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 2011.

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 or Skin Inc. magazine.

What steps should a skin care professional take to move up to a spa management position?

This month's Vocal Point Survey winner!Just as you would in any position, if you want to move up in your career, it's simple: Educate yourself, take the initiative, and don't be afraid to work hard. Read more, ask questions, take a class or two-whatever it takes. Your willingness to do all these things says a lot about who you are, and make you an asset wherever you work. An employer will naturally want to promote you when he or she knows they can depend on you to be there, get the job done, and care enough to do it with excellence. Show off your customer-service skills! In this business, do everything with a smile, promoting the goals of the spa, always. Finally, don't be afraid to let someone know what your goals are. A little self-promotion never hurts anyone as long as you back it up with substance.
- Lori K. Helmuth, Owner/Esthetician, Bloom Esthetics, Clovis, CA
Continued education shows the current management that you are serious about your career. Let upper management know what your goals are. If you have no management experience, training in that area is also desired.
- Carrie Griffin, Owner/Esthetician/Massge Therapist, Slice of Heaven Day Spa, Campbell, CA
I would look for someone who is willing to expand on their spa knowledge by taking courses that would help in product knowledge and management skills. Having a positive attitude and incredible people skills is also a must!
- Cindi Wanta, Owner, Oasis Day & Wellness Spa, Mosinee, WI
I think anyone in any skin care professional position should always work as though the business was their own. Always follow protocol and dress code and ethics accordingly. Be courteous and professional with coworkers and clients at all times. When you respect a place of business as you would your own, it shows a sign of strength and respect and leadership. If a person feels they would like a management position they need to make it clear to their supervisor or business owner and ask what steps they may take to get there. Also show interest in learning the rolls of the manager position and and take the extra time and initiative before and after or if possible, during your shifts to learn these duties and follow under someone else to learn them correctly. Also be sure this is a role that you want to pursue and are ready to stand up to. They should be able to understand to keep their roll as management separate from any other spa professionals that they may have befriended and worked beside of prior to the move up, in fairness of all spa employees. I think professionalism and willingness to learn and be a fair manager is key!
- Nicole Terry, Owner/Operator, Smooth Body Waxing, Raceland, KY
Be a self-starter and lead by example. The Salon owner and manager will take notice if you are willing to pay attention to the latest trends, promote yourself and work hard to be organized! Also, asking questions is always appreciated. If you don't know something, ASK...we are always learning in this industry!
- Amber Jansen, Manager, Shanti Salon, Newburyport, MA
Take initiative when you see something needing to be done. Be a leader. Read/study about and take extra classes to learn about new techniques and procedures to keep yourself up to date. Stand out in you field.
- Marilyn Dahl, electrologist/esthetician, DahlFaces, Salinas, CA
Continuing education is most important. Take classes on management, find a good mentor in the field, and keep abreast of skin care topics and managing a spa business.
- Monica Morrison, Owner/Esthetician, SpaTacular Skin, Middleton, WI
Various areas to focus on as mentioned below. Each area has sub areas to focus. These skills will help a skin care professional to move to a spa management position. * Presentation Skills * Acquire/upgrading technical and professional knowledge * Business Management Skills * People Management Skills * Financial Management including planning/budgeting/management * Materials or Inventory Management Skills * Customer relationships Management skills * Advance machines/equipments knowledge * Keep updated with industry knowledge
- Kirankumar Shinde, Owner/Skincare professional, Kashish Salon, Santa Clara, CA
Read all the helpful articles in the Skin Inc magazine! Also, webinars are very good to familiarize yourself with skin care products. Most skin care companies offer this free. Visit websites. Learn something new every day. Skin care is advancing all the time.
- Cora Jaques, Owner, Radiant You Laser & Anti-Aging Center, Eugene , OR
Solving problems by thinking ahead. Provide customer service daily, be early, positive and cheerful attitude daily, and of course meeting sales goals.
- Laura Subik, Esthetician, Suebee, Wilmington, NC
These steps include availing various advance and continuous education to learn more about the modalities and strategies on spa operations, attending trade shows to learn the newest technologies and equipments in the market. Attaining a good management training is helpful to ensure readiness and effectively in handling employees. Practicing an excellent customer service will make a confident spa manager. Attending symposiums about products and researches and meeting product representatives will make a knowledgeable spa manager. Having a huge access to the web will also beneficial in making own researches. And also being aware of all the possible opportunities in the market will make a skin care professional ahead of the rest.
- Racquel Munoz, Esthetician, Be Well, Vallejo, CA
Take initiative. Maybe take some marketing or business management courses online or at night to set yourself apart and above everyone else.
- Melissa Altenburg, Owner, Lashionista's, Stoughton, WI
First off, I think they should show their motivation, determination and ability by being the best employee they can be. Next, I would go to as many training classes as possible whether it's a management class, sales and marketing class or a skin care class through their product company. I would also recommend they read everything they can about the industry, management and working with people.
- Jill Folsom, Owner/Therapist, Health Through Harmony, Zephyr Cove, NV
I have been in the skin care industry, for many moons, to be exact, end of 83. What I have found in all the years I have been practicing, the more you learn, the better you become, I have been extremely fortunate, I have been attending the Face and Body & Spa conferences and classes, I love doing research for new product, new manufacturers, new equipment. I spend hours just thinking of the wonderful products, and the results that I can bring to my clientele, by the way, some of those ladies have been with me since beauty school. In a nutshell education, education, education is the key to success.
- Esther F Torres, Owner/Esthetician, Au Natural Skin Rejuvenating Center, Oakland, CA
Continue to learn. Read, take classes, become an expert in your field. And run your business as if it was 'your business'. Taking ownership shows you care. And always look for new treatments, products and retail offerings to suggest to the spa owner. Busy owners don't have time to do that.
- Tonya Atkinson, Esthetician, impres Salon Spa, Interlochen, MI
Be on time. Be well groomed. Take continuing education classes. Believe in the products your salon sells and let clients see your enthusiasm. Let that be the way you sell a lot of product. Familiarize yourself with all aspects of the salon, from billing, to ordering, to front desk, and cheerfully take on all the jobs with equal contentment.
- Judith Weiler, Owner/Esthetician, MoonShadow Aesthetics, Stow, MA
One of the best ways to stand out from other candidates is to constantly try to think out of the box when attracting new clients to the spa. As a leader, you will be expected to come up with new marketing ideas when the old ones no longer work. You have to be able to stay ahead of the game - being abreast of the latest treatments, cosmetic medical procedures and marketing those things (or the alternatives you have to offer) at your spa. Make sure you keep a log of your ideas, what worked and why, and include actual numbers/data for results to present in interviews. For example, the esthetics department at my spa is in the building stage and was a little slow. The massage therapists are always busy, so I approached one of the busiest therapists to ask her clients if they wanted a facial cleanse/moisturizer after their massage. In this 10 minute session, I did a full skin analysis and asked them about their concerns using more advanced serums where necessary. The result? Half of her clients booked a facial with me, I sold $200 worth of skin care, and one month later I was promoted to spa manager. I believe I secured my new position was when she asked me, "What new techniques would you bring to the spa to attract new clients?" I not only had ideas, but I had actual sales numbers to show that I knew how to bring in business. She thought it was such a great idea that she is implementing it in the other spas in our region.
- Gretchen Wilson, Spa Coordinator, Equinox - The Spa, Chicago, IL
1. Know everything there is to know about your practice and be able to do it well. 2. Be able to show your organizational skills to your clients, peers and staff. 3. Be friendly, assertive, and accountable for your actions. 4. Know your clients and community well. Ask them how their last treatment was and always follow up with a thank you phone call or note. 5. Be flexible and creative. Have a back up plan. If a client doesn't show up you can still fill the gap. 6. Read up and attend the latest skin seminars. Always know what is the latest trend and know your ingredients! 7. Dress professionally, have poise and self confidence. 8. Pretend the Spa is your home and keep it clean. 9. Treat your peers with respect but at the same time if you need to intercept when you know that they may be doing something incorrectly, pull them politely to the side and let them know what they are doing wrong and address this matter later as this is your chance to educate them. 10. Don't gossip. 11. Be approachable and open to new ideas. 12. Be a leader but also a team player. 13. When there is an emergency or the spa is busy and may be running behind, DONT PANIC. If clients see staff running around they will sense this and increase their anxiety when they should be there to relax. 14. CALL clients to give them a heads up if they may have to wait due to some unforseen circumstance so that they can alter their schedule. 13. Most important have a sense of humor and love what you are doing!
- Sharilyn Butteling, Esthetician/RN, Aloha Aesthetics at Aloha Clinic, Lahaina, HI
For me, the most important factor is consistency in managing all facets of the spa, without partiality, negativity, or undue, random consequence; rewards for and recognition of outstanding employees is important for moral, and this gives everyone equal opportunity to improve their service and selling skills. Utilize on going one-on-one training, group discussion, and collaboration to bring everyone to a higher standard of performance. Willingness, communication, and appreciation produce incredible results.
- Fran Allison, Front Desk Coordinator, Facelogic Spa, Broomfield, CO
Just as you would in any position, if you want to move up in your career, it's simple: Educate yourself, take the initiative, and don't be afraid to work hard. Read more, ask questions, take a class or two-whatever it takes. Your willingness to do all these things says a lot about who you are, and make you an asset wherever you work. An employer will naturally want to promote you when he or she knows they can depend on you to be there, get the job done, and care enough to do it with excellence. Show off your customer-service skills! In this business, do everything with a smile, promoting the goals of the spa, always. Finally, don't be afraid to let someone know what your goals are. A little self-promotion never hurts anyone as long as you back it up with substance.
- Lori K. Helmuth, Owner/Esthetician, Bloom Esthetics, Clovis, CA
One should educate themselves on the day to day functions of the business. They should also take courses/classes that will help in the business aspect of how a spa works. Leadership and management course will benefit working with customers and personal.
- Michelle Silva, Esthetican, Michelle's Skin Care, Sacramento, CA
The person should do advanced training in areas to benefit position. Said person should also educated themselves on the importance of customer service and familiarize themselves with the product line and the people they will be working with. NO favoritism.
- Jennifer M, Owner/Esthetician, Mind~Body~Soul Day Spa, Avon, NY
Before answering this question, first ask youself if you want the headache and to make less money. I primed myself for a spa management position for years. Went to college for 4 years, went to esthetic school, educated myself in accounting, products, product sells, treatments, what works and what dosesn't. Went to shows, attended many conferences, really educated myself in every sense of the word. Finally landed, what I thought was the best job as a spa director of a medical spa. Then the headaches begins. You are responsible for everything, ordering, accounting, marketing, employees, clients, complaints, making sure the spa is run well. Is the spa clean, are the clients happy. What happens when you have no show employees or they call in sick at the last minute and clients are waiting. What happen when your nurse is late and the clients are staring daggers at you because they are on time. After you get your employees trained and have spend a boat load of time and money to get them there. They quit and go in to business for themselves. Don't get me wrong I love my job as a spa director, but there are many factors of the job that have daily challenge. Seven day a week challenge, you are never off when you are the boss. Then lastly, the money, although I got a regular pay check. I was a salary employee and I worked about 10 to 12 hours a day. I went from making about $75.00 to $100.00 an hour as an esthetician. To about $25.00 an hour as a spa director, barely livable. I recently went back to estheics. I'm working less, making more money, have more time for family and friends. I'm so much less stressed and happier. I finally landed that job I had primed myself and I was very good at my job. I had made a 150% increase in business for my employer, but for me it was a nightmare for my family life and lifestyle. You can really only rely on yourself for a job well done and as for team work, that sounds great, but in a world of turn over and what can you do for me. My dream job is now being the best esthetician I can for my clients and myself.
- Cheryl Atkins, Owner, Napa Valley Essentials, Yountville, CA
In order to move up to a spa management position, it is important for a skin care professional to begin with the knowledge and practice of sanitization and sterilization. The second step would be to educate your staff with the knowledge of each individual's skin care needs. It isn't just black and white protocol. There are reasons for a skin care survey and an experienced esthetician needs to read the survey and analyze the skin properly. Sometimes, a client may misdiagnose their skin type and must rely on an experienced esthestician for incorporating the proper protocol/procedure to aid in the client's concern. Third step would be having the knowledge of professional peels and each indication and contraindication. It is important to communicate with your staff , have various cases and infuse them with knowledge of new and upcoming "products/ingredients" on the market and what will work for their concern. Keeping clients informed so they can inform the clients, where the clients will be confident and rely on your expertise to pursue and purchase. Keeping your staff informed so they can relay and feel confident with their advice truly know that they are doing the best they can for making their client confident, and happy.
- Lynn Cutolo, Esthestician, A Spa Above, Staten Island, NY
Continue to stay educated about all the new skin care options that are out in today's market. If possible, take any available classes that are offered to stay up to date with any new treatments or cosmetics being used.
- Cladeth Powell, Owner, Beauty R Us, Columbia, MD
I would highly recommend that they further their education and familiarize themselves with the workings of the spa. To be an effective manager, you should first learn as much as you can about the company you work for and the brands/services you sell and provide. Talk with service providers/ brand managers to gain insight.
- Desteni Bisio, Esthetician , Skin Care by Desteni at Kalay Zoay Salon, Visalia, CA
Depending on each state's requirements, first and foremost, attain the proper license for this position. Second, take a course in conflict resolution as there will be many instances, either with employees or clients, where this will be very valuable. Third, education is key to staying up to date with new procedures. Take classes that companies offer to keep information current. Fourth, be a good listener and forget the ego. Profit and pleasing clients is why we are at work. It is also very important that your employees are happy working with you as their manager. Your employees are the moneymakers and they will stay motivated only if they trust you, see that you value them, and the incentives are there for them to work hard. If they like you, great...but when they RESPECT you, then you have won half the battle.
- Jennifer Fitzpatrick, Esthetician/Owner, The Zen Den, Baltimore, MD
One should become more knowledgeable and certifications in medical and management classes,or having a mentor. Advanced education is best.
- Cathleen Titus, Owner, Cici's, Monte Sereno, CA
Bring in customers, use quality products and refer with house calls or office calls. Follow-up with samples; knowing two or more languages help a lot; carry business cards and stay up to date with techniques and add a little extra effort in service; longer scalp massage or lip treatment.
- Evelyn Garcia, Facial Specialist, Facial Home Spa, San German , Puerto Rico
To become a business manager, I believe that it is very important to have knowledge and experience of that position. It is also important to have experience as an esthetician. 1.- Became an esthetician and work in that field to gain experience. 2.- Work as an assistant spa manager to get experience. 3.- Obtain business administration degree to get knowledge
- Muneca Sutherland, Owner/Operator, Muneca's Spa, Roseville, CA
Never lose sight of being a contributing and productive team member! We have internal clients (fellow employees) and external clients (our clients), and treat all with respect and kindness. Know every aspect about every area of service for the guest in the spa. From customer service, to inventory control, risk management and retention rate versus attrition rate. Obtain a manager's license, especially if operational management experience is not sufficient. Always be the best no matter what, and educate your clients. Continued education and stay current with trends and new discoveries.
- Belvuia Bumgardner, Esthetician, Hausfelds Salon & Spa, Springboro, OH