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Provides professional guidance, advice, and assistance for a fee through utilizing expertise and experience in their field.  They may work as an individual or as part of a Consulting firm with other Consultants and staff.  They may have general knowledge of a variety of disciplines of the work or specialize in a specific area.  Consultants can objectively identify needs, problems and issues and propose and implement solutions.   


Unlike many licensed professions affiliated with the spa industry (such as Manicurists, Massage Therapists, Cosmetologists, and Barbers) and other industry professionals affiliated with spa development and operations like Architects, Certified Public Accountants, Acupuncturists, and Athletic Trainers here are not similar legal requirements, licensing or certifications to become a Spa Consultant.  It is currently an unregulated industry.

What does that mean for someone interested in hiring a Spa Consultant?

•    Be prepared to do your research to find a Consultant that has relevant knowledge and
     experience required for the specific needs of your project
•    Have a list of pertinent interview questions and conduct an interview
•    Be able to clearly explain your business, needs, and goals
•    Be aware during the process that Consultants have varying levels of experience
     including some without any experience in developing, operating or managing a spa
•    Qualified Consultants may specialize and excel in different aspects of the development,
     operations or management process: Finance, Design & Planning, Operations 
     Development, Management, Human Resources, Retail, and Training.  Determine if you 
     need a Consultant who has general knowledge of a range of disciplines or has a specific 

Many companies have a variety of resources available either in-house or outsourced.  These usually include areas such as Human Resources, Accounting, Legal and a Management Team.  Most often, someone with relevant spa experience and development knowledge is not part of these available resources.

When a company decides to build a spa it is important to find the spa development resources best suited to develop the project.  Spa Consultants have the experience, tools and ability necessary to become an integral part of the success of the development team.  It’s far easier and less time consuming to work with a Consultant who has the proper tools so that you don’t have to start from scratch, jeopardize valuable time, and make potential errors in critical decisions.  The key is to find the right match for you and your project.

A Spa Consultant can provide great value to the company.  Consultants are hired for a limited time with a defined scope of work.  They are not employees and do not incur employee costs of payroll, taxes and benefits.  Their tasks are targeted towards accomplishing the goals of the project as efficiently and accurately as possible.  

There are mistakes that a Consultant can prevent that may end up providing the company with a significant cost savings.  A Consultant’s knowledge of design, equipment choices, vendor selection and compensation strategies alone can quickly add up to substantial savings.  Even a short term contract for hourly work and advice can save money, time and a lot of stress.

Each company has its own unique needs, challenges, goals and resources.  When determining if additional assistance is needed, these are some circumstances in which a Consultant can provide useful assistance:

•    The company does not have the specific knowledge and skills to make informed 
      decisions and solve problems
•    The company recognizes that help is needed but is not sure what to do, how to reach
      goals, or formulate a plan
•    The company may have some knowledge but not the time or staff resources to
to the project
•    There is a limited amount of time to complete tasks and supplementary assistance is
      required to meet deadlines
•    Current and previous efforts have not produced the desired results
•    An independent opinion is needed to assist with the process

Before you dismiss hiring a Consultant due to cost, remember that the largest determining factor of price is scope of work.  You can reduce fees by reducing the scope of work and having people from your company assume some of the tasks.  Most companies use Consultants for specific tasks to supplement existing company resources.

Having deliverables* completed and paid for in phases rather than all at once will spread fees (including any Consultant required deposits) over the course of the project.  You pay as work is delivered by phase.
This can be a good option if you expect development needs and resources to change over time (including the possibility that the project may be cancelled or run out of money).  It also helps preserve your cash resources.  

* A deliverable is “work to be delivered”.  It is an item that must be created and delivered as part of an obligation (usually contractual) to a client.  For example: Square Footage Recommendations, Equipment & Supplies Specification, Spa Menu, Staffing Guides, Vendor Recommendations.

As with many consumer goods and services, the highest price doesn’t always equal the best quality and a low price doesn’t always equal being inferior.  Consumers have a responsibility of due diligence (do your research) to find a Consultant that best fits their needs. It isn’t wise to make a choice based upon price alone.  

When comparing Consultant’s fees, it is imperative that you compare “apples to apples”.  There is no set format to proposals and Consultants offer a range of services with varying amounts of detail included in the work.  So, before you only look at cost per deliverable or the final total cost, do yourself a favor and evaluate whether what you’re receiving and paying for is the same among competing proposals.  

Innovative Spa Productions offers the following consulting services:

•    Concept Development
•    Architecture & Interior Design Review
•    Pre-Opening Critical Path
•    Facility Programming
•    Equipment and Supplies Specification
•    Vendor Recommendations, Selection, Negotiations
•    Spa Menu of Services & Programming
•    Business Operations Planning & Development
•    Retail Product Development & Merchandising
•    Financial Forecasts & Analysis
•    Website & Logo Development
•    Human Resources Assistance
•    Management & Staff Recruitment, Interviews, Selection
•    Management & Staff Training
•    Pre-opening Assistance
•    Post-opening: Audits, Management & Staff Evaluation, Facility & Financial Evaluation

We recommend that you interview several Consultants and request proposals from the top Consultants that meet the criteria of your project needs, can fulfill deliverables to meet your time line and will be the right overall fit for you, your company and project.  

For more information on Spa Consulting including HOW TO interview, hire and work with a Spa Consultant, go to the HOW TO section of this website.