In this issue of Let’s Talk Shop, I want to talk about the importance of creating seasonal specials. And, I have just one bit of advice on this topic: think outside the box! Get creative! Do not limit yourself to offering a random discount on an in-room treatment. If it is fall, try and think beyond a pumpkin peel. Go a little further, have a…
One of the more exciting, yet challenging, tasks of any solo aesthetician is in deciding which services to include on the spa menu. This is an opportunity to be creative, selecting services you especially enjoy performing and those you are most competent in. For the solo aesthetician who once worked for an employer, the right to do only preferred services can be a cherished freedom…

Round 2: Brand Conditioning

Written by Delilah Matos
Just like we condition our minds and bodies, our businesses and the brands we create are no different. In fact, the two often go hand in hand. As a business owner and entrepreneur, it is not easy to stay 100 percent on top of your game all of the time. What is important to understand is that consistent conditioning and reconditioning is what counts. It…

5 Tips for a Savvy Marketing Calendar

Written by Barry Eichner and Jenni Nagle
You’re running late to work and, on the way to the spa, you realize that you haven’t created this month’s newsletter. Now, in the stress and chaos of getting to work, you have to come up with something on the fly. Rather than doing something creative and fun, you decide to offer clients 10 percent off retail if they book a facial. “Boooorrrrriiiiinnnnnnggg!” That’s not…
You have surpassed your goal of completing aesthetics school and now hold the coveted “Golden Ticket,” also known as your state license. As you ponder your options, you decide that the classic day spa is where you want to land as a newly minted aesthetics professional. Our focus will be on facilities that offer only skin care and body therapy treatments. Let’s take a look…
Custom skin care is a trend that has gained momentum rapidly over the past decade. Often, skin care is formulated, marketed, and delivered according to basic skin types – oily, dry, sensitive, mature, combination, and so forth. While certain skin symptoms, like dryness or uneven tone and texture, might have similar general causes, how and why those symptoms manifest may vastly differ from person-to-person based…
Running a service business without an effective retention marketing plan is like filling a bucket that has holes in the bottom. A company with a low retention rate will spend too much time and money working on acquisition to make up for lost business. In fact, it costs six times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing customers.1 Furthermore, returning clients…
I ncreasing revenue is important for skin care professionals and their business. Sales are not always skin care professionals’ strongest suit, but incorporating smart marketing strategies can help them and their staff increase revenue by attracting new clients, retaining existing clients, and upselling.
One of the first things I tell attendees at any of my presentations about digital marketing is that it is very similar to dating! Many attendees laugh, a few agree, and some roll their eyes. How can I possibly relate digital media to the complex world of dating? My famous opening line is, “If you’re the kind of person who would take an engagement ring…
Sales are never easy. Torn between the desire to please clients and make money, skin care professionals often appear needy or too aggressive if they do not practice a well thought out selling strategy. How can professionals do that?

Cross-Promotion with Local Businesses

Written by Kelly Richardson
Partnerships, cross-promoting, marketing, and referrals – those words are commonly thrown around in articles and books that focus on building a business, but it is never explained exactly how to do it or who to collaborate with. There are many different types of businesses that skin care professionals can pair with to boost their business. Here are some fresh, new ways to cross-promote with some…
by Mara Shorr, B.S., CAC II-XII and Jay A. Shorr, B.A., MBM-C, CAC I-XII First and foremost, with this article, we want to make one thing clear: this article is not about bashing the abilities or capabilities of one gender over the other when it comes to the cosmetic and aesthetic industry. We know that both genders provide stellar services to clients and are proud…

Creating Memorable Spa Experiences

Written by AC Dotterweich and Justin Dotterweich
Almost everyone has experienced bad service: when they walk into a business, there appears to be no purpose to the chaos. It takes 10 minutes before anyone pays attention or acknowledges them and once the staff does acknowledge them, they are busy apologizing and explaining what should have happened when the guest arrived. This explanation, however, does not accomplish anything – the guest has already…

Bringing Passion To The Spa

Written by Lilliane Caron
Running a successful spa can be incredibly rewarding and profitable, but skin care professionals will need to be prepared to work hard. Professionals will also need to have basic business skills, be quick on their feet, and able to solve curve balls that are thrown at them. Most importantly, keep things as simple as possible and specific to areas of knowledge: there is no need…

4 Ways to Automate Spa Management

Written by Josh McCarter
Most spa owners or managers wish for more time in their day; from checking-in clients and inventory checks to client follow-ups and marketing efforts, there is more than enough work to keep them busy from morning until night. Fortunately, technology for the aesthetics industry continues to evolve and, today, there are a host of smart technologies designed specifically for the spa. Spa owners should take…

Creating a Customized Client Intake Form

Written by Christa Hopson Murray
The client intake form is one of the most important documents clients will fill out while at the spa. Creating the ideal intake form that is tailored to the spa's unique treatments and products takes some thought. The key is not only in the client contact information, which is incredibly important, but also in customizing the form to gather the critical information that relates to…
Great customer service is the cornerstone of any business – keeping clients happy with their services and overall brand will keep them coming back. Customer service now goes well beyond talking to the front desk staff, calling the customer care line, or even sending an e-mail. Customer service lives on social media, which makes it a very visible part of the business' brand.
Social media is one of the most confusing subjects that any spa owner or manager deals with on a regular basis. For many spa owners, the general topic of marketing is overwhelming and digital marketing can be even more confusing. Most spa owners simply do not know what they need to do to maximize their web presence.
Have you ever had the experience of walking into a spa and feeling uneasy? You could have been thinking, "Why am I feeling uncomfortable? What's going on here?" Even if a spa looks great visually, what people experience goes beyond what is seen physically. For example, the spa may or may not be aligned to the cardinal directions, have windows in the east or north,…
In the spa, retail product sales typically contribute between three and 10 percent to gross sales. While it is tempting to focus primarily on the treatments and technology the spa offers, ignoring retail space erodes the bottom line. If the spa is making less than 10 percent of its gross sales from the retail area, the professional is neglecting both the retail space and their…
Welcome to 2017! Are you one of the 53 percent of small businesses that make New Year's resolutions? More than half of business owners say they are more likely to keep business resolutions than personal resolutions. Today's technology makes it easier for spa owners to manage and grow their business without taking time away from the work they love. However, with so many options to…
Owning and operating a day spa is an enormously satisfying career for many men and women. The opportunity to improve the well-being of so many people can be enormously gratifying. Creating a space of serenity and rejuvenation is often a labor of love. However, spa owners and managers are entitled to make a decent living and earn a profit in the process.
Missed opportunities happen even to the best spas. They happen every day and skin care professionals often do not realize how many there are until the missed revenue is more than evident. By minimizing missed opportunities, spa owners can maximize client reach. The process may not feel or be easy at times, but it can be made achievable.

Improving Sales Through Education

Written by Rhonda Allison, L.E., founder and CEO of Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals
 For most people, sales is often perceived as being sold something at all costs, whether it is needed or not. As such, most skin care professionals find selling to be one of the biggest challenges in their business. They become more focused on treatments and less on retail sales.  
Since the initial rush toward opening day spas began in the 1980s, the appeal of this business idea has not lost steam, even if the number of new players has. Skin care professionals, former spa directors, and even ordinary enthusiasts have all invested time and hard cash into beautiful facilities, both large and small, with the hope of becoming a runaway success.
by Mara Shorr, B.S., CAC II-XII and Jay A. Shorr, B.A., MBM-C, CAC I-XII Every year it seems as if the holiday season has arrived out of nowhere. One minute, the start of summer vacation is being celebrated and then, suddenly, jack-o-lanterns are being replaced with evergreens or dreidels. This holiday season, try some spa management tips to make it through the holiday season unscathed.…
Every new business owner aspires for consistent progress on their road to success. The smart spa owner will recognize when the timing is right to seize the opportunity to increase market share and formulate a strategic plan to capture it. Strategic planning using sound business tools will help professionals to achieve their goals.
by Mara L. Shorr and Angelica Pierini The world is a diverse place that allows for the enjoyment of cross-cultural interaction. As a result, skin care professionals must be careful when trying to fit their spa’s culture into a sea of sameness because their demographic makeup greatly affects a number of factors including the methods with which the spa is marketed to clients and how…
The key to upselling and cross-selling is suggesting value-added products and services that truly focus on clients' needs. Most clients do not want to be sold to, but do want to be serviced and are looking for solutions. The reality is that add-on sales do not just happen; they are carefully planned and executed and can result in significant revenue and profit for the spa.

Add-On Services for Added Profit

Written by Erin Lucie, D.N.P.
On a daily basis, skin care professionals are asked about their service offerings. These clients are usually directed to the spa's website or handed a spa menu on a rack card. The client then books an appointment and becomes excited about the service they are receiving. At this point, the client is prepared to spend money, especially since they are spending money on themselves, which…
In today's highly competitive spa industry, success is reliant upon effective marketing with a focus on the client experience. Improving market conditions continue to increase the number of skin care professionals and spas at an average annual rate of 5.5 percent. It is predicted that by 2019, there will be 1.3 million professionals.1 Regardless of whether the skin care professional works alone or owns a large…
The new faces of beauty require fresh messaging and unique marketing methods. Millennials, Baby Boomers, and those who are multiethnic are some of the new faces skin care professionals are likely seeing in their spas. Knowing how to deliver a message that is customized to the unique skin care needs of today's consumers and keeps them coming back is a vital skill that professionals should…
by Mara Shorr, B.S., CAC II-XII and Jay A. Shorr, B.A., MBM-C, CAC I-XII When skin care professionals create their spa's image, they are often convinced that it could not possibly be more perfect. They agonize over every detail they can think of, usually convinced that they have perfected every inch of their brand. Often times, professionals end up realizing that as time passes, their…
Successful spa events are the result of months of preparation. It is not uncommon for an average spa to spend 20 percent of their total marketing budget on events. During these events, clients can enjoy live interactions with other individuals, making them the perfect addition to a spa's engagement marketing strategy. Person-to-person interactions can pull in a prospect for conversion to the sale and upsell…

Going Green: A simple Guide to Social Responsibility in the Spa

Written by Melissa M. Montalvo, co-founder of Pink Horizons Botanical Skin Care
The spa industry has long had the ability to make a positive impact on the planet. There is no better time than now to ‘go green’ in the spa, given the undeniable benefits to consumer health and the environment. Creating a business practice that fosters social responsibility is just as easy as doing the opposite; it simply comes down to choices. Spa professionals are in…

Promote Wellness Through Retail

Written by Jenny Hogan, media director at Marketing Solutions, Inc.
Dramatically boost spa revenue with a simple shift in mindset.A simple shift in focus and mindset will make all the difference in a spa’s revenue potential. According to retailing experts, Tracie Wertz and Bill Barczy, an immediate increase in incremental profit can be achieved by promoting wellness through retail.
When it comes to increasing retail sales in the spa, it is vital for skin care professionals to create a positive customer experience. Creating a delightful experience for the client begins with the manufacturer or distributor, as they are key to increasing retail sales. The distributor must provide topical and educational content in an attractive format and the spa must deliver that content in a…
From using homecare products to a variety of professional treatments, people spend a lot of money to be hair free. Take commercials, for instance, which range from shaving to waxing to homecare lasers. There are even comedic hair removal takes on social media. The message is crystal clear, hair removal is big business! How do professionals tap into this widespread need?

Rev Your Revenues with Retailing The Benefits of Marketing Product in the Spa

Written by Ann McDonnell, president and founder of EcoGenics Active Botanical Skin Care
Chances are that clients leave the spa with their appearance and health improved, a decreased level of stress, and an elevated sense of self-esteem.
How do you make a connection with your clients that goes beyond skin deep? How can they benefit from your talent and guidance beyond the four walls of your treatment room? Most importantly, how do you harness technology rather than letting technology harness you?

Learn What Your Clients Really Want

Written by Monique Enriquez, C.N.H.P.
When it comes to skin care needs and solutions to skin issues, the professional needs to find out what a client actually "wants versus needs." In our industry, the focus will be a skin care product or treatment that is needed to solve a problem that fulfills a want, such as glowing skin. But first, the difference between a want and a need should be…

Top Marketing Techniques for Spas

Written by Rachelle Dupree
Businesses are as individual as people. Each business location and owner has its own idiosyncrasies and methods - one spa's success can be another spa's failure. While there may not be a true top technique for spa marketing, common themes do come into play: research, relationship building, and taking advantage of free online tools.
When choosing which social media platform to utilize for your business, the goal is to pick the one that has the audience that best fits your company. After all, it takes a lot of time and resources to manage social media across all platforms. So it is wise to choose what best works for your business’ needs.
Do you struggle with finding ideas to post on social media? When you do post a status update, do you find it difficult to get viewers to engage? Do you scramble when trying to find visuals and instead post content in a hurry? Consistency seems to be a common thread within the spa industry on social media, but do not lose heart. It is key…
Social media has become highly prevalent with this generation. To implement and make a difference to your business’ revenue, expansion in reach and the impact of brand is dependent on how social media is used as part of the marketing mix.

The Effect of Internet Marketing on the Skin Care Industry

Written by Judith Ferber, founder of Judy Ferber Hungarian Skin Care
What do you think of when you hear the word Groupon? Do you cringe or ask questions? One of my colleagues had a horrified look on her face as I began to explain Internet marketing to her. She exploded, "Groupon? Working for nothing for months?" "There are benefits," I said sheepishly. She groaned and the conversation hit an uncomfortable stop.
How do you market your business in your community? Having your own business/being an entrepreneur can be a very challenging job. You are required to sell yourself and your products, yet nobody really wants to be sold. So, how can you thrive with your business in your community? Here are some simple steps to help you reach your goals.
Spa and salon experts agree: Retailing is critical to success and expertise in this area is often the missing X-factor. Developing retailing skills consists of several parts, the most essential of these being the brands which are represented in your skin care center, salon, or spa. Does the skin care brand you are carrying truly represent your company’s vision at its most inspiring? Hopefully the…

Modalities: Marketing and Beyond

Written by Aliesh Pierce, L.E.
The spa industry is an ever-changing entity. The International Spa Association reports estimates that there were 160 million spa visits in 2012 and reports year-end revenue of $14 billion. A large percentage of that revenue is due to increasing interest in rejuvenating treatments. There are various rejuvenating treatment modalities available for use by aestheticians. In fact, there are so many options that aestheticians may have…
Who is your target market? Moms and daughters? Business workers on a lunch break? Athletic club members? Everyone in your community? Think broadly about your market. How can you expand it and keep current clients coming back? Education. Regardless of whether you are treating men, women, teenagers or seniors, when you educate, you earn your customer’s loyalty and bottom lines are boosted. A loyal clientele…
Successfully running and operating a small business in today’s dynamic world of beauty brands and outlets is no simple feat. Salon owners are tasked with doing it all. Running the day-to-day operations, dealing with staffing issues like turnover, marketing the business, and staying ahead of the latest technologies/techniques to keep your customers looking and feeling their best can be hectic. As a successful salon owner…
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Featured Company

  • Professional Program Insurance Brokerage / PPIB CorpProfessional Program Insurance Brokerage / PPIB...Description: The medical spa industry has been enjoying an explosive growth in both popularity and the number of spas now in operation. This huge growth has led medical spas to now seek insurance for their service needs. Taking into consideration the many services t ...

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AIA Featured School

  • Christine Valmy International School of Esthetics & CosmetologyChristine Valmy International School of...Description: Christine Valmy International School of Esthetics & Cosmetology offers a quality education in the beauty industry, based on the teachings of the Founder of Esthetics in the United States—Ms. Christine Valmy. Ms. Valmy opened her very first school ...