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The CARING checklist for spa, wellness & hospitality

As we head into 2023, wellness is seeing a surge in interest and people are eager to travel. There are heightened desires for sustainable health and wellness practices, human contact, and new experiences. We are living in an incredible time for those who are ready to take advantage of this interest and prepared to devote themselves to business success and applying the lessons we’ve learned over the last few years.

There are some common best practices that will help your spa, wellness, and/or hospitality business thrive in the next year and beyond. We’re outlining those practices here. Together, they make up the acronym “CARING.” 

Network building

Read on to learn why taking a CARING approach to your business will set you up for success in the coming year and beyond.


Communication between everyone at your organization will always bring success. When setting your goals and KPIs, communicating these goals, and how you plan to achieve them, to stakeholders is key. 

Everyone at your company should be aligned and working together towards common objectives. Your software should allow you to stay connected to each other, to track KPIs, and facilitate performance management. The information gathered from your software’s reporting dashboard should serve as a facilitator for communication between you and both your team and the people to whom you answer. 

Additionally, communication with guests is key to elevating the guest experience and building and maintaining relationships. Effectively communicating what you have to offer and keeping the lines open is what will keep guests coming back and help the relationship grow.

A good communicator is first and foremost a good listener. Listening to guest needs – which includes listening for things that are unsaid – allows you to meet and exceed those needs. This is where recording guest information in your spa software system comes in. A guest should never have to tell you something important more than once. Having to repeat oneself is a sure sign that the other party is not listening.


Adaptability is the ability to adjust to changing and new conditions. Every business has to navigate uncertainty and unexpected disruption, and we can only plan for what we can envision. It’s the disruptions we can’t envision that are the true tests of our adaptability. Something business leaders learned over the past couple of years is that disruption is impossible to predict. That’s what makes it disruptive.

The result of adaptability is agility. An agile company is a business that can adapt quickly to market changes.

Hospitality was one of the hardest hit sectors in the world during the recent upheaval we experienced. It was agile businesses that fared the best, those that were flexible and that made the effort to pivot and try new things, started offering online classes and connecting with guests virtually, introduced touchless therapies and contactless experiences, leveraged retail, and showed courage and creativity.

Becoming an agile company means hiring flexible, creative teams with multiple talents, open minds, and a willingness to learn. It also requires leadership that is always willing to learn and look for ways to apply those learnings. 


An article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) defines resilience as “a company’s capacity to absorb stress, recover critical functionality, and thrive in altered circumstances.”

We’ve recently become aware of how important resilience is, and many business leaders have resolved to increase the resiliency of their organizations. However, the HBR article points out, “very few companies are able to explicitly design for, measure, and manage resilience.” 

Fortunately, there are principles of long-lasting systems one can implement to structure an organization for resilience. These include diversity, which means employing people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse skill sets, and creating an environment that encourages diverse ways of thinking. This helps beget an array of innovative responses to problems, which can protect against failure and collapse. Diversity can also mean offering a diverse array of menu options beyond the traditional one-to-one, hands-on treatment with a therapist. And it can mean diversifying revenue streams, so that you are not at risk of collapse if you lose just one stream. Diverse revenue streams can include gift cards, memberships, and subscription services. 

Building ecosystems within, and outside of, your organization – with vendors, suppliers, and even partnering with other businesses – can help create resilience when more standalone businesses are more vulnerable.

Resilience also requires prudence, humility, forward thinking, adaptability, collaboration, and more. Devote yourself to becoming resilient. There’s no guarantee of survival but creating a resilient organization will help.


Innovation is always valuable and necessary and is an important part of business success in any industry. It is the process or act of introducing new ideas, approaches, concepts, products, and processes. 

Until very recently, the spa and wellness sectors had been somewhat overly steeped in traditionalism for many years, as has been noted more than once by industry leaders. There was resistance to change and a reluctance to embrace technology and innovation. This is less the case since the COVID-19 pandemic forced global industries to accelerate technological advancement to the rate of decades in days. Now, more people understand the importance of innovation.

As we move forward as an industry post COVID pandemic, there will be more disruption and further technological advancement. Biogenetic testing, bioengineering, robotics, virtual and augmented reality, nanotech, AI, wearables, and software may all contribute to massive change in the industry over the next decade. Businesses with the wherewithal to innovate along with these and other technologies will thrive.

Innovation can be as simple as finding new ways to package and offer existing experiences. We might find whole new offerings in new available technologies, or find ways to integrate new tech into existing services.

Network building

As mentioned above, networks and ecosystems will help safeguard against disruption and also help grow revenue in the new era. It’s much more difficult to thrive alone than it is to thrive within an active network, the components of which rely on each other for survival.

Your network includes your guests, with whom you are obviously already working to build relationships. It also includes your guests’ connections, including colleagues, friends, and family. With your existing customers as your ambassadors, their referrals should make up a significant portion of your new customers. The same thing applies to your team members, who are also part of your network. Their referrals should be helping you find new talent.

Your network includes the other departments at your organization, if your spa is a part of a hotel or resort. Integrating departments will help things run more efficiently and successfully than working in silos. Your network includes businesses with which you partner, and it includes your visiting experts. Each of these elements of your network should be nurtured and maintained.

Networks can also refer to your internal systems and integrations, working together to create a seamless guest experience. Online and mobile booking, contactless check-in and check-out, and integrated payment systems all help create that experience.


The importance of gratitude can be overplayed in self-help circles, but it’s often underplayed in business. The power of saying “thank you” can go a long way towards building successful businesses. 

Research on gratitude has reportedly exploded over the past 20 years and studies of gratitude at work have linked it to “more positive emotions, less stress and fewer health complaints, a greater sense that we can achieve our goals, fewer sick days, and higher satisfaction with our jobs and our coworkers.” According to Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine, “evidence suggests that gratitude and appreciation contribute to the kind of workplace environments where employees actually want to come to work and don’t feel like cogs in a machine.”

You need your team to love where they work in order to provide the best guest experience.

But that gratitude has to be genuine. 

“[Gratitude is] going to make your business more profitable, you’re going to be more effective, your employees will be more engaged—but if that’s the only reason you’re doing it, your employees are going to think you’re using them,” Steve Foran, founder of the program Gratitude at Work, is quoted as saying. “You have to genuinely want the best for your people.”

Gratitude at Work also cites research findings that 81% of people would work harder for a grateful boss and that the top reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated.

You want your customers to feel valued and appreciated, and the surest way to convey this appreciation is to say “thank you.” — “Thank you for your business,” “Thank you for referring a friend,” “Thank you for being a wonderful guest…”

Gratitude that your business has made it this far will help you make it even further.

Say “thank you.” Say it loudly and often.

Apply the CARING approach to your hospitality, spa, or wellness business and let us know if you see the results! To learn more about Book4Time and how our leading software can help your spa business thrive, visit

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