As the beauty market continues to grow it is also getting increasingly competitive. So, how can you make sure your business stands out from the rest and keeps customers coming back? Could education be the answer? BABTAC looks at the advantages of continued learning to both you and your business.
Education and CPD (Continuous Professional Development) is a proven way to improve your knowledge, benefitting you and any employees you may have. CPD is a formal way for professionals to keep up to date within the industry, refreshing and developing skills and understanding.
CPD is important for all ages and levels of experience – you are never too old to learn something new! Part of what makes beauty such a great industry to be involved in is how innovative and fast paced it is. This does mean though that clients can be increasingly demanding, looking to try new treatments and experience even better, longer lasting results. CPD allows you to keep up with the latest trends, ensuring that your existing client base keeps coming back and that new clients choose you as well.
Taking ongoing learning seriously is a benchmark of quality – best practice recommends that you complete a minimum of 30 hours CPD per year which equates to 30 points. There’s a variety of ways you can gain points, from visiting beauty and hair exhibitions or reading relevant journal articles, through to attending training seminars and workshops. Some organisations break CPD down into Structured and Additional. Structured is formal learning gained through a course or conference; some advise that therapists undertake a minimum of 10 hours. Additional learning is classed as activities such as visiting shows or reading an educational text book; this can be used to bring the total amount of points up to the recommended 30.
It is the responsibility of every individual therapist to maintain a record of all CPD undertaken and it is important to keep evidence and a summary sheet. At the end of each year you can review this record, it is a good idea to look back to see what you have learnt and how it has helped you and your business. This can also help shape your plans for the year ahead and identify what learning will be worthwhile in the future.
What do points win?
When it comes to course subjects, as you know, there is a vast range of options from Thai foot massage and crystal healing through to pregnancy massage and spray tanning. With a wide choice of centres, you should be able to find a time and place that suits you and your schedule. CPD doesn’t have to just focus on treatments, it can enhance and build all aspects of your business. Learning more about finance, human resources and marketing can all contribute to your growth and success.
Upskilling can provide you with greater flexibility if your salon has more than one member of staff. Rather than having different people focus on separate treatments, if you can all offer the full menu you will be able to be more flexible with what appointments you can offer clients. This is especially useful when you have part-time staff and over the busy holiday periods
Whatever the stage of your career, continuing education can help you take it to the next level. It is estimated that there are approximately 270,000 beauty therapists in the UK, so if you want to stand out at an interview, have the confidence to take on more responsibility or start up your own business, it is essential to continue to develop your knowledge.
In addition to all the benefits that CPD gives your business it can also be great for you on a personal level. Learning something new can improve your job satisfaction, it will keep you interested and motivated rather than getting bored and stale. Attending training sessions and conferences can also be a great way to meet other therapists and network with likeminded people.
Don’t forget to shout about the fact that you are investing your time in education and improving the treatments you offer. It is always worth posting about your new skills on social media, people love to see before and after shots, these obviously work well when you are learning about new nail and lash treatments. If you are offering a new treatment consider running a promotion to attract new clients and generate interest with your existing customers. Ongoing learning helps to inspire confidence and trust in clients. You could refer to your commitment to improving your skills in all your marketing materials such as posters, emails and any advertising.
Could you provide CPD?
For larger salons and more experienced therapists why not consider becoming qualified to provide training and CPD yourself? You can become an Accredited Short Course provider with approval through BABTAC. Renowned for high standards, with BABTAC you can be confident that students on your course can be insured afterwards. Being approved by BABTAC you get additional business support including a helping hand to advertise your courses with a listing on www.findbeautytraining.co.uk and in Vitality magazine. Providing training will enhance the reputation of your business and promote your higher level of experience.