Monthly Archives: September 2013

Groupon and the Medical Spa

by Cindy Graf

I listened to a webinar last night regarding the ups and downs of Groupon Social Media advertising. I know that many of you have been tempted to or have done a marketing promotion with a Social Media Site.  I have had about 7 medical spas almost go under due to poorly positioned Groupon marketing.  At first glance, Groupon and Social Living  seem too good to be true…500 new patients streaming into your practice… all that $money$!!!!  “We’ll convert them into profitable clients” you say.  Most offices are not staffed properly or positioned properly on the web to handle this temporary traffic.  If you include any kind of a consumable service such as Botox and Fillers, you may actually lose a lot of money.  The stress on your schedule and staff may infuriate the loyal full price customers that you have already worked so hard to gain their loyalty and disposable cash dollars.


Here are the 10 things to remember when entering into a Groupon or Social Living contract:

  1. Make sure your website, blog, Facebook and Twitter sites are up and running for maximum capture of new clients.
  2. Make sure your phone lines and staff can handle 300 phone calls the next morning after your Groupon closes.
  3. Check with your attorney to make sure the state in which you practice  does not consider a professional and a marketing company doing a 50/50 split on revenues is “fee splitting”
  4. Do not include consumables in your offer ( Botox, fillers, Thermage disposables, Clarisonic products)
  5. Limit your offer to a short laser light service: facial hair, underarms, sunspots, vessels, mini facial, chemical peel for a specific condition. Put only three treatments in the package so you can sell the balance of 3-4 treatments at the same price but keep 100% (not split with Groupon)
  6. Have your staff primed and incentivized to upsell the Groupon offer to another package (with a written flyer)
  7. You have one shot at this clients, consider hiring a concierge during this peak period to process the group of new clients and service your existing clients.
  8. The best Groupon promotions are 2 for1 $ promotions.  Buy $50 of spa credits receive $100 in services.  It will spread the patient flow over different providers.
  9. Do a Groupon promotion now (if you can get in, that is) in slower periods such as July, August and early September or May, June or July when the business will fill the gap over the slower times while your regular clients are vacationing.
  10. Hone your skills in consultation first, review clinical parameters and have a plan!

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Spa workers can relax knowing job outlook is strong

Revised from By Saga Briggs

Considering a career in spa service? It’s a wise move. A yearly study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the demand for spa and salon workers in 2011 outpaced the total percentage of economic growth in the U.S. the same year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 25 percent growth in day spa jobs through the year 2020 – greater than the average for all careers. Houston, in particular, boasts an especially competitive spa market. But what do spa workers do, exactly, and how do they qualify for employment?

Day spa workers include estheticians, cosmetologists, manicurists, makeup artists, hair stylists, massage therapists and salon managers. Individuals who become estheticians also find rewarding careers in cosmetics marketing, purchasing or beauty consulting, while others move into the medical community as paramedical estheticians or esthetician training instructors.

Becoming an esthetician requires specialized training at a cosmetology or esthetician school. You will complete skin-care training with experienced instructors by studying theory and practicing techniques in a classroom, as well as student salon or spa setting. Once you’ve completed esthetician training at the school, you will then need to pass the state licensing exam to earn an esthetician license to begin working.

Similarly, cosmetologists attend beauty school to learn skills and techniques needed to pass their state licensing exam for hair, nails, makeup, safety and sanitation.

Every state has slightly different training hour requirements to be able to sit for the cosmetology board exams. Most beauty and cosmetology schools require a high school diploma or a GED equivalent to enroll and last four to 12 months, depending on whether students attend full time or part time.

To become a licensed manicurist, you must be at least 16 years old, have a high school diploma or its equivalent and complete a course in manicuring from a licensed cosmetology.

Required hours also can run between 200 and 600 hours (about three months), and usually involve a combination of classes and hands-on training. You will then need to complete a licensing exam to be hired at a spa or salon.

A salon or spa manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the salon, spa, beauty bar, or other beauty business. Day-to-day operations may include hiring and training employees and delegating tasks among them; ordering and selling supplies; managing paperwork, bills and payroll; handling public relations and advertising; and making sure everyone works well together so the business runs as smoothly as possible.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, esthetician and cosmetologist salaries average $28,920 per year, but depend on a number of factors. Many cosmetologists choose to work part time instead of full time, and salary has the potential to grow with experience, growing clientele, and increasing hours worked. The Bureau of Labor states manicurists can expect to make from $17,760 to $30,600 a year, but salaries vary. Some salons offer commission on product sales and bonuses to manicurists who bring in new clients. According to the National Salary Data, a salon or spa manager can earn anywhere between $21,000 and $54,000, depending on the size of the salon or spa and the region of the country.

Employers range from small family-owned businesses to large hotels and salon chains. At The Houstonian Hotel’s Trellis Spa, job candidates often go through a multi-step application process, beginning with a completed application and resume, moving on to an interviewing stage, and ending in hire or elimination.

Employment manager Kay Pyatt said that spa workers at Trellis are expected to have some customer service experience before applying for a position. Retail experience counts too, she said. For higher-level jobs, though, more experience is expected.

“Estheticians must have two years’ experience,” Pyatt said, “and hair stylists must have the necessary licensure as well as 10 years’ experience.”

At smaller businesses, such as Sunset Bodyworks, the hiring process can be different.

At Sunset, job candidates are expected to have the necessary state licensure, but other than that, hiring potential relies on whether or not you seem like a good fit for the business. Professionals at Sunset create their own schedules, too.

Many beauty schools and cosmetology schools offer cosmetology job placement services for their recent graduates. The admissions representatives can confirm if they offer such services when you request information from beauty schools you are considering.

If they do offer cosmetology job-placement services, ask what their job placement rate is after graduation.

Cosmetology programs in Houston can be found at the Regency Beauty Institute; Remington College; the Ogle School of Hair, Skin, and Nails; the Aveda Institute of Houston; and Natural Images Beauty College

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