One of the most favourite parts of my coaching business is in hosting retreats. When I first started my business as a side hustle to my corporate role many years ago, it started with 1:1 clients and the vision of running retreats in beautiful parts of the world. Little did I know that they would be the container for the deepest work, the biggest transformations and let me connect with the most wonderful women. Getting paid to travel and do work that impacts deeply- what’s not to love!!! Since then, Anne (my retreat holistic therapist partner) and I have hosted over 18 retreats in Scotland and in Spain. The themes and content has evolved as my business has evolved, but the premise is the same- providing a world class experience that transforms people’s lives spectacularly. Here are some of my top tips for creating, planning and launching a sell out retreat of your own. (Of course- do your own research on everything you need and put these thoughts through the filter of your own business, background and professional requirements).
1. CREATE A SIGNATURE RETREAT THAT IS UNIQUELY YOU
Develop a Signature Retreat that stands out from the crowd. How?
Create and share a retreat programme and THEME that is UNIQUELY YOU. In my coaching programmes I call this the YOU-Turn®. Taking the time to go within and design a concept around something you truly stand for, truly believe in and that you are passionate about sharing.
I have coached clients who now do Yoga Retreats, Writing Retreats, Nutritional Retreats, Fitness Retreats, Juicing Retreats, Entrepreneurial Retreats- the list is endless. My own Living Intentionally Retreats are women only spaces to help gorgeous women create a life and a business they love. Built around my YOU-turn mindset model and my Big 6 Business Model- bringing all the best bits of my background- physiotherapy, leadership, coaching, business, nurturing, spirituality. There is NOTHING else like it!! I deliver the retreat with my friend Anne – and together we create the perfect mind and body space. When you create something with LOVE and PASSION- then the sell-out success follows- because it is not about looking to gain, but in starting with what YOU Uniquely have to give. It is amazing once you start to write it down, what you will build.
2. MARKET EARLY
Make marketing and selling your retreat a key priority. Start this at the earliest opportunity. Focus on 2 key areas:
1) A clear message to take to your market
2) A social media/marketing strategy for your retreat
Craft a clear message and call to action for the type of people you would love to work with. This short exercise below will help you develop a clear sales paragraph. If you don’t have an audience- make this your priority before you launch.
3. SET YOUR PRICE
Setting your price links into so many areas:
Mindset and what you are currently charging. Number of days you will run your retreat.
What you will include in the cost. Whether you currently have a following, a group, a tribe at a certain pay point? You most certainly want to consider all your out-going costs as a basis and then on top of that what you want to earn but the over-arching factor to consider when setting a price is not the hours or the cost you will put in but the RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI), the TRANSFORMATION people will get out of the retreat. Consider your numbers, consider all your costs (time, venue, food, supplies, travel, insurance, spending) and then factor in ROI.
Then SET YOUR PRICE PER PERSON.
Your ROI- an office space like this AND being PAID to do what you love!!
4. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
This is the fun part- choosing where to go. I discovered my first villa from a picture while surfing the internet. On seeing that image, I immediately knew I wanted to take women on retreat there. I had never been to that part of Spain- or knew anyone there- but it called out to me. You may already have an idea of a location and a venue. Is it nearer to home or further away? Does the location and venue match the theme and offer you have chosen for your signature retreat. Wellness and fitness may need something quite different from business or corporate. Create a board on Pinterest, a collage on your wall, a picture folder in your phone. Time to get visual.
Questions to consider….
Country or Town?
Home or Away?
Distance from airport, train station, transport?
Catering or not?
Size? Single rooms or shared?
Low end to high end facilities?
Are you able to check it out in person?
And the crucial next step- how it links to step 5……
5. TERMS & CONDITIONS AND INSURANCE
It’s crucial to consider what will be included in the T&C’s for your retreats and that clients are aware of these before they buy. Please seek legal advice if you need this for your retreat and remember that all retreats need bespoke consideration of T&C’s AND insurance cover. Both on your part as the provider and in what you mat expect your clients to cover for themselves. This part is not as scary as it sounds. It is about paying due diligence. Things to consider (but not inclusive) are terms and conditions on refunds, insurance cover and requirements, professional liability and insurance and what is included and what is not in the cost. This will vary depending on whether your clients are booking accommodation directly with the provider or through you and also whether things like meals and excursions are included in the retreat. Investigate and apply what you need to put in place for each retreat you deliver. It is also crucial that you are aware of terms and conditions for any rental property you use and sign up to- with key areas to consider to include cancellation policy and insurance cover. Attention to detail is vital and will provide legal cover, peace of mind and clarity to your clients and to you.
6. PROGRAMME PLAN
Choosing and planning the content and balance of your days is the final crucial step in delivering the WOW factor. In presenting a programme that sells itself in the future, through word of mouth. I use a combination of daily exercise and energy balance, personal and business coaching, group conversations, daily holistic therapies (the treatment couch sits beside the pool) and a special evening event within a five day period, to create something truly MAGICAL. Combined with sun, pool and excursions to nearby beaches, shops and restaurants in the evening- the variety of busy and rest, and nature and nurture is the perfect combination. Consider some of the elements you need to include and begin to plan out your days with a variety of options.
Think how this supports delivery of your retreat content and aims. Consider how much value you can pack in and how much down time you want to add. You may find for YOUR theme that you need a very different programme but with a venue like this from my latest retreat it is good to factor in plenty pool time.
Final words- I speak to a lot of people who would love to take the leap into hosting a retreat but don’t take the action. Take the leap. You’ll love it. Send me a postcard!!!
Our 2020 retreats are SOLD OUT but if you want to get on to the waiting list for 2021 you can drop me a message to get onto our waiting list HERE
And if you are looking for some help to develop your own retreat book a call to discuss my “Done With You” service HERE