When it comes to relaxation, relaxing is key. No, that's not a typo, but it is an often-overlooked fact. Think about it: If you have to change your schedule, fight traffic, brave the elements, and go out of your way to get to the spa, is that really very relaxing in the end? Rachel Dedmon didn't think so. That's why she opened The Traveling Spa , a hotel-focused mobile spa service offering everything from massage to facials in both Michigan and Connecticut.
But what does "mobile" mean? For The Traveling Spa, mobile means Rachel and her team of five nationally certified therapists — a hand-selected group of contractors — work with clients when and where it's convenient for them. More specifically, mobile means visiting clients at hotels and offering the ultimate convenience: in-room service. "Being able to catch [clients] on their turf, in the middle of their busy work week, is the only way they're really able to incorporate massage into their lives," says Rachel on the importance of offering mobile services.
But the idea of a mobile spa business wasn't new to her, even when she opened The Traveling Spa in Connecticut in 2004. Back in 1999 she opened Therapeutic Hands, another traveling spa business, in her home state of Michigan. That business did well, but after some some friends and acquaintances convinced Rachel to visit Connecticut in 2002, she fell in love with the state — from its similarities to Michigan to its proximity to New York City — and decided it was time for a change. So with a new state came a new business.
"I worked for a company for two years ... but I knew working for myself was the answer," says Rachel of her decision to open Therapeutic Hands and, eventually, The Traveling Spa. "I like working for myself, I like developing my own offerings." And those offerings are pretty impressive.
From 90-minute deep-tissue massages to water wraps, The Traveling Spa provides a wide variety of services on the go. But that whole "on the go" piece that makes things easy on the clients created two unique challenges for the business. The first challenge was creating mobile-friendly services and the second was communicating easily with clients without a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment. Luckily, as a small-business owner, Rachel likes a good challenge. She has yet to let anything get between her and her soon-to-be-relaxed clients.
After tackling the first challenge head-on by developing services that are mobile and footprint-free — necessary for a traveling business operating on someone else's turf — The Traveling Spa needed to streamline its communications. "How do guests know that we're here?" asks Rachel, "How do they find us? That was my challenge." Because The Traveling Spa is mobile, this challenge had three key components: communicating with current clients, with the hotel / host location, and with potential clients.
"We have a 24-hour online scheduling page that allows our guests to schedule in real time and ... the minute the [client books], the system communicates with our entire staff," says Rachel of the seamless booking system she developed. Then, when a therapist confirms the appointment, everyone — meaning the hotel / host location, the client, and all therapists — is notified. Best of all, the hotel and the client receive a "Meet Your Therapist" letter, complete with a photo of the therapist, so everyone knows whom to expect. Pair that with The Traveling Spa's 24-hour toll-free phone service, and clients never have to worry about scheduling, missing an appointment, or thinking too hard to achieve some much-needed relaxation.
Of course, that great communication model only works after a client finds The Traveling Spa. So how does Rachel make her services visible to those seeking a bit of R&R? Well, that all boils down to developing strong relationships with hotels and resorts, like Hyatt Place® Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
"Working with the hotels and making sure that we're visible is probably the most important thing," says Rachel of the significance of these partnerships. Because a partnership is really what's on the table. The Traveling Spa offers unmatched service to its clients — "everyone gets treated to white-glove service," says Rachel — and by extension, hotels are offering an unmatched service by presenting The Traveling Spa to guests. In other words, its strong partnerships make The Traveling Spa is a classic win-win-win: "When they place us front and center, boasting this wonderful amenity, this project flies."
So naturally, Rachel expects seamless communication and strong partnerships when she's working with other companies. Seamless isn't always the case with insurance, but Rachel found exactly what she was looking for with insureon. "When it came to insureon, it came down to my experience with the representative," says Rachel of her time on the phone with an insureon specialist. "He sounded like me [and] like someone who wanted to talk to me." Right from the start, the process was pretty simple.
That means Rachel can relax. And if she's relaxed, she can help her clients relax. And if she's doing that, she's running a successful business and building relationships with clients and hotel partners. Remember: Relaxing is key.
To learn more about The Traveling Spa, visit thetravelingspa.com.
The Traveling Spa