ISPA Profile
Experience ISPA

Friday, August 22, 2014

Using Data in Decision Making

Making big decisions for your spa can sometimes feel like going on a woodland hike in the middle of the night. You might be nervous, disoriented and afraid of taking a wrong turn. Information is your flashlight and ISPA is your hiking buddy.

Did you know that the average number of spa treatments listed on a spa menu is 45? I didn't – until I read one of ISPA’s Snapshot Surveys last year. Whenever I'm working on a lecture or a project for a client, my first task is to gather research and industry data to support any topics or decision-making that needs to be done. Making choices or changes based on your intuition alone can work out absolutely fine, but I've found that your gut gets a lot smarter when you've been keeping up to date with what's happening in the industry.

I have to admit, I'm a little bit of a statistics junky. Tell me that your XYZ night cream is flying off the shelves, and I may look out for it the next time I'm at the Expo. But tell me that 60 percent of anti-aging facial clients buy it and I'll be knocking on your door, checkbook in hand. I want the numbers, the facts, the deets. So in terms of the organization and presentation of valuable information, the Snapshot reports really do a great job. The infographics and color-coded graphs help illustrate the numbers and make the takeaways of the data clear. The written answers at the end of each report are also great for inspiration. For example, in the May report, respondents were asked to share the most valuable lesson they've learned so far in their careers. There are hundreds of responses, each with a unique take on what's most important. Talk about inspiring pearls of wisdom!

I'd like to say that there are many quality resources available to us, as spa professionals. Unfortunately, that's just not true. Our industry suffers from a lack of available information in general because of the fragmented nature and newness of the spa business. One fantastic exception is the reports provided by ISPA to its members. It may be a nuisance to fill in the surveys every month, especially when you're apparently already spending almost four hours every day responding to the 84 emails in your inbox (per the May snapshot report profiling ISPA members), but the payoff is really exceptional. You get to know relevant, recent details about the spa business that you can relate to your own operations, and feel confident that you're not just staggering around in the dark.

Now, who wants to grab a flashlight and go for a hike with me?

Su Gibson
Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston

Snapshot Surveys are just one of the many benefits available to ISPA members. To learn more about these great resources or about membership, please click here.

No comments :

Post a Comment