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Looking at the profile of the salon/spa goer moving into the next decade we are definitely in need of offering quicker and more effective solutions for skin and body.  Maintaining of skin health and basic body services such as massage will never go away it is a basic however the more advanced and machine based services are being sought after more and more.

So what should you do and what should your plan be when looking for equipment to add to your offering.  Let me take you through a step by step and offer some valuable tips when making this investment.

  1. Market research.

Without this you simply cannot make the right decision for your businesses.  I have seen time and time again a salon owner buy a machine based on their own likes and what type of treatments they enjoy but this can be a costly mistake.  Take at least 2 – 3 months and speak to your clients asking them what their needs are and present different types of machine based ideas to them to hear which they are drawn towards.

Speak to them about costs and hear what their comments are.

Look around to see what machine based treatments are being offered at the salons/spas in your area?

Do research on social media as well as other platforms to what type of machine treatments are trending and producing proper long term satisfied and loyal clients.

  1. Cheapest is probably not the best.

When it comes to sophisticated skin and body equipment, don’t shop around for price as it will be the wrong decision.  But at the same time don’t go for the most expensive because you feel it is better quality or more well known.  There is a few important considerations when making a decision of which brand/supplier to partner with and consider each and take your time.  The planning phase of this decision is the most important.

  1. Does the brand you like and/or want have a website and can you make contact with the manufacturers? Do the manufacturers put you in contact with a local person who is their representative?  Both these items are crucial.  You want to be able to get hold of and get a response from the manufacturer and you definitely want local support.  The last thing you want is to buy a fancy machine from another country with no local service agent where you cannot get your machine serviced or repaired or parts.  This is a costly mistake.
  2. Get references on the machine and call other salons to discuss their experience with the machine and supplier. If the machine is new to the market, get international references and email them or even bet phone them.  Do your homework properly and ensure you are getting enough information and feedback about your investment.
  3. Get an accurate return on investment with the equipment and work on absolutely the worst case scenario of treatment uptake. If you are content with that return then another box ticked but if not, go back to the drawing board and start over.  You will find the right piece of equipment.
  4. Training is beyond important. These days training on equipment is getting quite advanced with a lot of training being done online, skype and with tutorials which is great as you can do this in your own time but training must be offered in some form and if possible in person even better as there is nothing like being able to see someone use a piece of equipment and then ask them questions upfront and get practical time.
  5. You have to insure your equipment. If you cannot afford the insurance don’t buy the equipment.  In fact the insurance should be factored into your return on investment calculation as it can be seen as a running cost to operate the piece of equipment.

Some interesting new technology treatments out there to consider lately are:  hair removal systems such as IPL or laser still in demand but the consumer is much more wary about inferior quality machines that can have side effects like burning or no results.  Wrinkle softening, bags under eyes removal, lifting and firming of the skin, cellulite, stretch marks, saggy arms, electrical micro needling, and pigmentation removal/lightening systems.

Investing in equipment can be the most rewarding and business changing exercise you have ever done but it can also cripple a business very quickly.  So make the decision carefully and be completely informed of every aspect from delivery fees, who pays for insurance while the equipment is in transit, insurance for malpractice, training costs, storage of the equipment, cleaning, maintenance costs, marketing and of course think about when you will need to upgrade your technology as with any piece of machinery, the technology is upgraded almost annually so think about this too.

Last but not least tip is before you rush out and buy a second machine because your first one is so busy and booked up and people are asking for more machine based treatments is to please pay your first machine off and then start with this process all over again before you invest in a second one.

Careful, cautious and informed is the key to successful equipment buys in the salon/spa

Please contact marisa@thespaconsultants.co.za for more information or if you are looking for advice when it comes to buying equipment.