Prize provided by:

Skin Inc Video Education

One lucky respondent to this month's Vocal Point question will receive free registration for the Physiology of the Skin course from Skin Inc. Video Education, a $149 value! Based on the beloved book by Peter T. Pugliese, MD and Zoe Draelos, MD, this 4-lesson course will arm you with the knowledge you need to better serve your clients.

Note: Winners will be chosen by random drawing and will be notified by e-mail. Prize will be sent directly from the sponsor. Winners are only eligible once every 12 months. All decisions of the editor are final.

Vocal Point Survey

The results are in! Here's what you had to say about our question from June 2010.

The Vocal Point responses have not been edited, and are posted as they were originally submitted. The opinions expressed in these responses are not necessarily those of www.SkinInc.com or Skin Inc. magazine.

How does your spa handle pay scales for therapists?

This month's Vocal Point Survey winner!My spa has several pay scales to meet the needs and desires of each individual therapist. We have commission-based pay and depending on how much the therapist can contribute as far as equipment and product, we offer from 50-50% commission to 70-30% commission. If we supply all product they receive 50-50%, and 70-30%, if the therapist has their own equipment and purchases the products used for services. We think that the scale that best fits the therapists' individual needs is the best way to keep our therapists happy and stress-free in order to best serve our clients, which are essentially the individual therapists' clients as much as our spas'. You have a happy therapist, and you have happy clients!
- Tracy Harding, Owner/esthetician, The Green Apple Day Spa & Waxing Studio, Twin Falls, ID
We offer a contract basis 50/50%. We provide all supplies, except oils.
- Rebecca Pappas, Owner, Radiance Medspa, Woodbury, MN
Our salon gives a 50% commission on all services done by a therapist or stylist. I purchase the supplies needed, and they do the work they specialize in.
- Melanie Ullman, Owner/Stylist, Pure Bliss Salon & Spa, Lewes, DE
For estheticians, the pay scale is commission: 20% on product sales, 47% on services with a $2 product fee per client.
- Cynthia Wenzel, Esthetician/ Spa Director, Clark Richard Salon, Brookfield, WI
I have been an esthetician for 30 years. Throughout the years, I have had several employees, and I mistakenly kept with the old 45% of services and 10% commission on sales. I wondered why in the world I never got ahead and felt like I was doing all the work while they had their paid vacations. For several years now, I am the sole esthetician and what I have learned from this, finally, is that you must pay per performance. There are no magic busses that dump people out at your front door wanting services, and your staff needs to step up to the plate and help bring people in. Also, after doing the math, the 10% commission is really a 20% commission. If something costs you $5 and you sell it for $10, and you pay a 10% commission, that $1 is really 20% of the $5 that is left after you take out your cost of goods. If you have a 35% overhead, well, hello! So spa owners need to wake up to this, don't wait too long to implement a pay-per-performance scale. Explain the true realities to your staff. Your staff needs to produce in time and retail sales.
- Erica Erickson, Owner, Erica's Skin Care Center, Englewood, CO
We have a base hourly rate. A requested appointment gives an additional $5-per-hour bonus. After six months, the therapist is reviewed. If they have averaged a 10% monthly sales volume, they will receive a $1 per hour raise. This continues every six months until they reach $18.50 per hour. They also get a percentage of sales, starting at 10%.
- Linda Koeberle, Owner, Koeberle's Day Spa, Parker, CO
Some of our therapists are on a 60/40% and some rent their room by the month.
- Dottie Lively, Owner, Head to Heal Day Spa`, Penn Valley, CA
I used to hire them as employees, but have found that I can save money in payroll taxes by adding them on as subcontrators. The commission they are paid is based on experience. Usually on the 35-45% range.
- Cindi Wanta, Owner, Oasis Day Spa, Mosinee, WI
My spa has several pay scales to meet the needs and desires of each individual therapist. We have commission-based pay and depending on how much the therapist can contribute as far as equipment and product, we offer from 50-50% commission to 70-30% commission. If we supply all product they receive 50-50%, and 70-30%, if the therapist has their own equipment and purchases the products used for services. We think that the scale that best fits the therapists' individual needs is the best way to keep our therapists happy and stress-free in order to best serve our clients, which are essentially the individual therapists' clients as much as our spas'. You have a happy therapist, and you have happy clients!
- Tracy Harding, Owner/esthetician, The Green Apple Day Spa & Waxing Studio, Twin Falls, ID
Spa employees need to understand that with such large overhead and high commissions, spa owners can literally work 24/7 and still make a meager living. Meanwhile, technicians enjoy short work weeks and nearly 50% of the revenue they bring in. It should change; employees should understand that receiving even 35% doesn’t necessarily leave the spa owner with a profit of 65%. Owners need to have a private, one on one conversation with their employees and explain this.
- Dudley Burns IV, Director of Business Development, Ms. Sarah's Creations of Beauty, San Francisco, CA