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Spa business planning: how to build a roadmap for success

Spa business planning: woman getting a facial at a spa

Key takeaways

  • Spa business planning helps you create a roadmap for growth and demonstrate your potential to investors 
  • Carve out your niche with a detailed business description and unique offering of spa services
  • Create benchmarks for your future growth by making realistic financial projections

Everyone wants to get pampered, but one spa experience no longer fits all: From day spas and medical spas to lavish spa resorts, the multi-billion dollar spa industry is booming with opportunities for entrepreneurs to provide a variety of spa experiences tailored to clients’ unique needs.

In this expanding field, growing your local market share can be as simple as finding your niche and preparing for the future. Spa business planning can help you do both.

Why does spa business planning matter?

Spa business planning gives you a chance to plan for your company’s future. The process challenges you to perform in-depth research and come up with thoughtful strategies for reaching your goals. 

Once complete, a spa business plan serves as a roadmap for growth to help you compete in the spa industry, as well as a point of reference for your decision-making for the next five years. If you plan to access outside funding, it can also help you demonstrate your value and growth potential to lenders and investors who fund startups.

6 key elements of a spa business plan

Business plans aren’t set in stone. Many entrepreneurs go through the planning process every year to refine and adjust their document to reach their goals. 

Still, following a solid spa business planning structure will help you get the most out of the process. Include the following six sections in your business plan template for a comprehensive look at your company’s future.

1. Executive summary

Spa business planning: woman relaxing in a pool

Begin your business plan with an executive summary, which is a compelling, one-page overview of your spa and what makes it unique. Use this section to illustrate why your business has strong potential to succeed with a statistic on the growth of your customer base or your current or estimated profit margins

An effective executive summary gets your readers excited about your business. Investors may overlook your business plan if the opening fails to pique their interest, so give them a reason to care first.

Pro tip: Write your executive summary at the end of your spa business planning process. This way, you can easily select highlights from each section of your plan.

2. Business description

A business description defines what your spa does and why customers choose you over the competition. This section is also your chance to identify your niche, which you should include alongside the following details:

Clearly state what gives you the competitive advantage in your company description. Why would customers choose you over the competition? For example, maybe you own the only spa that offers manicures and pedicures catering to men in your market or a wellness spa that uses all-organic products.

This is also a good time in your spa business planning process to define your long-term and short-term goals. Keep them specific and measurable by setting deadlines, such as 120% revenue growth by the first quarter of 2025.

3. Management team

The people behind your business are a key measure of success. As part of your spa business planning, establish a clear management structure, and introduce each of the spa owners (even if you’re the only one.) Include your experience in the spa, wellness, or beauty salon industries, as well as any relevant awards, degrees, certifications, or licenses.

If you have management team members beyond your business owners, introduce them with details that demonstrate their competence and experience to investors, lenders, and other team members.

4. Spa services and products

Massage therapist giving a massage

The right spa treatment menu can help you attract your target market and boost profitability. Take time to narrow down the services that feel right for your brand, niche, and target audience. For example, a day spa business might sell monthly memberships with unlimited pool and sauna access, in addition to massage, facial, and waxing services. Meanwhile, a mobile spa unit might offer bachelorette party specialties, such as speedy manis, pedis, facials, and makeup and hair styling for a night out.

In this section, list each service with a brief description that includes pricing, time estimate, and notable supplies, such as a salt scrub, essential oils, and mud wrap for a full-body treatment. If the employees performing these services have an impressive background—for example, a massage therapist with 10 years of experience in the field—consider mentioning this in the services section of your business plan.

5. Marketing strategy

Crafting a strong marketing plan can help set you up for success. This step of the spa business planning process will help you identify the best ways to reach your target market and grow your client base.

To start, perform a thorough market analysis. Research your local spa market and the broader spa industry to identify trending services, challenges, competitors, and opportunities to stand out. You can also get to know your target market through surveys that ask questions about their preferences on services, pricing, products, and more.

Use your insights to inform your marketing strategy, from the platforms you use to the type of marketing materials you create. Include all of the strategies you’ll use to promote and market your spa, such as running social media ads, claiming your Yelp Business Page, sending emails, or using traditional marketing like direct mail or print ads.


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6. Financial plan

Your spa business planning typically concludes with a financial analysis of your expected spending and future revenue.

For the expenses section of your financial plan, list all your monthly operational costs, such as:

  • Rent and utilities
  • Contractor payments
  • Marketing costs
  • Business insurance
  • Employee salaries and wages
  • Spa supplies, like massage oils and paraffin wax
  • Facility maintenance costs, like cleaning services

If you’re opening a brand-new salon, include a separate breakdown of your startup expenses. This will include large, one-time expenses you need to launch, such as:

  • Business licenses and registration 
  • Furniture, such as massage beds and hydraulic chairs
  • Spa inventory and equipment, such as towels, hot towel cabinets, sterilizers, microdermabrasion machines, facial steamers, and hair tools

After calculating your expenses, work with a financial analyst or accountant to create financial projections for your next five years. Include mock ups of financial statements, including a cash flow statement, balance sheet, and income statement.

Your projections act as benchmarks for your future growth so you always know if you’re on track to reach your goals. Realistic—but positive projections—are also essential for attracting lenders and investors.

Guide your small business growth with solid spa business planning

Spa business planning challenges you to evaluate your market, define your niche, and build a strategy for growth. Writing descriptions of your spa services and management team will help you get to know your business on a deeper level, while performing market and financial analyses will help you visualize future growth. Once you’ve planned and launched, get business going with these ideas to grow your small business.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.