Spa CEO's tips for a healthy business outlook
Becky Woodhouse CA, CEO and founder of PURE Spa & Beauty, provides a preview of her secrets for success ahead of her appearance at the New ICAS conference.
Becky Woodhouse, CEO and founder of award-winning PURE Spa & Beauty, will be among the speakers at the New ICAS Conference in Glasgow on 27 November. Becky, together with Kirsty Dingwall CA, the founder of Angelic Gluten Free, will be leading a workshop on Secrets of the CA Entrepreneurs.
Ahead of the conference, Becky shared some of her business experience with CA Today.
Leap of faith
I trained as a CA with PwC, qualifying in 2000. Don’t ask me why (I often ask myself the same question!), but I always wanted to have my own business. So in 2002 I took the leap and started PURE Spa & Beauty. I was 27, just had my first son, with no real experience or background!
Why ‘spa and beauty’? Well, I just saw a gap in the market.
Our vision in a nutshell is accessible spa and beauty combination packages, with an emphasis on quality and personal service. In today’s time-starved society, being able to take time out to relax and feel good about yourself is no longer a treat; it’s becoming a necessity. A much-needed antidote to the stressful 24/7 modern lifestyle.
The emphasis on personal service stems from my belief that spa and beauty services are personal and individual. You wouldn’t go to the hairdresser and ask for the ‘Wella’ haircut, so why should you go to a beauty salon and ask for the ‘Clarins’ facial?
Thirteen years on and these philosophies are arguably more relevant to our clients now than they were when we started.
Survive and thrive – the recession years
When I started the business, we had one location on Lothian Road in Edinburgh, and six staff. We now have five locations and 100 staff, with a sixth location imminent and should be opened by the time I see you at the ICAS Conference.
For the first eight or nine years of our existence, Pure SPA grew extensively - going from £160k in our first full year to £1.3m in 2010. This was a result of taking advantage of growth opportunities that had come our way.
By 2010 we had expanded to four locations (Ocean Terminal and Lothian Road in Edinburgh, Silverburn in Glasgow and Union Square in Aberdeen) and grown to about 65 staff.
But we were, in short, a mess. A company who happened to own four locations which largely operated independently of each other, with no cohesive strategy, structures or systems.
In the last five years, I have turned this gaggle of spas into a multi-award winning brand. We’ve doubled our turnover in the midst of a recession and created a company with a clear route to growth and expansion in the UK and beyond.
Our aim is to reach £20m turnover by 2020. Discover how PURE Spa & Beauty are on track to achieve this and more at the ICAS Conference.
Becky is a judge in the 2016 One Young CA competition, which recognises CAs under 35 who are making a difference to our profession and beyond. Visit oneyoungca.icas.com for further details.