MAY-JUN 2014

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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W h a t i s t h e b e s t w a y t o p r o m o t e g i f t Wh at is the be st wa y t pr m te gift c a r d s a l e s ? ca rd sa le s? Brown advises owners to promote their gift cards within the practice or medspa through face-to-face interactions and inside signage, as well as externally through email, social media and on your website. "Online gift cards are a MUST," she says. "Almost every page on our website has a link that lets you buy a gift card," says Ummel. "Make them easily available for your customers and give them lots of options: let them email them, or print them out and send them." Lyon counsels owners to consider gift cards part of their overall annual marketing program. "A purchased gift card can be classifi ed as a patient referral tool, a loyalty item and a frequent buyer item, so it's a great idea to promote gift cards within all of your patient retention programs," she says. A r e t h e r e a n y l e g a l i s s u e s s u r r o u n d i n g Are there a ny lega l issu e s su rr u n di n g t h e s a l e o f g i f t c a r d s ? the sa le f gift ca rds? Before launching a gift card program, it is essential that you understand the gift card laws in your state. For instance, a number of states—including Washington and California—have no-expiration date laws. "You never know when those folks are going to come in—they might come in fi ve years after you've sold the cards and your service prices have changed," says Ummel. "How long are you going to carry those gift card sales on your books? This ends up being a business decision." Once you fully understand your state's laws, be clear with purchasers about your practice's policies regarding sales and redemption. Brown recommends that busi- nesses post their gift certifi cate policies in the facility and also online to avoid unpleasant surprises. S h o u l d t h e i n c o m e f r o m g i f t c a r d Sh u ld the i n c me fr m gift ca rd s a l e s b e h a n d l e d d i f f e r e n t l y t h a n sa le s be h a n dled differe ntly th a n o t h e r i n c o m e ? her i n c me? The answer is a resounding yes. "When you have gift cards coming in, it can become a problem if you're putting that money into the same account with other in- come, and using it to pay for other things," says Ummel. "Ideally, have a separate checking account for gift cards. You do have to micromanage—it's a lot like putting money away for taxes." The difference should also be refl ected in your books. "Gift card sales are classifi ed as deferred income and should be entered under short-term liabilities on the balance sheet," explains Lyon. "They would not be entered as an 'infl ow' on the monthly cash fl ow state- ment, nor would they be considered revenue on the monthly profi t and loss statement. A generally accepted practice would be to move this item from a liability to an asset on the balance sheet and onto the fi nancial statements as infl ows and revenue, after one year, at the practice's year-end. Monthly draws are OK if you are not incorporated and still operating as a small business (sole proprietorship)." I s i t p o s s i b l e t o o v e r - s e l l g i f t c a r d s a n d s it p ssible t ver- sell gift ca rds a n d c r e a t e s c h e d u l i n g p r o b l e m s ? create schedu li n g pr ble ms? "There's no such thing as selling too many gift cards," insists Ummel. "Gift cards are a 'thank you' from your clients—they're buying the gift of your business and giving it to someone else. What better way to honor GIFT CARD STRATEGIES 60 MAY/JUNE 2014 | Med Esthetics " G i f t c a r d s a l e s a r e c l a s s i f i e d a s d e f e r r e d i n c o m e a n d s h o u l d b e "Gift ca rd sa les a re cla ssified a s de ferred inc me a n d sh uld be e n t e r e d u n d e r s h o r t - t e r m l i a b i l i t i e s o n t h e b a l a n c e s h e e t . entered u n der sh rt-term lia bilitie n the ba la nce sheet. Practice owners need to track both gift card sales and staff availability to avoid scheduling problems. © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM G i f t C a r d S t r a t e g i e s M E D 5 - 6 1 4 . i n d d 6 0 Gift Card Strategies MED5-614.indd 60 4 / 1 6 / 1 4 4 : 5 0 P M 4/16/14 4:50 PM

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