This year has brought many significant changes to the spa industry and required more flexibility and ingenuity than ever before. Luckily, through it all, there isn’t any less opportunity for growth and fresh starts given that people will be looking to relax, unwind, and move on from 2020. If you’ve been working for a larger spa and want to branch out on your own or start fresh as a budding entrepreneur, here are three ways to start your own business in the spa industry.

Work Out of Your Home 

Given the limited opportunity for control and decision-making when working for a large-corporation spa, many decide to transition their skillset to their own, self-run business. Setting up your practice out of your home means you can design the space, choose your tools, and only use the products you think are best. While the obvious perks are instant access to your workspace and saving money on commercial property rent payments, the success of this model is dependent on your home’s layout and location. 

Your home needs to be inviting, clean and professional. While it’s possible to give your older home a facelift on the surface level, systems like plumbing, heating and cooling, and electrical need to be either updated or protected with a home warranty in order to prepare them for more use. As for the layout, keeping your daily life and work life separate is important, not only for client optics, but for your own sanity as well. Utilizing a space that has its own separate entrance can add a lot of professionalism to your home operation, so clients are not walking through your living spaces. Finally, just like you would want the most convenient location for your brick-and-mortar spa or salon business, your home needs to be just as conveniently located for clients. 

Travel to Your Clients

If you’re more flexible and want to have convenience as a core value, consider allowing client services in their own home. While you can’t control the environment you work in, you still have final say on the tools and products you use and can create your own schedule. This option is especially useful in the pandemic where clients may not be comfortable leaving their homes. As long as you can offer the necessary safety precautions and remain healthy yourself, this may be ideal for driving profit for your business. 

Some services could even be offered from a converted truck or van with the proper set-up. Much like restaurateurs who start with a food truck before opening a restaurant, traveling spa service providers operate with much lower expenses than brick-and-mortar but allow for a more permanent set up than just visiting a client’s home with the necessary tools. It also serves as advertising when it is parked on the street and allows for more visibility than an operation at your own home may allow.

Open a Pop-Up Shop

A sad reality of this year is that a lot of small businesses had to close their doors, leaving space available in shopping and strip malls across the country. While you may not be able to secure one of these locations full-time, temporarily acquiring a space as a pop-up shop can provide you visibility and buzz before you settle into a more long-term operation. Of course, the upfront costs of this strategy are much higher than the other two options; however, you’ll have a glimpse into your own business strategy and be able nail down your vision for your own storefront someday. Much like a soft open for a restaurant, a pop-up allows you to iron out the kinks before ultimately pursuing your permanent shop, or maybe even provide the insight you need to conclude that the at-home or traveling models may be a better fit. 

Whether you’re a masseuse, massage therapist, esthetician, beautician, hair stylist, makeup artist, or nail artist, each of these options will have unique advantages and disadvantages for your specific practice. This means you must put in the time and consideration to determine the best model for you. Utilize our resources on insurance, accreditation and certification and make sure you’re following all regulations for your services based on where you are located. Additionally, almost every city has different regulations for the coronavirus that are imperative to know and follow to keep you and your clients as safe as possible as we look to re-open. 

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