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Trends

You know the great thing about trends, is that the prognosticators are never called to task. Sort of like weathermen. They don't lose their jobs if it doesn't rain, or if it does. There is a little less leniency with economic forecasters.

I look at trends with appreciation and respect, but not as the end all forecast that is going to predict my future. Businesses exist within a market, and some flourish and some fail within that same market. Existing in any market requires passion, focus and planning. The economy is not the credit or the blame of the success or failure of businesses in our industry. The business owner and the decisions they make determine the success of their business. Too often in the spa industry, these businesses are looked at as hobbies, or extensions of solo practices, not as businesses. Well, they are businesses, and they need to be managed and run as one.

Often, I get called into situations to re-negotiate the lease and bank note on the Taj Mahal - that 20,000 square foot temple of opulence with ceiling-high waterfalls and 50 treatment rooms. The owner retired from high-tech because she loved going to spas, and her marketing background would guarantee a steady stream of guests. Then there was my friend back east who came to me and wants me to sell her 4500 square foot spa doing $1M per year with a rent of $27,000 per month. My thoughts? What were you thinking? Here before me are two intelligent, passionate business people who let the allure of the image of going into business get in the way of them making intelligent choices in the business planning process. Guess what? I don't have enough magic dust to fix some situations.

This is where all the predictions and trends hurt. Yes our generation is getting older, and yes people are making healthier choices and taking better care of themselves. Yes again, that the pro-aging services and focus on weight loss and nutrition all favorably points to a growing need for spa and wellness services. That doesn't translate to building the biggest spa you can because you have the money! If you build it, that doesn't mean they are going to come. And yes, I loved "Field of Dreams".

Let me make a prediction and be the first to boast a trend. Those who are passionate about their business and make intelligent financial and business minded decisions will be successful and profitable over time. My best wishes for your continued success.