Jean SheaHow to boost profitability in these tight economic times is on everyone’s mind. One area that can help keep costs down—yet, from my experience, is frequently overlooked—is profitable product usage. By profitable I mean: monitor usage and premeasure products to avoid waste; compare cost-effectiveness of products; and carefully evaluate how much product is needed for each client based on the types of services performed.

Even with careful instruction, your team may be wasting product, and an ounce here and there adds up. Set aside a period of one to two weeks to carefully monitor usage. Even more effective, since many products have a long shelf life, premeasure them to the required amount and store them for up to a week. Snack cups that you can get from the food industry make convenient containers to store premeasured product and avoid contamination. Not only does premeasuring cut waste, it saves time, since you don’t have to interrupt the treatment to measure product, and it cuts cleanup. Furthermore, when you premeasured, you can more quickly integrate other services, such as a foot treatment or back glow. Premeasured products also make a nice gift to give your clients as a reminder of the time they spent with you.
As important as avoiding waste is assessing the cost-effectiveness of the various products you use. If you have to re-apply a product several times, even in small amounts, the cost may be more than applying a larger amount in one application. To determine a product’s cost-effectiveness, simply divide your bulk cost by the recommended measurement per treatment. Compare several products against a specific treatment. Some manufacturers will actually provide you with product comparison usage by request.

You also need to know what will work best for a client’s particular skin type or condition. It is good practice to make notations on clients’ charts after each service to remind you of their special needs for future visits. An abundance of hair, considerable physical mass or extremely dry skin may require preparing more product then typically used for a specific treatment. By taking notes, you will know the correct amount of product to use for the next visit.

Finally, don’t forget, whatever product you apply has to be absorbed or you will have to take if off. Clients don’t want to remove product before putting their cloths back on. As a result when evaluating products, consider how much slip the product gives in relation to the type of service you are providing and how completely it is absorbed. If product is still sitting on the client’s skin when you are ready to move on, you’ve used too much. Learn from each session.

With careful monitoring, selection and application, you’ll find your products and your profits going hand in hand. 
Jean SheaJean Shea is the founder and CEO of  BIOTONE, a leading manufacturer of superior quality professional massage oils, cremes, lotions and gels, as well as spa-body and facial-treatment products. Shea founded the company in 1980 and today continues to help create and manufacture all of the company’s formulas.