Every business has its own risks. Emerging competition, guest service failures, staffing levels, and even marketing strategies can be considered risks to any business. In fact, spa professionals and business owners dedicate a significant amount of time planning for the future to reduce these risks. They are updating business plans, conducting guest service training, improving staff skill sets, and even tweaking marketing strategies to remain relevant in a competitive business climate. However, despite all of time and effort spent on planning for future revenue growth, many spa professionals neglect one of biggest risks to their businesses. These risks are often invisible and lurk in their facilities every day.
According to Beauty Insurance Plus, a nationwide insurance provider that supports beauty and wellness professionals in the spa and wellness industry, litigation from risks associated with spa and wellness operations may be some of the businesses biggest threats. The cost of litigation is astronomical. Not only is the process of defending a claim expensive, business owners and service providers understand the damaging effect these claims have on their reputation. Recently, in an article on the Day Spa Association blog, Beauty Insurance Plus indicated the top claims related to spa’s business practices resulted from slips and falls, bodily injury such as burns from waxing services, facial and skin care product reactions, unsanitary equipment leading to infections, and stolen products and equipment. According to their data, claims associated with waxing injury incidents, for example, averaged approximately $60,000 in damages while bodily injury claims in other salon services averaged approximately $100,000. Clearly, despite efforts to grow revenues, one claim can quickly destroy a business.
There is no way to eliminate all risk in a spa setting, or any other business for that matter. However, reducing the potential for risk is possible; with discipline and attention to detail. First, managers must be willing to enforce consistent operational processes and second, they must ensure there is accurate and timely record keeping.
In the course of a full day of back to back service delivery, it is understandable when a staff member falls behind. Unfortunately neglecting duties or taking operational shortcuts to catch up is common. This is where managers must demonstrate their strong enforcement of policies, procedures and record keeping. It is in these instances, when a staff member falls behind for example, if systems are not in place to check and balance the protocols of operations, safety is compromised. Spa managers must have complete confidence that the tasks required are being performed in a timely manner and on a consistent basis. No exceptions.
Realistically, this means that efficient systems must be in place to record, store and retrieve data; like when salon equipment is deeply sanitized, or when whirlpool temperatures are logged. Equally important, these checklists need to be quick and easy to complete, as the staff is always on the go. The process of consistently recording, storing, and retrieving electronically gives spa managers, and the staff involved, a peace of mind that proper procedures were followed and recorded. Certainly, personal safety is an expectation of the guest.
Today, there is technology available that helps staff and managers better navigate through this process. Jennifer Jacobs, owner of Connect2Concepts based in North Carolina, agrees. “With all of the functions and activities happening simultaneously in a spa setting, information must be readily available and record keeping data entry must be fluid and mobile.” With technology at one’s fingertips, literally, staff is able to immediately document and store data electronically, in real time, rather than wait and recall the information at the end of a busy day, or not at all. Jacobs adds “Through consistent electronic record keeping, and ease and practicality of use, we know that facilities using cloud based software are not only running more efficiently, and keeping better records, they are much more eco-friendly.”
Principal Consultant 5 Spa Consulting, LLC
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