To manage a spa successfully, individuals who fill this role need a variety of skills to be effective leaders and ambassadors of your beauty location. The skills needed range from stellar customer service, knowledge of the ever-evolving aesthetic industry (including both products and services), marketing and communication skills, and being able to effectively manage a team.

Below, we will dive into these skill sets in more detail.

1. Leadership Qualities Are A Must

One of the cornerstones of being a successful spa manager is having the ability to be an effective leader. Team members will rely on spa managers as the proverbial compass that will lead them through each day. This will not only entail supporting the operations of the beauty location, but by leading through example. Creating a healthy and professional working environment will ensure day-to-day operations run smoothly as well as creating a company culture that will attract and retain top-notch talent. Furthermore, spa managers will be champions for the business itself and the overall guest experience, while also supporting other executives within the organization.

2. Industry Knowledge Is Essential

The beauty business is constantly evolving with new products and technologies entering the market at a rapid pace to keep up with consumer demand. With that said, spa managers need to have an innate desire for continued learning and a passion for the industry itself. While they don’t necessarily need to come from a practitioner background, spa managers need to understand all of the facets of the beauty and wellness industry. Their knowledge base should be on par with the staff in addition to understanding spa operations, the ability to stay on top of industry trends, and being able to take the lead when it comes to putting forth ideas that generate new business.

3. Strong People & Communications Skills Are Mandatory

When you are in the customer service business, people skills are absolutely mandatory. A spa manager needs to be able to listen to guests whether the feedback is good or bad. If it is the latter, they need to be able to listen to constructive (and sometimes not constructive) feedback with grace and professionalism. Not every customer will have a great experience. While problems do happen, it is how the issue is resolved that will have your beauty business standing out from the pack.

The same people skills that a spa manager needs to create a top-notch guest experience need to be applied to the internal team. Spa managers need to be able to create a positive rapport with all of the internal team members so that they can motivate and manage staff performance as well as handle any conflicts that may arise effectively.

4. Marketing Savvy Is A Must

Creating a healthy work environment and an amazing guest experience is only part of a spa managers’ scope of work. They also need to be marketing savvy—this includes communicating your beauty location’s value proposition internally for existing customers as well as externally to attract new customers. Staying on top of the industry trends will further empower spa managers on how to position your beauty business in the marketplace so that it is successful.

5. Planning Skills Are Crucial

If you don’t know where your beauty business is headed—it is hard to get where you want to go. So, planning skills are a must to ensure the success of your business. You need a business plan (this includes the company vision, business objectives, market analysis, strategies, goals, and action plan), a marketing plan (broken down by month), a human capital plan (including development, succession, and performance appraisals), and a training and development plan for your staff.

Making sure your team members are educated on the latest aesthetic services so they can deliver your clients results will only help to grow your bottom line. Some spas don’t implement these programs since educating the team costs money. However, it is incredibly important that their knowledge and skills stay up to date—not only for your customers but to minimize liability and protect your business from practitioner mishaps.

6. Networking Know-How Is Key

While mastering all of the above skills is crucial for the success of a spa manager and your beauty business, there are limitless opportunities to network and create more business outside of your location. These opportunities could be local with organizations like the Chamber of Commerce or other businesses that have symbiotic services where you could refer clients to one another, for example. Alternatively, you could get a booth at an industry trade show (or simply attend and see the latest technologies that you could offer your clients as new services) or join a trade organization, which could provide you guidance for best practices, research, and conferences that pertain to the beauty industry.

Final Thoughts...

To be a successful spa manager, an individual not only needs to love the beauty industry, but also needs to possess a dynamic set of skills that constantly need to be nurtured. When you have the right team and infrastructure in place at your beauty business, the sky’s the limit in terms of success. As the saying goes, “teamwork makes the dream work.”