Treatments and charges
Historically, massage has been the most popular treatment provided by salons and spas, but the landscape is changing all the time. Indeed the 2009 survey from beautyserve.com found that pedicures were the most popular form of beauty treatment for Britain's salon-goers.
Preferences vary hugely from client to client. Kim Ford, of BABTAC, says that while a no-frills ‘maintenance client’ just comes in for nothing more than a leg-wax and an eyebrow shape, there are many cross-selling opportunities.
“The nail industry is huge, for instance,” Kim points out. “You have to decide whether you’re going to offer more varied treatments, as they require some expertise.”
It’s also worth considering new treatments as soon as they come out, because they can give your salon or spa the edge.
“The national press and the women’s editorial magazines tend to drive the interest in new products,” Kim explains. “Take the tanning pill that came out over the past year; we actually heard about it from our clients. Therapists should get involved in new therapies very quickly so they don’t miss out, but they should make sure they’re approved by an association, such as BABTEC.”
When you’re starting up, you should decide whether you’re going to branch into retail as well, and consider investing in retail stock for your reception.
Kalpana Gurung supplied us with some sample prices from her business, the Himalayan Day Spa in Chiswick:
Express manicure £17
French manicure £35
Hot oil hand and nail treatment £40
Express pedicure £17
French pedicure £40
Pedicure plus reflexology £65
Brazilian wax £30
Half leg £20
Eyelash tinting £15
Eyebrow threading £15
Full face and body tan £30
Aromatherapy facial £50
Deep cleanse facial £65
Ear candling £25
Body mud wrap £65
Hot stone therapy £75
Swedish massage £70
These prices may serve as a useful guide for your own business - but bear in mind that the Himalayan Day Spa is in the heart of London, and regional salons and spas may not be able to charge as much.
It's also important to think about how people perceive the beauty industry. The 2009 industry report from Mintel found that spas were more likely to be criticised for exaggerated prices than salons, so, if you're planning on opening a spa, it's particularly important to monitor the amount you charge.