What to consider before you buy a laser?
Many of you are considering buying new equipment for your salons and clinics. You often consider lasers or IPL. These devices surely increase business profits if they are well-chosen and the therapists can see what they are doing. Many of us definitely plan to buy a device, and select offers, comparing them with each other. Every manufacturer and every distributor wants to sell. But how to choose the best offer? Here is a list below that you should consider.
In order for the procedure to get the best results, three basic factors must overlap:
- Device quality
- Knowledge and experience of people who perform the procedure
- The personal reaction of the client-patient.
When we invest money, price is the first factor to consider.
It is worth noting that the most expensive devices do not mean the best results, it does not mean that the device is the best. The price of the device consists of several components that you should know about and which I will describe below. It is worth remembering that in the case of very cheap devices, you can first wonder what is wrong with them and where does their low price come from, and it is probably not worth finding out about it yourself, after buying it.
It is necessary to consider what will happen if, for example, the device breaks down – how long to wait for the repair, who will do it, and what are the related costs.
What is the lack of the expected treatment results – what are the parameters of the device necessary for proper operation. What to do in the absence of marketing support – what additional costs do you have to sacrifice?
What training and later support do therapists receive? Who can they call for questions that come only after training?
What company will insure and bear the costs of any claims related to unwanted complications and side effects?
It is also worth considering from whom the purchase is made. Is the company an innovative company – or is it improving its devices. Here it is the work of a group of people within the ” R&D ” department (Research and Development). There are companies that do not have such a group of specialists, and they either copy their devices from the competition or do not improve them at all. Technology is improving extremely fast here, so what was good 10 years ago is not necessarily modern enough today. A company with good ethical standards will always offer you an improvement of the purchased equipment at a good price, without selling a new device. This means that you will always have access to innovations, new solutions etc.
You should also find out about the ease of use, the ease of adjusting the treatment parameters necessary to perform the treatments. Can a given device perform all treatments in accordance with a given wavelength? Can the device be used on the whole body? Is the machine easy to clean and maintain? How fast can the treatment be performed? Does the device have additional functions, e.g. cooling, or does it self-calibrate? It is worth looking at every detail that may affect the quality of work – e.g. is the handle not too heavy, is the treatment spot the right size, etc.
It matters whether you are buying from the manufacturer or the distributor. This is very important because the distribution contract can end within a year, and being alone with all the problems you can think of is very uncomfortable. Pay attention to how many people work in the team. I know of cases when the salesman, trainer and engineer were one person with many hats on. Check their qualifications. Not every salesperson can be a good trainer and a good engineer, it is simply impossible. Moreover, a beautiful stand at the fair and an elegant, rented office do not prove anything. It is necessary to pay attention to the place of manufacture of the equipment. I really like to know the engineer who designed my device, I know I am very lucky that I also work with engineers, and sometimes I can call nothing, to the factory, and ask directly for details if something bothers me. I think that at the beginning it is enough to contact a dedicated engineer, whose phone number you will get as soon as you need something. Most of the lasers and IPLs known on the market are manufactured in factories in Israel, the United States and Europe.
Good companies care about their customers. Lack of ethics and talking poorly about competition are things that put me off in the first place. This proves the lack of professionalism and that there is a chance that they will talk about everyone similarly. Yes, everyone wants to sell their device, and will use all possible methods to do so. It happens that the representatives make up various stories to discredit the competition. Is their equipment so good? Whenever possible, ask your competitors for the same and make your own judgment.
Buying at a discounted price may be a good thing, but it’s not always that simple. Sending cash or transferring between an unknown person or internet company can be risky. If the product is not what it seems, there is no customer protection if the company is located abroad. It is worth asking about the terms of warranty and service.
There is a saying “buy cheap, buy twice.” It is understood that there are great products from China, especially the I-phone (this one is made in China), but it is backed and designed by an international company with the highest quality control that we know as Apple.
For cosmetic machines in the US and Europe, many customers find it difficult to obtain a treatment or insurance license as there is no one to service the imported machine. Machine operation training is not recognized or does not meet educational standards. The CE marking alone is not enough when it comes to obtaining a license, it is checked during local inspection, and if it stands for Chine Export, not European Certification, it means counterfeiting and the use of the device which does not comply with European requirements.
- Knowledge and experience of the operator
Good university education is not a determinant of knowledge of treatment techniques. I know this may raise objections, and it will be nice if I am corrected, but I will be happy to find out how many hours of study and practice with the use of lasers and IPL are included in the study program. In the UK, the laser therapy training scheme was developed by HEE (Health Education England) in 2016, and it accurately describes the next stages of training, which are ‘written’ even for 3 years of continuous theoretical learning and practice. It is very similarly regulated in the United States by the ‘Training and Practice Standards Committee’. This is perfectly normal as learning is a process that requires time and commitment. Laser therapy is not only the ability to operate one device and referring to training scripts, and it is not technically possible for it to be fully transferred during a one-day manufacturer training. The trainer should not only have sufficient knowledge, but also the necessary qualifications. In Great Britain, this is related to the qualifications appropriate to the type of treatments performed and the lasers used for this purpose. This is broken down into the respective levels:
- a) Basics of knowledge,
- b) Hair reduction,
- c) Photorejuvenation.
- a) Removal of tattoos, permanent makeup and carbon peel
- b) Vascular Lesions Removal
- a) Ablation treatments
- a) Laser treatments within the eye socket
Product training takes at least one day dedicated to one technology – one treatment. Additionally, good companies offer re-training, i.e. additional training, a few months after the first. Otherwise, incorrectly conducted training will affect the quality of the treatments performed. Experience is gained along with number of the treatments and it takes time, but without good basics and the good care of a trainer, it is very difficult to achieve.
Good companies care about their customers. Lack of ethics and talking poorly about competition are things that put me off in the first place. This shows that they are not professional and there is a chance that they will talk about you similarly. Yes, everyone wants to sell their device, and will use all possible methods to do so. It happens that the representatives make up various stories to discredit the competition. Is their equipment so good? As soon as you have the opportunity, ask your competitors for the same and make your own assessment.
- Individual reaction of the patient-client
It’s all about the results! Results are the key to success! If your clients observe bad results or the lack of them, you can slowly kill your business, but also lose your enthusiasm for working in the field of laser therapy. It’s important to use a good system and a system that works well in all respects. The training technique and its level also play a huge role in business and personal development. Sometimes an incorrectly defined phototype, the use of wrong treatment parameters or an inadequate work technique reduce the effectiveness of the treatments. It also happens that the client has been qualified for the incorrect treatment.
You can save on a pair of shoes or a pair of briefs, but the rule of thumb is: never save on the business. In this way, you can lose reputation and business, and you can never take it back!
It is important not only to have good equipment, but also to have good training and correctly select clients for the treatments.