Jason Goldberg is founder and CEO at SpaSeekers.com, a 30-year-old Spa booking service that was, and remains, ahead of the game in the leisure and beauty booking industry.
Realising that luxury-loving consumers wanted a pick of ‘ the best of the best’ in terms of beauty and pampering services, SpaSeekers.com was set up to cut down on the time wasting of trawling through spa services that didn’t make the cut for discerning consumers.
Giving consumers an easy-access break down of the best spa services on offer, whilst amplifying the reach of the best spa brands, SpaSeekers.com looks like a win-win situation for all parties that are part of the exchange of spa goods and services.
A true pioneer in the services marketplace industry, Real Business sits down with Goldberg, and talk all things ‘beauty’ based, as well as a bit of business chat of course.
What do you want your business to be remembered for?
It is common knowledge that SpaSeekers.com are the longest established Spa Booking Specialist and we have been promoting UK spas tirelessly for three decades.
We have certainly played a significant part in promoting the industry as a whole and have helped over one million people find and book their perfect spa experience.
Your business model…
We are a third party booking agency, which means we promote our spa suppliers to a target audience, helping to make relaxation and pampering accessible to more people. We are paid a commission by our suppliers.
How do you measure success?
Ask 100 people and you could get 100 different answers! For me, however, success is best treated as a moving target in order to stay motivated. As Director of SpaSeekers.com, I am absolutely focused and driven by continuous evolvement and enhancement of our service, booking systems, and website.
Ultimately making it easier for the mass market to find and book their perfect spa break. I am very competitive by nature, so, for example, the market share that we enjoy today, 3 years ago this may have been my vision of “success” but now we are here, then today success still seems a distant goal as there is so much more to achieve.
Do you plan to enter new markets in the next 12 months?
It could be a natural progression for us to market spa venues and relaxing spa experiences in Europe or even Worldwide, and I am sure this will happen.
– At the moment we still have a lot of work to do in the UK market so that will remain our priority for now.
How did you fund your business?
The business started in 1989, pre-internet. It required little funding to get off the ground so we self-funded.
In five years…
In five years’ time, we will still be consolidating as the UK leading Spa Booking Specialists but our online visibility and market share will be even stronger.
We are a passionate team at SpaSeekers HQ, we love spas and we’re industry innovators, our website, booking systems and customer service team will continue to lead the way.
It is inevitable that the spa industry will continue to grow too so the future looks exciting for SpaSeekers.com and all that we can continue to bring to this fantastic industry.
Your highest point…
There have been a lot of highs and lows in my 30 years at SpaSeekers.com, the past five years have been somewhat turbulent, to say the least, and I have had to overcome a lot of obstacles but to be where we are today in terms of online visibility and market share gives me enormous satisfaction and it’s testament to the fantastic team that we have built.
Your lowest point…
On a personal level losing my beloved sister to cancer in 2004, It was an awful time for our family, something that you never fully recover from. I focused on turning this into a positive by working really hard to make her proud of her little brother!
From a business point of view I am glad to say that there haven’t been many lows – I guess losing 50% of our web traffic overnight courtesy the Google Panda update in 2012 was the most poignant.
However, we ultimately turned that into our big positive as we reacted with a massive £300’000 investment into our systems that included a completely new website and CRM build that gave us the capabilities and the foundations to grow the business to the level we enjoy today.
What would tell your younger self?
From a business point of view, I can honestly say that I am really proud of what I have achieved, I always had the confidence that I had a shrewd head on my shoulders and trusted myself to succeed. If I had to tell my younger self-anything then I guess it is, be more patient and to trust colleagues with their responsibilities… as your business grows you can’t do it all and have to let go a little!
Your policy wish list:
Politics are not my strong point and opinions can cause hostility. At the end of the day, I am an entrepreneur with a passion for business.
I want to continue to make spas and relaxation more accessible by showcasing the very best selection of UK venues and packages and I will perform on whatever playing I am given.
– Regardless of circumstances, there will always be winners and losers so I prefer to concentrate on the vision that I have for SpaSeekers.com
Your biggest piece of advice to other entrepreneurs…
To trust your instincts. To have a reliable decision-making process with no regrets, often a decision HAS to be made, all you can do “at any one time” is systematically consider all of the facts available to you and then make your decision. If you have the confidence in yourself that you’ll always make the right decision at that moment in time then no need for beating yourself up further down the line.
What would make you a better leader?
I think you’d need to ask this to my team! You never stop learning how to be a leader and I certainly am no expert.
The more successful your company becomes, the bigger the workforce and variety of personalities there are to motivate and one style of leading definitely won’t fit all.
I personally adapt with how I communicate with certain individuals taking in to account what my objectives are. I have many key traits in order to be a good leader some of which I have consciously learned but without a doubt, I could become a lot better too.
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