If you were mentoring a skin care student, what's the one best piece of advice you would share with them?

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Something that I wish someone would have ingrained a bit more in me, was the reality of getting started after graduation. When I decided to be an esthetician and started going to school I was so excited to get my license and start making $60/hour. In the back of my mind I knew that I would need to build my clientele, and it would take a little time, but I didn't really understand all the components that were needed. Students need to be realistically prepared for the time it takes to build a clientele, the need for liability insurance, and all the business aspects that not every skin care program covers. Taxes, marketing, inventory - there is so much more to being a successful esthetician than just doing the services. I think a lot of new grad estys don't last very long, because they weren't prepared - mentally, financially, or both - to wait out the time it takes to really get going.
Networking is especially important while in the school environment. Once school is completed a lot of times it feels like you're on your own to figure out your way in the spa world. I'd advise all students to take advantage of reps and presenters who come into schools- take business cards and have your own. Keep in touch with them and let them know when you're close to graduating. You never know what doors can open just by knowing people.

I think a lot of new grad estys don't last very long, because they weren't prepared - mentally, financially, or both - to wait out the time it takes to really get going.??

So true, Katie. When I was a spa director, the new estheticians were so poorly informed on the income bit and on building a clientele. The spa I was in marketed BIG TIME so they made more than many others right off, but request clientele was a different matter. We purposely hired out of school - you know, the bad habits thing - but they had to be taught from the ground up how to show their expertise, etc toward establishing a relationship with the clients, right down to where to stand when discussing analysis results and service recommendations, everything. At that spa, some DID make $60M a year their first full year some did not, but I know that was an exception tp the norm.

I would tell them to find a passion in esthetics and specialize in that.  Learn all you can about that aspect of the trade - that way you can establish yourself as an expert early on.  For me it has been acne, and focusing on that has really paid off!
I would have to say to continue to educate yourself after your graduation. You learn so many advancements in this industry after you graduate through post secondary schools.
Observe everything in school, think of how you would do it better. Write it down and once you start working, think of it often. Make your room a place you LOVE to be in. Also, take a class demo class from at least one distributer and see how they do things, observe what is different and what is similar. ( i.e. small things, like how they have the bed set up, how they have the their cart set up.) Try what you can in school. Ask the same question to different instructors. I had 4 different instructors and they all had very different takes on things. I combined what worked for me.
I got connected with a local accountant. They helped me set up quickbooks so that it would keep track of income, inventory and things related. It was a bit expensive. But when you compare it to what you paid for your schooling and how much money it will save you, its not so bad. 

Katie Hamilton said:
Something that I wish someone would have ingrained a bit more in me, was the reality of getting started after graduation. When I decided to be an esthetician and started going to school I was so excited to get my license and start making $60/hour. In the back of my mind I knew that I would need to build my clientele, and it would take a little time, but I didn't really understand all the components that were needed. Students need to be realistically prepared for the time it takes to build a clientele, the need for liability insurance, and all the business aspects that not every skin care program covers. Taxes, marketing, inventory - there is so much more to being a successful esthetician than just doing the services. I think a lot of new grad estys don't last very long, because they weren't prepared - mentally, financially, or both - to wait out the time it takes to really get going.

1. You get out what you put into the classes.  Ask every question that pops into your mind, participate in every hands-on portion of class, and as a student you can go to trade shows so if there is one in your area - go to it.  Be a sponge, absorb every bit of knowledge you can and apply it.

 

2. Take business and accounting classes.  I came to esthetics as a second career, my first was accounting and business management.  If I didn't have such a strong background in those two areas I would have had a hard time.  Schools don't spend much (or any) time on the business side, what you can expect your first year, how to build clientele.  My school told us we could make full-time money working part-time; and they were one of the better schools in the area.

 

3. Leave your cell phone at home, or in your car.  Texting during class is not only rude to your instructor & classmates, you are wasting your money.  Think about it, are you paying hard-earned money to learn a trade or gossip with your friends?  You are there to learn, so do just that.

Young ppl think they are going to make really good money but depending on where you are, that may not be the case so have something to fall back on if you can't pay your bills with this, or do it on the side. But it is a fun and rewarding profession. Never stop learning!

This is interesting and informative.  I have been out of school almost a year now.  I am working at a tanning salon/spa (I know it is odd for an aesthetician).  My best piece of advice is to ask about how the salon will market you.  I feel that I was mislead about this and the amount of customers interested in the services.  I have to buy all my own product I have spent nearly $1000 on this, and am bringing home less than $50 a week.  Perhaps someone has some extra advice for me.

I am a spa owner and Esthetician and I have to say that as much as a spa CAN market you, too many esties blame the spa for not bringing in business. We have to go out there and be confident in what we do and bring those clients in ourselves. It sounds like you are booth renting if you're buying all your products meaning it is your responsibility to bring clients in. It is too easy to quit as a new person which won't look good on your resume.

I agree.

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