1. How did the idea come about? Spa and wellness has been an emerging business in Singapore due to changed mindsets and values of the people.
With rising affluence, people are more willing to spend time and money to improve their health and indulge in spas. Also, due to the increasingly competitive society we live in, people are dealing with much more stress than in the past and visiting wellness centers appears to be one of the top picks for Singaporeans to get away with stress. In addition, Spa and wellness centers are also an appealing alternative to medical centers to receive medical treatment as many spa centers now offer treatments for health improvement and tuning.
However in Singapore, there seems to be no existing spa and wellness center targeted at the elderly. Since spa and wellness centers are set up predominantly for people to de-stress, indulge and improve their health, this should be a feasible business to be targeted at the elderly in Singapore.
2. Why is it a business opportunity? Singapore has witnessed a great surge in the number of elders in the recent years as a large portion of the baby boomers approach their prime ages.
The medical breakthrough and advancement of the past decades had benefitted people and enabled us to live healthier and longer. This is reflected in Singapore where the life expectancy at birth of Singaporeans has increased from the estimated lifespan of 78 years in 2000 to 82 years in 2011 (refer to appendix 1).
According to the Age pyramid of Resident population provided by Singstat (refer to appendix 2), people of age groups 55 - 59 and 60 - 64 in 2012 is double the amount compared to in 2000. This depicts the rapid aging of Singapore�s population. It is projected �that as almost a third the people in the city-state will be over 65 years old in a few decades�. (yini, 2012)
With the increase in elderly population in Singapore, this entails a huge target market for businesses targeted at the elderly. More products and services are now catered to the elderly market such as the elderly-friendly mobile phones, robots and technology etc. This is due to the fact that the elderly consumers have ample spending power with the accumulated savings from their working life. It is also observed that elderly spend a notably amount of their savings on healthcare, further enhancing the appeal of the elderly market to the spa and wellness sector.
In virtue of the mentioned points above, the spa and wellness business should not forgo the opportunity to break into the emerging elderly market in Singapore.
3. Protecting the business idea: There is currently no existing spa and wellness center for the elderly in Singapore and this can be the first. However, there are already existing elderly wellness centers overseas therefore the idea cannot be patented. To protect the business, we can have a trademark for the company name and logo which would enable customers to identify us easily and distinguish us from our competitors. The trademark will be registered at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and would last 10 years that can be renewed indefinitely.
4. Nature of industry Spa and wellness falls under the service industry where it offers healthcare services and related products to the customers.
The market size of the Spa and wellness industry in Retail Value is assessed in year 2011 is at a whooping value of 21.4 million (refer to appendix 3), portraying great potential in the industry. The market size has grown steadily over the years and industry experts have a positive outlook of the growth of the spa industry in Singapore as well as the whole of Asia.
The competition is the spa industry is vigorous with the presence of a large number of competitors in the industry. To name a few of the renowned spa businesses in Singapore would be Amore Boutique Spa, St Gregory etc. that has received recognition from the market. In addition, the spa industry also face indirect competition from substitutes like massage chairs and equipment, now even hospitals and private healthcare institutes as the spa industry gradually converge with the medical industry in providing medicinal treatments. However, these indirect competitors do not pose a great threat to the spa business generally as it is unable to replicate the Spa experience.
4.1 Regulatory environment In Singapore, the spa industry is strictly governed by government rules and regulations which create substantial barriers to entry as operators must acquire a license before launching the business. A massage establishment must acquire a Massage Establishment License that controls the operational hours of the spa, age of customers admitted, etc. The spa company must also be registered with the Singapore Companies Registrar, ACRA prior to obtaining the license.
To protect the interests of the consumers, the CaseTrust Accreditation has specified criteria for the operation of the spa business to instill consumer confidence in the sector and ensure fair trading practices.
5. Industry/ Market trends The spa and wellness industry is experiencing exponential growth in Asia and in Singapore. The fast and stressful lifestyles of the people of our time had given rise to the industries providing relaxation therapies and created demand for recreation activities.
5.1 Economic trend In Singapore, the spa and wellness industry had expanded significantly. Statistics have shown that the spa business is lucrative one as the Retail Value of the spa market has increased from 13.7 million in 2006 to 21.4 million in 2011. (Refer to appendix 3) Factors such as the increase in disposable income and change in lifestyle of consumers in Singapore contributed to the growth of the spa and wellness industry as people are more willing to spend money on luxury items.
5.2 Societal trend The spa industry has also witnessed trends such as the growth in Medicinal spas due to the fact that Singaporeans are getting more health-conscious. Spa and wellness is no longer restricted to relaxation and indulgence but also the treatment for medical conditions. These medicinal spas are an alternative for medical treatments in hospitals and healthcare institutes where the tranquil environment of the spa center is the plus point as compared to hospitals.
The target market of the spa industry has transformed in the recent years. The target market is no longer restricted to middle age women with spending power as the businesses now target at the younger crowds with increasing spending power. As men are increasingly conscious of their images, spa and wellness centers for men have emerged.
6. Analysis & Feasibility 6.1 Business analysis Elderly spa and wellness center is definitely feasible as there is a large market with the rapid upsurge in number of elderly in Singapore. The upsurge in number of elderly translates to the demand of elderly centric services and products. This is demonstrated through the increased government spending on elder care facilities in Singapore. (Estopace, 2012)
Secondly, it is noted that the elderly in Singapore spend a lot on healthcare as they get on with age. This means business for the elderly spa and wellness center as the center may offer medicinal spa and treatments to treat their ailing elderly pains and improve their health. Hence, the center would be able to cater to the healthcare need of the elderly. Singaporeans and elderly alike are also becoming more health conscious. They are now more receptive to healthcare treatments than in the past and are willing to receive these treatments to improve their health and prolong their lives.
The elderly now have a lot of time and wealth on their hands with the savings accumulated from working hard for the majority of their life and the allowance given by their children. As they enter their retirement phase, the elderly would spend time and money to participate in recreational activities to lead a fulfilling golden age. The elderly spa and wellness center can become a place for the elderly to tune their health and at the same time relax and rejuvenate.
6.2 SWOT analysis of the Elderly Spa and Wellness Center Strength � Unique product offerings that cater to the elderly differentiated from the other spa centers, first mover advantage as the first spa and wellness center targeted at the elderly Weakness � Target market is relatively restricted to the elderly as people may generalize the center to be a place only for the elderly, lack of experience in creating spa and wellness product for the elderly Opportunity � Aging population in Singapore, increase in demand for luxury and recreational goods in Singapore Threat � Emergence of similar businesses, stricter government regulations in the spa industry
7. Competitive advantage Being the first and only elderly spa and wellness center in Singapore, the company is given the first mover advantage being the exclusive elderly spa and wellness center. As our target market differ from the primary market of typical spa businesses, our products and packages are specially crafted for the elderly such as Medicinal spa, traditional massages, acupuncture etc. that are differentiated and unique product offerings compared to others in the market. Being the only elderly wellness center can also help secure the customer base as well as allow the company to gain expertise in serving the elderly market by piloting a wellness center targeted at the elderly.
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