How do you currently view your relationship with your spa vendor partners? Is it easier to think of them as a small part of your overall success, or an intricate part of your spa business growth? As noted in Retail Management for Salon & Spas, “The relationship between salons and spas and their vendors can go far beyond the simple provision and purchasing of products.” A successful spa will create a successful vendor relationship and vice versa. The growth and knowledge of each affect the other. To create a dynamic partnership with a spa vendor partner you need to find the right fit, understand the expectations, and do your part to make the relationship great.
Finding Spa Vendor Partners That Are THE Perfect Fit
It’s vital that you and your spa vendor partners jive. To find the perfect fit, it’s a good idea to research your options thoroughly and be clear on what is most important to you in this important relationship. Spa Advisors, Inc. suggests writing out some of your most pressing questions and getting feedback from vendors you’re reviewing. Here are some simple, yet informative questions to ask:
● How long has the brand been in business?
● What type of support will be available to your spa?
● Are there programs in place to analyze performance of the brand within the salon or spa? What programs?
● Can both treatment staff and front line staff be provided with free sample products?
What to Expect from Your Spa Vendor Partners
Along with finding the right vendor for your spa business, it’s important to know what to expect from an invested spa vendor partner. Some simple things your vendor should be helping with includes; merchandising, sales training, sales incentives for your team, promotion ideas, gratis product for special promotions and setting and monitoring goals.
You should expect your vendor to do some hands-on trainings and product demonstrations, even events. It’s important to see the products in action. During this time, you’ll learn the tips and tricks about the skincare line, massage oils, nail polishes, or other products included in the line. While your vendor representative is at your spa, make sure to ask questions and encourage your employees to get involved. Have fun with it and celebrate the great products you will be showcasing in your spa.
Merchandising tips and ideas on how best to showcase the products is a job for the vendor. This means that your vendor should supply your spa with exciting eye-catching displays, posters, and other materials that allow you to promote their products.
Your spa vendor partner should provide you with a responsive representative. At any time, you should have a person to contact with questions. Retail Management for Salon & Spas notes, “This is someone you can call directly to discuss all matters that pertain to your retail, including product information, shipments, schedules, and payments.” This person should be someone you trust and that understands the specific needs of your spa business.
How to Partner with Your Spa Vendor Partners
Every relationship is two-sided. As a spa manager or owner, it’s up to you to build a good partnership between your business and your spa vendor partners. Here are five tips to better your relationship with your vendor and build a partnership that shares in mutual success!
1. Make sure your spa vendor partners have the appropriate contact information for those they may need to reach at your spa. You can email these to them or print them out a list.
2. Internally promote and attend vendor trainings. If a vendor is taking time out of their schedule to visit your spa, make sure you’re there! Express this as a requirement to your employees.
3. Experience the products for yourself! Go out of your way to try a sampling of products and become an expert on the brand.
4. Keep an open line of communication with your spa vendor partners. Jeannie Frazier, one of our SpaHive Mastermind sponsors and trusted Vendor Partners said it best. “The ideal vendor/spa relationship works best with open and strong communication of needs & goals.” Our spa vendor partners are there to help you be successful, but they cannot help if they do not know your needs.
5. Work together with your spa vendor partners to create your retail marketing plan, promotions schedule and social media posts and invite them to participate in your blog. Together, as a team, you will find success.
Before you know it, you’ll have created a dynamic partnership with your spa vendor partners and everyone will be experiencing great growth!