Nina Franks on the ageSOURCE Spa Partners Network

A leading light of the beauty industry, Nina established the ageSOURCE Spa Partners in 2010 and now has members in Europe, Asia Pacific, Australasia and the USA. Nina trained as a professional therapist in the 80’s and landed her first role as a therapist at the prestigious Champneys of Tring. Going on to develop an exciting career at sea, Nina managed no less than 6 luxury five-star spas on board cruise ships before returning to land to teach advanced customer service skills to new managers and returning spa staff.

From salon ownership, Nina’s career naturally developed in the direction of sales and marketing, where she held senior management positions with Thalgo, E’Spa, Aveda, Elemis and Kimia .Having account managed every premium salon, spa and clinic in the UK during her career, Nina recently launched her 83rd spa opening, as lead project consultant with a five-star award-winning group in London.

Nina holds an MBA from Liverpool and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, as well as holding the seal of Chartered Marketer. She is a business owner, author, speaker and industry consultant specialising in online marketing and brand development. She splits her time between London and the Cotswolds and travels extensively through her work within the industry.  

ageSOURCE Spa Partners work exclusively to support a fast growing network of premium salons, clinics and spas to develop their business, acquire new clients and deliver the best treatments available in the market today.

We spoke to Nina Franks to find out more!

Q. What was the inspiration behind the ageSOURCE Spa Partners?

As a beauty industry professional with 27 years of experience, I have a great deal to offer back to the industry. Of all the many different hats I’ve worn through the years; retail, operations, management, training, sales, marketing and strategy, I realised I wanted to give something back, ultimately to help others be successful and gain a deep sense of satisfaction with their careers and life path.

With a network of the many thousands of industry professionals I have worked with over the years, stretching right across the globe, I started to re-connect with them and explore the possibility of forming a beneficial global spa network.We work collaboratively to share resources and best practice and support the development of each new chapter.

Now going to work is like catching up with friends every day, we know each other and trust each other and we get to share our experiences of what it’s like working in their part of the world!

Q. How did you get started?

We chose a capital partner, who leads the field in the development of anti-ageing; then we add the value of our expertise and set ourselves up as a mutual group.So, instead of the traditional approach to the market, what we saw is that salons and spas want more. As part of our brand offering, we produce training media and support materials, business development plans, consulting plans, coaching calls, account management, new project management and marketing materials, all developed by experts within their field and all included in the start-up package.

The value of this knowledge is priceless; it is the distilled wisdom of our combined experience that makes it so potent and our group so successful. Now we support new beauty business projects, freelance therapists, medi-spa and cosmetic clinics, resort spas, boutique spas and premium salons all across the UK and Europe.

Q. Tell your insider secrets, why has the Partnership grown so quickly in such a short space of time, in a market that is flooded with anti-ageing offerings?

Firstly, the treatments have to be experienced to be believed and testament to that fact is the many millions of women who have already done so, time and again.

Training is something we do well and the global success story of our partner salons is solid evidence of our impact on your bottom line. All of our spa partners benefit from one-to-one practical training, followed by specialised, advanced training, not just at the beginning, but consistently and frequently to reinforce excellence and maintain that excitement first captured during the launch phase. We also deliver customised service menu creation and signature treatment creation.

We will show you how to promote your brand and your treatments, how to maximise your service profits, excel in booking and column management, increase client retention and double your retail business. Advanced training focuses on marketing management, leadership and management skills, financial and business development and advanced treatment training.

Our team also has amazing marketing capability; with some of the best marketing brains in the business we have more than 50 years of experience under our belt. We can generate impactful marketing on a shoestring budget, both online and off.

We are so successful because every single member of our spa partnership has earned their spa stripes from the ground floor up, working at every level within the industry all the way to business-owner and directorship level. Collectively, we’ve been through every client/ financial/ business/ staffing/ pricing/ marketing/ operational and HR issue you will ever face.Our collective experience, our collective network, our collective consciousness is priceless.

Q. Awards and recognition

The anti-ageing product we partner with has won ‘Best New Skincare Product, ‘Best Skincare Innovation’ and ‘Best Company’ awards around the globe. The research they have carried out in the field of genetic ageing has been recognised as leading the field by 15 years.

Many of our partner spas and salons have been voted for and awarded ‘Best Spa of The Year’ for their category by the Professional Beauty Awards.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own salon?

Before you start: identify your market, find out what they want then plan how you are going to give it to them.

Identify what you are really going in to business for: is it a lifelong dream, is it to find the ideal job and work/life balance with an income level that meets with your own expectations? Or is it to build a brand that will grow and grow, and be passed on to the next generation?

If you decide that it is purely a lifestyle venture, one that will support your lifestyle and income needs, then think about providing a freelance service. If your heart is set on a salon venue, then ask yourself and physically check the location. Location is key because it determines the price and type of services you should offer.Physically check if there is sufficient footfall? Are you on or off pitch? How many competitors do you have? If there are too many then you will have to either compete on price or service.

Plan your salon before you start to look for premises and consider all of these challenges before you commit your capital.

Plan your budget, plan your pricing strategy, plan your business and get help! The difference between success and failure requires more than commitment, working capital and hard work. Success lies in the strength of the advice you are given and in the experience of the team that are supporting you in your endeavour.

Remember your focus determines your reality.

Q. What is the best thing about working within the Partnership?

Working with like-minded people – a problem shared is a problem halved and many brains are better at solving challenges than just one. Working with the best in the business, collaborating on lots of new projects, sharing best practice, mutual support and fun, fun, fun!

And best of all, making a difference in people’s lives.

Q. The Partnership has achieved worldwide success on an unprecedented scale, what’s next?

To continue to grow the partnership and create a solid foundation from which to develop out across borders and out in to international waters! These are exciting times!

You can contact Nina Franks on:

Tel: 0208 133 7837

Email: spapartners@agesource.co

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