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A Spa Start-Up Checklist
For years and years, we have been witnessing a significant resurgence of salons and spas. Beauty-obsessives spa-goers are a never-ending trend. While some people are quick to dismiss the beauty business anytime something occurs – the bad economy, the surge in sales of the at-home beauty equipment, the online beauty shops, and the in-demand personal estheticians with comfortable home visits -it has managed to transform itself every single time. Spas and salons are better than ever, and by all indications, are here to stay. And we sincerely welcome them! With the newest technology and innovations, spas have now taken on the roles of plastic surgeons by offering amazing no-knife face lifting techniques with Microcurrent therapy machines, non-surgical liposuction with Infrared blankets, or Vacuum cupping massages. Nowadays, any quality spa equipment is amazing. People feel safe with modern sterilizing units and happy with all of the amazing anti-aging treatments, hydrating facials, and full body treatments. And last but not least, they feel relaxed, renewed, and ready for a new day with a new hairstyle, nail color, or aromatherapy cold steam calming treatment. Spas are everything! So let’s discuss a couple of questions necessary to be answered before opening a spa or before reviewing and renewing an existing beauty business. Keep reading and you will learn about the following:
- What defines a good spa (from a client’s point of view)
- The spa start-up checklist
- The basic must-have salon and spa equipment
In the beauty scene, the true and top standouts are not the ones that have the most expensive treatments, but the ones who know their business, who understand the demand, respect their customers and provide safe and reasonably priced beauty treatments. You should be able to harmoniously balance a lot of things to succeed, and we are here to help!
What is a Good Spa? A Client’s Point of View
A client’s point of view should be the only one that matters. Yes, it is true that the client is always right and that a happy client tells a lot of friends about your great spa treatments and amazing seamless service. Remember, we live in the age of social media and a bad review nowadays goes a really long way. So, let's think about your client and set some guidelines for a good spa experience.
First of all, people expect cleanliness. This should be your constant concern and a priority. You should set very high standards for your staff and everyone must do all they can to keep up the fresh, clean, spot-free look of your salon or spa. Cleanliness is what makes people instantly relax and enjoy your work. Your business is a reflection of how much respect you have for your clients and how much you value your business – the spa should look clean, with a fresh pleasant aroma. Give extra thought to the overall ambiance. If you have limited space, for example, you can declutter by investing in great Multifunctional machines. Your spa will look clean and decluttered, and your customers will enjoy the benefits of 5, 7, 9 or 11 different popular techniques in just one amazing ergonomic machine. So, cleanliness is key!
People expect safety. This is non-negotiable. It is your duty to provide maximum safety to all your customers. Invest in quality sterilizing equipment. Provide 100% sterilization. A good autoclave is a must have. Make it a priority to tell your customers that their health is cared for and they should not expect anything less than a 0% chance of getting any infections, funguses, viruses, and so on. Today’s best spa equipment offers 100% safety. Please look at all available options to pick the one suitable for your business. Spas definitely use a lot of towels that also need to be heated up and sterilized, so look for a towel-heater and sterilizer in one machine. We have great options available with one or two chambers so you can sterilize equipment and heat up the towels at the same time. The UV cabin effectively sterilizes all the tools for manicures, hairdressing, pedicures, and any other instruments that need sterilization. Our towel heaters sterilize towels in just 20 minutes with 158 degrees Fahrenheit heat.
Communication is the next very important thing to your customers. Train your staff. They must be informed and ready to help your clients with anything and everything. Professional estheticians should explain all the steps of a treatment to their clients. Communication is everything. Research shows that proper communication allows for a much more relaxing and pleasurable spa experience. We at AE pride ourselves on providing thorough and detailed training on all of our products. Our licensed aestheticians have years of experience so your staff will be ready and able to answer all and any questions, and properly explain all procedures to your clients. Your staff will be trained to work with their equipment, be communicative and informative, and be able to explain and perform a wide array of beauty treatments.
Set standards and follow them. Employ qualified staff and always choose certified and respected beauty equipment providers. Carefully choose the companies; look for well-known and highly respected companies, as your business will largely depend in a big way on its equipment quality and safety. Make sure the company offers great customer service as well. We at AE are an FDA-registered Company. We have more than 10 years of experience in global beauty industries. We only work with well-known and established companies that are well respected within the field. Our aim is to offer the highest quality of products, the largest range of equipment, safety, education, and the best service to our customers. We understand the absolute necessity of investing in research and evaluating results, so we are confident in every partner and every product we offer our clients.
Pay attention to the smallest details; become detail-oriented. You don’t have to sign up for an every-day fresh-cut flower delivery, offer expensive Swiss chocolates, or provide everyone with a satin white robe. Those are luxury items. We are talking about the basic things people love and appreciate: clean towels, water, coffee, and Wi-Fi. A client can book a facial steaming, a radiofrequency facial, and a calming LED light therapy, so that is two and a half hours of their day spent in your chair. So, invest in a great chair! A great chair is never a luxury item; it is what makes the whole experience worthwhile. There is no way the customer will come back to spend another two hours and 300-700 dollars to break their back in a low-quality, uncomfortable chair.
We at AE pay maximum attention to professional chairs and massage tables and represent only the most well-known and respected brands on the beauty market. Please ask for a free professional consultation while picking a chair for your salon or spa. Nowadays, technology has advanced to the point where electric beauty chairs are flawless. They are made will full understanding of your client needs, they are extremely comfortable. You client can fully relax and enjoy the treatments.
New advanced chair models are very quiet and its motions are very gentle. With the simple push of a button, you can adjust the position of the chair any way without disturbing your client. Our electric chairs allow you to comfortably perform any treatment; you can finally adjust the chair and not your back and neck. Clients are much happier when they are seated and there is no need to move before the next treatment. With adjustability for any available treatment, you’ll never have to ask your client to move. Comfortable foot-resting, sitting, laying down, or anything in-between – all available with just a push of a button.
Another thing to make your clients experience more pleasurable is to invest in good hydraulic stools and trolley organizers for your staff. These are also beauty business staples. The great hydraulic chair is a lifesaver for those working long hours. Invest in the beautiful chair so that they’ll fit in with your design. A good organization trolley on wheels is a great tool for your staff. The customer feels cared for and welcomed when all the tools and equipment are prepared and carefully stored on the trolley. There is nothing worse than a beauty professional that leaves 20 times during an appointment to get supplies.
Attention to such details will make your spa the most popular in the area.
And lastly, money. Yes, no surprise here: customers care about the money. People need to be told in advance about any payments, additional charges, and fees. Be clear and upfront about all the charges. It is very easy to spoil the pleasant experience with a bill that includes hidden fees. Don’t charge people for coffee, bottled water, Wi-Fi or other amenities. Don’t pressure customers to live a tip and definitely don’t include one in the bill. Yes, it is great when people leave a good tip, but it is better for you if the customer returns to your spa.
The Spa Start-Up Checklist
The decision to start your own business is always unnerving. However, you are not alone; everyone gets scared and anxious, and that is not a good combination while making big investments. That is why checklists exist. They structure your thought processes and allow you to clearly see the accomplished tasks, prepare, and think through everything that comes ahead. So, let’s go through the list step-by-step.
First, you need to find a suitable place for your salon or spa. Choose it based on convenience. Check the available transport, foot traffic, and competition. Carefully access the space and think about where your equipment will go and fit. Check the available space for storage and autoclave sterilization installation. If you have additional funds, hire a professional and explain your concept to them; discuss the spa treatments that you’ve selected for your business. A professional designer will be able to create a beautiful and functional space for you and your staff and organize an organic flow from the reception area to the different treatment zones. If you haven’t made up your mind yet regarding treatments, just know the basics:
- A massage area always includes a massage table, a hydraulic chair for the masseuse, a movable trolley for the machines, and a magnifying lamp with lights, tools, and towels.
- Facial and body treatment zones include an electric facial and body treatment chair, hydraulic chair, trolley on wheels for all the necessary tools, a magnifying lamp with lights, and a facial steamer. Space should be sufficient to fit either a Multifunctional machine or a line of mono-treatment beauty machines.
- A manicure and pedicure area should have a treatment chair, a hydraulic chair for the manicurist, a trolley to hold the sterilized instruments, and a small UV-light to set the nail-polish. If preferred, the manicure zone should include a table and a comfortable chair for your customer.
Secondly, think about the type of salon you are opening. Would it be an LLC? Or would you become a sole trader? Maybe you are opening a partnership? Are you interested in investing in creating your own brand? What is the registration process? What kind of insurance do you need to buy? These are all important questions that you need to answer. There are actually official checklists available online that list all of the necessary registrations, permits, and documents a future salon owner needs to open a salon or spa. Pay additional attention to insurance. Insurance for start-ups can actually take some pressure off your shoulders.
The third thing on our checklist is financing. At this point, professional advice is necessary. You need to figure out how will you be paying for the business and clearly understand your weekly and monthly plan. Understand the number you need to reach to break even. Figure out payments if you are applying for a loan. Find and calculate the cost of equipment. Our trained professionals would be more than happy to provide you with a preliminary equipment calculation. You need to set up salary payments, understand how and when are you going to be paying your providers, and learn a lot about available business accounts in your local banks to figure out future payments and transactions.
Then, you need to hire your staff. Invest in people. Hire talented licensed professionals that love their jobs. Hire people who would respect their workplace and your investment in it, who would gladly attend courses, and learn how to operate new spa equipment, its purpose, and multiple benefits. Our main advice is to start small with a group of professionals and organically expand while training new employees. A great receptionist is as essential to your business as a licensed beautician.
Carefully list the services you will be providing; think about your pricing and products. This is one of the more important steps, as a lot of things depend on this list: The people you hire, the companies you work with, the marketing you’ll need to do, and the range of treatments you’ll be able to offer. Research your neighborhood and assess your competition. Offer something they are not offering or invest in much better spa equipment to stay on top. Discuss pricing with your accountant. You must clearly know what your expenses are before putting together a price list.
Also, pay additional attention to retail. Retail will bring in money. You can sell any beauty products, skin care creams, and serums, and you should partner with a company that sells beauty equipment because they’ll be able to substantially boost your sales. For example, every spa has a facial steamer, that is essential equipment, a must-have for any beauty business. It is a highly beneficial and amazingly relaxing treatment and a machine with an instant ROI. After a great facial, your customers will for sure be glad to invest in a personal steamer. And, considering the price, you’ll sell a lot of them. There are tons of result-oriented effective professional personal machines. You can sell the skin-lifting Radiofrequency machines, the no-knife facelift Microcurrent treatment machines, the very impressive collagen boosting Ultrasound machines for home use. Look into this as it is a great way to boost your profits.
The next absolutely necessary step is to have a marketing and PR strategy. Your spa may just be the best there is, but if you and your staff are the only ones who know that you’ll close your doors in no time. Think about who your clients are; who do you need to reach? Today there are some things that are non-negotiable – you need a website and you need to create and invest time and money in social media. Look into local press, print and distribute leaflets, create an event that can get you invited to local TV. You cannot skip this step, it is vital at every stage and will help you to create awareness and build a successful business.
And now last but not least – you need to list your necessary equipment. Research and carefully assess all of the pros and cons. If you need help, contact you spa equipment provider and ask for it. Pick a reliable company with a great reputation, that is FDA approved and offers a warranty. Here at AE, we are all that and much more; we can assess your needs and make informed suggestions. If you need any help with stocking your salon or spa, contact our licensed professional staff for advice. This is actually the fun part, and it doesn’t need to be overwhelming!
The Basic Must Have Salon and Spa Equipment
Basic equipment and spa furniture
- Electric facial chair
- Massage table
- Hydraulic chairs for staff
- Sterilization unit
- UV light towel warmer
- Magnifying lamp
- Facial steamer
- Manicure table
At AE, we have the most amazing line of must-have salon and spa equipment. Our top-of-the-line chairs, tables, autoclaves, lamps, and steamers are the backbone of your future successful business. We will explain, in detail, every feature and lay out all of the advantages and answer all the questions you might have.
Plus, we will gladly advise you on any other beauty treatment machine for the treatments you have decided to offer in your spa. We can proudly state that our line of beauty equipment covers all the popular, trendy, and highly-effective treatments on the market today. Our company can provide all the equipment you need.
Organization trolleys and carts. Basically, this is a must-have equipment for every employee to provide seamless attentive service to your clients. This is a very inexpensive piece equipment that makes all the difference. We offer every option there is on the market and will be happy to help you make the right choice for your spa.
Front desk equipment. Being one of the most important zones in your spa, this area should be very carefully designed. For the reception area you will need:
- Reception desk
- Chairs for receptionists
- Shelving for the products and equipment sold in your salon
- Coffee machine
- Waiting area furniture
- Brochure and magazine stand. Advertise your treatments and your products in your salon.