Who You Are
Be passionate about what you do in order to give clients your best and sustain longevity in this competitive field. Identify why you began a career in the skin care business in order to position yourself appropriately. In other words, display what are you interested in offering, whether it is it holistic skin care, massages, organic ingredients, or clinical services. Your preferences are the core value around which your menu will grow. Let your brochure come from the place of who you truly are – it will create your niche and differentiate you from competition.
Begin by Understanding Your Market
When creating your spa menu, it is important to take into consideration your location. Select your target audience based on your environment. Distinguish who you are targeting and determine their age, income, and access to your facility. Also, focus your brochure based on the particular type of spa you run: owner-operated, full-service day spa, destination spa, and so on. Interview your clients to determine what they desire.
Different ethnic populations have different needs from skin care salons. It is important to truly understand the needs of particular populations. For instance, if you are catering to a primarily Hispanic population, you will need to offer more brightening treatments. If you are working in a sunnier part of the country, you will need to offer more protective treatments to shield clients from additional sun exposure.
Research Your Competition
To have a marketable brochure and fully understand your competition, familiarize yourself with your competition's online collateral and website. Visit your competition's business and analyze their offerings and prices. Scroll through their online reviews and pay attention to what clients say they like and dislike about the way they do business. Once you have a full understanding of who your competition is, what they are doing well, and how they represent themselves, you will know what you need to do differently. Do not duplicate your competition – Learn from them to refine your unique and individualized brochure.
Determine if you want to be an all-inclusive spa or if you want to specialize in one particular niche. For instance, do you want to be everything to everybody? If so, a full-service model is the hardest and costliest to manage. If you want to take one fraction of the market, such as eyebrows and waxing, you can specialize at it. Specializing in a specific market may be a wise choice for a novice as the learning curve can be much faster and easier to manage for a small business owner. There are several trends that one can follow. You can open a spa with any of the following focuses: organic, clinical, relaxation, price-based, or ingredient-based.
I recommend sticking to what you are good at and continually growing from it. Seasonal offerings can be incorporated into a menu of specials so that you do not have to re-write your entire brochure every time you want to introduce new changes. You can also consider introducing seasonal offerings and new products as a side column on your brochure. As you grow, your menu will typically grow as well. Be clear on the fact that clients are impatient and do not like a menu with too much verbiage or one that is too long and complicated. The simpler, the better. In a recent discussion at a spa conference, a focus group that I attended suggested that the current trend in destination spas was to have a menu with only custom design facials and body treatments. They recommended offering these services with a starting price that is then customized to the clients' budget, skin type, and goals.
Tried-and-true services should be the bread and butter of your menu. The basics always sell, including relaxation facials, deep pore cleansing facials, microdermabrasion, oxygen facials, eyebrow arching and threading, and partial and full body waxing. If you plan to be a full-service establishment, massages, scrubs, wraps, body slimming, and manicures and pedicures should be on your menu. Services need to be grouped based on skin care type and benefits. A brochure should be easy to read, consolidated, and to the point. Stay focused on the services you perform well and can retail. For example, if you offer waxing, make sure you have all types of waxes – hard wax, soft wax, honey wax, green wax, and a wax that is proper for every area of the face and body. Skin care and waxing most likely will be 80 to 90 percent of what you do.
Your menu should be divided into two segments based on the departments of service. If you are a full service spa, you will be offering a variety of treatments in each and every department and the crossover will be in your packages. In all relevant departments, you should have a signature treatment. Your signature treatment should be bolded out as the first treatment to entice your client's eye. It is a way for both you and your client to get to know each other.
Template Skin Care Menu
Your skin care menu should begin with an introductory paragraph explaining your skin care philosophy and what is unique about you or your services. I advise that you have the following services, regardless of where you are located in the country:
- Facials – Signature facial, corrective facial, anti-aging facial, pro-blematic skin facial, men's facial, custom design facial. Facial add-ons: LED, microdermabrasion, microcurrent, needling, dermaplaning, hot and cold ionization, eye and lip treatments, and any other add-on you want to promote.
- Body Care – 45-minute massage, 60-minute massage, 75-minute massage, 90-minute massage, signature integrated massage, couple's massage, or other forms of massage such as Thai or Shiatsu.
- Makeup – Signature lesson, post-service makeup application, special occasion makeup, and glamour makeup.
- Waxing – Introduce your waxing services with a sentence stating how you customize your wax to sensitivities and areas being serviced. List the areas you offer: eyebrows, underarm, full-leg, Brazilian, and so on.
- Hands and Feet – Introduce your hands and feet services with a sentence, stating that you offer a natural environment and non-toxic products in your spa. List your specific services: signature manicure and pedicure, specialty nails, all natural nails, and so on.
- Hair – Introduce your hair services with a sentence stating how you offer deep conditioning hair and scalp treatments. State that you offer a variety of styling services and utilize quality products. List the level of your stylists such as apprentice, junior, senior, and so on. List specific services: haircuts, color, partial highlights, and full highlights.
- Medical Spa – If you offer medical spa services, introduce them with a sentence, stating how you offer services in a clean and relaxing environment. Explain how you can book all beauty needs and services in conjunction with medicalspa offerings.
How to Wrap Retail Around Treatments
The easiest way to connect retail to treatments is to design your service menu with forethought about relevant products. Each treatment needs to have a relevant retail product. In other words, if you are working with hyperpigmentation, you need to have an arsenal of products that will enhance this treatment and the target goal for the client.
Retail must-haves for a corrective facial include:
- A variety of sun protection products including high SPF, tinted moisturizer, beauty or blemish cream, and color correcting cream
- Natural/chemical lighteners
- Exfoliators such as scrubs, alpha hydroxyl acids, beta hydroxyl acids, retinols,
- Retin-A, or vitamin C
Retail must-haves for waxing services include:
- Products for ingrown hairs, scrubs, and alpha hydroxyl acids
- Products for post-waxing sensitivity, skin calming, and repairing cream and oil
- A post-waxing kit
Retail for massage should include:
- A body scrub
- Slimming cream and/or gel
- A variety of hand and body creams to hydrate and protect with SPF
Marketing and Feedback
Now that you have created your brochure, it is time to generate visibility for your business. Get yourself online. Put your brochure online in both a downloadable and navigateable format. Put yourself on social media websites and create a newsletter highlighting your various service offerings to promote your business to a wide audience at minimal cost. Use your Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google, and other accounts to monitor feedback and update offerings. Network with bloggers and cross-promote yourself with skin care websites and customers to promote your brochure. Get out into your community and participate. Donate to your clients' causes and network by offering your spa for events. Cross-promote as much as you can with other small business owners.
Bella Schneider, P.M.E., leads a team of more than 200 aesthetic professionals at three premier spas. For more than 35 years, Schneider has traveled the world to bring service providers the best in aesthetic science; as a groundbreaking formulator, successful retailer, and respected educator, her mission is to help professionals enhance their practice and grow their business. Winner of the Nouvelles Esthetiques lifetime achievement Crystal Award for contributions to beauty science, Schneider hosts beginning to advance training in clinical and spa skin care as well as ethnic skin care, peels, and other new techniques at Bella Schneider Beauty’s Palo Alto, Calif.-based training center.