This Spa Franchisee Talks Recession-Proofing Her Luxury Business

This Spa Franchisee Talks Recession-Proofing Her Luxury Business

November 17, 2022

One of the best things to happen to Candace Holyfield was discovering her husband was cheating on her, although she didn’t know it at the time.

The Memphis, Tennessee native was understandably distraught when the news of a child produced from the extramarital affair reached her, but she was most shaken by what her community would think.

“I ran away from Memphis, girl,” Holyfield told ESSENCE in her signature southern drawl. “I’m from a small town and lived there my entire life, so everybody knew everybody. Even though he betrayed me, I was extremely ashamed. So I left.”

At the time, Holyfield was a burgeoning massage therapist with a brick-and-mortar and a local client list, but she’d always had a growth mindset. She said she’d often make the six-hour drive to Atlanta where the Black beauty community was booming. “They were always holding trade shows (Bronner Bros. for example) and conferences and other things where I would make so many connections and really built a network–so I knew that was where I needed to be.”

After making the move in August 2015, Holyfield tapped into the clientele she’d built over the years, but soon found her reserves were drained.

“I was completely broke and incredibly depressed,” she shared. “All I had were credit cards and when those were maxed out, I had no idea what to do.”

It wasn’t until she was scrolling on her phone when she saw an ad for Groupon, the online coupon platform, did her luck change. “Groupon literally saved my life,” she said, explaining that she’d started advertising her services on the site at a slightly discounted rate. Just hours later, orders began to roll in.

“I’ve made well over $300,000 just with Groupon, and I turned that $300,000 into a million dollar business,” she shared. After realizing the potential of streamlining her massage services she “was never broke again.”

Not long after, she was able to open her own spa in Atlanta and catered to scores of clients that found out about the brand by word-of-mouth or on Groupon. Although there were a number of other medi-spas in the area, what differentiates Holyfield’s brand from others was her willingness to offer massage therapy services to children, and also travel to customers’ homes.

“I always looked for areas to fill in the gaps because massages are still considered an add-on, not a life necessity,” she shared. “You have to make people think of your service as a necessity.”

It’s that mindset that not only kept her afloat during the pandemic when most beauty businesses were forced to shutter but led to exponential growth. She began expanding her services to teaching: coaching aspiring spa owners on the building process, working with nurses to receive massage therapy licensing and even getting certified to provide COVID-19 testing at her site.

Soon after, she expanded to multiple locations and launched an online spa professional community. “I own the largest African American spa professionals community in the world, Spa Boss Tribe, a program that offers support with holistic wellness certifications.

“We teach everything marketing, branding, team building, financial education and product development, and honestly, how to become indispensable,” she said, sharing that she’d learned to pivot her focus on rehabilitative services for those in physical therapy.

“I’ve been thinking about a recession long before the experts have been talking about one happening,” she’d mentioned. “It’s always been about anticipating needs and putting yourself in position to fulfill them. Never view your business as optional.”

Source: Read Full Article