How to Increase Your Earning Potential With Retail Sales

Here’s a strong statement for you: I believe that home care products are equally important, if not more so than receiving treatments in a spa. 

You might be wondering why I find that to be true, and I want you to think about it this way – if receiving treatments at a spa is like working out for your skin, home care would be your healthy diet. 

You can’t get in shape by going to the gym consistently but living on a diet of junk food and soda, right?

Therefore, what your patients are putting on their skin every day at home is going to make a tremendous impact on the health and appearance of their skin and their satisfaction with you as their skincare specialist.

The Biggest Benefits of Retail

The reality is, if your patients are not buying products from you, they are buying them somewhere else—and they may not be making the best product choices. 

By selling retail products, you’re not only boosting your spa’s revenue, but you’re also fully serving your clients. 

For an aesthetician, retail has more benefits than the obvious of simply caring for the skin.  Retail also allows for customization for your patient’s care as well as increased touch points enabling you to build a deeper relationship with your patient.  
By overlooking or not giving the same amount of energy or effort to build your retail sales as much as treatments, you’re losing out on a huge opportunity.

Quite often, aestheticians don’t even realize that they are leaving money on the table because they are not consistently tracking their retail to service percentage. 
For example, here’s the story of one of my clients: 

She had some personal financial goals that she was trying to reach and came to me to ask for help on a strategy to make this happen. This woman had been in the industry for about 10 -12 years - this was a second career for her.  

She had worked as a secretary for most of her life then realized she was ready for a change and wanted to do something she truly enjoyed, so she decided to go to school to become an aesthetician. 

She is excellent at what she does and was consistently 85-100 percent booked. She worked five days a week and was already at the commission cap that the spa offered.  

The problem was that she needed to generate an additional $500 per month to get her to where she wanted to be for her retirement, which was coming up in about 7ish years.   
Can you relate to that? Feeling like you want to make more money but you don’t have the time availability or have reached cap? 

I have. 

I remember thinking that I was at that point when I was in my late 20s and feeling discouraged that I would be making the same amount of money when I was 29 as I would at 59. That’s obviously not true, but it’s the emotion I had at the time. 
I also worked with other aestheticians who felt they were at this point of reaching a ceiling or being dangerously close to it. 

Often the first thought, especially when you work on commission, is to add an extra day, but if you’re already maxed out on hours as this aesthetician was, what do you do? 
Not to mention, the work we do takes a lot of focus, concentration, and ability to stay present.  If you’re overworked, your quality of care can go out the window, not to mention your personal life. 
When that happens, you burn out quickly, and even if you’re working more days, it gets harder to stay present and truly give each patient what they deserve - our undivided attention and complete focus on them and their skincare goals. 
Well, what I learned, and want to share with you, is that nine times out of 10 retail is the answer. 

Determining Your Retail to Service Percentage

So, after identifying that my client had hit her ceiling, we shifted to a "work smarter not harder” approach, and I suggested that we take a look at her retail to service percentage. 
Let’s first clarify what a retail to service percentage is. I’m going to use simple numbers here just to share the concept. 
If you performed $1000 worth of services in a single day and you sold $300 worth of retail products, your retail to service percentage would be 30%. Also, don't include tips when computing this percentage.  
If you are working in a medspa, 30% is a great goal to set for yourself because the prices of the services are typically much higher than a day spa presuming you are offering light and laser treatments. 
For day spas, I recommend a  50% retail-to-service percentage as a goal. These numbers may seem challenging to hit consistently, but it’s absolutely reachable with the right technique, knowledge, and follow through.
So, refocusing on my client, we gathered some data and found out that she was at 27%.  This client was working at a day spa so it was actually good news to see that her numbers were small because it meant that we could almost double her retail to service percentage. 

There was certainly money being left on the table that she was unaware of. 

Growing Your Percentage and Your Income 

So, how do you calculate what you need to do to make that additional $500 of revenue per month?

The first step is to take a look at the commission rate that you’re at. 

This aesthetician made 10% on all retail sales, so it was easy to calculate that for her to make an additional $500 she needed to sell an additional $5000 per month.  
That sounds like a big number at first, right? I want you to bear with me as we break it down.  

If you take into account that there are four weeks in a month, that brings the number down to $1250 a week.  

Now take into consideration how many shifts you work per week - in this case, she was working five shifts, so now we are down to an additional $250 per day. 
Does that seem more reasonable?  
The beautiful thing about retail as opposed to getting higher priced services on your book is that retail takes less of your time and still provides an excellent value for your clients.  

Another reason retail is often a better option than going out to find new clients is that according to the book Marketing Metrics, it is 50% easier to sell to an existing customer than a new customer.  
However, there’s one thing I want to make sure to note is that you never want to recommend a product, or service for that matter, that does not truly benefit the patient. It’s unethical, and it is the quickest way to break down trust with a patient. Although it’s important to have a goal for growth, your ultimate goal is to always provide the best care for your patients and clients.

Bursting Through Your Earning Ceiling

Now, if you’re just starting out and still building your book, don’t think that focusing on retail doesn’t matter yet. The earlier you can build your retail revenue, the better, but also know that your primary focus is best spent on your ideal client, networking, and marketing your business.  

But if you’ve been in business a while and have a decent size patient base, it’s time to start maximizing the potential and making sure you are not leaving money on the table.

No matter what group you fall into, be resourceful and use your spa’s software reporting capabilities to your advantage and examine how you can incorporate talking about retail products and homecare routines when your clients come to see you for treatments. 

As with anything in business, the biggest keys to your retail success is to set goals, create a strategy and know your numbers. 

Until next time, keep making the world a more beautiful place inside and out! 

5 Steps for Coping With and Improving a Negative Work Environment

It wouldn’t be work if it were easy, but just because work isn’t always a cakewalk doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be enjoyable. 
What I mean is that we all deserve to go to work at a place that fosters positivity. A place that we feel welcome to go to every day, in an environment we feel comfortable and safe in, and in a place where people are supportive. 

Essentially, a place that meets our inherent human desires of feeling valued, listened to, and accepted. 

When you work in an environment that makes you feel the complete opposite of those feelings, it can be debilitating and make you really hate your job, even if you love your chosen profession. 
If those feelings or the description of a negative workplace resonates with you, here are some steps you can take to cope and improve the situation effectively:

1) Check Your Energy

It doesn’t matter which way you slice it; negativity is draining. And chances are if you’re reading this post, you’re probably not a contributing factor to the negative environment because you’re self-aware of what’s happening around you.
However, it’s important to address personal responsibility in every scenario, so I want you to consider if your mindset might not be helping the situation. 

I say this because I know how easy it is for negativity to drain our energy and subsequently spiral into a negative mindset that believes nothing will change or that you can't do anything to make it better. 
Rather than getting in this spiral, be mindful of self-reflecting and checking your energy to make sure that you’re not contributing to the negative environment with a poor outlook or demeanor that could be fueling the primary source of negative energy in your environment.  

2) Find an Outlet 

 So, how do you fix a negative mindset? By finding an outlet. 
Outlets for negative energy can take a variety of forms from seeking professional counsel, to letting yourself get absorbed in a hobby you love, taking your mind off of things by disconnecting with a book or nature, whatever works for you. 
The key to finding what works is trying different things and not giving up on the search for a new outlet if the first one you try isn’t the best fit. 

Although this might feel like putting a Band-Aid on the problem, if it better equips you to be content at work and happier outside of work, it’s worth the time and energy spent. 
However, one thing to note is that you shouldn't make your primary outlet another person such as a colleague, your partner, or a friend. 

This can result in dragging that negativity to other facets of your life, which won't help and opens up the high possibility of making your feelings worsen.  

3) Carefully Communicate 

Sometimes the previous two steps are enough to make you feel better about your work environment, but sometimes situations call for more direct action. 
If you honestly believe that there needs to be an intervention, be sure to do it with care, because as I’m sure you’ve already feared, your job could be on the line. 
Start by raising your concerns privately either with the person you report to or a colleague who you can confide in (remember, not complain to, confide in). Depending on the severity of the negativity, you may find that you only need to communicate minimally to ease negativity.  

4) Focus on Solutions 

If you do decide to take action by communicating your concerns and frustrations, the best way to approach the situation is with solutions rather than blame.
When we blame, we inflame, and that can cause the negativity in your work environment to become worse. 
Instead of focusing on who is at fault, focus on changes that can be made to address the root of the problem, and what specific action steps can be done. Acknowledge that changing an environment or team morale takes a team effort and that this includes you, too. 
Of course, your negative work environment could be due to a more isolated situation and in that case, follow the same approach of careful communication and focusing on the solutions, but keep your efforts for change private and only between your boss and the person you’re having an issue with. 
This approach ensures that you’re not spreading the negativity to other people in your workplace, plus you’re giving your efforts to mitigate the situation a much better chance of success. 

5) Move On

Finally, there will be times that regardless of what steps you take to improve your outlook or to find solutions to the root of your negative workplace, problems can’t be fixed and instead you need to move on. 
If you decide that this is the best route for you, start devising a plan to get out of your current environment and into a new one. 

Who knows, this could be an excellent opportunity to branch out on your own and open up the possibility of providing positive and supportive career opportunities for others.

No matter what steps you take to cope or ease the negativity in your environment, remember that coming from a place of positivity is always the best approach. 

Most people would agree that they prefer being happy over feeling sad or frustrated and that they would rather feel encouraged and uplifted rather than feeling alone. 

If you come from a place of positivity and treat others the way you would like to be treated as you navigate a negative environment, I think you’ll find that the outcomes are more almost always favorable.