Why Do Spa Managers & Hotel GM's Not Get On?

How to Approach Your GM/MD with New Ideas

I hear from many frustrated spa managers saying that they approach their HOD’s about potential new ideas, new products or even new treatments and the answer is always NO.

But have you thought about how you are approaching them with your idea?

I want you to put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Close your eyes and imagine you are them, what do they do on a daily basis, who do they see and who do they report to?

All these things you need to take into account when you are trying to get anyone, but in this instance, a senior manger to understand what you want, why you want it and then for them to say YES!

Your manager has higher powers to answer to, the CEO, owner, share holders. They often do not have an in-depth understanding of your spa business but in order for you to progress as a manager and in order for you to get the results you desire in your spa you will need to take a calculated approach with your seniors.

Firstly, understand that for those who do not enter the spa they will only see bottom line results – i.e. P&L’s.

So with this in mind you need to cut a deal/agreement with your seniors. They need to take you seriously so before you go kill yourself with completing the tasks below. You need to sit down, have a very frank and open conversation with your manager and explain that you will be putting together an action plan to make progress in your spa, bullet point key areas of concern not only for you but also for your managers. Explain that you will be coming to them in the coming weeks with a full action plan that you would like to discuss and you would like to know they are happy for you to create this and willing to discuss it with you.

Just like a sales pitch you need to get them in agreement with you. That way they are ready and more open when you do sit down with your action plan.

Once this has been agreed you then need to go away and create an awesome action plan!

For each and any topic you will be raising with your seniors make sure you have completed the following steps:


Understand why you are looking to make this change, find other businesses who have implemented this successfully, if it is a new product or service find more than one option.

Reasons- The Why

Give reasons why you have chosen to add, change remove a product, service or procedure. Even go as far as to add a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, threats, opportunities). Don’t bother presenting a pitch perfect proposal – everything has a positive and a negative and if you don’t identify them I can assure you, the GM will!

Price comparison

Do a full price comparison with your proposal and make sure you speak directly with the suppliers or agents to get the best possible deal or package. Don’t just accept the first proposal they send you, go back and ask for more.

Who are you targeting and how?

You need to be VERY clear who your target client is for the new product or service. I would go as far as to complete a mini survey from regular guests – this gives you such a clear picture what is needed. If it is a change of procedure within your department then make sure you identify who it benefits and why. For example if it is a change in your staff structure show how it will improve productivity, increase revenue, reduce staff turnover etc.

P&L - Show Me the Money

There is absolutely no point in presenting new initiatives to your GM/MD if you cannot back it up with figures. It is a business at the end of the day and you need to show how long it will take to get a return on the investment and how much more the business will profit/benefit from the new initiatives. Money talks so there is no point hiding away from it, get your facts and figures together.

You have probably recognised that this is like a mini business plan but guess what – you are running a business! So it makes total sense to run reports, do the analysis and understand your business fully from top to bottom.

You absolutely have to get your manager to agree to work directly with you. Don’t be intimidated by them, you are the spa professional, you know how to run a spa and if they work with you and give you opportunities to improve then you will be able to show them in a short space of time why they made the right choice to employ you as their spa manager.

So remember we can all feel disgruntled, we can feel like we can’t make any positive changes but it is possible you haven’t approached your GM in the right way. They don’t want to hear what isn’t happening, they don’t want to hear your great ideas, they want to hear about a well thought out and researched action/business plan and then you will have their attention.

Why not enroll with the online business spa manager program and understand more about how to improve your business skills and join an elite team of business spa managers.


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