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Buying machinery for your practise is an enormous decision. Not only is it a huge initial outlay, but you need to consider what will be best for your local market, what will deliver best results, what will keep the clients coming back for more treatments and, of course, what will help you deliver the maximum profit after your monthly payments to the supplier.
We get it! It’s a really scary and momentous choice. Luckily, Annalouise Kenny at Skin Philosophy has been at the forefront of laser technology since 2008, and has been navigating the market whilst running her own clinic, skin school and retreat at the same time. There’s nothing about this topic that she doesn’t know, and so we thought we’d get it all down in a blog post for you to refer to you when the time comes to make your purchase.
Research Your Brands
There are an utterly befuddling number of brands out there, all vying with one another to catch your eye with their cutting edge technology and seemingly brilliant deals. But you need to really, deeply research what they’re putting out there, which means looking beyond the glossy pictures and enticing stalls at exhibitions. But how to go about this?
One of the best ways of gauging the performance of your potential machinery is to exhaustively search the Internet for reviews. Facebook groups, online forums, at the bottom of sites for the products, which.com – these are all fabulous resources for honest reviews by our fellow aestheticians.
The trick is to know how to read them. There are some people who are probably always going to moan and find the negative (we’ve all got at least one friend like this!), and others who may have had a bad experience that contrasts to the majority of others’. We like to look for discussions on Facebook threads, as people have their guard down and are more conversational, so we get more of a feel for what the user experience is really like.
Look Up How Long the Business has Been Trading
Every business needs to start somewhere, but we’re talking about your savings and your future here, so the bigger and more established businesses that have been trading for years are generally going to be more of a safe bet.
Of course, a bigger business can also mean a less personal experience for you – as well as their being les keen to attract your custom (and thereby offer less enticing discounts). But the longer they’ve run for, the more reviews that will be out there to reference also, so you can make your purchase feeling more assured.
Is The Brand in Many Clinics?
The greater number of clinics that the machines are used in, the better (we think). This means that plenty of established businesses trust them, and it also means that there will be greater public awareness of that brand. We aestheticians rely so much on word of mouth from our clients that this a really is a key point to consider when buying your machine.
Where is the Machine Made?
It’s vital to look at which country the machine is made in, because regulations vary according to countries. Some countries are far more exacting, but with this also comes a greater cost. However, this is laser, and it is of the utmost importance that your client’s safety – and yours – are not at risk.
Get out there and try the different machines as a paying client. Yes, it might include even more outlay during a costly process, but this will help you see how different machines can make you feel (for example, comparing different cooling mechanisms of various lasers and how effective they are). This also means you are not being administered the treatment by a paid representative of the brand whilst being plied with tea and biscuits (and often bubbles), so your opinions will be more impartial.
Plus – it’s always good to check out the competition!
We cannot stress enough the importance of paperwork! Yes, it’s far more boring than the glamorous side of our industry, but regulations are extremely tight when it comes to laser and IPL machinery. Here’s a little checklist:
– Make sure that the equipment is CE marked
o And, if applicable, FDA approved.
– How long is the warranty?
– Is service included?
– After warranty expires, how much is the service contract?
– Is there protocol in pace?
Have a look at the cost of the consumables when comparing this with other brands. Many people overlook this aspect but of course, it’s really going to hit home if you’re miscalculated or overlooked this once you start running. How often, for example, will you have to replace cooling fluid? How much will this cost to buy in bulk? Is there only one supplier of these consumables, and what if they go out of business?
We know – it really can feel overwhelming – but careful planning at this stage will absolutely lead to an easier experience later one.
Is it Medically Endorsed?
A machine being medically endorsed makes for a brilliant sales pitch. Clients are often wary when starting laser, as there are so many horror stories out there, and the expense is great when compared to, say, one-off waxing appointments. It also denotes that this brand is particularly effective and reliable, so we recommend machines with this facet.
Are There Clinical Trials to see Long-Term Impact or Effect on Skin?
Just like with the medical endorsement pointer, having a comprehensive clinical trial to quote helps with advertising your treatments, as well as persuading cautious clients. But it also helps you rest easy, knowing that you’re offering the best possible treatments to your clients, and can charge accordingly. It also keeps you from worrying about unhappy clients who might choose to launch any claims, as you can feel the peace of mind that a thorough clinical trial with positive results can bring.
So there we go! We really hope that this has helped you with choosing your machinery. If you’re a student with us, we always love to hear from you and do be sure to keep in the loop on our Facebook group. We love seeing discussions going on, and questions posed are always answered with a slew of educated, interesting answers from our experienced graduates working in the field.