Choosing the Equipment that's Right for Your Spa

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You've seen them gleaming on the trade show floors, you've craved them in the pages of industry magazines, and you've envied them at work in the spas you admire: those impressive and exciting machines that will make your treatment services state-of-the-art too! It's a big decision involving potentially lots of cash, some risk, and a assumptions about dependability and client acceptance. The questions now are: what do you need, where should you get it, and what will your equipment investment do for your new business or expansion?

While I could write a master's thesis on this important subject I'll try to offer some helpful guidelines for those of you who are about to plunge some serious money into these products:

Evaluate Your "Needs"
Think about why you're convinced that a $15,000.00+ investment in a hydrotub is the best way to grow your business. Are clients demanding this service? Do you disappoint callers each day that hoped you offered this type of service? If not then perhaps you may find that you'll have one old tub by the time you ever recoup your investment, if you ever do. For others who have been successful with marketing and selling hydro treatments,(and many have), there may be a need to upgrade or even add a second unit to meet the demand. Just make sure that the decision is grounded in practicality rather than emotion—that the need is based on proven customer interest in the services these devices will deliver and not simply your own desire to work with or own them.

Think Retail
The heart and soul of any spa's profitability lies in the successful retailing of personal care products. Body therapy products are fast coming on as the second tier to those reliable facial regimen sales. Here is where an investment in special body treatment equipment may really help your business's income. A Vichy shower or Hydrotherapy tub, when used to support body-contouring programs for example, may help to put a lot of stimulating and firming products into those shopping bags. That can mean big money for your spa but you'll need to provide superb service and sales training, especially in this traditionally slow-retailing department, if you want to see those numbers. So if you're trying to decide between buying the tub or a sauna, buy the tub unless you think you can move more bathrobes than bath salts!

Shop for Quality
The lowest-priced vendor of spa equipment may turn out to be a high-ticket headache in times of sales and service support. You'll have enough challenges running your business and don't need to add equipment support hassles to your list. Here is where you'll want to stick with the name brands that have a proven reputation in quality and ease in servicing. Don't fool around with "bargain" manufacturers and small-time suppliers. Read product reviews (when you can find them) and ask other spa owners about what equipment they have and what their experience with it has been. Compare vendor prices and look for a good deal and a commitment to fast, reliable service. Don't be afraid to ask for customer references either if in doubt about a particular equipment dealer.

Don't Forget About Training
Just because you spent $10,000.00 on a piece of treatment machinery doesn't mean you'll automatically be entitled to free staff training, or any training for that matter. Spa operators have come to expect this kind of vendor support (because many have provided it as an expensive means of competing for a sale) but it's becoming harder to get these days. Many equipment customers not only expect such value-added service but also want the vendor to tell them how to market and make money on the treatments themselves! It simply isn't realistic.

Shop For The Long-Haul
What's new and innovative today may become old and outmoded tomorrow. Some cutting-edge technologies change so quickly, especially in the upper-priced categories, that's it's difficult to settle on a choice. No one wants to become stuck with an expensive device that's no longer "hot", or can't deliver the best of what's currently available. In the early days of hair removal lasers a number of spa owners found themselves saddled with long-term lease obligations on what rapidly became obsolete or even discredited machines. Look for equipment that has a proven track record for results and is not likely to be upstaged by a competing technology or method.

Whatever you decide to do, remember this: that introducing a new service involving new spa gadgetry is subject to the same conditions as is opening a new business—customers may not flock in just because it's there. It'll take time for clients (and even members of your own team!) to become fully aware of the new service offering, and probably a little longer before they decide to try it. You'll need patience, perseverance, and a solid belief in your program before you'll realize success in this new department of your business.

About Preston, Inc.

Preston Private Label offers over 100 outstanding, results-oriented skin and body care products for both retail and professional use. We offer an excellent—-and free—-regional technical and career-building education program, affordable minimums, and fully custom labels, pre-applied. Choose from two packaging options and get the look that best suits your branding strategy. Generous margins that allow for markup from 150-700%  mean you gain maximum benefit from retailing.  From cleansers and toners to cosmeceutical serums, pro enzyme, glycolic and lactic peels to body contouring wraps, gift kits to aromatherapy oil blends and more, we have everything you need to create a highy effective, full range product line. Visit our website at www.prestoninc.net for more information!