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As the increased awareness of the need for wellness hit a peak during the pandemic, many operators who have been debating a change are likely weighing the costs and benefits to decide whether now is the time to jump into the spa and wellness industry as franchise owners.
The opportunities for growth in the industry are endless, as the technologies and understandings of our bodies and their needs are forever changing, and the shifts in consumer mindsets over the past year have lent themselves to a perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to break into the field.
Early 2021 booking results reported by Gloss Genius show that in comparison to historical data, consumers are not only booking more services than usual, but multiple services at once and trying services they’ve never used before.
Our restrictions in the last year have caused consumers to crave exciting and innovative features and venture outside of their comfort zone and this trend is causing an expansion of new technologies.
Consumers are eager to catch up on all the new options, as they were unable to access them during lockdowns and have spent significant time away from their routine treatments.
The return in demand is inevitable, so our task as leaders is to tap into the innovation that consumers desire while also managing the influx of eager consumers and pent-up demand.
In addition to growing customer demand, we too are growing as a system, and the goal that we are keeping in mind is to be better at 100 spas than we were at 30 as we continue to expand.
For franchise systems that experience strong growth, it’s important to ensure that there are systems in place to support stability throughout that expansion. We’ve adapted our system to add field marketing managers and regional support managers strategically located across the country.
We are continuously monitoring our system and evaluating our operations to ensure that every member of The Woodhouse Day Spa network has access to the support they need.
A year of reflection After a year spent reflecting on internal wellness, consumers have a renewed passion to address their health and wellness concerns head-on and benefit from the ability to receive both their spa treatments and aesthetic services in one location.
In response to that shift, we recently opened a spa in The Bottleworks Hotel in Indianapolis that is our brand’s first location in the country with a halotherapy salt room. This room has a unique microclimate that provides skin and respiratory benefits.
These kinds of treatments will continue to grow in popularity as consumers are increasingly interested in cultivating their internal and mental health, as opposed to simply treating their physical and external self.
Because the spa and wellness industry is subject to so many innovative changes, it’s important to keep an eye on growing trends and technologies. Industry technologies and understandings of our bodies and minds are constantly evolving, so we are always looking for new ways to treat our guests and remain at the forefront of the industry.
As we monitor the current trends, we are considering additional technologies and procedures such as cryotherapy, infrared saunas, micro channeling and other treatments that we see as a fit for our guest profile. In particular, infrared and cryotherapy fall under the category of low-touch treatments, which have recently surged in popularity as consumers became less willing to undergo high-touch treatments after the pandemic.
While continuing to provide our signature high-touch treatments, these potential low-touch options will offer consumers a range of treatments that cater to multiple different comfort levels.
To maintain relevance and popularity in this industry, leaders must keep an eye on these trends and search for ways to integrate them into their practices where they fit best. Additionally, it’s important to maintain your brand identity and keep your customers’ preferences in mind when considering which trends to invest in, instead of chasing every single new offering in the name of progress.
Following The Global Wellness Institute’s report that the size of the mental wellness market now outweighs the spa industry, spas have begun to turn their attention to providing guests with more than just a day of relaxation and now many are offering the ultimate wellness experience in order to cultivate improved mental health.
In addition to the mental aspect, some spas are adding more physical wellness features to their services, as well as immunity boosters, in an effort to cater to the growing concern for mental and internal health. As the awareness of mental health and chronic health disorders that began even before the pandemic was further fueled by the learnings of the COVID health crisis, customers and brands alike have demonstrated that they are no longer willing to neglect the causes and impacts of underlying mental health issues.
This focus on holistic wellness aligns with one of our core principles at The Woodhouse Day Spa, which is to provide what we call “affordable luxury” to our customers. In the pursuit of providing affordable luxury, we offer an all-encompassing experience and encourage our customers to see their spa visits as a necessary routine to maintain optimal mental health. Framing spa visits as an essential part of selfcare for mental and physical health maintenance is key in continuing to grow and encourage these habits to attract customers.
“The public’s awareness of safety protocols is at an all-time high and has now become a top priority for most customers when making their purchases”
However, one important factor to keep in mind as we work to meet this demand in the best way possible is consumers’ attention to hygiene and cleanliness standards to avoid any miscalculated rush to return.
The public’s awareness of safety protocols is at an all-time high and has now become a top priority for most customers when making their purchases, so it is essential that professionals in the spa and wellness space not only continue to maintain high standards for cleanliness, but also strengthen their communications of these protocols to their customers.
As we continue to hold sanitation as our highest priority, we have taken the comfort of our customers into consideration with our mask-friendly policy that offers our guests the choice to wear a mask.
Because our customers’ relaxation is the goal, we have made it a priority to clearly communicate these policies and measures in order to ensure that our customers have no questions about their safety and wellness in our facilities.
As COO of The Woodhouse Day Spa, Susan Hern is leading the company through its next phase of innovation and growth, with a focus on franchise development, spa services, operations, marketing, communications, and learning and development.
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