How to start a Spa Business in UK USA (Business Plan)

Spa Business

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • How to start a Spa Business?
  • How much does it cost to start a Spa Business ?
  • How to find the best location to open a Spa Business?
  • What different types of services you can offer as a Spa business?


In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is the Spa Business?

With a global market value of around $130 billion, the spa industry is one of the biggest industries in the world right now. 


The spa business is a wellness and beauty industry offering relaxation, beauty, and therapeutic services to promote overall well-being.


Services include body treatments, facials, massages, nail care, and other beauty and wellness treatments, focusing on creating a serene and rejuvenating environment for clients to unwind and de-stress. Spa businesses may vary in size and scope and often retail spa products.


They prioritize hygiene, safety, and customer service and aim to allow clients to indulge in self-care and pampering experiences.


By the end of this article, you’ll learn the steps you need to take to start a Spa business and the critical considerations for making it a success.

Market Insight: In the UK, the spa Industry is valued at £9.3 billion, while in the US, the market is valued at $18.3 billion.

Spa Business

Types of Spa Businesses

Several types of Spas cater to different wellness and relaxation needs. Some common types of spas include:


  • Day Spa: 
    Day spas offer a range of spa services and treatments that can be completed within a single day without needing an overnight stay. Services may include facials, massages, body treatments, nail care, and other spa services focusing on relaxation and self-care.
  • Resort/Hotel Spa: 
    Resort or hotel spas are located within a hotel or resort property and offer a wide range of spa services and facilities for guests. They may include features such as swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, fitness centers, and various spa treatments.
  • Medical Spa:
    Medical spas, also known as med spas, combine traditional spa services with medical procedures. These may include injectables, laser treatments, chemical peels, and other advanced skincare procedures performed by licensed medical professionals.
  • Destination Spa: 
    Destination spas are wellness-focused retreats that offer a comprehensive spa experience and often require an overnight stay. They typically provide a range of spa services, fitness and wellness programs, healthy cuisine, and other wellness-oriented activities, focusing on improving overall health and well-being.
  • Mineral Springs Spa: 
    Mineral springs spas utilize natural mineral-rich waters, such as hot springs or mineral pools, for therapeutic purposes. These spas may offer mineral baths, mud treatments, and other therapies that utilize the healing properties of mineral-rich waters.
  • Ayurvedic Spa: 
    Ayurvedic spas offer treatments and therapies based on the ancient Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda. These may include personalized consultations, specialized massages, herbal remedies, and lifestyle recommendations based on Ayurvedic principles.
  • Thermal Spa: 
    Thermal spas utilize hot and cold water therapies for relaxation and healing. These may include hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, ice baths, and other thermal facilities that promote peace, detoxification, and improved circulation.
  • Holistic Spa: 
    Holistic spas take a holistic approach to wellness, addressing the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of well-being. These spas may offer a combination of spa services, alternative therapies, and wellness programs that focus on overall health and balance.
  • Eco Spa: 
    Eco spas prioritize sustainability and environmentally friendly practices, offering treatments and services that are eco-conscious and use natural, organic, or sustainable products. These spas may also focus on eco-friendly facilities, courses, and wellness programs that promote environmental awareness and sustainability.
Note: These are just some of the many spas that cater to different wellness and relaxation needs. The specific services and treatments offered may vary depending on the spa’s specialty and location.

Remember, as a startup, your goal should be to keep your costs low and depend on your skills. If you push the process and try to go full-service from the very beginning, there is a good possibility that you’ll be overburdened and may get lost in the process.

Pros and Cons of a Spa Business

Pros of a Spa Business:


  • High demand for spa services.
  • Potential for recurring revenue through repeat customers.
  • Opportunity to offer premium services and products.
  • Possibility to cater to a niche market.
  • Potential for high-profit margins.
  • Ability to create a relaxing and serene environment.
  • Opportunities for expansion and diversification of services.


Cons of a Spa Business:


  • High competition in the spa industry.
  • Initial high startup costs.
  • Challenges in finding and retaining skilled spa professionals.
  • Seasonal or fluctuating demand for spa services.
  • Need for ongoing marketing and promotional efforts.
  • Regulations and compliance requirements.
  • Dependence on economic conditions and consumer spending patterns.

Spa Business Investment

The investment required to start a Spa business in the UK & the US can vary depending on many factors, such as the size and location of the company, the type of services you will provide, and the labor cost.


The average cost to open a small Spa business in the US ranges from $50K – $100K. While in the UK, the average cost to open a small Spa business ranges from £20K to £50K.


Some Common Expenses in running a Spa Business include:


  • Leasehold improvements
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Furniture and decor
  • Initial inventory
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Insurance
  • Legal and accounting fees
  • Salaries and wages
  • Operating costs
  • Inventory and product cost
Spa Business

How much will you earn in the Spa Business?

It is easier to estimate earnings in the Spa business with more information about the specific company, such as location, target market, and competition. In addition, factors such as overhead costs, sales volume, and pricing will all play a role in determining earnings.

The average US Spa revenue is around $300K – $600K annuallywhile in the UK, it’s around £200K – £350K per year, with a profit margin of about 15% – 25%. 

Here are some approximate costs of common spa services that can be used for calculations:


  • Swedish Massage: $60 – $120 per hour
  • Facial: $60 – $150 per session
  • Manicure: $20 – $50 per session
  • Pedicure: $30 – $70 per session
  • Body Scrub: $60 – $120 per session
  • Waxing: $20 – $100 per session (depending on area and type)
  • Body Wrap: $80 – $150 per session
  • Hot Stone Massage: $80 – $150 per hour
  • Aromatherapy Massage: $70 – $130 per hour
  • Deep Tissue Massage: $80 – $150 per hour

Seasonal Business:

The busiest season for spa businesses tends to be during the fall and winter months, particularly around the holiday season. Many people seek spa treatments during these months to relax, de-stress, and pamper themselves during the holiday season.

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Spa Business

Checklist of Equipment needed for a Spa Business

Here is a quick checklist of equipment and supplies you will need to start a Spa Business:


  • Massage tables or beds
  • Esthetician chairs or beds
  • Hot towel cabinets
  • Steamers or facial steam machines
  • Waxing equipment (wax warmer, spatulas, strips)
  • UV sterilizer or autoclave for sterilizing tools
  • Nail stations with manicure and pedicure equipment
  • Towel warmer or towel caddy
  • Body scrub equipment (scrub brush, exfoliating mitts)
  • Hot stone heater or warmer
  • Aromatherapy diffusers or essential oil diffusers
  • Infrared sauna or sauna equipment
  • Jacuzzi or hydrotherapy tubs
  • Shower facilities or equipment
  • Sound system or soothing music setup
  • Reception desk and point-of-sale system
  • Retail shelving and display units for products
  • Lighting fixtures and lamps for creating a relaxing ambiance
  • Laundry equipment (washer, dryer) for linens and towels
  • Cleaning and sanitation supplies (disinfectants, sanitizers, cleaning tools)


Note: Equipment needed for a spa business depend on the type of spa, services offered, and budget considerations. It’s essential to thoroughly research and plan according to your specific business needs and requirements.

Spa Business

Types of Staff needed to start a Spa Business

Here are some common types of staff needed to start a spa business:


  • Spa Manager: 
    Oversees the overall operations of the spa, manages staff, handles scheduling, inventory management, and ensures smooth day-to-day operations.
  • Licensed Spa Therapists: 
    Provide various spa services such as massages, facials, body treatments, and other spa therapies to clients.
  • Estheticians: 
    Provide clients with skincare treatments, facials, and other esthetic services.
  • Nail Technicians: 
    Provide clients with manicures, pedicures, and other nail services.
  • Receptionist: 
    Greets clients, handle appointments, manages the front desk, and provides customer service.
  • Retail Sales Associates: 
    Sell spa products, provide product recommendations, and manage retail inventory.
  • Spa Attendants: 
    Maintain cleanliness and tidiness of the spa, assist with laundry, and ensure proper stocking of supplies.
  • Marketing and Sales Personnel: 
    Develop and implement marketing strategies, promote spa services, and manage sales efforts.
  • Administrative Staff: 
    Handle administrative tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll, and other office management duties.
  • Maintenance Staff: 
    Ensure proper maintenance and repair of spa equipment, facilities, and amenities.
  • Trainers or Instructors: 
    Provide training and development programs for spa staff to enhance their skills and knowledge.
  • Human Resources Personnel: 
    Handle recruitment, hiring, training, and performance management of spa staff.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Staff: 
    Ensure compliance with local health, safety, and regulatory requirements.
  • IT or Technology Staff: 
    Manage spa software, hardware, and other technology-related tasks.
  • Consultants or Specialists: 
    Seek professional advice from specialists or consultants as needed, such as legal, financial, or marketing consultants.


Note: It’s essential to carefully plan and hire staff based on the needs of your specific spa business to ensure smooth operations and excellent customer service.

Trends & Challenges in the Spa Business

Trends in the Spa Business:

1. Wellness and Holistic Approach
2. Customization and Personalization
3. Technology Integration
4. Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Practices
5. Medical Spa Services
6. Social Media and Influencer Marketing.

Challenges in the Spa Business:

1. Intense Competition
2. Staffing and Talent Retention
3. Seasonality and Fluctuating Demand
4. Regulatory Compliance
5. Client Expectations and Experience
6. Rising Costs
7. Marketing and Branding.

Spa Business

List of services in a Spa Business 

In a Spa business, the list of services you provide can determine the overall success of your business and will be the main reason your customers come back every time.


Here is a list of services commonly offered in a spa business:


  • Massage therapies (e.g., Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, aromatherapy).
  • Facials (e.g., cleansing, exfoliation, masks, serums).
  • Body treatments (e.g., body scrubs, wraps, detoxification).
  • Nail care (e.g., manicures, pedicures, nail extensions).
  • Waxing and hair removal services.
  • Hair care services (e.g., haircuts, styling, coloring).
  • Skin care services (e.g., skincare consultations, skincare treatments).
  • Aromatherapy and essential oil treatments.
  • Hydrotherapy (e.g., hydro-massage, hydrotherapy tubs).
  • Sauna, steam room, and spa pool experiences.
  • Meditation and relaxation sessions.
  • Yoga and fitness classes.
  • Ayurvedic treatments and therapies.
  • Reflexology and acupressure.
  • Energy healing (e.g., Reiki, crystal healing).
  • Couples or group spa packages.
  • Specialized treatments for men or pregnant women.
  • Spa parties and events.
  • Makeup application and bridal services.
  • Retail sales of spa products and merchandise.


Note: The specific services offered in a spa business may vary depending on the spa’s focus, location, and target market.

Beauty Salon Business

Service Rate Card of a Spa Business 

Specific costs can vary greatly depending on location, competition, target market, and level of expertise. 


Service Rate Card with Approximate Costs:


Massage Therapies:

  • Swedish Massage: $60 for 60 minutes
  • Deep Tissue Massage: $80 for 60 minutes
  • Hot Stone Massage: $90 for 60 minutes
  • Aromatherapy Massage: $70 for 60 minutes



  • Cleansing Facial: $50 for 60 minutes
  • Exfoliating Facial: $60 for 60 minutes
  • Hydrating Facial: $70 for 60 minutes
  • Anti-Aging Facial: $80 for 60 minutes


Body Treatments:

  • Body Scrub: $70 for 45 minutes
  • Body Wrap: $80 for 60 minutes
  • Detoxifying Body Treatment: $90 for 60 minutes
  • Nourishing Body Treatment: $100 for 60 minutes


Nail Care:

  • Manicure: $30
  • Pedicure: $40
  • Nail Extensions: $60 and up
  • Nail Art: $5 per nail and up


Waxing and Hair Removal:

  • Eyebrow Waxing: $15
  • Lip Waxing: $10
  • Full Leg Waxing: $60
  • Bikini Waxing: $40


Hair Care Services:

  • Haircut: $40 and up
  • Styling: $50 and up
  • Coloring: $70 and up
  • Hair Extensions: $200 and up


Skin Care Services:

  • Skincare Consultation: $50
  • Skincare Treatment: $80 for 60 minutes
  • Microdermabrasion: $100 for 60 minutes
  • Chemical Peel: $120 for 60 minutes


Note: These approximate costs can vary significantly depending on location, competition, and other factors. So, conduct thorough research, assess your expenses, and consider your desired profit margins when determining your spa’s service rates.

Steps to consider while pricing your spa services to finalize a profitable pricing strategy:-

1. Calculate your overall budget and running cost per month

2. Calculate your cost per hour

3. Calculate the overall working hours per month

4. Know what others salons are charging

5. Calculate your service cost

Certification and Registration

Licences in a Spa Business 

Licenses and permits required for a spa business can vary depending on the location and specific services offered. 


However, here are some standard licenses and permits that may be necessary for a spa business in the USA and UK:




  • Business License: 
    To operate a business legally in a specific city or county.
  • Professional Licensing: 
    Some spa services, such as massage therapy, may require professional licensing or certification at the state or local level.
  • Sales Tax Permit: 
    Required to collect and remit sales tax on taxable services and products.
  • Health Department Permit: 
    Required for businesses that provide services related to body treatments, such as massage, facials, and body wraps.
  • Building and Zoning Permits: 
    May be required to construct or renovate spa facilities.
  • Fire Department Permit: 
    May be required for fire safety compliance, such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and emergency exits.




  • Business License: 
    To operate a business legally in a specific city or borough.
  • Professional Licensing: 
    Some spa services, such as massage therapy, may require professional licensing or certification at the national or local level.
  • Health and Safety Compliance: 
    Compliance with health and safety regulations, including obtaining appropriate certifications and permits for spa facilities, equipment, and products.
  • Environmental Health Permit: 
    Required for businesses that provide services related to body treatments, such as massage, facials, and body wraps.
  • Building and Planning Permission: 
    May be required to construct or renovate spa facilities.
  • Fire Safety Compliance: 
    Compliance with fire safety regulations, including fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and emergency exits.
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Spa Business

Shall I go for a Spa franchise?

Buying an existing Spa Franchise of a recognized brand is a good idea; however, it is expensive also.

On the other hand, the franchisor will benefit you will all the existing brand image, customer loyalty, advertising, market research & strategies.

In addition, you will get guidance from the franchisor about training the workforce & ambiance of the premises. 

Some of the top Spa Franchises in the UK and USA:


  • Champneys
  • Elemis
  • Bannatyne Spa
  • The Sanctuary Spa
  • Ragdale Hall Spa


  • Massage Envy
  • Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa
  • European Wax Center
  • Massage Heights
  • Woodhouse Day Spa


In conclusion, starting a Spa Business in the UK and the US can be rewarding and profitable. However, conducting thorough market research, creating a solid business plan, and securing the necessary funding are crucial. 

It is crucial to find the right location, choose the right equipment and suppliers, and create a unique and inviting atmosphere for customers. 

Following these steps, you can set your Spa Business up for success and build a business that customers will love for years.

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

Handpicked inspirational Youtube videos for you

A Day in the Life of a Med Spa Owner w/ DNP Anisa – YT Channel ‘Beauty Boost Med Spa’

What’s Behind The Booming Business Of Medical Spas? -YT Channel ‘TODAY’

A. The cost to start a spa business can vary significantly depending on various factors such as location, size, services offered, and equipment needed. It can range from several thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A. The most profitable services in a spa business can vary depending on the market demand and target clientele. However, services such as facials, massage therapy, body treatments, and hair removal are often considered popular and profitable.

A. Effective marketing strategies for a spa business may include creating a professional website, utilizing social media platforms, offering promotions and special packages, collaborating with local businesses, and implementing online booking and appointment scheduling.

A. Equipment and supplies needed for a spa business may include massage tables, facial beds, steamers, hot towel cabinets, manicure/pedicure stations, waxing equipment, skincare products, massage oils, towels, and other spa-specific supplies.

A. Hiring and managing spa staff may involve creating job descriptions, conducting interviews, checking references, providing proper training, scheduling, monitoring performance, offering incentives, and maintaining clear communication channels to ensure smooth operations.

A. The licenses and permits required to start a spa business may vary depending on the location and local regulations. Common ones may include a business license, health department permits, cosmetology or esthetician licenses, and possibly other industry-specific permits or certifications.

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