If we don’t value what we do ourselves, how can we expect our clients and society to value what we do, writes Kristy Hines.
I want to you to ask yourself a number of questions. How passionate are you about the beauty industry? Do you see it as a long term career? Do you want people to respect what you do? I also want you to ask yourself when was the last time you were a client? How often do you pay for a service in our industry? How often are you the client? Do you practice what you preach to your clients?
The importance of supporting our industry is often overlooked in the pursuit to improve its standards.
Shocking fact: Many therapists have never actually paid for or been a client, ever! How can they know what clients expect? Or what level of service other therapists are offering, let alone the benefits of regular treatments if they are not having treatments themselves? When you consider the progression of gaining our qualification from beauty school to performing treatments on guests there is no stage where we spend time observing treatments being performed by an experienced therapist in a real situation on a guests. Effectively if you don’t go and pay for treatments you’re going blind in to a real working situation.
Our industry is renowned for burn-out and the loss of talented therapists and the most common reasons are “they get over doing treatments”. If you never have treatments or only treat yourself occasionally to treatments you will definitely forget the impact of what you do and naturally lose passion for your craft. What we do is physically and mentally demanding.
You can’t just give and never receive if you want to stay passionate. To have longevity in the beauty industry, no matter your position — educator, therapist, sales rep or retail advisor — you need to stay connected to the experience of being a client.
I’m sure we all learn from our colleagues; imagine how much you could learn if you had a regular monthly treatment at different salons, spas and media spas, picking up a tip, technique or a great piece of advice from each experience.
I know personally if it has been a couple of months since I’ve been on the receiving end of a treatment as a client, I always have a very strong sense of renewal about my craft after the treatment. When we are working hard, day in and day out, we very quickly forget the impact on moral, self-esteem, relaxation and results of a treatment. They just make you feel so good! After a treatment, when you go back to your next day of clients you have so much more love and passion for what you are giving.
One of the most important aspects of our job is understanding clients; their needs, expectations and more importantly, having empathy and understanding of what it is like to be on the receiving end of a treatment.
Having a treatment in your own space is equally as important as experiencing treatments with other therapists. You will become innately aware of your clients’ perspective, from the air vent that may need dusting to small ways to make your client more comfortable.
Being a model for training and doing treatments on yourself allows a small amount of insight into the service, but simply doesn’t replace the true experience and depth of insight and understanding actually being a client for a service and resulting intuition.
A guilty trap I’m sure we can all admit we have succumbed to is adding services in the treatment room and not charging or ‘over giving’ as I like to call it with fitting that little bit extra into a service without booking the extra time and charging for it. Therapists can fall into this trap constantly.
This is another example of not valuing our work. Some clients will shop around to find a therapist who will give them extra without charging. These guests are not worth their trouble; not only will they exhaust you emotionally and financially, they will also affect your moral about what you do.
Some therapists leave our industry because they feel they are not valued financially. If you are a business owner, consider increasing the service fees of your successful therapists so you can increase their salary and commission.
Not only will this satisfy a successful therapist, but it will also demonstrate to society that talented therapists cost more to see! If we examine our industry on services costs, it’s almost outrageous that most places charge the same for a treatment with a beauty college graduate as a therapist with 10 years’ experience!
If you want the beauty industry to be financially rewarding for you as a therapist it’s time you evaluated what you charge your clients. Gone are the days where therapists should all be charging the same for services within a business. As a business owner, if you have a therapist with a rebooking of 85 percent or higher, you should be increasing their service charges.
Let’s more forward as industry and value what we do! After all, we are a profession that has so many positive reasons to retain people such as:
- It’s relevant to the individual i.e. Everything you are learning personally benefits the learner;
- We get to make people feel good and help their self-esteem, something not many people can claim in their profession;
- There are many career paths such as therapy, sales, management, education to name a few;
- We have flexible working arrangements, everything from corporate environments to working from home;
- It’s a trade, so we will always have our skill set to work with.
Show your passion for our industry by supporting what we do, experiencing what our industry has to offer and valuing what services you provide.
Charge accordingly, pay to receive services and commit to treatment programs yourself. Be a client regularly at other businesses and always look to renew your passion in your craft to ensure you have a long and fulfilling career in our industry.
Kristy Hines is owner and manager at Mineral Lifestyle Hair Spa www.minerallifestyle.com.au