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Profitability--Proven Steps to Ensuring a Healthy Bottom Line

By: Melinda Minton
Posted: March 26, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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When staff is appropriately trained, the timing of delivery of treatments is also more precise, allowing for scheduling to be neatly fit so that time wastage, room use and facility use is all more efficient, measurable and easily planned.

Retail reluctance?

To not sell retail is a sin—it is that simple. Consumers can go anywhere for cleansers, moisturizers, color cosmetics and the like in skin care products. However, people choose the spa environment not only for the purposes of relaxation, but also for the education and expertise promised by spa technicians. A department store attendant typically isn’t licensed in esthetics and can’t look at the client’s skin as an esthetician would, as a matter of course during a facial treatment. So, logically, home care is a natural conclusion to a professional treatment. Home care maintains the professional results achieved while at the spa, and it is an expectation of the spa client and a responsibility of the esthetician.

In terms of profitability, retail sales should be a dollar-for-dollar endeavor. A $150 esthetic treatment should naturally produce a $150 esthetic product sale. By way of example, a $150 sale is typically two to three items, a simple formula for the conclusion of a treatment. A cleanser, moisturizer and perhaps a scrub as a sale after a facial is not a hard task to accomplish.

The kindest cuts

Cutting corners is a way to pare down expenses in areas where spending is out of hand and unnecessary. Certainly such cuts shouldn’t impact your clients, so when thinking about cutting your budget, a couple of simple principles must come into play. Will the cut touch, impact or in any way affect your client? Will the cut impact retention, recruiting or upselling? And will the cut impact the overall quality of service offered at your facility?

With that said, what kind of cutbacks are prudent? Laundry usage is a classic, particularly if you send your laundry out to be cleaned. Re-examine your spa protocols to cut out the number of towels, sheets and the like you use. Advise staff members to use rags for cleanup of rooms in order to cut down on linen usage.