1. What is the Mobile Spa
Mobile spas are fun, unique and versatile. With proper equipment and tools, most mobile spas can offer the same type of services remotely as you would find in your local day spa. They provide the perfect union of luxurious spa therapies infused with the intimacy and comforts of home.
The Mobile spa is the perfect solution for the busy professional, new moms, seniors or those with mobility challenges. They are ideal for couples looking for the comfort and privacy of their own home, and for hosting corporate events and Spa Parties serving larger groups for any special occasion.
With the surging popularity in mobile spa businesses, I feel it is my responsibility to raise awareness of the importance of seeking out truly professional services and high quality standards.
2. Health and Safety/Hygiene
Don’t be afraid to ask about their sanitation policies and practices. Procedures should be available for viewing on their website, or at least be able to provide you with a copy if requested. Staff should be completely familiar with their sanitation procedures, and be sure to examine the cleanliness of workstations, uniforms and tools during your appointment.
Bacteria and germs are lurking in every corner. For example, foot baths add a luxurious touch, but they may be harbouring a colony of germs. Pay attention to cleanliness of their equipment, linens and slippers. Bacteria, fungal and viral infections will contaminate products, tools and surfaces so it is imperative that sterilization and disinfection protocols be in place and followed closely.
- Ensure that clean linens and towels are used for each client. Disposable towels are a good option for smaller treatments in a mobile setting.
- Ensure that disposable gloves are used during pedicure treatments and protective gear is worn when appropriate.
- Ask how they clean and disinfect the foot tub/bath, what type of products they use and how often they clean and/or disinfect the tub. In a mobile setting, it is necessary to use disposable liners that are changed for every client
- Ask how they clean their metal tools. In a mobile setting, it is best to insist on individual use of tools for each client. If metal implements are used on more than one client, it is absolutely necessary that they be cleaned and either disinfected or sterilized between clients using product manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Ask if the tools and supplies that cannot be disinfected by immersion, e.g. wooden files, orangewood sticks, nail buffers, gloves etc. are disposed of after every client.
3. Standards and Practices
Staff must be attentive and thoroughly examine clients’ nails and skin prior to providing a service. For instance, nail fungus is highly contagious and applying a nail polish to an infected nail will contaminate the entire bottle. This could easily spread the infection to subsequent users. A highly trained professional will be able to identify possible nail infections and refrain from using a polish that will be shared with other customers.
Be aware that there are some establishments that choose to assume a higher risk for causing or spreading infection by engaging in practices such as using credo blades or working too aggressively on cuticles or ingrown toenails. Other things to look for are clean uniforms and that practitioners wash their hands before and after performing any service.
4. Insurance and licensing
You can ask the salon if they carry Commercial General Liability and Professional Liability Insurance. Ensure that treatments are performed by a licensed and insured nail technician that takes pride in their services and follow the proper procedures to insure YOUR SAFETY!
5. Flexibility and comfort
There are some things you need to consider when hiring a mobile spa. For instance, the restriction to last minute changes or changes to the number or types of treatments you request. Since everything must be transported, the mobile spa requires an immense amount of planning, coordination and preparation on the part of the business owner ahead of time. From the number of staff, equipment, tools, and products; each booking is carefully calculated to accommodate for the services they will be providing at each location. Although there is some flexibility for last minute changes, it is important to understand that staff may not have the necessary tools or equipment with them to accommodate for changes.
Another thing that needs consideration is space limitations and surroundings. Every environment is different and the staff needs to be able to work with their surroundings. For example, the mobile spa is perfect for young moms; however we may have equipment (i.e. wax warmer, steamer, etc.) that could potentially harm a child or pet if upmost caution is not taken. It is advisable that toddlers, young children or pets not be in the room while esthetics services are being performed.
6. Health and medical information
Client information forms should be completed at your initial visit and updated at your regular appointments. Some medicines and health conditions may contradict with certain spa services, therefore it is important that practitioners review and be aware of your medical history prior to your selected services being performed. Based on your medical information, a qualified professional may suggest alternative treatments or even have to refuse certain treatments for your safety.
Is the staff qualified to perform the treatments? How long have the practitioners been in the business? Across the country, unsuspecting consumers are having their nails and other services done by unlicensed technicians working in unsafe nail and beauty salons. Of paramount importance is that the therapists and aestheticians who practice at the spa be certified and qualified for the job. Professionally qualified staff will be able to identify skin and nail problems, identify any counter indications, communicate this information to the customer without making a medical diagnosis, and advise the customer of how, and if, they will be proceeding with the services.
Part of the mobile spa experience should be meeting friendly staff that makes it appear as though they have been looking forward to meeting you and providing your services. Staff should introduce themselves, take your lead in the amount of conversation, and be respect of confidentiality. It is never appropriate for a practitioner to complain about their workplace or discuss their personal problems. Therapist should be with their client at all times, enhancing the service and ensuring your safety.
9. Reputation, Reviews and Testimonials
It is great to know when a business gets the majority of their business through repeat customers and referrals. This is a good indication that they provide quality services and that clients are generally satisfied. But if you don’t have a referral to go on and if you are trying a place for the first time, it is useful to seek out on-line reviews and testimonials. There are several on-line review forums and some businesses ask clients to provide reviews and testimonials to judge where improvements could be made. This is a good starting point, however be aware of bogus testimonials. Also, if a business has received a high majority of good reviews with only a couple of unsatisfied customers, it is important to remember that it is not possible to please all of the people all of the time.
With a little homework, you can feel a little more confident that you have chosen the right spa and then base it on your own experience.
10. Products and Services
There are unlimited product lines out there, and mobile spas should only provide its customers with effective treatments using products that are of the highest quality. It is the mobile spa management’s responsibility to ensure that staff is provided the appropriate and ongoing training for the product lines being used, and that staff is kept up to date on industry news.
If you are environmentally conscious and looking for some eco-friendly pampering, seek out mobile spas with the same values and that use natural or organic products.
Qualified and knowledgeable staff will suggest specific treatments that can be added to your treatments to enhance your mobile spa experience or provide an added benefit. These are referred to as add-ons in the industry. However, it is wise to be cautious of gimmicky services that overly promise results. These costs can add up, and as the old saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Having been in the beauty industry for over 25 years, I have a true passion for what I do and thoroughly believe in the well-being that comes with taking care of oneself. It is my goal to ensure that you enjoy the wonderful and rejuvenating experience that the mobile spa has to offer.