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Technology Buyer Beware

Carol and Rob Trow October 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
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You cannot open a professional publication, attend a trade show or go a week without a salesperson, client or even television talk show host touting the latest and greatest cosmetic technological innovation these days. And one of the greatest challenges to the skin care professional is that you can now find these devices on the market in a myriad of forms: for use by physicians only; for use by skin care professionals with or without a physician on-site; and the fastest growing category, for home use.

Heeding regulations

First and foremost, when considering equipment and techology for the spa, check to see what your state allows you to use based on your license, as this can be a moving target. Technology that was once the province of only professionals may soon be on the market for home-use, and staying up-to-date on the rules and regulations is essential. Log on to to learn more about each state’s specifications, as well as to find contact information for each state’s licensing board.

The landscape is littered with devices and technology that have been the “newest and best” thing to acquire, and many professional skin care practices have gone under due to a lack of capitalization coupled with spending too much on equipment. It can easily create an insurmountable debt burden and financial drain on a spa.

Serious questions

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Technological Knowledge

Cheryl Whitman, founder and CEO of Beautiful Forever Medical and Spa Business Consulting, an esthetic business consulting firm, offers this list of issues that should be addressed when evaluating new technology for your practice.

  • Develop a budget and marketing blueprint.
  • Invest in staff training. There is no such thing as too much training.
  • Implement incentive programs for your staff that reward production and revenue generation.
  • Know your competition, as well as what they offer and charge for similar services.
  • Set pricing with your clientele and region in mind.
  • Brand your practice and yourself.
  • Create a niche for yourself and your practice.
  • Survey your clients to learn what they are looking for so you can then add this to your menu of offerings.
  • Stay up-to-date on all trends and technologies.
  • Be sure you are compliant with state and federal regulations.
  • Come up with your own questions and concerns. The above list is meant only as a catalyst to start you thinking.

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