The answer to this question is very similar to acquiring any other management level job; experience. There are numerous ways to navigate the spa industry as it relates to experience. Below we will attempt to make this very simple and easy to follow.
1. Get a job in a spa as a receptionist or front desk associate or spa coordinator.
2. Start reading books on leadership, operations, spa and salon management, customer service and sales and marketing.
3. Be a sponge for everything that goes on in the spa.
4. Create a file folder and keep copies of all public materials including sales and marketing promotions, brochures/rate cards, customer service training materials/memos, direct mail pieces, gift certificate promotions, etc.
5. Become familiar with all the service personnel/therapists and all the different types of services on the spa menu.
6. Join a spa or salon trade organization.
7. Register for electronic industry e-newsletters and read the information.
8. Become a customer service superstar if you aren’t one already!
9. Keep this job for a year.
10. If your current job isn’t at one of the top spas in the area, start looking for an opening in one of the top 3 spas in your market and get hired!
11. Keep this job for at least a year and sharpen your skills and be a sponge for the way this company does business.
12. Start paying attention to what the spa management personnel is doing each day. Visualize yourself doing these tasks and activities.
13. Pay attention to the revenues each day and the different profit centers: services, spa and salon retail products, clothing, food and beverage and gift certificates.
14. Learn what retail products make-up what percent of revenues.
15. Learn what spa services make up what percent of revenues.
16. Let your Spa Director know what your aspirations are and ask for suggestions and career advice.
17. Start attending industry trade shows when possible.
18. Start looking for an entry level spa management position. Either a spa coordination, service manager position or an assistant spa manager in a smaller operation. You may have to look outside the top 3 spas in your area.
19. Keep your entry-level management position for 2-3 years. If it is at a top-rated spa/salon stay there until your dream job is offered to you. It just might be the director of your current spa/salon!
20. Keep reading, attending industry conferences and become an expert in your field!