In the Know: The Spa Set

I am writing my first operations manual for my spa. What do I need to include?

An operations manual is essential for any business that employs staff. It is the tool that sets the standards of how you want your business to run and exactly how a procedure is to be performed; how the telephone is answered, work stations presented, and everything else from cleaning rotas to health and safety – the list is endless.

It can also be used for induction of new staff, training for existing team members, to set the standards on which appraisals are based and as reference material. It is an important manual for ensuring that all members of your team are carrying out tasks in the same manner.

For example, you could put down in writing, ideally with a photo, that after a treatment every client should be given a herbal tea, served on a tray with a chocolate.

Some examples of what to include are:

Brand standards: logo, email signatures, computer font and company colours

Operating standards: company philosophy, client rules and guidelines, customer service, handling a complaint and general operating standards

Reception: opening and closing procedures, welcoming the clients, booking appointments, answering the phone, payments, tariffs, rebooking, up-selling of retail and treatments

Team responsibilities: working as a team, cleaning rotas, stock control, laundry, tidiness

Supervisor’s duties: stock ordering, cashing up, checking standards

Personnel: job descriptions, appraisals, grievance procedure, holiday, maternity policy, contracts, interview procedure, attendance forms

Treatments: setting specific treatment procedures, consultations, client care, post-treatment procedure, room set-up, lighting, music, towel procedure, sterilisation

First aid and health and safety: following the Government standards on health and safety

Appendices: copies of letters or emails, staff letters, medical checklists, consultation forms.

Lisa Knowles runs UK-based The Spa Set, an operational consultancy service for hotel and standalone spas. She is also one quarter of Beauty Business Experts, a company set up to offer affordable advice and consultancy to spas.