A GREAT SALON NEEDS GREAT EQUIPMENT Article in The Australian Beauty Therapist – VOLUME 3 SPRING 2013 Written By Mark Robson – SunFX Director & Co-Founder A Great Salon Needs Great Equipment. Lets face it. Everyone loves a bargain! Getting the opportunity to buy something that seems to look good for a special cheap offer appeals to most of us. But how many times in reality have we all regretted it after the item we purchased doesn’t actually do quite what the promises were, and leaves us frustrated. Or we have looked at something that looks similar to another quality product but is cheaper and we thoroughly convince ourselves it’s worth the savings. We almost feel chuffed that we are such an astute purchaser. Have you found that, in the end, after they fall apart, and we throw it across the room, we go and buy the better product that, incredibly, then actually does deliver. This is exactly the scenario when investing in any equipment for your salons and spas. You put in a huge effort to have a great looking place, with great staff and everyone’s fully trained. But then, do you ever then find yourselves trying to save a dollar here and there when it comes to your equipment investment? The aim is always to have products that not only look the part, but will also deliver great service to your clients and hopefully years of service. There is a myriad of products out there these days, no matter what aspect of the industry you are in, and what you will quickly find is that many look great, but will not deliver in the end leaving you red faced and frustrated. And that’s along with your clients. China produces thousands of knock off products that look almost the same as long standing quality brands but at cheaper prices. The temptation is there to give it a go perhaps. Ever had the cheap waxing pot break down in the middle of waxing the client. Or perhaps your laser machine has spent more time sitting being repaired than being used. The massage table that was such a bargain is being held up with all sorts of tape and the top has split in 6 areas. Yep these things all happen. Take the spray tanning industry for instance. This industry sprang up out of nothing around 13 years ago. Today spray tanning has become as important part of the beauty business as nails or skin care have. And it’s a great industry that can deliver great customer satisfaction and importantly, great profits. But it is an industry that has attracted all sorts of cheap equipment and products and companies. You can go to the internet and buy a spray machine with a spray gun for $100. Yep, that will get me started you say. But the gun just drips everywhere and it cuts in and out and no one is answering your emails with your cry for help. Your clients stay away because the tan never did go on evenly. And like all products in the beauty industry,you can also buy equipment from companies that are called chinese knock offs. That is, they have been made to take on the appearance of leading industry products, but when it comes to their quality, much is left to be desired. The internal workings of the equipment simply cannot withstand the demand put on it. It was fine when you spray two people per day. But whats it like when you get busy and have fifteen or twenty or more per day. It just cant deliver. And when it breaks down you realise that the warranty was not worth the piece of paper it was written on. Or you wait weeks or months for the repair or replacement. That’s when you wish you had just bought the quality equipment from the start. So what’s the lesson. Do your research. Compare products. There is an old saying that still rings true today “ Quality is remembered, long after price is forgotten”. Seek out quality companies with products that have a long history of success if you can. Are they innovators or copiers? Are they tested or approved? Ask for any proof of claims they make. What’s the warranty terms and fineprint? Finding out answers and seeking these types of standards will help you a long way to ensuring you will get the best return for your investment. By investing that little bit more will mean your equipment will keep on delivering its promises year after year. And you will smile, because you had made a wise choice and profited from that.