What type of ongoing training should I expect from the product houses I work with?

This is the most significant question to ask when selecting a product house. All brands can put forward USPs, benefits, discounts and quick wins. However, the brands that stand out are the ones that offer you that additional level of support that comes from understanding your business needs and the demographic of your spa.

This includes regular business development visits that deliver value, education and engagement to all team members. Building confidence in the brand is key to its success in your spa, because when therapists feel connected to a brand, they will endorse it. It’s also important to look at distribution and placement. What does the brand’s spa portfolio look like? Is it available in too many retail outlets? Which, while heightening brand awareness, could also affect its prestige.

The brand you select should deliver on innovation, giving your spa an edge and offer a different experience that will help you capture a new clientele, so be bold in your selection. A bespoke treatment menu, competitive marketing programme and well-placed promotional activities are also important considerations.

The most crucial factor is how available your business development manager is and how they approach the partnership with you. It’s a collaboration between your spa and the brand, so you need to work together closely, with a strong action plan and a focus on education to simultaneously evolve your business and your people. The product houses that place importance on the partnership and on dialogue with the spa and its customers will always be the most successful to work with.

Tom MacPherson Le Maire is sales and training manager for skincare brand Intraceuticals. His role at the company entails overseeing the UK operation, key European distribution partners and projects in emerging markets in Africa. He has been in the industry for 12 years, working with leading skincare and cosmetics businesses, including Clarins