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Your clients think your spa is the most wonderful thing since triple-espresso lattes with real liquor. When these women (and men) walk through the door, they hear soothing New Age music, inhale a calming aromatherapy scent, and see a soft mauve and muted cocoa color scheme. They know they're in the perfect place for some well-deserved pampering. Clients leave their piled-up stress at the door, knowing they won't need it for the rest of that day.

What the clients don't see, however, is the stress behind the scenes. While the current client has arrived on time for her facial and massage, her esthetician and massage therapist are both running behind schedule. They're still finishing up their last clients, which causes a domino effect of impatient clients cooling their heels in the lounge. To make matters worse, the esthetician realizes she's almost out of several popular facial solutions. She had emailed a supply order to the receptionist last week, but clearly that request got lost somewhere in the ether. The esthetician will have to resolve that glitch with the spa manager.

Unfortunately, the spa manager (that's you) has bigger problems. Client revenues were unexpectedly down last month. However, the spa's expenses slightly increased as utilities, other operating expenses, and supplies costs rose. The net effect: You still have to pay your staff and your operating expenses less money. Now you can't pay off your heavily used company credit card this month.

This cash flow problem also means you'll have to find another way to order your supplies, at least for the short term. Too bad the other company card is maxed out, too. The spa can probably keep generating revenues from clients, but how can you get the supplies to do it? You ask someone to get you a triple-espresso latte (but hold the liquor for now). It's going to be a long night. Good thing you know how to relieve your stress: You've scheduled an hour-long massage for tomorrow morning.