Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The faster you pull it, the less it hurts.

Lise is debating about manicures and other small efforts for feminine beauty and their payoff... http://www.electric-monk.net/lise/2008/03/28/the-20000-manicure-question/

This isn't exactly related to those probing thoughts, but it did remind me of a financial "mistake" that I'm happy about:

I made a business decision that has cost me loads of money and you know what? I'm happy about it! I'm duly-licensed as a massage therapist and as a facial specialist. One of the biggest money makers for skin care professionals is waxing. It's a great add-on service, it's fast, it pays well for the time it takes, the investment in product is small, and--this is the best part--your clients come back every 4-6 weeks to get it done again.

After I graduated the skin care program my husband and I hauled our butts up to the big trade show in Orlando. I was surrounded by so many choices! I initially had wanted to purchase everything I needed to expand my business in that direction. After being so overwhelmed I stepped back and did more research. The only thing I really put money into was my waxing system.

I found a booth that had a great product. The selling points were all there. The systems were exactly what I wanted. I ended up talking the lady into demonstrating the product on my husband. He was a good sport about it and let her wax his back right there in the middle of the trade floor! I was very impressed and took both a hard wax and soft wax system home with me.

The training I had received was great--in theory--but I personally had very few opportunities to practice. My next step was to recruit people to wax and I was not short on volunteers.

Unfortunately, my suspicions were confirmed through this process.

I hate waxing.

I don't like to hurt people. I personally find the process ridiculously painful and therefor my attitude is, "shaving takes me less than three minutes a day, if that. What would I want to go through this amount of pain once a month?" Therefore it's harder for me to sell the service to a client; I feel very insincere.

There's a pretty big liability. I've personally been burned and bruised and had my skin ripped off--from three different experienced waxers. Every female friend that had gotten their eyebrows done has admitted they too have been injured. Why should I risk losing clients who love to shell out $70 over a $15 service? It's so easy to make a mistake. The temperature gauge might be just a teensy bit off or the client might be on a medication or at a certain point in her cycle and forget to mention it.

Certain body parts are a pain in the butt to do well. It's time consuming. The positions are awkward. There are some "speed waxers" who are incredible at what they do; but for new clients or those with lower pain tolerances (like me) it's just not an option.

It's also messy. Not all the time; but there are times when wax does get where it shouldn't be.

I decided not to do it anymore. And sometimes, yes, I kick myself, but I'm happier overall.

Another thing that I've decided not to offer is ear candling. For some reason this is a very popular service that I get asked for quite frequently. I personally think it's a load of crap. The mechanism which supposedly pulls the wax out can be disproved by any fifth-grade student in a simple science experiment. Furthermore there is a risk of getting wax on the eardrum and causing permanent damage or the need for surgery. Yikes! There are those who swear by this, but I won't touch it with a ten foot wick.

What do you do when you have an opportunity to make lots of money but personally hate doing it or have issues with the act?

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