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Survive and Thrive
By Laura Root and James Mason
Posted: September 25, 2009, from the October 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
page 2 of 7
The more you educate clients on why they need professional services, home care products and treatment series, the more likely they are to follow your recommendations, and now is the time to ramp up those efforts as much as possible. Give free seminars on skin care. Develop working protocols on product needs and services to guide vendors. Be prepared to demonstrate conclusively why treatment series are more effective than one-off treatments. Provide clients with articles and additional information sources that convey your message, and give them out at the slightest provocation.
Also, educate both yourself and your staff members. It is common to want to pull back on education, travel and related activities when revenues start to falter. However, this is the best possible time to get frequent, consistent and up-to-date training and education. It also represents an opportunity to get vendors more involved with your spa, and many vendors can provide excellent, inexpensive resources. It also represents an opportunity for vendors to “demonstrate your worth” to them. Vendors who take a backseat and do not proactively work with you to build your business may not be worthy of your continuing consideration.
Finally, this is definitely a time to attend as many trade shows and conferences as possible to make sure you are current on available technology, product innovations and other leading-edge features that can help you distinguish your spa from your competition. While there is some expense involved in show attendance, you will likely find you come away with far more in value than the dollar-for-dollar expense. In particular, you should take advantage of any education or training programs that are made available to you. Even one newly learned technique can raise your skills profile dramatically, and learning one new thing about clients or customer service can massively impact your bottom line.
More training offers benefits for both your staff members and your clients. First, invest in training your employees. The more skilled and the better educated an esthetician is, the better service that employee will provide. Also, the broader your skill set, both individually and collectively, the more different types of clients your spa can serve, and the easier it is to differentiate your business.
Second, focus on broadcasting your skills in the community. Speak at local events, join the speakers’ bureau of various local organizations, give lunchtime seminars, and, if you have the space, offer your spa as a classroom space. Also, don’t overlook the benefits of working professionals speaking to esthetic students, and understand that, in many cases, this knowledge can also be beneficial to schools’ instructors.