionist at a day spa for a few months could call themselves a spa consultant, print business cards and put up a nifty website. Well, perhaps I exaggerate a bit but you get the idea. People looking to open a spa are generally new to the arena, don’t know one consultant from another and can therefore be dazzled by marketing materials and end up making a very poor decision.
Results we’ve seen are mistakes in feasibility studies, poorly located or poorly designed spas, and in general the building of spas that have no chance of being profitable. Clearly not good for our industry in general. It is better for all if every spa that is built is successful, delivers on its promise to provide health and wellness results for its patrons, and is also financially (and in other ways) sustainable.
So I applaud this effort from these spa consultants to raise the bar. While I am not myself familiar with the IMC, it appears they are a credible organization and that for someone to be a member (or certified) does add a certain amount of qualification.
It will be interesting to watch how this develops. Am sure their list of participating spa consultants will grow and perhaps other spa consulting certifications will spring up. In particular, I see a need for a more international mix – especially since these days more spa projects are happening in places like China, India, and Brazil than in the U.S. However…this new spa consultant chapter seems like a good start in helping the industry to become more professional.
Vivienne M. O’Keeffe
St. Simons Island, Georgia
Deborah A. Smith
Mindy A. Terry
And now a final plea… when I go to a spa consultant’s website and see the list of “projects” they have worked on, I would like to know, what exactly did they do on that project?
The lists of spas that a consultant has worked on is often quite lengthy, and if anyone takes the time to compare one consultant’s list to another (not many people except your’s truly who is a bit uptight about such things does), it sometimes appears as if three or four consultants claim to have worked on the same project. While that is possible, there is a big difference between handling an entire spa project from beginning to end and just tossing out some advice to a spa and calling it a “consulting project”. More transparency would be great.
Next steps? How about adding a “reviews” section so we can hear how things turned out!