Endota Spa reveals how to build a beauty empire


When it comes to managing a multi-franchise, it’s safe to say Sally Cantwell knows what she’s doing. Originally a patron of the arts and manager of a fashion boutique, Sally is now behind the successful expansion of 10 endota spas. Not only is she an expert in beauty and well-being, but her keen business sense and dedication to wellness are arguably one of the driving factors behind endota becoming Australia’s premium spa destination. We sat down with the all-natural beauty to discuss training, hiring and why kindness is one of the most important skills.

What’s your career history?
I have a background in art gallery and museum studies.  As a curator and arts administrator, I worked with painting and sculpture collections and exhibitions in Sydney as well as the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

The creative and visual arts have always been my first love so when the opportunity to own and run a fashion boutique appeared I had no hesitation changing careers.  Working with designers, growing clients and developing a team that made everyone look amazing taught me such a lot about how a business can work.

At the same time my husband Chris, and, I also had an interest in a resort on the mid-North Coast that needed additional facilities for guests.  Our first spa at Diamond Beach opened in a remodeled holiday cabin!

Why did you choose to partner with endota spa?
The endota spa story is amazing.  Born on the Mornington Peninsula, 16 years ago, deeply connected to the Australian landscape and land really resonated with me.

From a commercial perspective, and, with no prior experience in the spa industry I felt comfortable making the investment in a fantastic brand with a track record of success. I could see that the brand had enormous potential.  As an individual I would never could have grown several spas without endota spa behind me.

endota spa offered expertise in every part my business from marketing, product, training, HR, finance, systems and leasing. They support franchisees with monthly contact, training, workshops and through network events to help grow our business.

Why did you choose to become a franchise owner over owning a business?
The ability to be a multi-site franchisee was the main appeal.

What are some of the pros and cons of being a franchise owner in the beauty business?
A distinct advantage is the scale that the endota spa franchise now has as a mature business model.  Furthermore, endota spa as a franchise is always wanting to improve what it does to ensure that the business stays truly relevant to our clients – so size does matter in this respect!

Shared goals and a common understanding is vital.  A franchisee still needs to engage with all aspects of their business.  As a franchisee, you do need to be able to think things through for yourself, and, where it is needed participate in the debates that help to shape decisions for the common good of the network.

I have been a member of the endota Advisory Committee for the last two years.  This has been a tremendous privilege and given me an opportunity to play a part in positive change.

What’s your advice on hiring and managing staff?

  • Have a recruitment strategy and always review it
  • Have a HR process and use it
  • Be clear about expectations
  • Be kind

What kind of training do endota spa therapists go through?
All endota spa therapists are diploma qualified in either beauty therapy or remedial massage.  On joining our business, therapists are trained and internally certified in all endota spa treatments and our product ranges ( OrganicTM, glycolic, ceuticals and NEW AGETM).

Therapists work closely with their managers in setting their professional goals and their training programs are conducted and monitored by the In-Spa Trainers.  endota spa has 4 certification levels of internal training as well as an online training program called Malachite.

What sets endota spa apart from the competition?
Firstly, every member of the endota spa family shares a common philosophy; wellness works for anyone and everyone. This generosity of spirit the brand was founded on is passed to the customer through every therapist in the network and generates trust in the journey experienced at endota spa.

The quality of endota spa treatments, products and therapists is outstanding. Our signature Organics TM product range is distinctly Australian, certified organic skincare.

Our gift voucher program is also a stand out as an endota gift voucher can be redeemed at any spa across Australia.

What would be one piece of beauty business advice you’d give to someone wanting to become a franchisee?
Love your business and always try to improve it! If you are looking to ride the wellness wave and are looking at opening a spa, I believe this is a great industry to invest in.

The Australian massage market is substantial and growing. In July 2015 IBISWorld market research suggested the yearly turnover from the massage market was $3.9bn.

To find out more about endota, click here

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