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! 

The 5 Key Components of the Perfect Spa Resume

Back in my days as a spa director, before starting AddoAesthetics, one of my responsibilities included interviewing and hiring aestheticians, which was a lot harder than it may seem on the surface. 

When you have a stack of resumes on your desk, how can you possibly choose who you’re going to bring in for an interview? You can’t interview everyone - that would be a full-time job in and of itself.  

My solution and I know the solution of many other Spa Directors, was to use those resumes to quickly weed out non-ideal candidates and filter through those who I wanted to get to know better through a phone interview. 

I would go through and carefully review the stack of resumes in front of me, and after consideration of each one I would set the resume into one of two piles: ones that looked promising and the ones that may not be a good fit.  

So the question is, how do you make your resume shine and stand out from the rest so that you can end up in the promising pile? 

Here are the five key components that routinely show up on resumes that turn into interviews:

Professional Summary

Your professional summary is an overview of who you are summed up in one short sentence. 

For example, my professional summary as I applied for the position of Spa Director read:

“Accomplished Aesthetician, Author, and Speaker with nine years of experience in the spa industry; strong sales and marketing background specializing in retail sales in the spa environment.”

This summary is short and sweet and should be the pre-cursor of the rest of the information in the other sections of your resume. 

Also, it’s important to note that you should specifically cater your professional summary to the spa and the position that you’re applying for. I was applying for a director position, so I focused my summary on showcasing my strong sales and marketing background, which I needed for that particular position. 

Conversely, if you’re applying for a lead aesthetician position, you may want to focus the language in your summary around leadership. 


There are a few ways to tackle this part of the perfect spa resume, but after reviewing hundreds of them, I believe the most effective method is to break the qualifications into sections.  

These sub-sections are going to be different for everyone, but since my experience was working in a medical environment, my sections included: 

  • General Aesthetics
  • Light and Laser Treatments
  • Products
  • Consults
  • Certifications

General Aesthetics is where I’ll list things like facials, hydrafacials, dermaplaning, and the chemical peel lines that I’ve been trained on.  

The light and lasers section would outline the different treatments I’m able to perform as well as include the devices that I am familiar with. For example, you may have experience with laser hair removal but the practice you worked at previously used IPL or a Yag laser while the spa you’re applying to uses an 810 pulsed diode. 

It’s important for the spa director to know what the potential learning curve will be, and they’ll appreciate that information being readily available for them to consider.    

For the products section, I’ll list out all of the product lines that I’ve received training for and have worked with. This is imperative because no matter what spa you’re applying to, having a strong product knowledge background is going to be a plus, particularly since home care product sales are an increasingly important part of a spa’s bottom line. 

Consults come next, and in this section, I list out the topics that I am qualified to offer consults for even if I don’t perform the treatment myself. Things like neuromodulators, soft filler, CO2 fractionated laser - all things that the physician I had previously worked for had trained me on to provide consults to his patients. 

Finally, include any certifications that you may have including if you’re CPR & AED certified.

As I mentioned earlier, “Qualifications” is an area on your resume that you can play with and make your own, but I personally like to keep it at the top. By doing that, you make it easy for the spa director or whoever is reviewing the resumes to see everything that you’re trained in at a quick glance.  

And if you’re just out of school and don’t have a lot to include in this section, don’t worry, one of my very well-respected mentors in the industry says “hire the smile, train the skill.” The right personality and the right attitude goes a long way. 

Work Experience 

Right behind or tied with qualifications, this is the area that likely takes up the most space on your resume. 

In this section, you’ll want to include the name of the companies that you have worked for, the dates that you used to work for them, their location and your job title. 

Under each position, you can list two or three bullet points that highlight your responsibilities and achievements.  

These bulleted highlights can include things like your retail to service percentage, any awards that you may have won, and really anything that shows that you were a rock star at your previous job.  

Personally, I always loved to see numbers and stats that measured growth. That would show me know that a candidate had a good grasp of their numbers and that they were in touch with the business side of things. 

Both pro points that would land you in my promising pile.


After work experience comes education where you'll want to include your aesthetic schooling and any other degrees you may have if you attended university.  

Even if your degree has nothing to do with aesthetics, include it in there anyway. My bachelor's degree is in geography. Nothing to do with aesthetics, but it still has opened doors for me.  

This is especially important if you’re interested in working for a product company at some point because many of those positions require a 4-year degree.

I would also include any continuing education classes that you’ve taken, especially those taught by physicians as well as industry experts to show your commitment to advancement in your area of expertise. 

Activities and Interests

Finally, you’ve got the activities and interests section. This isn’t a section you’ll see included in many standard resume templates, but I think this is a vital way to showcase your personality and perhaps even find a connection with the person that is interviewing you.  

I am not a fan of scripted interview questions, and I prefer to simply start up a conversation to measure the applicant's confidence and knowledge of the industry. 

By having an activities and interests section, you’re making it much easier for your interviewer to find connecting points and conversation starters that will give you a chance to shine on an in-person interview.

If you’re wondering what to include, some of the things I would list are organizations I volunteer for or am a board member for, and I’d even mention that I dance tango. It’s certainly a conversation starter.  

Cover Letter and References 

Now that you know the five key components to the perfect spa resume, I want to discuss your cover letter and references. 

As you’re searching for positions, you may find that some jobs don’t require submitting a cover letter or references, but I think you should always include these pieces whether you’re required to or not. Now let me tell you why. 

When you write a cover letter, the purpose is not only to provide a more personal introduction, but also to show that you’ve done your research on the company that you are applying for.  

I always looked for the people who made it clear my spa was their top choice; not just one of many that they had applied to eagerly seeking employment wherever they could get in. And the top way they would show that was through a cover letter. 

When you include a cover letter and references with your resume, that indicates that you’re proactive, detail oriented, and you’re not afraid to go the extra mile to do something right. 

It’s also a clear indicator that you truly care about getting the attention of our spa, and it works.   

So, as I wrap up this post I want to end on a final encouraging note because I know applying for jobs can be stressful, nerve-wracking, and at times, draining.

However, I also know that if you apply all these tips to your resume, you will start to see traction and you’ll begin to open the door to more opportunities for your career to thrive. 

My goal for you is that by crafting your perfect spa resume, you’ll not only garner more requests for phone and in-person interviews, but you’ll also feel confident in the skills and talents you bring to the table. 

Now it’s time to get to work, literally!