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How to Start a Spa

Starting any business requires resources, some which money can buy and some which it can’t. A spa business requires an entrepreneur to think through these types of resources, such as facilities, equipment, and staff, and how they can be secured before launching.

Facilities and Equipment

The retail location for your spa will probably be leased to you as a bare room. Extensive work may be needed to build out the basic systems like plumbing, lighting, and HVAC, let alone any fancy fixtures or finishes you’d like to install to create atmosphere for customers. Equipment requirements may include sinks, massage tables, spa styling chairs, pedicure stations, and specialized equipment based on your specific service offerings. The amount you have to spend on your physical facility and the equipment within it is a major portion of the funds you will have to raise, either from your own resources, friends, family, outside investors, or lenders.


Depending on the services you plan for your spa, you’ll either need trained employees with massage, cosmetology, and other skills, or you will have to be able to train them. Determine what tasks must be done by skilled employees and which can be done by unskilled assistants who are learning the business. You may also need management help, at least consisting of an assistant manager to run things when you can’t be in the spa. In the absence of a manager on duty, your staff must be clear as to who will act as manager in the event that problems arise where important decisions have to be made.

Map out your needs for staff in a hiring plan which should describe when you will bring on personnel before and after your official launch. A reader of your hiring plan should have a good idea as to who will be doing what in the company at each step along the way.

Want more tips? Here's a related article: Spa Business Plan

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