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Courses Needed to Open a Spa

by Maria Magher, studioD

Men and women alike are signing up for spa services, like massages and facials, to relax and care for their health and beauty. The spa industry is a big business, and opening a spa can prove lucrative for the right person. Getting the right training can improve your chances of success. Whether you complete a formal degree program or take continuing education classes, courses in business, finance and spa techniques give you the training you need to open a successful spa.

Spa Services

Even if you plan to be a hands-off owner who only manages administrative tasks and you do not intend to provide the services yourself, it is still worthwhile to receive some training in the spa services you offer, such as massage, facials and body wraps. Your hands-on experience with these services can give you insight about how to evaluate job applicants, meet the needs of your clients and plan your budget, including what equipment you need and how to price your services. Training for massage therapy typically includes a course on the fundamentals of massage, as well as courses on specific massage techniques like deep tissue, hot stone or therapeutic massage. Classes for esthetician training cover how to perform chemical peels, microdermabrasion, mud wraps and even laser light therapy. If you plan to provide any of these services in your spa yourself, you need to become licensed, which will require completing a certain number of hours of training and passing an exam.


As a spa owner, you will be responsible for managing your staff. Even if you hire a manager to handle the day-to-day operations, you will still be ultimately responsible for your personnel. Courses in management give you training on recruitment, conflict management and personnel laws. You learn strategies for hiring, including advertising positions, interviewing candidates and performing background checks. Management courses also teach you how to resolve conflicts between employees or how to deal with employee misbehavior or poor performance. It is also important to learn about the laws that regulate employment, such as overtime pay, employee privacy and benefits compensation.


The finances for a business operation can be complicated. If you plan to open a spa, it is important to take courses in finance to understand how to manage your operations -- or at least to understand your responsibilities and how to look for someone else who can manage your finances for you. You should take courses that cover financial management, business tax, investments and payroll. You will need to learn how to balance your daily sheets, including your outgoing expenses and your daily sales. You will also need to learn what your tax obligations are, which may be extensive. Consider taking courses on investment so you can reinvest your profits to ensure the long-term success of your business.


The success of your business may hinge on how well you can market it. Even if you have the best services in town, you won't make any money if no one knows about them. Marketing courses teach you how to write press releases, work with the media, plan promotional events, build buzz for your spa and create effective customer service campaigns, such as customer appreciation programs.

About the Author

Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.

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