Considering opening your own spa or skin care center? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, from the minimum equipment and space for a room to choosing a product line. Have a question that isn’t addressed here? Go to RenewProfessional.com and click on Message Board to post your topic!
Q.What is the minimum equipment/space I need for the skin care room?
A. The average treatment room should never be smaller than 10’ by 10,’” says Bonnie Canavino, of Spa Specifics and Red Cherry Labs in Downers Grove, Illinois, because a massage therapist needs room to move and an esthetician needs room for equipment. What type of equipment? “You should provide a basic facial steamer, high frequency machine, hot towel cabi, UV sanitizer, wax system, five-diopter lamp, treatment bed, ergonomic technician chair and possibly hot mitts and a warming blanket for under the body,” explains Canavino. You might also opt to bring in a galvanic unit, LED lighting, and microdermabrasion in the future.
Q. How do I choose a product line?
A. Know your market. You should already know your client demographics, including their age, income, as well as the demographics of your community as a whole. Your climate and geographical region may also be a factor. When you have this information, take a look at your culture, says Canavino. If you plan to be “green,” look for organic lines. If your spa is urban and trendy, find a line with cutting edge technology. And if your spa is suburban or conservative, a cost-effective line is the way to go. Christi Cano, a spa development consultant with Creative Spa Concepts based out of Kauai, Hawaii, advises finding out about training, support and minimum order amounts from the manufacturer, as well as if the line is already carried in nearby spas. But don’t bother buying a warehouse full of products or carrying several lines. “Just choose one and commit to it wholeheartedly,” says Cano.
Q. Which skin care services should I offer?
A. Don’t think you can play it safe by offering just the basics. You also need to offer acne, rosacea and anti-aging treatments at minimum, says Canavino, or you won’t be able to compete. Every employee should be trained in how to do each service the same way. Above all, be flexible. If no one is booking microdermabrasion, transform that room into a massage area, says Cano.
Q.What type of compensation should I offer?
A. Commission should be no higher than 45 percent,” declares Canavino. “Someone with no experience and no clientele should be at fixed dollar amount per hour, and when their services exceed that dollar amount, they can go to 35 percent. As they grow, take them up to 45 percent, based on retention, retail sales and existing services. “When you pay per hour, have a list of tasks for them to perform, like taking care of the relaxation area, working the front desk, cleaning retail shelves, and doing laundry. You want them to build their career and their expertise in customer service and all areas of the spa.”