Amanda Al-Masri recently joined the Hutchinson Consulting team in our spa and wellness consulting division, where she leads all concept design, spa/wellness programming, financial guidance, owner’s representation and more. Here, she talks about being part of the Hutchinson family and provides insight into why tapping into our spa consulting team can set your company up for success.
You’ve returned to consulting after several years away as a corporate spa lead. What drew you back and to Hutchinson Consulting, in particular?
I never had a doubt I would return to consulting, and joining Hutchinson’s practice was a perfect fit. In general, I love the diversity of consulting and the opportunity to work with a wide range of clients, all of whom have unique needs. But I also missed working with a team. Hutchinson’s bench of talent is deep, dynamic, and highly respected, and I feel honored to have joined their ranks. But I think the most compelling reason for joining Hutchinson was their sterling reputation—they are not only well-respected, but they have incredible integrity and impact on the industry. I couldn’t wait to be a part of that and to continue to build on the strong foundation already laid.
Who is best positioned to benefit from consulting support?
I’ve always believed in the maxim, focus your energy on the things you do best, and allow others to do the same. In many businesses, this means staying true to core competencies and seeking external support when a need for subject matter expertise arises.
Consultants provide this subject matter expertise, and while ROI can be calculated differently for every project, the overall dynamics are as follows: the optimal result, the most efficiently.
There is no single “type” of client in our practice: Hutchinson works with large corporations and fledgling startups, and projects run the gamut–from point-of-view and concept work, to design support and financial, operational, strategic guidance. We engage with complex, multi-year projects and provide ad hoc hourly support. Clients often come back to us at different points of the same project. We also welcome new clients daily (many of whom are referrals from our existing client base) from a variety of industries. But no matter the size or complexity of the project, we excel at helping clients zero in on their objectives for our services, to ensure their investment yields the best possible results.
Why is Hutchinson’s consulting practice unique in the landscape of wellness consulting?
First, the amount of in-house talent is unreal! Collectively, the team has hundreds of years of experience in myriad facets of the hospitality industry. What I believe is most compelling to our clients is that we get our expertise from having “done it”. We are not career consultants. Everyone has had incredible professional experience that they bring to bear as a single consulting entity. And the whole of all that talent is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Second, clients stay on for years, taking advantage of Hutchinson’s many interconnected businesses. For example, we may create a concept for a destination spa, build out its brand platform and marketing strategy, oversee the project’s design and development stage, provide pre-opening support, and lead their executive recruiting ongoing—all under a single roof. That level of continuity and expertise simply does not exist elsewhere.
What would you say to a company or individual considering consulting services?
As we go through economic cycles, we often see consulting demand ebb and flow. Looking at consulting as a luxury when proverbial “belts are tightened” has always struck me as counter intuitive. Though in many cases consultants do lighten the load on teams, allowing experts to do what they do best ensures the best outcomes and minimizes costly errors when there’s the least room for error.
Regardless, it’s hard to conceive of a company that wouldn’t benefit from external support at some point in its lifecycle. And if you have an inkling that this may be just such a time, we always recommend reaching out. The best first step is always an exploratory call. These calls allow both parties to assess need and fit. Hutchinson truly enjoys getting to know you and your needs during these calls, and our aim is to get to the heart of what you need, and what we can do to provide that support.
Because we trade on our integrity and repeat clientele, you can be sure we’re scoping and pricing services conservatively. And we always ensure we have the right expert positioned to support each project. This level of trust, integrity and flexibility is a hallmark of Hutchinson, but also how we recommend you assess any potential consulting partner.