How to choose a machine – part one

One of the most common questions we get at LaserCollege is; which machine must I buy? This question does not have a short answer. Even if it is not your first machine you’re buying, it remains a challenge to get it right. In this article we will explore some steps you need to take to arrive at an answer for this question.

The equipment you use in your clinic or salon are tools you need to achieve a certain outcome. Keep in mind that your expected outcome and that of your clients are not the same. Therefore, you cannot base your decision of equipment on client expectation. To arrive at the point where you know which equipment will suite you best, we usually propose some mind exercises.

The first thing you need to do is to sit down and think of the end result you want to achieve with your clinic, salon or spa. Imagine that you have completed the project and your clinic is running exactly as you want it. Write down in your journal how the perfect day at work went.

Make a description of the physical location, what does it look like and how do you feel while you wonder in your mind’s eye through your clinic? You’re greeting your first client for the day, what is the interaction like? What does the client say about the previous treatment? What are her expectations for this and the coming treatments? In the afternoon you decide to have something to eat in a place close to your clinic and while you’re there you overheard someone talking about your clinic (she recommended it to her friend), what did she say?

When, you have this final picture of where you’re going to in your head it is easier to make a list of the treatments you want to provide in your clinic. Remember, these treatments will bring you to your final destination. When you have a list of treatments you want to provide, you are ready to start looking at the tools you will need for this.

At this point you get on the internet and start looking at machines that will the best suite your needs. The only thing is that half an hour later you’re totally overwhelmed and everything you thought you knew went straight out the window.

If you are a first-time buyer, the best thing you can do at this point is to increase your technical knowledge on both treatments and equipment. The money you spend at this stage on appropriate training will be saved in tenfold when you start buying equipment.

If you are not a first-time buyer, sit down and think about the previous machines you’ve owned. Draw two columns on a page, one for pro’s and one for con’s. Write the make and model (or the name) of your last machine on top and then start to list everything you liked about that machine under pro’s. Also include things that turned out well for you with this machine that you did not expect. Under the cons you list everything that irritated you about the machine and problems you’ve experienced that you do not want a repeat of. Do this exercise for every machine you have owned.

If you’ve previously owned machines, think about the people / companies that supplied you. Have you built a good relationship with your suppliers and have they served you well? What changes in this relationship will make an improvement for you? If you had an unpleasant experience with a supplier, what can you do to prevent a repeat of it?

If it is your first machine you want to purchase, think about any high-ticket transaction you’ve made before, like the purchase of a vehicle or property. What was good about those suppliers / agents and what not?

After you’ve completed all the above exercises, you are almost ready to purchase a machine. The last piece of the puzzle is your technical knowledge. You need to fully understand the treatment parameters relevant to the treatments you want to do. When you know and understand treatment parameters you are ready to decide on a machine.

Next time we will look at some promises that distributors and manufacturers make in their marketing material. What does it really mean to you and how you’ll be able to know if it’s true or not?

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