11 Business Lifesavers For Booth-Renting Estheticians
By Milady Pro-
If you’re a new esthetician just starting out and are thinking of becoming a booth renter or opening your own spa one day, you need to know about some of the forgotten or hidden costs and supplies of running your own business. When it comes to providing the best in professional skin services, there are all sorts of gadgets and devices to help you work on the skin, but not too many people talk about the everyday items you’ll need to keep your business running. Here are some non-treatment lifesavers that you’ll want to include on your “must get” list.
- Saddle stool. You need to think about your own body mechanics when you’re performing treatments hour after hour. Investing in good seating that takes your posture into consideration is a must-have. You can order online, but think about visiting a supply store and test-sitting several models to find the one that fits you best.
- Organizers or Totes. Estheticians are usually creative souls, and sometimes that means we aren’t the most organized people. Keeping yourself organized, your products together, your workspace in order can make a huge difference in time management. Maintaining some semblance of keeping products grouped by service or by purpose will help your overall efficiency and profitability. Lots of container options are available so check out your nearest container store or multipurpose shop.
- Scheduling system. Give your clients the option of scheduling an appointment with you when its convenient for them. You may be losing valuable business if you don’t have an online scheduling option. If the only time they can schedule is when you are available to take their phone call, you are missing out. Clients may have a spur-of-the-moment urge to schedule an appointment at 5:00 AM when they’re on the way to the gym or on a Sunday when you are not open. Online scheduling gives them options and gives you more flexibility and marketability. There are many many many options out there for scheduling. Some are free! Some have monthly service charges. You may start out with a free service to check it out and then upgrade once you know it will work for you.
- Card reader. Paypal, SquareUp, your own bank: card readers are a critical part of your business’s financial health. Simple card readers attach to your cell phone. More sophisticated card readers are like an electronic tablet on a stand. When choosing a card reader, you want one that has an intuitive interface. You also want one that will deposit your money in your bank account as soon as possible.
- Record keeping. Accurate records of your client treatments are another critical part of your business. You need a client intake record, consent form, and a special section for notes on the treatment you performed. This is all in addition to a medical history form. You can keep paper records or have electronic records, but records you must have. Often times your equipment vendor will give you the appropriate consent form for the device. It might also be helpful for you to have templates for all forms you’ll need as a booth-renting business in general.
- Retail. Think about having some fun impulse novelties at your reception desk. Travel size skincare, jewelry, hair care, fun knick-knacks or girlfriend gifts are a perfect spontaneous purchase. Our industry hosts gift shows that you can attend, with your esthetics license, to find these unique retail items.
- Linen/Spa gown. Sheets, towels, and spa gowns can be an unexpected expense. When you select linen, think about the impact that laundering will have on your linen. Whether you have a linen service or wash your own linen or if bleach is used, you need to make that consideration in your purchase. Linen of any color that is washed with bleach is going to become discolored. You will need more linen than you think you need- trust me! You can find linen at a hotel supplier at a volume discount. Online sources are also an option. Linen with a higher thread count is of better quality and you’ll be happier that you paid a little more to acquire linen that will last longer.
- Disposables. Disposable gloves, tongue blades, sponges, gauze squares, headbands, disposable bikinis and more. Disposable items are another unexpected expense. Don’t feel you must only shop at a spa supply source. Find an online resource or a hospital supply company, like McKesson, to get the best pricing. A hospital supply will open an account for you and you’ll be surprised at what they have available. However, sometimes it is not the best idea to order a case of tongue blades if you don’t have the storage space!
- Copy of state board regulations. You need a copy of your state board regulations on-site. You need to know what is your scope of practice and be able to perform treatments within your scope of practice.
- Policy and procedure manual. You need written policies and procedures for your own professional liability protection. You should be able to get copies of treatment protocols from manufacturers or write your own. A policy and procedure manual will assist you in any liability issue that you may encounter.
- Before-and-after photo camera. You need a photo system to build your portfolio. Photos should be secure and confidential so your personal cell phone isn’t going to work. A high-resolution camera is relatively inexpensive and photo programs can make creating “before-and-after” photos very easy. If you do use your cell phone, delete your clients’ photos so you are not in a conflict for confidentiality
- Uniform. First impressions matter. I remember when I was at my first independent spa position and I could wear whatever I wanted. So I did. And not until I visited an acupuncturist did the reason for a professional dress hit me. My acupuncturist wore a pink tank top and navy and white polka dot capris. I doubted her capabilities and didn’t think the session would work because she was dressed like she was at a picnic. Dress for the part you want. When you are at work, dress like you mean business and be consistent.
When it comes to starting your own business, you want to make sure that you’re prepared for all of the responsibilities you’ll be taking on. Some of these items are so obvious that they’re often forgotten. Make sure to reserve part of your business prep plan specifically for these life-savers and you’ll save yourself from some headaches down the road.