MassageLuXe Highlights Long-Time Friends and Business Partners in Columbia, Missouri
Business Savvy Franchisees Have Been with National Spa Brand from the Start
November 17, 2021 // Franchising.com // COLUMBIA, MISSOURI - As someone who has been with the brand since day one, few know as much about MassageLuXe as Todd Layton. Todd worked in the corporate operations side of MassageLuXe when it first began, and in 2019 moved on to partner in spa ownership.
Donna Lauer also worked on the corporate side of the brand. That’s when a lifelong friendship began with Donna, her husband Rick and their business partner, Todd. The two men are hunting and fishing buddies and the three together are a powerful force.
Their respective professional backgrounds combine to make a great franchise team, with Donna’s expertise in corporate accounting and Todd’s in market training and support. They recognized a great opportunity with MassageLuXe. “We had an early peek behind the curtain and recognized the potential of the membership concept, a monthly recurring revenue model that ensures returns. MassageLuXe pioneered the membership model in the spa business, and we knew it would work,” says Todd, “It’s been incredibly successful.”
Armed with confidence in the business model after contributing to the brand’s corporate foundation, the trio decided to open a MassageLuXe location of their own. They agreed the best place would be Columbia, Missouri. Donna says the search for the best site was a two-year journey. “It is absolutely all about location, location, location. We knew with Columbia becoming such an up-and-coming area, we needed to find the perfect spot.” And that they did, they discovered a vacant lot near a Walmart and opened their spa in 2019. Now the area has grown, and business is booming.
This trio knows business and believes in the franchise system. Although all three enjoy the spa experience and getting massages, admittedly, they didn’t know much about that part of the business.
“Coming into it, I didn’t know the first thing about massage,” Donna says. “I’m always so impressed with our massage therapist’s knowledge of physiology. When I came to get my first massage, I had an experienced massage therapist who asked me if I cross my ankles when I sit at my desk. I told him, 'I don’t know, I’d never paid that much attention to how I sit.' He said he could tell based on how my muscles were responding that I crossed my ankles and suggested I stop. The next time I was at my desk, I noticed my ankles were crossed. Now, I’m very cognizant. These therapists truly care about people’s health, and they’re always giving client’s helpful recommendations.”
Donna, Rick, and Todd recognize increasing consumer focus on health and wellness and see the value of their MassageLuXe location. “A day spa used to be all about pampering. There’s nothing wrong with that, we all need that,” says Todd. “But we’re recognizing so many health benefits of massage whether that’s a physical condition or ailment or relief from anxiety and stress. Self-care is important and a growing number of adults are prioritizing their overall wellness.”
The friends and business partners also whole-heartedly agree this venture would not be possible without an amazing staff led by their general manager, Dana Branson. “When we had a brief shutdown at the start of the pandemic, Dana went above and beyond to maintain a connection with our clients. Dana would call our customers, check on them and let them know she couldn’t wait to see them when things settled down.” Todd adds, “This was a game-changer. Dana made our customers feel valued by making that effort, and that kept our business thriving. She’s amazing.”
The friends have big business goals for their spa and work to provide the best service possible. They are grateful that they are providing something positive in the Columbia community and sincerely appreciate their customers for supporting them.
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