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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your company than to give that gift?" However, she acknowledges that spa owners need to manage their gift card sales carefully so they are able to accommodate the potential increase in appointments. This is exactly what happened to Brown in her fi rst spa, right after Christmas. "We sold so many packages that we could not fi t them in on the days clients could be there, which were often Saturdays," she recalls. "The end result was that we started opening on Sundays, which did ease the problem but was not popular with my staff." Lyon offers a formula to help owners determine how gift cards' sales may affect their overall business. "Say your medspa employs fi ve estheticians working 40 hours per week," she says. "Each of those estheticians could, hypothetically, conduct seven one-hour treat- ments per day, or 35 treatments each per week. Thirty-fi ve one-hour treatments per week times those fi ve estheticians equals 175 one-hour treatments as the weekly maximum. "Now," continues Lyon, "if an owner knew that the average weekly utilization for her esthetics department was, say 60%, that would mean that currently about 105 one-hour treatments were being conducted in a week. That leaves 40% availability for the week, or 70 one-hour open time slots." Lyon adds that practice owners can drill down as far as they want to reveal an accurate picture of their staff 's current utilization versus maximum capacity and, there- fore, availability. "Gift card redemption involves a mix of both product and service sales that is undetermined until redemption," she explains. "Nonetheless, if gift card service sales are robust and there is a risk of over-selling available time slots, working through this kind of formula could be a valuable exercise." H o w c a n o w n e r s f o l l o w u p o n g i f t c a r d H w ca wn ers f ll w u p n gift ca rd s a l e s t o t h e i r a d v a n t a g e ? sa le s t their a dva nta ge? Gift cards afford practice owners an array of business opportunities, says Lyon. She recommends gathering data about the recipient from the purchaser at the time the gift card is purchased, if possible. This data helps the business proactively manage this opportunity both in terms of future marketing avenues and customer ser- vice. "How and when gift cards are redeemed is crucial to every department, particularly fi nancial (cash fl ow), staffi ng (scheduling and booking) and customer service (VIPs and newbies)," she says. Natalie Zett is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer, special- izing in the spa and medspa industries. 62 MAY/JUNE 2014 | Med Esthetics GIFT CARD STRATEGIES " G i f t c a r d r e d e m p t i o n i n v o l v e s "Gift ca rd rede mpti n i lves a m i x o f b o t h p r o d u c t a n d a mi f b th pr du ct a n d s e r v i c e s a l e s t h a t i s service sa les that is u n d e t e r m i n e d u n t i l r e d e m p t i o n . " u n determin ed u ntil rede mpti n." Income from gift card sales should ideally be kept in a separate account. © 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 2 Gift Card Strategies MED5-614.indd 62 4 / 1 6 / 1 4 4 : 5 1 P M 4/16/14 4:51 PM

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