Blog | Written By Rafal Wrzalka (Select Salt CEO)
Waterfalls, salt benches, skylights and more can add value to your salt cave and offer your guests a truly unique experience
The functional, practical aspects of salt caves are well known—whether it’s stress reduction, lung capacity improvement, or help with airway inflammation through halotherapy. But salt caves don’t have to rely on function alone. Built with care and consideration, salt caves can become spaces of respite and tributes to design and aesthetic. Furthermore, they can be beautiful environments that are a delight to the senses.
Each salt cave or salt room Select Salt builds is entirely customizable. Depending on your goals, you may choose to add one or more aesthetic choice to enhance the beauty of your space. And what’s even better, these beautiful features also provide function, allowing your guests to get the most out of a visit.
Here are some additional features you can add to your salt cave construction to produce truly beautiful results:
The addition of a waterfall or water cascade can be an amazing feature in any salt cave.
Relaxation is paramount as the gentle trickle of water lulls guests into a deep state of calm. The falling water offers a soothing soundtrack as water cascades across a stunning waterfall in smooth panes and streams.
High-quality waterfalls created by Select Salt are manufactured of soft wood. And they provide a stunning centerpiece in any salt room. Best of all, water cascades aren’t just a design feature. The cascading water also contains negative salt ions, increasing the amount of rich salt air in the room. This means guests benefit from both the beauty and function of this custom-built cave feature.
The Salt Bench
Hand-built from pure Himalayan salt, our custom-made salt benches provide extra seating space for guests to your salt room. Raw salt stones and boulders are precision-cut to create stunning salt bricks, which form the structure of this feature. Custom-made according to client specifications, the salt bench adds a modern touch through its streamlined, simplistic design. Stunning striations found naturally in salt are showcased in the bench’s design. Smooth to the touch and functionally sturdy, this piece enhances any salt cave. This is also a great way to optimize underused spaces, like the corners, in your salt cave, ensuring every inch is beautiful and functional.
Chimney stacks are a common design feature in many homes. They often create a focal point in living rooms, dining rooms, and even in some kitchens. These focal points draw your eyes inward and upward, providing character and enhancing beauty.
Offering these same benefits, chimney features are also available as an enhancement to any salt room. Constructed of carefully cut and stacked Himalayan salt bricks, custom-designed chimney breasts automatically create an aesthetically pleasing feature wall.
Also known as the twilight feature, this gorgeous salt cave enhancement is sure to take your guests’ breath away. Built in the upper centre of your salt cave, this feature mimics the sensation of sitting under the night sky. It allows guests to feel like they’re in a naturally-occurring cave, immersed and surrounded by cave walls, but open to the elements from above.
Specially designed lighting produces a twilight effect through a sparkling of lights, set against a backdrop of deep blues. The look of twinkling night stars in an endless sky offer a truly magnificent addition to any salt room.
Himalayan Salt Reception Desk
This unique feature is a welcoming first-impression piece constructed in your lobby or welcome centre. It’s what your clients see the moment they enter your front doors, setting the tone for the experience they are about to have.
Custom-built for your business’s unique needs, the Himalayan salt reception desk is constructed of hand-hewn salt bricks and back-lit to achieve the ultimate ‘wow’ factor. This unique piece is a great way to add style and function to other dimensions of your business.
Kids’ Salt Box
Salt therapy isn’t just for adults. For that reason, you should consider adding a salt box to either your lobby or salt cave so that children can also benefit from the tactile and immersive benefits of salt. Think of it like a sandbox, a tailor-made, enclosed play area specifically designed with children in mind, but featuring salt instead of sand. Children can sit and play directly in the salt box on fine-grain Himalayan salt crystals. Add toys like shovels, buckets and trucks to the salt box to up the enjoyment factor for the little ones.
Any of these additional features can enhance the atmosphere of your salt cave by providing additional beauty. Whatever you envision for your salt cave, Select Salt has options to bring your ideas to life.
Introducing massage, meditation, yoga and sound healing in your salt cave can appeal to your busy clientele.
Between working, raising families, social obligations and running a household, life can be stressful. Time is at a minimum and we are all tasked to make the most of what we do have. In fact, millennials are being branded the “burnout generation”, because they are time-strapped and under-resourced.
Luckily, for salt cave owners, the special spaces they’ve created can help clients maximize their time. How? By offering halotherapy in tandem with one of these unique services:
Massage Therapy, Aromatherapy and Reflexology
These services are among of the most popular wellness services offered today. Massage therapy, in particular, is the top revenue generating add-on at most salt caves. Multiple types of massage options abound, including those for relaxation, pre-natal sessions, or those integrating aromatherapy through diffusers or essential oils. Reflexology is its own unique variety of massage. It focuses on using pressure points in the feet and hands to stimulate release in various areas of the body and brain.
While these services can be offered in your primary salt cave, many salt cave owners are opting to build smaller salt rooms in addition to their primary salt cave to accommodate demand for these amenities. Smaller salt rooms offer a lot of flexibility. And what’s best, they allow for shorter, more concentrated salt therapy sessions, which are more personal and private.
Meditation and Breathing
Meditation has become big business. People are looking for an escape from their busy lives. And this desire for calm amid chaos has helped launch successful meditation-related companies. One such example is the popular app Headspace, which has gained a celebrity cult following and raised over $250 million.
Salt cave owners can capitalize on this meditation wave, by offering meditation and breathing classes in their salt caves. Furthermore, many meditation practices include deep breathing exercises to calm the body and increase airflow to the lungs. As such, clients will doubly benefit from the rich negative ions produced by salt air from your halogenerator. This will enhance your clients’ ability to breathe deeply through their meditation practice, adding to relaxation and improving focus.
Salt caves are also the perfect environments to offer yoga classes for your guests. Yoga has been popular in North America for well over a decade now. And this means you don’t have to worry about introducing a form of exercise that’s considered only a trend. Think about offering private or small class yoga sessions to help guests achieve a new level in their practice. Some owners choose to rent out their rooms to yoga instructors in one-hour allotments. Others opt for a more creative compensation structure, based on the number of clients who take part in each class.
Yoga mats can be placed directly on the salt crystal floor, offering stability from which to practice your poses. Furthermore, there are many varieties of yoga available. Some are great for more athletic types, while others are designed specifically for pre-natal moms. Do some investigation into what types of practice might work with your space and for your clientele.
According to the International Centre for Reiki Training, reiki is “a technique for stress reduction and relaxation.” It is administered through touch and “is based on the idea that an unseen ‘life force energy’ flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.”
Reiki practitioners use touch to promote healing by channelling the force of energy from one person to another.
This practice is very easily incorporated into a salt cave. Why? Because it’s usually offered in individual sessions, just the same as massage service is offered. Proposing reiki and halotherapy in tandem is a great perk for those guests who are interested in incorporating holistic wellness approaches into their practice.
We already know that being in a salt cave is a sensory feast, particularly because of its stunning environment. But, there are also many added elements you can incorporate within a salt cave to heighten the sense of smell, touch and sound. Sound healing is a practice gaining popularity in many health and wellness centres. This therapeutic practice is used to promote strong emotional health and wellbeing, mainly through the reduction of stress.
Sound healing can take on many forms. These include listening to music, singing or playing an instrument or even vibrational music therapy. Singing bowl therapy is a practice that has been used since ancient times. It involves metal bowls that are rubbed and struck in various tones to produce an immersive sound experience. Meditation is a great way to enjoy this practice. With so many different options in the sound therapy practice, you can offer your guests a unique experience that is best catered to your clientele.
Spending time in a salt room can help alleviate symptoms like congestion and sore throatIt’s that time of year again: the dreaded cold and flu season. Both the cold and the flu, which originate from different viruses, become more prevalent when temperatures drop. Why? People often spend increased time indoors, causing these viruses to spread more easily. Furthermore, a decrease in vitamin D, due to fewer sunlight hours in winter, also impacts the immune system. Ultimately, this makes people more susceptible to catching these nasty viruses. Major symptoms of the common flu include a cough, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose. Common colds also afflict many with symptoms like congestion, sneezing, and chest discomfort. Scientists may be hoping that llama blood is a possible cure-all for influenza. But for now, we might have to accept that flu and cold are as inevitable as death and taxes. But what if there was an alternative that could alleviate these symptoms before the flu or cold has taken hold? Halotherapy might just be the answer.
Preventative StepsWhatever afflicts you this season, be sure to consult your medical professional for the best road to recovery. Staying home and resting is key to feeling better once you’ve gotten sick. If you’re at the stage where you’re not quite in the throes of sickness, there are many steps you can take. Of course, washing your hands and avoiding large crowds are well-known prevention techniques. Moreover, many health professionals recommend getting the annual flu vaccination. And others argue that strengthening your immune system is a great way to bypass the viruses. If the virus is oncoming, there may also be ways to stop it in its tracks. Research suggests that taking a nice hot shower may provide relief for some of your symptoms. The same goes for breathing in menthol or eucalyptus oil from a bowl of steamy water. Both these methods share a similar principle to those of halotherapy, or salt therapy. This spa and wellness treatment encourages users to breathe healing properties deeply into their lungs. While you’re still healthy, or if you’re starting to just notice the beginning stages of a cold, you can enjoy salt therapy as a way to relieve congestion and inflammation. Just ask Vogue writer Lauren Lipton who swore that halotherapy stopped her burgeoning cold at the source.
How it WorksAccording to research from the New England Journal of Medicine: “Inhalation of hypertonic saline produces a sustained acceleration of mucus clearance and improved lung function. This treatment may protect the lung from insults that reduces mucus clearance and reduces lung disease.” Simply put, breathing in the saline-rich environment of a salt room clears congestion by thinning mucus blocking the airways. Salt rooms use halogenerators and water cascades to disperse rich salt ions containing nutrients and minerals into the surrounding environment. These nutrients include calcium, magnesium and potassium, and carry various healing properties that are passed on to the user. Once absorbed into the lungs, these particles make their way throughout the body. They’re great for dissolving blockages in the airways and lungs, clearing the sinuses and allowing for deeper breathing. Halotherapy has of course been credited for helping cold and flu sufferers. But it has also been recognized for alleviating symptoms in those suffering from asthma, allergies and even COPD. Furthermore, the tranquil and calming environments found in salt caves also have the added benefit of providing relaxation. And this can go a long way towards helping you improve your overall sense of wellbeing. That’s why many health and wellness centres are adding salt therapy to their list of services. It gives them the opportunity to provide a holistic wellness approach. So, before you resign yourself to the fact that these common viruses will afflict you this winter, be sure to look to solutions like halotherapy to complement your physician-prescribed healthcare routine. You might finally see some relief from this year’s cold and flu season.
Salt therapy is safe during pregnancy and provides benefits to both mother and baby
A friend of mine recently announced her pregnancy and lamented about all the things she had to give up. Alcohol, sushi and soft cheeses were immediate no-nos. She also had to part with Advil, certain parts of her skin care routine, and visits to steam rooms.
But one thing she wanted to keep was a health and wellness routine. And this wasn’t so surprising. Pregnancy wellness is a booming segment of the wellness industry—something that all halotherapy business owners should know. New, pregnancy-specific fitness clubs are popping up throughout North America. And pregnant women are also seeking more targeted offerings. What’s more, these offerings can help women prepare mentally and physically for the journey ahead.
And that’s good news for halotherapy business owners, who can leverage this segment of their clientele. For many salt cave business owners, this is an untapped market, but one that is worth exploring.
Here’s what you need to know about halotherapy and pregnancy:
First thing’s first: Is halotherapy safe during pregnancy?
Yes, halotherapy is 100% safe during pregnancy. Because salt therapy is a completely natural and drug-free treatment, it’s safe for people of all ages and stages. Salt caves simply replicate the microclimate of naturally-formed salt caves found throughout the world. Companies like Select Salt build their caves free of foam, paint and papier-mâché. And we utilize only 100% authentic Himalayan salt, which is a material found in nature. Of course, it’s always a good idea to consult your health-care provider for answers to any questions you have.
Is there a benefit to enjoying halotherapy when pregnant?
Not only is salt therapy safe for expectant mothers, it may also provide additional health and wellness benefits. Halotherapy is widely known as a treatment for common respiratory and pulmonary ailments. For example, it can help those who suffer from asthma and congestion. This is great news for pregnant women, as halotherapy has the potential to alleviate breathing issues and even allergies. Furthermore, this reduces reliance on over-the-counter medications that many women prefer to avoid during their pregnancies.
Also, halotherapy is a common treatment used to promote relaxation, and reduce stress, tension and anxiety. And all these issues are common among pregnant women. With so many unknowns and considerations to think about during pregnancy, halotherapy is a great way to relax. In a salt cave, you can clear your mind from the stresses that accompany the journey towards a baby.
What considerations should halotherapy rooms make for pregnant women?
It’s essential to remember that comfort is key. Since halotherapy rooms are often kept at a around 20°C (68°F), offering extras for optimum comfort is appreciated. Make sure to stock blankets, slipper, robes or socks that can be used by guests to add warmth. Consider seating options that allow pregnant women to recline or adjust their position as needed. Zero-gravity chairs are a nice way to create a tranquil and comfortable environment. Moreover, neck and head pillows add a touch of luxury and also provide options for relaxation.
How can you cater your salt cave services for pregnant women?
There are many services that you can offer that will appeal to expectant mothers. Options to relax and unwind are wonderful, and something that will appeal to a wide range of customers. But you can also consider classes or offerings specifically for pregnancy. Do you have the capability to offer massage therapy in your salt room? If yes, you might want to consider expanding your services to include pre-natal and post-partum massages. Do you currently offer meditation in your salt cave? Think about tailoring a meditation practice to expectant mothers that allows them to focus on connecting to their changing bodies. This can include practicing breathing techniques, and preparing their minds for a baby. Or perhaps you already offer yoga in your salt room? Pregnancy yoga is a more customized practice for expecting women that you can also offer.
EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WET AND DRY SALT THERAPY
Halotherapy is relatively new to North America, but not in other parts of the globe. Many countries have utilized this beneficial practice for more than nine centuries!
Halotherapy literally means salt-therapy when broken down into its parts. Halo is a derivative of the Greek word alas, meaning salt. Therapy of course refers to a form of treatment that’s used for either physical or psychological purposes.
Salt therapy treatment can take on two methods: dry or wet. The difference is based on the way salt is used. That said, both methods reap the same benefits to the user.
What is it? Wet halotherapy treatment combines raw salt minerals or crystals mixed with water. Have you ever heard the old adage that breathing ocean air opens the sinuses or improves health? Actually, this adage is based on scientific proof. The Lung Institute asserts that misty, salty ocean air improves conditions such as lung disease or cystic fibrosis. This is done, in part by thinning the mucus in the body and decreasing sinus pressure. Wet halotherapy treatment comes from the same principle of mixing water with salt to gain therapeutic benefit.
Where did it originate? This application has been around as long as humans have harnessed the benefits of naturally occurring saline waters. These could be found in the Dead Sea and elsewhere. One of the first uses of wet halotherapy as a medicinal treatment comes from twelfth century Poland. Here, bathers utilized naturally occurring salt mineral waters as a way to alleviate illness and ward off bad health. Wet halotherapy can take on many forms. Users can ingest salty water or soak in salt pools. Or they can breathe in salty air from nearby wet halotherapy sources, such as water cascades.
How is it administered today? In modern-day salt caves, wet halotherapy is most often produced from water cascades in salt rooms or caves. Water cascades serve both form and function. For example, they are often included as an aesthetic feature in caves. And, they are constructed of soft wood, metals and raw salt bricks. Water is infused with salt, or it gently cascades over salt crystals, dispersing negative ions and minerals into the air. This air is then breathed through air passageways, opening up the lungs and airways, and producing therapeutic benefits. What’s more, salt cascades are impactful, visual accents to any modern-day salt cave.
What is it? Dry halotherapy uses salt minerals or crystals on their own, without the addition of water. Dry halotherapy relies on the dispersion of salt minerals into the air, which are absorbed into the body through inhalation. The natural, healthy ions and minerals contained within the saline crystals benefit the body. Furthermore, the beauty of the salt caves in which the dry halotherapy is administered produce a holistic wellness experience.
Where did it originate? Naturally occurring salt caves are found through the world, with many open to the public. Some of the most famous caves are found in Europe. The most well known options are either the Wieliczka Salt Mine in southern Poland or the healing salt caverns of Berchtesgaden, Germany.
How is it administered today? Modern salt caves are able to reproduce the microclimate of those naturally occurring caves by utilizing a machine called a halogenerator. Halogenerators, like those provided by Select Salt, act as diffusers. They consistently disperse the beneficial minerals and negative ions found in salt throughout a controlled environment. To benefit from this unique microclimate, one must simply enter a salt cave, relax and breathe deeply. This enables the body to inhale and absorb the salty richness of the air.
The benefits of a salt cave
If you go to the right place, you can combine these wet and dry halotherapy elements in a single treatment. Many spas and wellness centres that offer salt caves use halogenerators and water cascades in their construction. This creates an even richer salt environment to enjoy. It’s a perfect way to soothe the body, mind and spirit while utilizing the many applications of halotherapy. Browse Select Salt’s amazing caves to find an option near you.
Enter halotherapy—an athlete’s best friend. Halo-therapy is a natural, alternative form of medicine wherein people can derive health benefits from breathing in microscopic salt crystals. Lung function and capacity are both crucial to so many sports. So, it’s no wonder that many players are looking to halotherapy, which can boost their performance and stamina. After all, spending time in a salt cave can be highly therapeutic. Furthermore, it can also cleanse and clarify the body. This is beneficial for athletes and non-athletes alike.
The unique microclimate found in salt caves provides a 100% drug free, safe environment. So those who partake in halo-therapy can get a wide range of benefits. Ever better, they get none of the harmful side effects that might ban them from sports.
Here are three ways halotherapy can benefit athletes:
Improve breathing and lung function
The inside of a salt cave is rich in micronutrients. These are pumped through the air by way of a halogenerator. The minuscule atomized salt particles contain rich negative ions, which are breathed into the lungs. These particles can help eliminate toxins from the lungs, enabling you to breathe more deeply and clearly. Exogenous toxins (those external toxins which could include everything from environmental pollution, to consumer products and chemicals) and endogenous toxins (those which are internally produced and naturally occurring, such as lactic acid) are expelled during halotherapy. Expelling these toxins can benefit not just athletes, but all people who wish to breathe more deeply and clearly.
For those with athletic pursuits, time in the salt cave can improve breathing function. Stamina can also be improved, allowing athletes to push the limits of their sport even further. Doing this also lets them outlast their competitors. This factor is especially important for runners or cyclists who rely on stamina to get them through long-distances courses.
Enhance mental focus
Even if an athlete is in peak physical condition, a clear and focused mental state is imperative to bringing home a win. Athletic greats from Arthur Ashe to Kobe Bryant have been known to use meditation to improve their focus. And salt rooms offering halotherapy can provide the perfect space for meditation. Deep breathing is enhanced through salt therapy’s unique ability to clear the bronchial pathways. Furthermore, a focus on mindful breathing triggers a neurological reaction, which sharpens the body’s response. Even better, attention span increases, reaction times improve and cognition is enhanced. All of this is critical to keeping an athlete at the top of their game.
Salt caves have been known to benefit those suffering from respiratory conditions, allergies and airway congestion. The nutrient-dense, microscopic salt has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. This can help clear unwanted bacteria from the respiratory system. Halotherapy can banish mucus and obstruction from the lungs, reducing inflammation in the body. This can help improve the health of people who are are feeling a bit under the weather. Furthermore, it’s great for athletes who’ve repeatedly pushed themselves too far. How? It can result in increased energy, improved sleep and faster recovery time for athletes.
With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that halo-therapy is beloved by athletes and armchair athletes alike.
Marketing your business and understanding how to reach your ideal client base is an essential part of any growing venture.
Marketing can be a fickle exercise. Sometimes, even the most well-intentioned campaigns can become a lesson in what not to do. Just ask Burger King, whose misadvised, political marketing campaign asking customers to pay more for quicker service generated nothing but bad heat (no pun intended).
Still, marketing is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes looking to grow awareness and engagement. For salt cave business owners, marketing is a necessary function for generating new clients, retaining and building relationships and creating a return on your investment.
A thorough marketing plan should be part of your overall Business Plan, prepared with forethought to your salt cave design and construction.
Focusing on these four steps will help take the marketing of your salt cave business to the next level.
Step 1: Analysis
Carpenters will tell you: measure twice, cut once. That is, make sure you plan adequately before taking action. When it comes to your salt cave business, this means undertaking some analysis to get a better sense of where you stand.
Types of analysis that might benefit your salt cave business:
Environmental Analysis: This type of analysis considers external factors that may affect your business. You should conduct a scan of the political, social, economic, and technological climates to identify if there are any threats or opportunities for your salt cave business. For example, could a political decision or fluctuating economic activity impact your business based on your geographic location?
Customer Analysis: Market research is a valuable tool to help business owners understand their clients. It helps you to gain insight into who your customers are and what they need. Are there any cultural, social or situational influences impacting your demographics? Perhaps you find that your target demographic is females, aged 20-50; maybe it’s males, aged 45-60. Whatever the case, knowing your market segments will help you better direct your marketing efforts. For example, what are your customer’s choice criteria? Depending on their segmentation, they could be more influenced by prestige, quality, or price, or some other factor.
Competitor Analysis: It’s important to know what you’re up against. Take a look to see if you have any direct or indirect competitors. If you do, see what they are doing to market their services. This will help you identify your own differentiating features.
Company Analysis: Look inward at your own salt cave business. How are you positioned in your customer’s mind? Think about who you are and what you are trying to accomplish. What are your major strengths and weaknesses? What is your short term and long-term plan?
Step 2: Define Your Value Proposition
While this area should be covered in your salt cave business plan, it is an important consideration for marketing. Value proposition means the value that you, uniquely, will bring to your customers. What value do you offer? Perhaps you are the only salt cave business in your local area. Maybe you differentiate your salt cave space by offering additional services like yoga, meditation or reiki. Perhaps you intend to include a water cascade in your salt cave to amplify the sensory experience for your guests. Whatever is unique about your business is your value proposition and it is what you will use to market your salt cave business.
Step 3: The Ps of Marketing
As a salt cave business owner, you should consider the Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and Packaging.
Product: What product(s) are you selling? How do you distinguish your value proposition? How will you seek to meet your customers’ needs?
Price: What are your products or services going to cost? How do your prices compare to those of your competitors? When creating a pricing strategy, remember to be flexible, as prices may change depending on a number of factors. For example, are you going to be offering promotions to guests who visit your salt cave business regularly? Should you, or do you need to, establish a price above your competitors’ to maintain perceived quality?
Promotion: How are you going to communicate and sell (promote) your salt cave? There are many ways you can market a salt cave, via social media, print and/or digital advertising, etc. Each channel may take a different approach in terms of the message and content you use for promotion. Think about what your advertising or promotion plan will seek to achieve in each channel. This will also help you establish a budget and rationale for each promotion.
Place: These are the channels or mediums that you actually use for marketing. There are plenty of free and paid options where you can advertise, and your choice of place will vary depending on your budget and message. Social media—sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter—are great options for salt cave businesses. With these avenues, you often have the ability to target clients geographically and by demographic. As well, you’ll be able to get a measured return on your investment and understand the reach and influence of your marketing materials. Also, consider free avenues like Google Business Map—by adding your salt cave business to a Google map, you add credibility for your business, make it easier for clients to locate you and provide your guest with opportunities to leave business reviews (which helps Google populate your business in search results). You can also create Yelp and TripAdvisor pages for your business free of charge, allowing clients to find you more easily online and leave reviews when they have positive experiences. You should also investigate which channels your competitors are using, so that you are not lacking a presence in any one medium.
Packaging: This is all about how your business looks. Make sure your website is professional, with high-quality photos of your salt cave. Do you currently have a strong brand image? Catchy, succinct advertising copy revealing your value proposition will complement your visual marketing elements.
Step 4: Continuous Improvement
Marketing is an ongoing activity, as should be reflected in your plan. Create a contingency plan to anticipate different possible scenarios and outcomes that could take place. Evaluate how your marketing is going and be prepared to shift your activities if some are working better than others. There is no one right answer and each salt cave business is different, so be prepared to evaluate and re-evaluate plans as they move forward.
As your salt cave business grows and evolves, so too will your marketing efforts. Be sure to take heed of what works for others and what doesn’t.
Our last blog discussed the important questions you should ask before building a business plan for your salt cave. Today, we tackle the fabric of that plan from start to finish.
While every business plan is uniquely different in content, layout or requirements, this framework provides good guidance on what you should consider when putting together a strategy for your salt cave business.
Here are a few guidelines to follow to ensure you’re starting with a solid foundation.
- TONE: The tone of your plan is important, especially if you are looking to share this document to secure financing for your project. Keep it professional, conservative in style, and ultimately, polished. Stay away from slang, jargon or humour and instead focus on facts or necessary context to bolster your plan.
- FORMAT: Use consistent font and formatting to help your readers easily identify sections and understand your message. Standard formatting is 10-12 pt. font, in a professional typeface such as Times New Roman or Arial.
- STYLE: This may go without saying, but grammar, spelling, and sentence structure matter, so do yourself a favour and double-check your plan. Even better, have someone you trust give it a second set of eyes.
- VISUALS: Some people are visual learners, so adding (relevant) charts or pictures throughout your presentation is a nice idea. Perhaps include images of other websites you want to replicate, pictures of salt caves that you know you can produce, or a pie chart illustrating the breakdown of your customer base.
- KEEP IT RELEVANT: Remember, your plan will not be judged on its length, but rather on the breadth and depth of the information you’re providing. This is an opportunity for you to show you have done your homework and due diligence. Keep in only the relevant information, otherwise your readers may lose interest or suspect you’re padding the content with fluff.
Cover Page & Introduction
Start at the beginning. Include your company name, logo and contact details (including your name as the business owner). Describe your business in a few sentences and address questions about what you are hoping to achieve. If you are looking for financing, clearly state upfront the amount of money you are requesting and what it will be used for. Also note if you will require any other financing in the future and, if so, what it would be used for.
This section is very important and sometimes the only page or two that an investor will read before deciding if your idea is viable. Here you must not only demonstrate your thorough understanding of how the business will operate, but more critically for your investors, when you will make a return on your investment.
Your goal is to highlight the potential of your venture and generate enough interest to make your readers continue looking at your plan. For this reason, many people write the Executive Summary last, as it is often easier to summarize your ideas once you’ve gone through the exercise of developing your plan.
Here you’ll want to focus on your halotherapy competitors and the holistic and wellness sector as a whole.
First, explore the landscape by visiting any salt therapy spas nearby. Speak to other salt cave owners to better understand their challenges. Learn about the services that differentiate salt cave spas. What about other trends in the salt therapy sector—can anything potentially hinder or promote your future growth?
Including this information in your plan will help you stand out. Once you know how other services compare, you can add value by differentiating yourself, giving you a great advantage in the marketplace.
Venture Proposal: Comprehensive insights, logistics and operations
This is where you will elaborate and provide comprehensive insight into your business idea, operations and competitors. Provide your readers with perspective on how you created this idea. Highlight your skills and what you uniquely bring to the business.
You will want to explore several areas of the business including:
- Operation or Production Methods
A logistical discussion is key here. If you are adding a salt cave to a pre-existing spa, do you lease or own your facility? How will the salt cave be built, and by whom? Will your space include a reception area, bathroom, alternate treatment rooms, a retail area? Try to think of all the logistics necessary to make it work.
It’s not enough to build a salt cave, you also need to promote it to draw in clients. There are myriad ways you can promote this business, whether through your website, social media, print or digital media, or even direct mail. Once you think about who your target market(s) will be, you can decide what the most effective marketing channels are for leveraging your business.
- Organizational Structure
Give some thought to your organizational structure. Who will be a part of the team? What roles and responsibilities will these people have now, and in the future? Working through these questions will help you maximize every individual’s ability toward future growth.
- Assessment of Risk & Competitors
Demonstrate an understanding of the competitive landscape by describing your competitors and the services that differentiate them. Talk about their strengths and, of course, their weaknesses, too.
Consider possible threats or risks to the business. If you cannot find any business risks, you’re probably not looking hard enough. Investors want to see that you have identified potential risks, including barriers to entry. Having a strategy to overcome these hurdles will provide confidence in your vision.
- Financial Plan
Here you must include your start-up costs and projected income statements, as well as balance sheets and cash flow statements. It is not uncommon for this section to be prepared by someone else, like an accountant. If this is the case, it is vital they explain all the ins and outs of the statements to you, especially all assumptions made in the projections. Being credible here goes a long way. For example, if you are showing 100 sessions in the salt cave for the first month, and 1,000 sessions for month 2, you may lose credibility without a really good rationale backing your growth.
Once you’ve adequately summarized your venture proposal, consider adding these components to round out a fully comprehensive plan.
Supplying references and additional research to support your proposal, in the form of articles, websites or market research, is a nice bonus that can help flesh out your own ideas. Just remember, give proper attribution to your sources. Credit where credit is due.
- Biographies of Key Personnel
Although you find it at the end, this is arguably one of the more important sections, as some investors provide funds purely on the basis of the people involved. This is yet another opportunity to show what you and other team members bring to the table.
There you have it. A well-researched and strategic business plan with aplomb, setting you up for success. It tastes sweet, maybe a little salty?
Halotherapy for beginners: Important questions to ask before creating a business plan for your salt cave
Raising funds and creating a business plan are often seen as the hallmarks of founding a strong venture. But before you even do that, it’s essential to ask some questions about the business you’re creating.
Recently, I’ve learned that Tesla CEO Elon Musk may be one of the only business owners to shirk the idea of raising new capital (read: money). “I specifically don’t want to,” he mused when asked if he’d raise funds in 2018. Musk may be more focused on sending a rocket to some far away planet, but here on this one, most business owners continue to look for creative fund-raising methods to support their business aspirations.
Whether your business is salt therapy or a coffee shop, one of the best methods of sourcing funds is to present your potential venture through a strong business plan. Investors aside, writing a business plan is one of the most useful exercises for any business venture.
Why? Sitting down and jotting your ideas on paper brings structure and clarity to your thought process. It helps you group ideas and ask vital questions. It tackles important considerations from different business perspectives, from resourcing to financials. Plus, a solid business plan is shareable—a necessary aspect for any potential partners or investors who might see opportunities to join you in this venture.
So, time to start writing, right?
Not quite yet. Before you even put pen to paper, here’s a mental exercise: Consider YOUR unique business requirements, which will be essential to building a salt cave. Make sure to ask these important questions about the past, present and future of the business:
- Are you adding a component to an existing business or are you building an entirely new one?
- If you are a pre-existing spa, does it make more sense to add a salt cave to your space or search out a new space for the salt cave feature?
- What skills do you bring to the table? This will be key to setting your business apart.
- What does your business offer—service(s), product(s), both? Will this change?
- Who are/will be your clients? What’s in it for them?
- What value proposition do you bring to this business model?
- Is there anything unique about what you are hoping to bring to the community?
- How will your business be comparatively different from your competitors’?
- How will you fare against others in the holistic and wellness industry?
- How are you going to deliver your value proposition?
- Do you require financing? If so, how much and what will it be used for?
- Have you given any thought to how you will market your business?
- What do your 1, 5 & 10 year plans look like?
Grappling with these questions will make the next necessary step—creating a Salt Cave Business Plan—all the easier.
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