We’ve seen lots of float centers that aren’t just float centers.
Many have massage, some offer counseling, some have yoga classes next door. Lots of people start out either by incorporating float tanks into a larger business, or with float tanks only being one of many modalities at their center. Being specialists in floating, Float On has not mastered anything else.
So, to help gain insight into this growing aspect of the industry, we contacted our old friend, Sandra Calm. She started up The Float Shoppe here in Portland with her husband and podcast sensation, Dylan Calm, back in 2011. When they first opened, they had just two float tanks, and slowly added acupuncture, massage, counseling, along with two more tanks. Talk about expansion!
She was more than happy to take some time for the industry to help us understand just what it’s like to run a center with multiple services by answering some questions.
One line we don’t think you should cross is this: as much as possible, when building out your float center, gut it completely. Start from scratch.
At least then the mistakes you make are your own and your building will hold fewer surprises down the line. There are many benefits that you may not think of immediately. In this post, we’ll guide you through some of them.
Look, we get it. Really. Float tanks are expensive – especially for what can seem, from the outside, like a glorified bathtub with spa parts attached. It doesn’t take long to go from, “Why is this so expensive?” to “I’ll bet I could save money by making my own tank!” After you start mulling it over, you get excited. You could be offering something no one else does right now… because it’d be your own creation! How hard can it possibly be?
As experts in only thinking about half of the consequences of our actions (at best), we’d like to say, “Incredibly hard, actually!”
For anyone opening a float center, one of the earliest questions they’ll have to tackle is, “How big should my space be?” This can be one of the most difficult queries to answer, because it hinges on many variables.
Will you be offering other services? What types of tanks are you getting? What other rooms will your space need? If you’re planning on installing a float tank water slide, that’ll take up extra space, too. I know it’s unreasonable, but Jake really wants someone to do it.
All of these questions aren’t even factoring in thinking about profit margins. It quickly becomes a daunting task that can feel overwhelming.
“I’ve often heard strong advocates of floating question why people might have difficult floats, “what’s wrong with spending time alone with yourself?” When you love yourself, it’s easy to be alone with your thoughts – when you hate who you are and can’t understand why, it can be a nightmare.” – Juliet Tango Mylan