June 2008

Incorporate Advanced Technology Into Your Spa

by Kerrrin Delaney

Hairstyling techniques, nail technicians and technical skills all have something in common. If you haven’t guessed it already, it’s the word “tech.” A derivative from the word technology; the abbreviated form “tech” is commonly used within the professional beauty industry, often times more than we are aware.
With such a strong word being incorporated into this trendsetting industry, why are some of us failing to keep up with technology itself? All too commonly, you might find yourself caught in your old ways. Now is the time to snap out of it. Here are some ideas that display how to incorporate advancements in technology into your business plans.

Computers are your friends. Working for a marketing firm that specializes in supporting beauty industry professionals, all too often I run into problems when I am trying to get information to salons and spas. Some businesses don’t have access to the internet. Some lack website information or fail to check their e-mail even if they have access. Although date books and desktop calendars are a great way for you to manage your schedules, incorporating computers into your daily spa or salon routine can help your business run smoothly and having a website could potentially bring you more clients.

Your salon or spa computer system has the capability of becoming the next big thing since hair extensions. Technological advancements in software are constantly developing, especially when it comes to management systems for salons and spas. Certain computer programs will allow you to schedule appointments, run point-of-sale, keep track of commissions and inventory or better market your business.

Recent advancements in software also allow for customer tracking for your spa or salon. These programs allow you to check your customer database at the click of a mouse. In addition to standard demographic information about your clients, such as name, address, phone, gender, age and e-mail you will also have information about their visits including which stylists they’ve seen, what services they’ve received, which products they’ve purchased, how much they spent, how many times they’ve come in, who their favorite hairstylists are, and more.

Computer consultations are another great way to incorporate technology into your business. Whether your client is interested in a massage or haircolor, consulting via a computer will improve your credibility and store your client’s information in a formal and organized manner. Instead of writing the color formulas for your clients on index cards and filing them away in a rolodex, you could keep separate computer files allowing you to retrieve information smoothly and accurately. Also, your consultation could include before and after photos, or it could offer your clients visual examples of potential hairstyles or skin repair treatments. Just think of the possibilities.

When it comes to advanced treatments and procedures, forward thinking tools and technology are becoming easy to use and fashionable. The following are a few tools that are a great way to become technology savvy.

High tech lighting options: Lighting options will allow you to view your client’s skin in a better light. These new lighting devices feature options such as adjustable lamps, high magnification and multiple movement capabilities. The key to these new lighting options is that they allow you to illuminate your client’s skin for a more accurate assessment, which benefits both you and your client. You will have ample lighting to conduct a thorough treatment and your client will feel relaxed and comfortable in the dimmed treatment-room light.

Viewing Scopes: Viewing Scopes allow you and your clients an up-close view on a computer monitor. In the past, these devices were incredibly large, cumbersome and expensive. Advancements in technology have turned viewing scopes into a therapist’s best friend. The newer versions are more compact and stylish. These scopes show your clients their skin at a high magnification. Not only will your clients take more interest in improving their skin, but they will also gain more insight into how the skin works—and hopefully see why they need your products and services.

Innovative product lines: Retail can deliver a solid profit for your business. It offers you the opportunity to use advanced products. In order to gain the competitive edge, look for products that feature new technology trends like organic product lines or energy efficient styling tools. When it comes to products, businesses that make the extra effort to create or distribute innovative and diverse product lines will gain the competitive edge. Understanding what your clients are looking for will help you advance your technology and increase your spa’s notoriety in the professional field.

By shopping wisely and doing your research, you will likely come to realize that not all products are the same. Use your logic and look for the science behind the technology. Seek out only credible manufacturers and then educate yourself about their products. Knowing is half the battle so study up and use technology tools like the internet to your benefit.

Kerrin Delaney is a Marketing Assistant at Marketing Solutions, a complete marketing, advertising, graphic design, PR and consulting services firm for salons, spas, manufacturers and beautycare entrepreneurs. For more information, call 703-359-6000, e-mail MktgSols@MktgSols.com or visit www.MktgSols.com.