The Wellness Business List of Shame – the top five most common and most avoidable time & money-wasters:
1. High staff turnover
It’s simple math: decent pay + respect & appreciation = staff retention.
It is ALWAYS a good investment to keep good staff, whether it’s at the front desk, sales, or accounting.
Don’t use the excuse that you can’t pay enough to keep good people. If you add up the dollars you spend to perpetually recruit and train new staff, you could make the pay competitive just by redirecting those dollars into wages.
Now imagine the lost revenue from customers your business disappoints by constantly throwing new, untrained (and often, uncaring) faces at them.
Plus, pay is only part of the equation. Respect and appreciation are free.
If you’re constantly replacing staff and you think “Oh well, that’s just the way it is in this industry”, the problem’s not the industry. It’s your business: how it recruits and treats people and how it misses opportunities to capitalize on their abilities.
OK, is this you? You’re constantly trying to get your arms around projects you’ve put off….sorting through stacks on your desk, trying to unstick piles of yellow stickies from your computer monitor, scrambling to meet deadlines you’ve known about for months.
Even two hours a week lost to procrastination adds up to almost three weeks in a year: 104 hours of your life you’ll never get back.
Could you have created a new program? Coached an employee on new skills? Promoted your business in the community? Looked at where your business needed financial help? Spent more time listening to customers?
3. Ignoring your current customers
Why, oh why, do businesses worry so much about getting new customers when keeping the ones you’ve already got is nearly always easier and more profitable?
It baffles us.
If you’re treating prospects better than real customers -– better pricing, gifts, extra services –- stop! First, you’re attracting people who just want the extras but won’t stick around long-term. Second, you’re alienating the folks who ARE your loyal customers.
The gym I belong to offers lots of freebies to new members in January. Now, my gym uses month-to-month agreements. Most of these folks will be long-gone by St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve been a frequent visitor, I’ve bought items in the café. They’ll still be getting my monthly dues in March. Where’s MY customer appreciation?
4. Online classifieds & newspaper ads
Wellness businesses are not fast food chains. Your target customer is almost always a tiny fraction of the general population. Using newspaper ads and other mass media such as generic online advertising sites is a “shotgun” approach. Sure, thousands of people buy the paper every day and look through online classifieds…but most of them have zero interest in your business, so why bother?
Use a “rifle-shot” approach that zeroes on in the most likely prospects. For example, exchanging brochures with a chiropractor may be a very effective way for a nutritionist with a holistic approach to find new clients. Hosting a community event with the Junior League is a great way to reach out to busy affluent women.
5. Costly décor
It’s your business, not your home! While luxury spas and other high-end businesses may truly need luxurious décor, that’s the exception. For most wellness business, the goal is fresh and attractive, clean and well-organized, durable and well-maintained. High-end furniture, rare woods, expensive finishes and luxurious carpets, custom window treatments and custom fixtures -– this isn’t why clients choose your business.
A good interior decorator can achieve an upscale feel without a Ritz Carlton budget. Worth considering: “local color” -– murals of local attractions or posters from a local festival, for example. These immediately click with many customers and are often inexpensive or free.