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Know Your Risk Management

By: Sallie Deitz
Posted: June 2, 2009, from the June 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 9 of 12

Janet D’Angelo, president of J. Angel Communications and the author of Spa Business Strategies: A Plan for Success (Milady Publishing, 2005), has many useful tips for new and existing businesses engaging in the practice of marketing and advertising.

She says, “When it comes to marketing, creating a name and logo is the first order of business in branding a salon or spa’s identity. This is a task most spa owners take great pride in, but it is important for small-business owners to understand the legalities involved. This generally includes registering your business name at both the state and local levels. You should also check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to be sure you are not infringing upon the trademark rights of another business. Unwittingly copying the design or name of another business can get you into trouble even if that other business has not registered a trademark. All of this can be confusing to the new business owner, so it is always best to seek expert legal advice in these matters.”

Additionally, D’Angelo recommends, “Spa owners should be aware of any restrictions or requirements when it comes to advertising name brand products and patented techniques. Most manufacturers and developers are eager to showcase their products and are often happy to support you in your efforts; however, when it comes to representing their wares, they may require the use of certain trademark symbols or language. Marketing professionals take extra care to research these facts before placing them in media outlets. If you are creating your own advertising materials or relying on media personnel to create a design, be sure to investigate these important items yourself. While media reps are often happy to assist you in creating an ad, the ultimate responsibility for content is yours.”

D’Angelo makes a great case for doing the preliminary homework it takes to front-load risk management details in a business plan. Furthermore, the importance of enlisting the help of qualified people who know how to do the research ahead of an important launch date for a business or product is essential.

Seek good council

As skin care specialists, it is important to have a diverse and comprehensive support team composed of professional members with whom relentless study is a common theme. You need people around you who are current on rules and regulations, laws, procedures and education, as well as those with whom you may have a confidential discussion.