Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nia Banks, Co-Owner of Art of Balance Wellness Spa, located in Baltimore, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Art of Balance Wellness Spa offers spa experiences, wellness therapies, and modern aesthetic treatments under one roof for clients in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Our holistic approach to treating the entire person encourages our guests to explore how to balance care of mind, body, and spirit in a luxury setting. The three pillars of self-care offered at the Spa include Spa experiences (manual lymphatic drainage, massage, skin care), Wellness Therapies (weight loss management, hormone replacement, life coaching), and Aesthetics (laser treatments, Botox and fillers, liposuction, body contouring after weight loss).
Tell us about yourself
I arrived in Baltimore from North Carolina in 1995 and have never left. I came for medical school at Johns Hopkins, stayed for a Ph.D., stayed again to complete plastic surgery residency, and now am raising a daughter in Baltimore. My first business venture was a private plastic surgery practice, and that has grown into the concept for the Art of Balance Wellness Spa. As the country becomes more overweight, the ability of physicians to offer appropriate resources for weight management in traditional medical settings shrinks. These customers often seek out plastic surgeons for body contouring procedures.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We have collected and retained (through COVID, closures, and culture shifts) an incredibly talented staff to guide the guest's journey through weight management, anti-aging, body contouring, and stress management. I am very proud of the talent and expertise we have assembled at the Spa.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
My biggest challenge is creating and maintaining a healthy corporate culture. Our space is beautiful guests want to come and refer others. If we can create a healthy and beautiful work environment, our providers want to come to work, want to come back to work, and want to recruit others.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Work in a business similar to the one you want to start. No need to reinvent the wheel. You can learn from other companies and build on that. Make it your own and make it better.
- Address your own pain points with your product (market to yourself). It makes you a more authentic salesperson and gives you a clear vision of the need for your product, the competition, and your market.
- Take business classes, live or online. The coursework will give you the tools you need to scale. Your classmates and professors will become invaluable resources for problem-solving.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
One of the first and best things I learned in my online business classes with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is to have personal metrics as part of your key performance indicators. I am still guided by these I created in 2020:
Personal Metric #1: Others repeat my vision (I have clearly communicated and delegated components of my vision)
Personal Metric #2: I have preserved at least two half days of administrative time (I have supported the growth of all service lines and retained providers)
Personal Metric #3: I continue to be available to do my daughter's school drop-offs and pick-ups 4/5 days per week.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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